Clinton County Criminal Court

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

Clinton County Arraignments

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

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 Clinton 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.

Clinton County Criminal Court

Clinton County Criminal Court

Where will Clinton County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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.

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.

Sentencing in Clinton County

In Clinton 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.

Clinton County Required Court Appearances

In Clinton 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 Clinton County

In Clinton 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.

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.

Who can help me in Clinton County?

For general information about your case the Clinton 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.

Prosecutor in Clinton County

In Clinton County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Clinton County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Pennsylvania. For the most part, the prosecutor in Clinton 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.

Clinton County Criminal Court Locations

  • Clinton County Court of Common Pleas

    Address: 230 E Water St, Lock Haven PA 17745
    Phone: 570-893-4007 Fax: 570-893-4288

  • Clinton County Orphan’s Court

    Address: 230 E Water St, Lock Haven PA 17745
    Phone: 570-893-4020 Fax: 570-893-4041

  • Clinton County Magisterial District Court 25-3-01

    Address: 217 N Jay St, Lock Haven PA 17745
    Phone: 570-893-4086 Fax: 570-893-4060

  • Clinton County Magisterial District Court 25-3-02

    Address: 385 Beech Creek Ave, PO Box 174, Mill Hall PA 17751
    Phone: 570-726-4064 Fax: 570-726-7920

  • Clinton County Magisterial District Court 25-3-03

    Address: 130 Third St, Renovo PA 17764
    Phone: 570-923-9931 Fax: 570-923-1218

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.