Tyler County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Tyler County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Tyler County.
Tyler County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Tyler County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Tyler County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Tyler County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
In a jury trial in Tyler 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.
Where can I get help for my Tyler 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 Tyler 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.
Tyler County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Tyler County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Tyler County. The Tyler 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
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 an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Tyler County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
Mandatory Appearances in Tyler County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Tyler 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.
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.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
Tyler County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Tyler County will take place at the Tyler County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Tyler County Criminal Court Locations.
Tyler County Criminal Court Locations
Tyler County Circuit Court
Address: 121 Main Street, PO Box 8, Middlebourne, WV 26149
Phone: 304-758-4811 Fax: 304-758-4008
Tyler County Magistrate Court
Address: 225 Main Street, PO Box 127, Middlebourne, WV 26149
Phone: 304-758-2137 Fax: 304-758-2692
Friendly Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 95, Friendly, WV 26146
Middlebourne Municipal Court
Address: 100 Main Street, Middlebourne, WV 26149
Phone: 304-758-4771 Fax: 304-758-2182
Paden City Municipal Court
Address: 208 West Main Street, PO Box 211, Paden City, WV 26159
Phone: 304-337-2281 Fax: 304-337-4036
Sistersville Municipal Court
Address: 200 Diamond Square, Sistersville, WV 26175
Phone: 304-652-6361 Fax: 304-652-1217