Clarion County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Clarion County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Clarion County.
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 Clarion County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Clarion County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Clarion County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Clarion County. The Clarion County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
Jury Deliberations in Clarion County
In Clarion 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.
Arraignments in Clarion County
During an arraignment in Clarion 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 Clarion 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 Clarion County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Where can I get help for my Clarion 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 Clarion 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.
Clarion County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Clarion County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Sentencing in Clarion County
In Clarion 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.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
Mandatory Appearances in Clarion County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Clarion 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.
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.
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 Clarion 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.
Clarion County Criminal Court Locations
Clarion County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 421 Main St, Clarion PA 16214
Phone: 814-226-1119 Fax: 814-227-2501
Clarion County Orphans’ Court
Address: Phone: 814-226-4000, x2500 Fax: 814-226-1117
Clarion County Magisterial District Court 18-3-01
Address: 14 Grant St, Clarion PA 16214
Phone: 814-226-9355 Fax: 814-226-9827
Clarion County Magisterial District Court 18-3-02
Address: 309 Amsler Ave, #1, Shippenville PA 16254
Phone: 814-226-5170 Fax: 814-226-9464
Clarion County Magisterial District Court 18-3-03
Address: Mendenhall Ave, PO Box 519, Knox PA 16232
Phone: 814-797-5934 Fax: 814-797-2197
Clarion County Magisterial District Court 18-3-04
Address: 237 Broad St, New Bethlehem PA 16242
Phone: 814-275-2322 Fax: 814-275-2843