Bowman County Criminal Court

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

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

Bowman County Criminal Court

Bowman County Criminal Court

Bowman County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Bowman County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Bowman County. The Bowman 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.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

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.

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.

Bowman County Required Court Appearances

In Bowman 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 can help me in Bowman County?

For general information about your case the Bowman 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.

Where will Bowman County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Bowman County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Bowman County.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Bowman 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.

Bowman County Arraignments

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

Sentencing in Bowman County

In Bowman 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.

Bowman County Criminal Court Locations

  • Bowman County District Court

    Address: 104 1st St NW, Suite 3, Bowman ND 58623
    Phone: 701-523-3450 Fax: 701-523-5443

  • Bowman Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 268, Bowman ND 58623
    Phone: 701-523-4487 Fax: 701-523-3125

  • Rhame Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 268, Bowman ND 58623
    Phone: 701-523-4487 Fax: 701-523-3125

  • Scranton Municipal Court

    Address: City Auditor, PO Box 143, Scranton ND 58653
    Phone: 701-275-6372

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