Yuma County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Yuma County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Yuma County.
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.
Where will Yuma County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Yuma County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Yuma County.
Who is the prosecutor for Yuma County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Yuma County criminal cases will either be a representative of Yuma County or a representative from Arizona. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
Mandatory Appearances in Yuma County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Yuma 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.
What happens in Yuma County at an arraignment?
In Yuma County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
In a jury trial in Yuma 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.
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.
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 Yuma County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Who can help me in Yuma County?
For general information about your case the Yuma County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Yuma County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
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.
Yuma County Criminal Court Locations
Yuma County Superior Court
Address: 250 West 2nd Street, Suite B, Yuma AZ 85364
Phone: 928-817-4222 Fax: 928-817-4211
Yuma County Superior Court – Juvenile
Address: 2440 West 28th Street, Yuma AZ 85364
Phone: 928-314-1900 Fax: 928-314-1996
Somerton / San Luis Justice Court
Address: 1358 East Liberty Street, San Luis AZ 85349
Wellton Justice Court
Address: 10620 Dome Street, Wellton AZ 85356
Yuma Justice Court
Address: 250 West 2nd Street, Suite A, Yuma AZ 85364
San Luis Municipal Court
Address: 767 North 1st Avenue, PO Box 1670, San Luis AZ 85349
Phone: 928-341-8595 Fax: 928:627-2335
Somerton Municipal Court
Address: 350 West Main Street, Somerton AZ 85350
Phone: 928-627-8152 Phone: 928-627-2722
Wellton Municipal Court
Address: 10250 Dome Street, Wellton AZ 85356
Phone: 928-785-3321 Fax: 928-785-4933
Yuma Municipal Court
Address: 1515 S 2nd Avenue, Yuma AZ 85364
Phone: 928-373-4800 Fax: 928-329-2876