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Shelby County General Sessions Criminal Court

hands gripping prison bars

The Shelby County Criminal Justice Building, located at 201 Poplar in Memphis, Shelby County, TN, is home to the General Sessions Criminal Courts along with Environmental Court, City and County Traffic Courts, and the Shelby County Public Defenders Office. If you are facing any type of criminal charges in Shelby County, TN then there is a good chance your case will start out in The General Sessions Criminal Courts. These courtrooms handle all types of criminal proceedings, including misdemeanor and felony charges. On any given day the Judges handling General Sessions cases will oversee driving offenses (including DUI charges), drug charges, theft of property, passing bad checks, and many felony cases.

Criminal Sessions Process

Typically speaking, most of the criminal cases that are handled from start to finish in Shelby County General Sessions Court begin with the Defendant receiving a Misdemeanor Citation. After that the following steps are usually taken:

  • After receiving a misdemeanor citation for a criminal offense, the defendant will be instructed to appear on a particular date for booking and processing. This date will be noted on the actual Misdemeanor Citation along with the designated court date to appear in court for an arraignment.
  • Once a defendant has completed booking and processing, he or she will appear in a designated courtroom for an arraignment. An arraignment is when the presiding Judge advises the Defendant of the charges pending against them and determines if he/she can afford an attorney.
  • If a Defendant can afford an attorney the Judge will typically allow time to hire legal counsel and appear in the near future for a second court date. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney a public defender will be provided.
  • If your attorney is negotiating a plea agreement to the charges, this process can take one or multiple court settings. It all depends on the facts and seriousness of the charges.
  • In General Sessions Courtrooms you have the right to a trial or preliminary hearing before the presiding Judge. You do not have the right to a jury trial at the General Sessions Court level.
  • If you are charged with a felony, you have the right to a preliminary hearing. After such a hearing, the charges against the defendant can either be dismissed or sent to the grand jury for indictment.

Felony and Misdemeanor Citations

Being arrested for a felony, or receiving a misdemeanor citation, can be one of the most overwhelming things a person can endure. We have said many times that even good people make mistakes, and they should not be defined or judged solely by such mistakes. If you have received a citation or been arrested in Memphis, Shelby County please know that a criminal defense attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm is here to help. We have many years of experience handling all types of criminal charges, ensuring that one mistake will not burden our clients forever. We handle each case with compassion, understanding, and expert knowledge of criminal law. We stay with our clients every step of the way, from arraignment to hopeful dismissal of the charges, including expungement of any criminal record.

Chiozza Has The Experience To Help

If you would like to speak with a Memphis criminal defense attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free consultation you may call (901) 526-9494, email Attorney Brian Chiozza, brian@chiozzalaw.com, or text us at (901) 550-4418. You may also visit the office during normal business hours, no appointment necessary, conveniently located one block from 201 Poplar. All consultations are free and confidential.



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This Blog/Website is made available by the Lawyer or Law Firm Publisher for educational purposes only, as well as to give you information and a general understanding of the law. It is not to provide you with specific legal advice. By reading this blog, you understand there is no attorney/client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Posted by Brian Chiozza at 3:45 PM
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