Rhea County Criminal Court

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

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

Rhea County Criminal Court

Rhea County Criminal Court

Where can I get help for my Rhea County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Rhea County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

Rhea County Required Court Appearances

In Rhea 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.

Rhea County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Rhea County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Rhea County. The Rhea 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.

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.

Jury Deliberations in Rhea County

In Rhea 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.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

Where will Rhea County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Sentencing in Rhea County

In Rhea County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

The Right to Trial by Jury

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.

Arraignments in Rhea County

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

Rhea County Criminal Court Locations

  • Rhea County Circuit Court

    Address: 1475 Market Street, Suite 104, Dayton, TN 37321
    Phone: 423-775-7805 Fax: 423-775-7895

  • Rhea County Chancery Court

    Address: 1475 Market Street, Dayton, TN 37321
    Phone: 423-775-7806

  • Rhea County General Sessions Court

    Address: 1475 Market Street, Suite 104, Dayton, TN 37321
    Phone: 423-775-7805

  • Rhea County Juvenile Court

    Address: 1475 Market Street, Suite 104, Dayton, TN 37321
    Phone: 423-775-7839

  • Dayton City Court

    Address: 399 1st Avenue, PO Box 226, Dayton, TN 37321
    Phone: 423-775-1817 Fax: 423-775-8404

  • Graysville City Court

    Address: 136 Harrison Avenue, Graysville, TN 37338
    Phone: 423-664-5805 Fax: 423-775-8137

  • Spring City Court

    Address: 229 Front Street, PO Box 369, Spring City, TN 37381
    Phone: 423-365-6441

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