Weakley County Criminal Court

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

Arraignments in Weakley County

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

Prosecutor in Weakley County

In Weakley County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Weakley County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Tennessee. For the most part, the prosecutor in Weakley County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Weakley County Criminal Court

Weakley County Criminal Court

Who can help me in Weakley County?

For general information about your case the Weakley County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Weakley 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.

Mandatory Appearances in Weakley County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Weakley 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.

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.

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

Weakley County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Weakley 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.

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.

Weakley County Criminal Court Locations

  • Weakley County Circuit Court

    Address: 116 West Main Street, Dresden, TN 38225
    Phone: 731-364-3455 Fax: 731-364-6765

  • Weakley County Chancery Court

    Address: 116 West Main Street, Suite 301, PO Box 197, Dresden, TN 38225
    Phone: 731-364-3454 Fax: 731-364-5247

  • Weakley County General Sessions Court

    Address: 116 West Main Street, Dresden, TN 38225
    Phone: 731-364-3455 Fax: 731-364-6765

  • Weakley County Juvenile Court

    Address: 116 West Main Street, Room G02, Dresden, TN 38225
    Phone: 731-364-5716 Fax: 731-364-3901

  • Dresden City Court

    Address: 117 West Main Street, Dresden, TN 38225
    Phone: 731-364-2270

  • Gleason City Court

    Address: 101 College Street, PO Box 720, Gleason, TN 38229
    Phone: 731-648-5547

  • Greenfield City Court

    Address: 222 Nprth Front Street, Greenfield, TN 38230
    Phone: 731-235-2330

  • Martin City Court

    Address: 101 University Street, Martin, TN 38237
    Phone: 731-587-5355 Ext. 239

  • Sharon City Court

    Address: 143 East Main Street, PO Box 235, Sharon, TN 38255
    Phone: 731-234-8287

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