Mountrail County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Mountrail County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Mountrail 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.
Where can I get help for my Mountrail 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 Mountrail 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.
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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Mountrail County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Mountrail County criminal cases will either be a representative of Mountrail County or a representative from North Dakota. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine 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.
Jury Deliberations in Mountrail County
In Mountrail 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.
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 Mountrail 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.
What happens in Mountrail County at an arraignment?
In Mountrail 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.
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.
Where will Mountrail County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Mountrail County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Mountrail County.
Required Court Appearances in Mountrail County
Any required court appearances in Mountrail 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.
Mountrail County Criminal Court Locations
Mountrail County District Court
Address: 101 N Main St, PO Box 69, Stanley ND 58784
Phone: 701-628-2915 Fax: 701-628-2276
New Town Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 309, New Town ND 58763
Phone: 701-627-4812 Fax: 701-672-4316
Stanley Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 249, Stanley ND 58784