Putnam County Criminal Court

Putnam County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Putnam County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Putnam County.

Arraignments in Putnam County

During an arraignment in Putnam 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 Putnam 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 Putnam County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

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.

Putnam County Criminal Court

Putnam County Criminal Court

Required Court Appearances in Putnam County

Any required court appearances in Putnam County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

Plea Agreements

A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Putnam County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jury Deliberations in Putnam County

In Putnam County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Putnam County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Putnam County will take place at the Putnam County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Putnam County Criminal Court Locations.

I need help for my Putnam 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 Putnam 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 Putnam 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.

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 Putnam County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Putnam County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Putnam County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Putnam County. The Putnam County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.

Putnam County Criminal Court Locations

  • Putnam County Circuit Court

    Address: 421 East Spring Street, Room 1C, Suite 49A, Cookeville, TN 38501
    Phone: 931-528-1508 Fax: 931-526-2004

  • Putnam County Chancery Court

    Address: 421 East Spring Street, Suite 1C38, Cookeville, TN 38501
    Phone: 931-526-6321 Fax: 931-526-1914

  • Putnam County General Sessions Court

    Address: 421 East Spring Street, Suite 1C07, Cookeville, TN 38501
    Phone: 931-528-5541 Fax: 931-526-1833

  • Putnam County Juvenile Court

    Address: 421 East Spring Street, Room 1C, Suite 49A, Cookeville, TN 38501
    Phone: 931-528-1508

  • Algood City Court

    Address: 110 East Main Street, Algood, TN 38506
    Phone: 931-537-6830

  • Baxter City Court

    Address: 200 Main Street, PO Box 335, Baxter, TN 38544
    Phone: 931-858-4111

  • Cookeville City Court

    Address: 45 East Broad Street, PO Box 998, Cookeville, TN 38503
    Phone: 931-520-5254

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