Umatilla County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Umatilla County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Umatilla County.
Who can help me in Umatilla County?
For general information about your case the Umatilla 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.
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.
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.
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 Umatilla 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.
What happens in Umatilla County at an arraignment?
In Umatilla 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.
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.
Where will Umatilla County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Umatilla County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Umatilla County.
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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Umatilla County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Umatilla County criminal cases will either be a representative of Umatilla 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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Umatilla County
Any required court appearances in Umatilla 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.
Umatilla County Criminal Court Locations
Umatilla County Circuit Court – Hermiston
Address: 915 SE Columbia Drive, PO Box 170, Hermiston, OR 97838
Umatilla County Circuit Court – Pendleton
Address: 216 SE 4th Street, PO Box 1307, Pendleton, OR 97801
Athena Municipal Court
Address: 215 S 3rd Street, PO Box 686, Athena, OR 97813
Echo Municipal Court
Address: 20 South Bonanza, PO Box 9, Echo, OR 97826
Hermiston Municipal Court
Address: 330 South 1st Street, Hermiston, OR 97838
Phone: 541-567-6610 Fax: 541-667-2049
Milton-Freewater Municipal Court
Address: 722 South Main Street, PO Box 6, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862
Pendleton Municipal Court
Address: 501 SW Emigrant, Pendleton, OR 97801
Phone: 541-966-0209 Fax: 541-966-0352
Pilot Rock Municipal Court
Address: 144 North Alder Place, PO Box 130, Pilot Rock, OR 97868
Phone: 541-443-2811 Fax: 541-443-2253
Stanfield Municipal Court
Address: 160 South Main Street, Stanfield, OR 97875
Umatilla Municipal Court
Address: 300 6th Street, PO Box 130, Umatilla, OR 97882
Echo Justice Court
Address: 20 South Bonanza, PO Box 9, Echo, OR 97826