McDowell County Criminal Court

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

Jury Deliberations in McDowell County

In McDowell 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.

What happens in McDowell County at an arraignment?

In McDowell 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.

McDowell County Criminal Court

McDowell County Criminal Court

Who is the prosecutor for McDowell County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for McDowell County criminal cases will either be a representative of McDowell County or a representative from West Virginia. 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.

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.

McDowell County Criminal Court locations

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

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 McDowell 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 Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

Where can I get help for my McDowell 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 McDowell 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.

Sentencing in McDowell County

In McDowell 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 McDowell County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in McDowell 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.

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.

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.

McDowell County Criminal Court Locations

  • McDowell County Circuit Court

    Address: 90 Wyoming Street, Suite 201, Welch, WV 24801
    Phone: 304-436-8535 Fax: 304-436-6994

  • McDowell County Magistrate Court

    Address: 105 Wyoming Street, PO Box 447, Welch, WV 24801
    Phone: 304-436-8587 Fax: 304-436-8575

  • Anawalt Municipal Court

    Address: 1 Walnut Street, PO Box 40, Anawalt, WV 24808
    Phone: 304-383-2993 Fax: 304-383-2661

  • Bradshaw Municipal Court

    Address: 10002 Highway 83, PO Box 450, Bradshaw, WV 24817
    Phone: 304-967-7370

  • Davy Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 430, Davy, WV 24828
    Phone: 304-656-7145

  • Gary Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 310, Gary, WV 24836
    Phone: 304-448-2209 Fax: 304-448-2209

  • Iaeger Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 158, Iaeger, WV 24844
    Phone: 304-938-3035 Fax: 304-938-5171

  • Keystone Municipal Court

    Address: 144 West Main Street, Box 200, Keystone, WV 24852
    Phone: 304-862-2239 Fax: 304-862-3132

  • Kimball Municipal Court

    Address: 27737 Coal Heritage Road, PO Box 157, Kimball, WV 24853
    Phone: 304-585-7913 Fax: 304-585-7958

  • Northfork Municipal Court

    Address: 32 Friebursch Avenue, PO Box 760, Northfork, WV 24868
    Phone: 304-862-3414

  • War Municipal Court

    Address: 14220 Rocket Boys Drive, PO Box 280, War, WV 24892
    Phone: 304-875-3111

  • Welch Municipal Court

    Address: 88 Howard Street, Welch, WV 24801
    Phone: 304-436-3113 Fax: 304-436-2546

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