Indiana County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Indiana County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Indiana County.
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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Indiana County
Any required court appearances in Indiana County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
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.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
Indiana County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Indiana County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
I need help for my Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Indiana County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Indiana County criminal cases will either be a representative of Indiana County or a representative from Pennsylvania. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
What happens in Indiana County at an arraignment?
In Indiana 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.
Indiana County Criminal Court Locations
Indiana County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 825 Philadelphia St, Indiana PA 15701
Phone: 724-465-3855 Fax: 724-465-3968
Indiana County Orphans’ Court
Address: 825 Philadelphia St, Indiana PA 15701
Phone: 724-465-3860 Fax: 724-465-3863
Indiana County Magisterial District Court 40-2-01
Address: 829 Water St, Indiana PA 15701
Phone: 724-463-8781 Fax: 724-465-3967
Indiana County Magisterial District Court 40-3-01
Address: 1450 Franklin St, Clymer PA 15728
Phone: 724-254-4348 Fax: 724-254-1111
Indiana County Magisterial District Court 40-3-02
Address: 10 Bryant St, PO Box 24, Homer City PA 15748
Phone: 724-479-8082 Fax: 724-479-5053
Indiana County Magisterial District Court 40-3-03
Address: 147 E Market St, Blairsville PA 15717
Phone: 724-459-7203 Fax: 724-459-0480