Sumner County Criminal Court

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

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 Sumner 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.

Sumner County Criminal Court

Sumner County Criminal Court

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

Mandatory Appearances in Sumner County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Sumner 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.

I need help for my Sumner 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 Sumner 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 Sumner 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.

Who is the prosecutor for Sumner County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Sumner County criminal cases will either be a representative of Sumner 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.

Sumner County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Sumner County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Sumner County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.

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.

Arraignments in Sumner County

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

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.

Sumner County Criminal Court Locations

  • Sumner County Circuit Court

    Address: 101 Public Square, PO Box 549, Gallatin, TN 37066
    Phone: 615-452-4367 Fax: 615-451-6027

  • Sumner County Chancery Court

    Address: 100 Public Square, Gallatin, TN 37066
    Phone: 615-452-4282 Fax: 615-451-6031

  • Sumner County Criminal Court

    Address: 200 Courthouse, Gallatin, TN 37066
    Phone: 615-452-5526

  • Sumner County General Sessions Court

    Address: 101 Public Square, PO Box 549, Gallatin, TN 37066
    Phone: 615-452-4367 Fax: 615-451-6027

  • Sumner County Juvenile Court

    Address: 101 Public Square, PO Box 549, Gallatin, TN 37066
    Phone: 615-452-4367 Fax: 615-451-6027

  • Gallatin City Court

    Address: 132 West Main Street, Room 111, Gallatin, TN 37066
    Phone: 615-452-5893 Fax: 615-451-5916

  • Hendersonville City Court

    Address: 101 Maple Drive North, Hendersonville, TN 37075
    Phone: 615-264-5354

  • Portland City Court

    Address: 100 South Russell Street, Portland, TN 37148
    Phone: 615-325-6776 Fax: 615-325-7075

  • Westmoreland City Court

    Address: 1001 Park Street, PO Box 8, Westmoreland, TN 37186
    Phone: 615-644-3850

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