Ottawa County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Ottawa County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Ottawa County.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Ottawa 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.
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.
Ottawa County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Ottawa County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Required Court Appearances in Ottawa County
Any required court appearances in Ottawa 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Ottawa County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Ottawa County criminal cases will either be a representative of Ottawa County or a representative from Oklahoma. 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.
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.
If guilty, who sentences the defendant?
If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.
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.
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 happens in Ottawa County at an arraignment?
In Ottawa 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.
Who can help me in Ottawa County?
For general information about your case the Ottawa 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.
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 Ottawa County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Ottawa County Criminal Court Locations
Ottawa County District Court
Address: 102 East Central Avenue, Miami, OK 74354
Phone: 918-542-2801 Fax: 918-540-3278
Afton Municipal Court
Address: 201 SW 1st Street, Afton, OK 74331
Commerce Municipal Court
Address: 300 Commerce Avenue, Commerce, OK 74339
Fairland Municipal Court
Address: 28 North Main Street, Fairland, OK 74343
Miami Municipal Court
Address: 129 5th Avenue NW, PO Box 1288, Miami, OK 74355
Phone: 918-542-6685 Fax: 918-542-3539
North Miami Municipal Court
Address: 309 Pine Street, North Miami, OK 74358
Quapaw Municipal Court
Address: 410 Main Street, Quapaw, OK 74363
Wyandotte Municipal Court
Address: 12 South Main, Wyandotte, OK 74370