McKean County Criminal Court

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

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 McKean 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.

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.

McKean County Criminal Court

McKean 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.

McKean County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the McKean County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Mandatory Appearances in McKean County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in McKean 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.

Who is the prosecutor for McKean County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for McKean County criminal cases will either be a representative of McKean 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.

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 McKean 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 McKean 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 McKean 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.

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.

Arraignments in McKean County

During an arraignment in McKean County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in McKean County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in McKean County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Jury Deliberations in McKean County

In McKean 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.

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In McKean County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

McKean County Criminal Court Locations

  • McKean County Court of Common Pleas

    Address: 500 W Main St, PO Box 273, Smethport PA 16749
    Phone: 814-887-3270 Fax: 814-887-3219

  • McKean County Orphans’ Court

    Address: 500 W Main St, PO Box 202, Smethport PA 16749
    Phone: 814-887-3260 Fax: 814-887-3255

  • McKean County Magisterial District Court 48-1-01

    Address: 22 Davis St, Bradford PA 16701
    Phone: 814-368-4075 Fax: 814-368-4825

  • McKean County Magisterial District Court 48-3-02

    Address: 625 E Water St, Smethport PA 16749
    Phone: 814-887-5743 Fax: 814-887-5431

  • McKean County Magisterial District Court 48-3-03

    Address: 1185 E Main St, Bradford PA 16701
    Phone: 814-362-7767 Fax: 814-362-2411

  • McKean County Magisterial District Court 48-3-04

    Address: 116 Fraley St, Kane PA 16735
    Phone: 814-837-7131 Fax: 814-837-7134

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