Duchesne County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Duchesne County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Duchesne County.
Arraignments in Duchesne County
During an arraignment in Duchesne 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 Duchesne 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 Duchesne County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
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.
Duchesne County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Duchesne County will take place at the Duchesne County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Duchesne County Criminal Court Locations.
Duchesne County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Duchesne County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Duchesne County. The Duchesne 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.
Required Court Appearances in Duchesne County
Any required court appearances in Duchesne 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.
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 Duchesne 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.
I need help for my Duchesne 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 Duchesne 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 Duchesne 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 Duchesne 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.
Sentencing in Duchesne County
In Duchesne County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Duchesne County Criminal Court Locations
8th District Court – Duchesne County (Duchesne)
Address: 21554 West 9000 South, Duchesne, UT 84021
Phone: 435-738-2753 Fax: 435-738-2754
8th District Court – Duchesne County (Roosevelt)
Address: 255 South State, Roosevelt, UT 84066
Phone: 435-722-0235 Fax: 435-722-0236
8th District Juvenile Court – Duchesne County
Address: 21554 West 9000 South, PO Box 990, Duchesne, UT 84021
Phone: 435-738-2753 Fax: 435-738-2754
Duchesne County Justice Court – East Side
Address: 270 North 500 West, Roosevelt, UT 84066
Phone: 435-722-3354 Fax: 435-722-8396
Duchesne County Justice Court – West Side
Address: PO Box 15, Duchesne, UT 84021
Phone: 435-738-0109 Fax: 435-738-0115