Hawkins County Criminal Court

Hawkins County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Hawkins County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Hawkins County.

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

Where will Hawkins County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Hawkins County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Hawkins County.

Hawkins County Criminal Court

Hawkins County Criminal Court

Arraignments in Hawkins County

During an arraignment in Hawkins County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Hawkins County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Hawkins County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

I need help for my Hawkins County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Hawkins County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Hawkins County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Hawkins County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Hawkins County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Hawkins County Required Court Appearances

In Hawkins County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Who is the prosecutor for Hawkins County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Hawkins County criminal cases will either be a representative of Hawkins County or a representative from Tennessee. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

Hawkins County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hawkins County Circuit Court

    Address: 115 Justice Center Drive, Suite 1237, Rogersville, TN 37857
    Phone: 423-272-3397 Fax: 423-272-9646

  • Hawkins County Chancery Court

    Address: 100 East Main Street, Suite 316, Rogersville, TN 37857
    Phone: 423-272-8150 Fax: 423-272-7347

  • Hawkins County General Sessions Court

    Address: 115 Justice Center Drive, Suite 1237, Rogersville, TN 37857
    Phone: 423-272-3397 Fax: 423-272-9646

  • Hawkins County Juvenile Court

    Address: 115 Justice Center Drive, Suite 1237, Rogersville, TN 37857
    Phone: 423-272-3397 Fax: 423-272-9646

  • Bulls Gap City Court

    Address: 139 South Main Street, Bulls Gap, TN 37711
    Phone: 423-235-5216

  • Church Hill City Court

    Address: 300 East Main Blvd, Church Hill, TN 37642
    Phone: 423-357-6161

  • Kingsport City Court

    Address: 200 Shelby Street, Kingsport, TN 37660
    Phone: 423-229-9428

  • Rogersville City Court

    Address: 106 East Kyle Street, Rogersville, TN 37857
    Phone: 423-272-7497 Fax: 423-272-9451

  • Surgoinsville City Court

    Address: 1735 Main Street, Surgoinsville, TN 37873
    Phone: 423-345-2213

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