Mercer County Criminal Court

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

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Mercer 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.

I need help for my Mercer 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 Mercer 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 Mercer 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.

Mercer County Criminal Court

Mercer County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Mercer 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.

Mercer County Arraignments

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

Defendant Sentencing

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.

Who is the prosecutor for Mercer County?

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

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

Mercer County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

Mercer County Required Court Appearances

In Mercer 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.

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.

Mercer County Criminal Court Locations

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

    Address: 112 Mercer County Courthouse, Mercer PA 16137
    Phone: 724-662-7548 Fax: 724-662-1604

  • Mercer County Court of Common Pleas – Prothonotary (Civil)

    Address: 105 Mercer County Courthouse, Mercer PA 16137
    Phone: 724-662-7561 Fax: 724-662-2021

  • Mercer County Orphans’ Court

    Address: 112 Mercer County Courthouse, Mercer PA 16137
    Phone: 724-662-7548 Fax: 724-662-1604

  • Mercer County Magisterial District Court 35-2-01

    Address: 1217 Hall Ave, Sharon PA 16146
    Phone: 724-346-6541 Fax: 724-346-5090

  • Mercer County Magisterial District Court 35-2-02

    Address: 425 Idaho St, Farrell PA 16121
    Phone: 724-346-3591 Fax: 724-346-4798

  • Mercer County Magisterial District Court 35-3-01

    Address: 123 W Market St, Mercer PA 16137
    Phone: 724-662-5230 Fax: 724-662-1725

  • Mercer County Magisterial District Court 35-3-02

    Address: 574 Barkeyville Rd, Grove City PA 16127
    Phone: 724-458-4931 Fax: 724-458-5415

  • Mercer County Magisterial District Court 35-3-03

    Address: 14 N Race St, Greenville PA 16125
    Phone: 724-588-3210 Fax: 724-588-4136

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