Lebanon County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Lebanon County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Lebanon County.
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.
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.
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.
What happens in Lebanon County at an arraignment?
In Lebanon 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.
Lebanon County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Lebanon County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
I need help for my Lebanon 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 Lebanon 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 Lebanon 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.
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.
Lebanon County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Lebanon County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Lebanon County. The Lebanon 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.
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.
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 Lebanon 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.
Required Court Appearances in Lebanon County
Any required court appearances in Lebanon 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 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.
Lebanon County Criminal Court Locations
Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas – Clerk of Courts (Criminal)
Address: 400 S 8th St, #102, Lebanon PA 17042
Phone: 717-228-4419 Fax: 717-228-4467
Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas – Prothonotary (Civil)
Address: 400 S 8th St, #104, Lebanon PA 17042
Phone: 717-228-4418 Fax: 717-228-4467
Lebanon County Orphans’ Court
Address: 400 S 8th St, #105, Lebanon PA 17042
Phone: 717-228-4415 Fax: 717-228-4460
Lebanon County Magisterial District Court 52-1-01
Address: 502 State Dr, Lebanon PA 17042
Phone: 717-279-0300 Fax: 717-279-8514
Lebanon County Magisterial District Court 52-2-01
Address: 502 State Dr, Lebanon PA 17042
Phone: 717-279-0400 Fax: 717-279-8514
Lebanon County Magisterial District Court 52-3-01
Address: 728 E Walnut St, Lebanon PA 17042
Phone: 717-272-3084 Fax: 717-228-3647
Lebanon County Magisterial District Court 52-3-03
Address: 1720 State Route 72 N, Lebanon PA 17046
Phone: 717-273-0024 Fax: 717-273-0027
Lebanon County Magisterial District Court 52-3-04
Address: 138 W Walnut St, PO Box 2012, Cleona PA 17042
Phone: 717-273-0885 Fax: 717-228-3746
Lebanon County Magisterial District Court 52-3-05
Address: 325 S Railroad St, Palmyra PA 17078
Phone: 717-838-8151 Fax: 717-832-0128