Sevier County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Sevier County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Sevier County.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Sevier County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Sevier County criminal cases will either be a representative of Sevier 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.
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.
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.
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 Sevier 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.
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.
I need help for my Sevier 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 Sevier 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 Sevier 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.
Sentencing in Sevier County
In Sevier 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.
Mandatory Appearances in Sevier County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Sevier County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
What happens in Sevier County at an arraignment?
In Sevier County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
Sevier County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Sevier County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Sevier County Criminal Court Locations
Sevier County Circuit Court
Address: 125 Court Avenue, Suite 204-E, Sevierville, TN 37862
Phone: 865-774-3731 (Criminal) Fax: 865-774-9792
Sevier County Chancery Court
Address: 125 Court Avenue, Suite 108-W, Sevierville, TN 37862
Phone: 865-453-4654 Fax: 865-453-8763
Sevier County General Sessions Court
Address: 125 Court Avenue, Suite 107-E, Sevierville, TN 37862
Sevier County Juvenile Court
Address: 125 Court Avenue, Suite 305-W, Sevierville, TN 37862
Phone: 865-453-9064 Fax: 865-428-2468
Gatlinburg City Court
Address: 1230 Parkway East, Suite 2, PO Box 5, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Pigeon Forge City Court
Address: 225 Pine Mountain, PO Box 350, Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
Sevierville City Court
Address: 130 Gary Wade Boulevard, Sevierville, TN 37862