Hood River County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Hood River County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Hood River County.
Appealing a guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
Sentencing in Hood River County
In Hood River 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.
Who can help me in Hood River County?
For general information about your case the Hood River 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Hood River County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Hood River County criminal cases will either be a representative of Hood River 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.
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.
Arraignments in Hood River County
During an arraignment in Hood River 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 Hood River 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 Hood River County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Mandatory Appearances in Hood River County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Hood River County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
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 Hood River County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Hood River County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Hood River County will take place at the Hood River County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Hood River County Criminal Court Locations.
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 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.
Hood River County Criminal Court Locations
Hood River Circuit Court
Address: 309 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031
Phone: 541-386-3535 Fax: 541-386-3465
Cascade Locks Municipal Court
Address: 140 SW WaNaPa Street, PO Box 308, Cascade Locks, OR 97014
Phone: 541-374-8484 Fax: 541-374-8752
Hood River Municipal Court
Address: 211 2nd Street, Hood River, OR 97031
Phone: 541-386-3942 Fax: 541-387-5575
Hood River County Justice Court
Address: 440 WaNaPa Street, PO Box 536, Cascade Locks, OR 97014
Phone: 541-374-8558 Fax: 541-374-8121