District courts are created by the Kansas Constitution. They are the trial courts of Kansas, with general original jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, including divorce and domestic relations, damage suits, probate and estate administration, guardianships, conservatorships, care of the mentally ill, juvenile matters, and small claims. It is here that criminal and civil jury trials take place.

Having an attorney is important when you need to defend yourself against criminal charges in a district court.  Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean you’re giving up control of your case.  The defendant in a case always makes the three most important decisions in a case, which are:

    •Whether to plead “Not Guilty” or “Guilty”

    •Whether to have a jury trial or judge alone trial

    •Whether to testify at trial or remain silent

There is one other important decision that is usually made before I ever get involved in a case.  The decision I’m referring to is the decision to whether make any statements at all to law enforcement.  If anyone from a law enforcement agency wants to speak with you about something you’ve done or allegedly done, you should respectfully decline to do so until you’ve had a chance to speak with an attorney.  Remember you will always have another opportunity to speak with them, if it is in your best interest, but you’ll never have an opportunity to take back something you’ve said.  It does not matter if they’ve “read you your rights” or not, do not speak with them without first speaking with an attorney.  If you’ve already given a statement, “It’s water under the bridge”, just don’t make it any worse by making any more statements.

Here are some links to things that you may find helpful reading if you’re facing state criminal charges:

    •If you want to look up the crime you have been charged with you can do so at the Kansas Legislature’s website.

    •If you want to learn about the possible sentence you could receive if convicted of a felony you can do so at the Kansas Sentencing Commission’s website.

    •If you want to learn about rules and regulations for prisoners in Kansas prisons, you can do so at the Department of Corrections’ website.

Call Michael R. Clarke if you need help.

(785) 832-2181

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Copyright 2017 Michael R. Clarke - Kansas criminal defense attorney.

Mailing Address: Clarke Law Office, 1441 Wakarusa Drive, Suite 200, Lawrence, KS 66049

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