Washington County Criminal Court

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

Washington County Arraignments

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

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 Washington County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Washington County Criminal Court

Washington County Criminal Court

Where can I get help for my Washington County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Washington County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

Where will Washington County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Prosecutor in Washington County

In Washington County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Washington County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Oregon. For the most part, the prosecutor in Washington County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

The Right to Trial by Jury

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.

Jury Deliberations in Washington County

In Washington 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.

Plea Agreements

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 Washington 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.

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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.

Washington County Required Court Appearances

In Washington County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

Washington County Criminal Court Locations

  • Washington County Circuit Court

    Address: Mailing: 150 North 1st Avenue, MS 37, Hillsboro, OR 97124
    Phone: 503-846-2887

  • Washington County Juvenile Court

    Address: Mailing: 150 North 1st Avenue, MS 37, Hillsboro, OR 97124
    Phone: 503-846-4701

  • Beaverton Municipal Court

    Address: 4755 SW Griffith Drive, Beaverton, OR 97005
    Phone: 503-526-2290 Fax: 503-350-4031

  • Forest Grove/Cornelius Municipal Court

    Address: 1924 Council Street, PO Box 326, Forest Grove, OR 97116
    Phone: 503-992-3268 Fax: 503-992-3202

  • Gaston Municipal Court

    Address: 116 Front Street, PO Box 129, Gaston, OR 97119
    Phone: 503-985-3340 Fax: 503-985-1014

  • Hillsboro Municipal Court

    Address: 150 East Main Street, Hillsboro, OR 97123
    Phone: 503-681-6157 Fax: 503-681-6282

  • King City Municipal Court

    Address: 15300 SW 116th Avenue, King City, OR 97224
    Phone: 503-620-6444 Fax: 503-639-3771

  • North Plains Municipal Court

    Address: 31360 NW Commercial Street, North Plains, OR 97133
    Phone: 503-647-9172 Fax: 503-647-2031

  • Sherwood Municipal Court

    Address: 22560 SW Pine Street, Sherwood, OR 97140
    Phone: 503-625-4225 Fax: 503-625-5524

  • Tigard Municipal Court

    Address: 13125 SW Hall Blvd, Tigard, OR 97223
    Phone: 503-718-2478

  • Tualatin Municipal Court

    Address: 8650 SW Tualatin Road, Tualatin, OR 97062
    Phone: 503-691-3025 Fax: 503-691-6884

  • Washington County Justice Court

    Address: 3700 SW Murray Blvd, Suite 150, Beaverton, OR 97005
    Phone: 503-846-6600 Fax: 503-846-6604

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