Harney County Criminal Court

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

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.

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.

Harney County Criminal Court

Harney County Criminal Court

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 Harney County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Harney County criminal cases will either be a representative of Harney County or a representative from Oregon. 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.

Jury Deliberations in Harney County

In Harney 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.

Where will Harney County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Required Court Appearances in Harney County

Any required court appearances in Harney 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.

Harney County Arraignments

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

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.

I need help for my Harney 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 Harney 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 Harney 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.

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 a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

Harney County Criminal Court Locations

  • Harney County Circuit Court

    Address: 450 North Buena Vista Blvd, #16, Burns, OR 97720
    Phone: 541-573-5207 Fax: 541-573-5715

  • Harney County Court

    Address: 450 North Buena Vista, Burns, OR 97720
    Phone: 541-573-6356 Fax: 541-573-8387

  • Burns Municipal Court

    Address: 242 South Broadway, Burns, OR 97720
    Phone: 541-573-5255 Fax: 541-573-5622

  • Hines Municipal Court

    Address: 101 East Barnes, PO Box 336, Hines, OR 97738
    Phone: 541-573-2251

  • Harney County Justice Court

    Address: 450 North Buena Vista, #9, Burns, OR 97720
    Phone: 541-573-2346 Fax: 541-573-8197

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