Huntingdon County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Huntingdon County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Huntingdon County.
I need help for my Huntingdon County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Huntingdon County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Huntingdon County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
In a jury trial in Huntingdon 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.
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.
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.
Huntingdon County Required Court Appearances
In Huntingdon 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.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Huntingdon 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.
Sentencing in Huntingdon County
In Huntingdon 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.
Huntingdon County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Huntingdon County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Huntingdon County. The Huntingdon 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.
Huntingdon County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Huntingdon County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Huntingdon County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Huntingdon County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Huntingdon 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 Huntingdon 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.
Huntingdon County Criminal Court Locations
Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 223 Penn St, PO Box 39, Huntingdon PA 16652
Phone: 814-643-1610 Fax: 814-643-4271
Huntingdon County Orphans’ Court
Address: 223 Penn St, Huntingdon PA 16652
Phone: 814-643-2740 Fax: 814-643-6849
Huntingdon County Magisterial District Court 20-3-01
Address: 7561 Bridge St, #1, PO Box 361, Alexandria PA 16611
Phone: 814-669-4550 Fax: 814-669-9148
Huntingdon County Magisterial District Court 20-3-02
Address: 233 Penn St, Huntingdon PA 16652
Phone: 814-643-2270 Fax: 814-643-5175
Huntingdon County Magisterial District Court 20-3-04
Address: 550 Cromwell St, PO Box 352, Orbisonia PA 17243
Phone: 814-447-5561 Fax: 814-447-0064