Carbon County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Carbon County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Carbon County.
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 Carbon 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.
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 Carbon County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Arraignments in Carbon County
During an arraignment in Carbon 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 Carbon 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 Carbon County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Who can help me in Carbon County?
For general information about your case the Carbon 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.
Carbon County Required Court Appearances
In Carbon 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.
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.
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.
In a jury trial in Carbon 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.
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.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
Who is the prosecutor for Carbon County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Carbon County criminal cases will either be a representative of Carbon County or a representative from Pennsylvania. 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.
Carbon County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Carbon County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Carbon County Criminal Court Locations
Carbon County Court of Common Pleas – Clerk of Courts (Criminal)
Address: 4 Broadway, PO Box 107, Jim Thorpe PA 18229
Phone: 570-325-3637 Fax: 570-325-5705
Carbon County Court of Common Pleas – Prothonotary (Civil)
Address: 4 Broadway, PO Box 130, Jim Thorpe PA 18229
Phone: 570-325-2481 Fax: 570-325-8047
Carbon County Orphans’ Court
Address: 1 Hazard Square, PO Box 286, Jim Thorpe PA 18229
Phone: 570-325-2261 Fax: 570-325-5098
Carbon County Magisterial District Court 56-3-01
Address: 340 Center Ave, PO Box 356, Jim Thorpe PA 18229
Phone: 570-325-2751 Fax: 570-325-5538
Carbon County Magisterial District Court 56-3-02
Address: 401 Delaware Ave, Palmerton PA 18071
Phone: 610-826-3707 Fax: 610-826-6914
Carbon County Magisterial District Court 56-3-03
Address: 417 E Ridge St, PO Box 203, Lansford PA 18232
Phone: 570-645-3024 Fax: 570-645-5544
Carbon County Magisterial District Court 56-3-04
Address: 200 Carbon St, PO Box 17, Weatherly PA 18255
Phone: 570-427-4100 Fax: 570-427-8730