Carbon County Criminal Court

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

Carbon County Criminal Court locations

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

I need help for my Carbon County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Carbon County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Carbon County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

Carbon County Criminal Court

Carbon County Criminal Court

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.

Sentencing in Carbon County

In Carbon 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.

Jury Deliberations in Carbon County

In Carbon County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Carbon County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Carbon County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Carbon 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 Carbon 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.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

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.

Prosecutor in Carbon County

In Carbon County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Carbon County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Montana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Carbon County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Required Court Appearances in Carbon County

Any required court appearances in Carbon County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

Carbon County Criminal Court Locations

  • Carbon County District Court – 22nd Judicial District

    Address: 102 North Broadway, PO Box 948, Red Lodge, MT 59068
    Phone 406-446-1225 Fax: 406-446-0103

  • Carbon County Justice Court

    Address: 102 North Broadway, PO Box 2, Red Lodge, MT 59068
    Phone: 406-446-1440 Fax: 406-446-9175

  • Bear Creek City Court

    Address: 102 Main Street, PO Box 1082, Bear Creek, MT 59007
    Phone: 406-446-1440 Fax: 406-446-9175

  • Bridger City Court

    Address: PO Box 128, Bridger, MT 59014
    Phone: 406-662-1042 Fax: 406-662-5056

  • Fromberg City Court

    Address: 118 West River Street, PO Box 236, Fromberg, MT 59029
    Phone 406-668-7383 Fax: 406-668-9062

  • Joliet City Court

    Address: PO Box 210, Joliet, MT 59041
    Phone: 406-962-3567 Fax: 406-962-9803

  • Red Lodge City Court

    Address: 1 South Platt, PO Box 9, Red Lodge, MT 59068
    Phone: 406-446-4727 Fax: 406-446-0369

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