Lane County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Lane County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Lane County.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Lane County
Any required court appearances in Lane 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.
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.
Lane County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Lane County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Who can help me in Lane County?
For general information about your case the Lane 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Lane 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.
Arraignments in Lane County
During an arraignment in Lane 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 Lane 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 Lane County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
In a jury trial in Lane County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Prosecutor in Lane County
In Lane County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Lane County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Oregon. For the most part, the prosecutor in Lane County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Lane County Criminal Court Locations
Lane County Circuit Court
Address: 125 East 8th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401
Lane County Juvenile Court
Address: 2727 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Eugene, OR 97401
Coburg Municipal Court
Address: 91136 North Willamette Street, PO Box 8146, Coburg, OR 97408
Cottage Grove Municipal Court
Address: 400 East Main Street, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
Phone: 541-942-3346 Fax: 541-942-1267
Eugene Municipal Court
Address: 1102 Lincoln Street, Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: 541-682-5400 Fax: 541-682-5417
Florence Municipal Court
Address: 900 Greenwood Street, Florence, OR 97439
Phone: 541-997-3123 Fax: 541-997-4108
Junction City Municipal Court
Address: 680 Greenwood Street, PO Box 250, Junction City, OR 97448
Phone: 541-998-1113 Fax: 541-998-3140
Lowell Municipal Court
Address: 107 East 3rd Street, PO Box 490, Lowell OR 97452
Springfield Municipal Court
Address: 230 4th Street, Springfield, OR 97477
Phone: 541-726-3748 Fax: 541-744-3376
Veneta Municipal Court
Address: 88184 8th Street, St, PO Box 458, Veneta, OR 97487
Lane County Justice Court
Address: 900 Greenwood Street, Florence, OR 97439
Phone: 541-997-2535 Fax: 541-902-0639