McIntosh County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in McIntosh County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in McIntosh County.
Required Court Appearances in McIntosh County
Any required court appearances in McIntosh 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 McIntosh 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.
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 McIntosh County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
I need help for my McIntosh 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 McIntosh 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 McIntosh 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.
McIntosh County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In McIntosh County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in McIntosh 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 McIntosh 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.
Prosecutor in McIntosh County
In McIntosh County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing McIntosh County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent North Dakota. For the most part, the prosecutor in McIntosh County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
McIntosh County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the McIntosh County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
McIntosh County Criminal Court Locations
McIntosh County District Court
Address: 112 1st St NE, PO Box 179, Ashley ND 58413
Phone: 701-288-3450 Fax: 701-288-3671
Ashley Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 153, Ashley ND 58413
Phone: 701-288-3491 Fax: 701-288-3498
Lehr Municipal Court
Address: 416 S Centennial St, Wishek ND 58495
Wishek Municipal Court
Address: 416 S Centennial St, Wishek ND 58495