Roane County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Roane County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Roane County.
Sentencing in Roane County
In Roane 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.
Roane County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Roane County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Roane County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Roane 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.
Roane County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Roane County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Roane County. The Roane 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.
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.
In a jury trial in Roane 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.
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 Roane County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
I need help for my Roane 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 Roane 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 Roane 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.
Arraignments in Roane County
During an arraignment in Roane 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 Roane 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 Roane County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Roane 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.
Roane County Criminal Court Locations
Roane County Circuit Court
Address: 200 Main Street, PO Box 122, Spencer, WV 25276
Phone: 304-927-2750 Fax: 304-927-2164
Roane County Magistrate Court
Address: 201 Main Street, Spencer, WV 25276
Phone: 304-927-4750 Fax: 304-927-2913
Reedy Municipal Court
Address: 118 Main Street, PO Box 57, Reedy, WV 25270
Spencer Municipal Court
Address: 116 Court Street, Spencer, WV 25276
Phone: 304-927-1640 Fax: 304-927-3724