Clearfield County Criminal Court

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

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

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.

Clearfield County Criminal Court

Clearfield County Criminal Court

What happens in Clearfield County at an arraignment?

In Clearfield 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.

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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Clearfield 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.

Clearfield County Required Court Appearances

In Clearfield 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 Deliberations in Clearfield County

In Clearfield 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.

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.

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.

Where will Clearfield County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Who can help me in Clearfield County?

For general information about your case the Clearfield 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.

Clearfield County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Clearfield County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Clearfield County. The Clearfield 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.

Clearfield County Criminal Court Locations

  • Clearfield County Court of Common Pleas

    Address: Phone: 814-765-2641, x5013 Fax: 814-765-7649

  • Clearfield County Orphans’ Court

    Address: 1 N Second St, PO Box 361, Clearfield PA 16830
    Phone: 814-765-2641 Fax: 814-765-6089

  • Clearfield County Magisterial District Court 46-3-01

    Address: 309 Maple Ave, PO Box 452, DuBois PA 15801
    Phone: 814-371-5321 Fax: 814-371-5323

  • Clearfield County Magisterial District Court 46-3-02

    Address: 650 Leonard St, Clearfield PA 16830
    Phone: 814-765-5335 Fax: 814-765-0386

  • Clearfield County Magisterial District Court 46-3-03

    Address: 131 Rolling Stone Rd, PO Box 210, Kylertown PA 16847
    Phone: 814-345-6789 Fax: 814-345-6444

  • Clearfield County Magisterial District Court 46-3-04

    Address: 251 Spring St, #3, PO Box 362, Houtzdale PA 16651
    Phone: 814-378-7160 Fax: 814-378-7165

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