Eddy County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Eddy County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Eddy County.
Arraignments in Eddy County
During an arraignment in Eddy County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Eddy County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Eddy County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
I need help for my Eddy 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 Eddy 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 Eddy 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.
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 Eddy County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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 Eddy 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.
Eddy County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Eddy County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Eddy County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Eddy County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Eddy County. The Eddy County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Eddy County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Eddy 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.
In a jury trial in Eddy 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.
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.
Eddy County Criminal Court Locations
Eddy County 5th Judicial District Court
Address: 102 North Canal, Carlsbad, NM 88220
Phone: 575-885-4740 Fax: 575-887-7095
Eddy County Magistrate Court
Address: 109 North 15th Street, Artesia, NM 88210
Phone: 575-746-2481 Fax: 575-746-6763
Eddy County Magistrate Court
Address: 302 North Main, Carlsbad, NM 88220
Phone: 575-885-3218 Fax: 575-887-3460
Artesia Municipal Court
Address: 611 West Mahone, PO Box 1310, Artesia, NM 88210
Phone: 575-746-9401 Fax: 575-746-9678
Carlsbad Municipal Court
Address: 401 South Halagueno, Carlsbad, NM 88220
Phone: 575-885-3363 Fax: 575-887-4042
Hope Municipal Court
Address: 408 2nd Street, PO Box 127, Hope, NM 88250
Phone: 575-484-3351 Fax: 575-484-3153
Loving Municipal Court
Address: 415 West Cedar Street, PO Box 89, Loving, NM 88256
Phone: 575-745-3574 Fax: 575-745-1134