Schuylkill County Criminal Court

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

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

Who can help me in Schuylkill County?

For general information about your case the Schuylkill County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Schuylkill County Criminal Court

Schuylkill County Criminal Court

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.

Schuylkill County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Schuylkill County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Schuylkill County. The Schuylkill 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.

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.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Schuylkill County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Schuylkill 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.

Where will Schuylkill County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Schuylkill County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Schuylkill County.

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.

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.

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.

Schuylkill County Arraignments

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

Schuylkill County Criminal Court Locations

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

    Address: 401 N 2nd St, Pottsville PA 17901
    Phone: 570-628-1133

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

    Address: 401 N 2nd St, Pottsville PA 17901
    Phone: 570-628-1270

  • Schuylkill County Orphans’ Court

    Address: 401 N 2nd St, Pottsville PA 17901
    Phone: 570-628-1382 Fax: 570-628-1384

  • Schuylkill County Magisterial District Court 21-2-01

    Address: 619 W Oak St, Frackville PA 17931
    Phone: 570-874-1704 Fax: 570-874-2360

  • Schuylkill County Magisterial District Court 21-3-01

    Address: 301 Second St, PO Box 13, Port Carbon PA 17965
    Phone: 570-628-5351 Fax: 570-628-5394

  • Schuylkill County Magisterial District Court 21-3-03

    Address: 209 N Warren St, PO Box 189, Orwigsburg PA 17961
    Phone: 570-366-0244 Fax: 570-366-8901

  • Schuylkill County Magisterial District Court 21-3-04

    Address: 19 N Pine St, PO Box 25, Tremont PA 17981
    Phone: 570-695-3128 Fax: 570-695-2606

  • Schuylkill County Magisterial District Court 21-3-05

    Address: 33 S Main St, Shenandoah PA 17976
    Phone: 570-462-2680 Fax: 570-462-2682

  • Schuylkill County Magisterial District Court 21-3-06

    Address: 320 E Broad St (Rear), Tamaqua PA 18252
    Phone: 570-668-3535 Fax: 570-668-1750

  • Schuylkill County Magisterial District Court 21-3-07

    Address: 200 N Centre St, Pottsville PA 17901
    Phone: 570-622-9181 Fax: 570-628-6815

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