LaPorte County Criminal Court

LaPorte County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in LaPorte County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in LaPorte County.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

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.

LaPorte County Criminal Court

LaPorte County Criminal Court

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

LaPorte County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the LaPorte County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Who can help me in LaPorte County?

For general information about your case the LaPorte 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.

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Who is the prosecutor for LaPorte County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for LaPorte County criminal cases will either be a representative of LaPorte County or a representative from Indiana. 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.

Sentencing in LaPorte County

In LaPorte County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

Appealing a Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

What happens in LaPorte County at an arraignment?

In LaPorte 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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In LaPorte 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.

Mandatory Appearances in LaPorte County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in LaPorte 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.

LaPorte County Criminal Court Locations

  • LaPorte County Circuit Court

    Address: 813 Lincolnway, #105, LaPorte IN 46350
    Phone: 219-326-6808 Fax: 219-326-6626

  • LaPorte County Superior Court No. 1

    Address: 813 Lincolnway, #105, LaPorte IN 46350
    Phone: 219-326-6808 Fax: 219-326-6626

  • LaPorte County Superior Court No. 2

    Address: 813 Lincolnway, #105, LaPorte IN 46350
    Phone: 219-326-6808 Fax: 219-326-6626

  • LaPorte County Superior Court No. 3

    Address: 813 Lincolnway, #105, LaPorte IN 46350
    Phone: 219-326-6808 Fax: 219-326-6626

  • LaPorte County Superior Court No. 4

    Address: 813 Lincolnway, #105, LaPorte IN 46350
    Phone: 219-326-6808 Fax: 219-326-6626

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.