Tucker County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Tucker County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Tucker County.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
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.
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.
Arraignments in Tucker County
During an arraignment in Tucker 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 Tucker 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 Tucker County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Tucker County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Tucker County will take place at the Tucker County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Tucker County Criminal Court Locations.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Tucker 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.
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 Tucker County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Tucker 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.
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.
In a jury trial in Tucker 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 Tucker 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 Tucker 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.
Prosecutor in Tucker County
In Tucker County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Tucker County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent West Virginia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Tucker County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Tucker County Criminal Court Locations
Tucker County Circuit Court
Address: 215 1st Street, Parsons, WV 26287
Phone: 304-478-2606 Ext. 202 Fax: 304-478-4464
Tucker County Magistrate Court
Address: 201 Walnut Street, Parsons, WV 26287
Phone: 304-478-2655 Fax: 304-478-4836
Davis Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 207, Davis, WV 26260
Phone: 304-259-5302 Fax: 304-259-2265
Hambleton Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 60, Hambleton, WV 26269
Hendricks Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 122, Hendricks, WV 26271
Parsons Municipal Court
Address: 341 2nd Street, Parsons, WV 26287
Phone: 304-478-2311 Fax: 304-478-2182
Thomas Municipal Court
Address: 307 Spruce Street, PO Box 248, Thomas, WV 26292
Phone: 304-463-4360 Fax: 304-463-4697