Marion County Criminal Court

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

Defendant Sentencing

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.

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.

Marion County Criminal Court

Marion County Criminal Court

Who can help me in Marion County?

For general information about your case the Marion 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.

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.

Marion County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Marion County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Marion County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Marion County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

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.

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 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.

Plea Agreements

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 Marion 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.

Marion County Required Court Appearances

In Marion County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

Who is the prosecutor for Marion County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Marion County criminal cases will either be a representative of Marion 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.

Marion County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Marion County will take place at the Marion County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Marion County Criminal Court Locations.

Marion County Criminal Court Locations

  • Marion County Circuit Court

    Address: 200 E Washington St, Suite W122, Indianapolis IN 46204
    Phone: 317-327-4740 Fax: 317-327-3893

  • Marion County Superior Court

    Address: 200 E Washington St, Suite W122, Indianapolis IN 46204
    Phone: 317-327-4740 Fax: 317-327-3893

  • Marion County Superior Court – Juvenile Division

    Address: 2451 N Keystone Ave, Indianapolis IN 46218
    Phone: 317-327-8381 Fax: 317-327-8382

  • Beech Grove City Court

    Address: 340 E Churchman Ave, Beech Grove IN 46107
    Phone: 317-803-9155 Fax: 317-782-4943

  • Cumberland Town Court

    Address: 11501 E Washington St, Cumberland IN 46229
    Phone: 317-894-6203

  • Center Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 200 E Washington Street, #G5, Indianapolis IN 46204
    Phone: 317-327-5060 Fax: 317-327-7844

  • Decatur Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 3730 S Foltz St, Indianapolis IN 46241
    Phone: 317-241-2854 Fax: 317-247-5960

  • Franklin Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 4351 Independence Square, Indianapolis IN 46203
    Phone: 317-784-1751 Fax: 317-784-1871

  • Lawrence Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 4455 McCoy St, #200, Indianapolis IN 46226
    Phone: 317-545-2369 Fax: 317-545-1662

  • Perry Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 4925 Shelby St, #100, Indianapolis IN 46227
    Phone: 317-786-9242 Fax: 317-788-4826

  • Pike Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 5665 Lafayette Rd, Suite B, Indianapolis IN 46254
    Phone: 317-293-1842 Fax: 317-290-8319

  • Warren Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 501 N Post Rd, Suite C, Indianapolis IN 46219
    Phone: 317-327-8919 Fax: 317-327-8922

  • Washington Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 5302 N Keystone Ave, Suite E, Indianapolis IN 46220
    Phone: 317-327-8184 Fax: 317-327-8190

  • Wayne Township Small Claims Court

    Address: 5401 W Washington St, Indianapolis IN 46214
    Phone: 317-241-4191

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