Franklin County Criminal Court

Franklin County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Franklin County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Franklin County.

Where will Franklin County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Mandatory Appearances in Franklin County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Franklin 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.

Franklin County Criminal Court

Franklin County Criminal Court

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

Who can help me in Franklin County?

For general information about your case the Franklin 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.

Sentencing in Franklin County

In Franklin 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.

Jury Deliberations in Franklin County

In Franklin 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.

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.

Franklin County Arraignments

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

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.

Franklin County Prosecutor

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

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Franklin 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.

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.

Franklin County Criminal Court Locations

  • Franklin County Court of Common Pleas – Clerk of Courts (Criminal)

    Address: 157 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg PA 17201
    Phone: 717-261-3805 Fax: 717-261-3896

  • Franklin County Court of Common Pleas – Prothnotary (Civil)

    Address: 157 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg PA 17201
    Phone: 717-261-3861 Fax: 717-264-6772

  • Franklin County Orphans’ Court

    Address: 157 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg PA 17201
    Phone: 717-261-3805 Fax: 717-261-3896

  • Franklin County Magisterial District Court 39-2-01

    Address: 218 N Second St, Chambersburg PA 17201
    Phone: 717-263-5808 Fax: 717-263-1923

  • Franklin County Magisterial District Court 39-3-02

    Address: 22 N Oller Ave, Waynesboro PA 17268
    Phone: 717-762-9411 Fax: 717-762-9297

  • Franklin County Magisterial District Court 39-3-03

    Address: 9724 Cumberland Hwy, PO Box 135, Pleasant Hall PA 17246
    Phone: 717-532-7672 Fax: 717-532-2506

  • Franklin County Magisterial District Court 39-3-04

    Address: 1157 Garver Ln, PO Box 460, Scotland PA 17254
    Phone: 717-263-7949 Fax: 717-263-7079

  • Franklin County Magisterial District Court 39-3-05

    Address: 401 S Washington St, Greencastle PA 17225
    Phone: 717-597-8581 Fax: 717-597-8123

  • Franklin County Magisterial District Court 39-3-06

    Address: 113 S Main St, Mercersburg PA 17236
    Phone: 717-328-3521 Fax: 717-328-3527

  • Franklin County Magisterial District Court 39-3-07

    Address: 2038B Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg PA 17201
    Phone: 717-263-5820 Fax: 717-263-4116

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