Judith Basin County Criminal Court

Judith Basin County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Judith Basin County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Judith Basin County.

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 Judith Basin County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Required Court Appearances in Judith Basin County

Any required court appearances in Judith Basin 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.

Judith Basin County Criminal Court

Judith Basin County Criminal Court

Sentencing in Judith Basin County

In Judith Basin 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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Judith Basin 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.

What happens in Judith Basin County at an arraignment?

In Judith Basin 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.

Judith Basin County Criminal Court hearings

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

Prosecutor in Judith Basin County

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

Jury Deliberations in Judith Basin County

In Judith Basin 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.

I need help for my Judith Basin 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 Judith Basin 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 Judith Basin 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.

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.

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

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.

Judith Basin County Criminal Court Locations

  • Judith Basin County District Court – 10th Judicial District

    Address: 11 3rd Street North, PO Box 307, Stanford, MT 59479
    Phone: 406-566-2277 Ext. 113 Fax: 406-566-2211

  • Judith Basin County Justice Court

    Address: PO Box 339, Stanford, MT 59479
    Phone: 406-566-2277 Ext. 117 Fax: 406-566-2211

  • Hobson City Court

    Address: PO Box 339, Stanford, MT 59479
    Phone: 406-566-2277 Ext. 117 Fax: 406-566-2211

  • Stanford City Court

    Address: PO Box 339, Stanford, MT 59479
    Phone: 406-566-2277 Ext. 117 Fax: 406-566-2211

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