San Juan County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in San Juan County. See below for more information about criminal cases in San Juan County.
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.
Required Court Appearances in San Juan County
Any required court appearances in San Juan 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.
Where will San Juan County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of San Juan County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in San Juan County.
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.
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.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
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.
Where can I get help for my San Juan County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for San Juan County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
Sentencing in San Juan County
In San Juan 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.
Prosecutor in San Juan County
In San Juan County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing San Juan County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent New Mexico. For the most part, the prosecutor in San Juan County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Arraignments in San Juan County
During an arraignment in San Juan 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 San Juan 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 San Juan County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
San Juan County Criminal Court Locations
San Juan County 11th Judicial District Court – Farmington Division
Address: 851 Andrea Drive, Farmington, NM 87401
Phone: 505-326-2256 Fax: 505-326-1179
San Juan County 11th Judicial District Court – Aztec Division
Address: 103 South Oliver Drive, Aztec, NM 87410
Phone: 505-334-6151 Fax: 505-334-1940
San Juan County Magistrate Court – Aztec Division
Address: 200 South Gossett Avenue, Aztec, NM 87410
Phone: 505-334-9479 Fax: 505-334-2178
San Juan County Magistrate Court – Farmington Division
Address: 950 West Apache Street, Farmington, NM 87401
Phone: 505-326-4338 Fax: 505-325-2618
Aztec Municipal Court
Address: 201 West Chaco, Aztec, NM 87410
Phone: 505-334-7640 Fax: 505-334-7639
Bloomfield Municipal Court
Address: 711 Ruth Lane, Bloomfield, NM 87413
Phone: 505-632-6330 Fax: 505-632-6331
Farmington Municipal Court
Address: 900 Municipal Drive, Farmington, NM 87401
Phone: 505-599-1245 Fax: 505-599-1254