All criminal cases prosecuted within the county of Calhoun are started at the 10th District Court.
The 10th District Court processes misdemeanor cases from arraignments through sentencing; and felony cases, from arraignment through preliminary exam.
A few key terms:
- Arraignment: Defendant is advised of charge, advised of possible penalties, bond is set and a plea may be entered.
- Bond: The amount of money for or condition of pretrial release from custody set by either a judge or magistrate at a defendant's initial court appearance. The purpose of bond is to ensure a defendant's return to court for further proceedings.
- Pre-Trial: The prosecutor and defendant talk about the case and a defendant's options regarding trial.
- Preliminary Exam: A district court judge determines based on evidence whether there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed and that the defendant committed the crime
- Probable Cause: Having more evidence for than against; reasonable ground for belief in certain alleged facts.
- Sentencing: The final step in the legal process, a penalty is applied by a judge for someone who is convicted of, or pleads guilty to a crime.
Criminal cases have penalties of fines and /or jail or prison time.