Towner County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Towner County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Towner County.
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.
Arraignments in Towner County
During an arraignment in Towner 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 Towner 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 Towner County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Where will Towner County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Towner County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Towner County.
Jury Deliberations in Towner County
In Towner 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.
I need help for my Towner 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 Towner 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 Towner 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.
Required Court Appearances in Towner County
Any required court appearances in Towner 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.
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.
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.
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 Towner County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Towner County criminal cases will either be a representative of Towner 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.
Sentencing in Towner County
In Towner 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.
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 Towner 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.
Towner County Criminal Court Locations
Towner County District Court
Address: Phone: 701-968-4340, x3 Fax: 701-968-4342
Cando Municipal Court
Address: 805 Evergreen Lane, Cando ND 58324