Lewis County Criminal Court

Lewis County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Lewis County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Lewis County.

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.

Arraignments in Lewis County

During an arraignment in Lewis 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 Lewis 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 Lewis County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Lewis County Criminal Court

Lewis County Criminal Court

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Lewis County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

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.

Required Court Appearances in Lewis County

Any required court appearances in Lewis 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.

Lewis County Prosecutor

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

Lewis County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Lewis County will take place at the Lewis County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Lewis County Criminal Court Locations.

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.

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.

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.

Who can help me in Lewis County?

For general information about your case the Lewis 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.

Jury Deliberations in Lewis County

In Lewis County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Lewis County Criminal Court Locations

  • Lewis County Superior Court

    Address: 345 W Main Street, Chehalis WA 98532
    Phone: 360-740-2704 Fax: 360-748-1639

  • Lewis County Superior Court – Juvenile

    Address: Physical: 1255 SW Pacific Avenue, Chehalis WA 98532
    Phone: 360-740-1178 Fax: 360-748-2258

  • Lewis County District Court

    Address: 345 W Main Street, PO Box 600, Chehalis WA 98532
    Phone: 360-740-1203 Fax: 360-740-2779

  • Lewis County District Court – Morton Branch

    Address: 700 Main Street, Morton WA 98536
    Phone: 360-496-6020

  • Centralia Municipal Court

    Address: 118 W Maple Street, Centralia WA 98531
    Phone: 360-330-7667 Fax: 360-330-7668

  • Chehalis Municipal Court

    Address: 350 N Market Blvd, Room 105, Chehalis WA 98532
    Phone: 360-345-1025 Fax: 360-345-1050

  • Napavine Municipal Court

    Address: Phone: 360-262-9231, x229 Fax: 360-262-9885

  • Vader Municipal Court

    Address: 323 NE 1st Street, PO Box 777, Winlock WA 98596
    Phone: 360-785-3811 Fax: 360-785-4378

  • Winlock Municipal Court

    Address: 323 NE 1st Street, PO Box 777, Winlock WA 98596
    Phone: 360-785-3811 Fax: 360-785-4378

  • Morton Violations Bureau

    Address: 250 Main Avenue, PO Box 1089, Morton WA 98356
    Phone: 360-496-6881

  • Mossyrock Violations Bureau

    Address: 154 E Main Avenue, PO Box 96, Mossyrock WA 98564
    Phone: 360-983-3300

  • Pe Ell Violations Bureau

    Address: PO Box 215, Pe Ell WA 98572
    Phone: 360-291-3543

  • Toledo Violations Bureau

    Address: 130 N 2nd Street, PO Box 236, Toledo WA 98591
    Phone: 360-864-4564 Fax: 360-864-4566

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.