Grant County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Grant County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Grant County.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Grant 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.
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.
Grant County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Grant County will take place at the Grant County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Grant County Criminal Court Locations.
Grant County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Grant County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Grant 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 Grant 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.
Grant County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Grant County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Grant County. The Grant 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.
I need help for my Grant 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 Grant 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 Grant 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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Grant County
Any required court appearances in Grant 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.
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.
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.
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.
Grant County Criminal Court Locations
Grant County Superior Court
Address: 35 C Street NW, PO Box 37, Ephrata WA 98823
Grant County Superior Court – Juvenile
Address: 303 Abel Road, PO Box 818, Ephrata WA 98823
Phone: 509-754-5690 Fax: 509-754-5797
Grant County District Court
Address: Phone: 509-754-2011, x3101 Fax: 509-754-6099
Grant County District Court – Moses Lake Branch
Address: Physical: 1525 Wheeler Road E, Moses Lake WA 98837
Phone: 509-765-9209 Fax: 509-766-5913
Coulee City Municipal Court
Address: 501 W Main Street, PO Box 398, Coulee City WA 99115
Phone: 509-632-5331 Fax: 509-632-5125
Electric City Municipal Court
Address: 10 Western Avenue, PO Box 130, Electric City WA 99123
Phone: 509-633-1510 Fax: 509-633-1401
Ephrata Municipal Court
Address: 121 Alder Street SW, Ephrata WA 98823
Phone: 509-754-4601 Fax: 509-754-0912
George Municipal Court
Address: 102 Richmond Avenue, PO Box 5277, George WA 98824
Phone: 509-785-5081 Fax: 509-785-4880
Grand Coulee Municipal Court
Address: 306 Midway Avenue, PO Box 180, Grand Coulee WA 99133
Phone: 509-633-1150 Fax: 509-633-1370
Mattawa Municipal Court
Address: 512 E Government Road, PO Box 965, Mattawa WA 99349
Phone: 509-932-4037 Fax: 509-932-4047
Moses Lake Municipal Court
Address: 401 S Balsam Street, PO Box 1579, Moses Lake WA 98837
Phone: 509-764-3701 Fax: 509-764-3739
Quincy Municipal Court
Address: 104 B Street SW, PO Box 338, Quincy WA 98848
Royal City Municipal Court
Address: 455 Camelia Street NE, PO Box 1239, Royal City WA 99357
Phone: 509-346-2263 Fax: 509-346-2040
Soap Lake Municipal Court
Address: 239 2nd Avenue SE, PO Box 1270, Soap Lake WA 98851
Phone: 509-246-1211 Fax: 509-246-1213
Warden Municipal Court
Address: 201 S Ash Avenue, PO Box 428, Warden WA 98857
Phone: 509-349-2326 Fax: 509-349-2027