Tioga County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Tioga County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Tioga County.
Prosecutor in Tioga County
In Tioga County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Tioga County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Pennsylvania. For the most part, the prosecutor in Tioga County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Tioga 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.
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.
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.
Arraignments in Tioga County
During an arraignment in Tioga 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 Tioga 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 Tioga County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Tioga County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Tioga County will take place at the Tioga County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Tioga County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
I need help for my Tioga 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 Tioga 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 Tioga 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.
In a jury trial in Tioga 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.
Tioga County Required Court Appearances
In Tioga 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
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.
Tioga County Criminal Court Locations
Tioga County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 116 Main St, Wellsboro PA 16901
Phone: 570-724-9281 Fax: 570-724-2986
Tioga County Orphans’ Court
Address: 116 Main St, Wellsboro PA 16901
Tioga County Magisterial District Court 04-3-01
Address: 117 Court St, Suite C, Elkland PA 16920
Phone: 814-258-7138 Fax: 814-258-7139
Tioga County Magisterial District Court 04-3-02
Address: 118 Main St, Wellsboro PA 16901
Phone: 570-724-9220 Fax: 570-723-8224
Tioga County Magisterial District Court 04-3-03
Address: 267 S Main St, Mansfield PA 16933
Phone: 570-662-2904 Fax: 570-662-2090