Winnebago County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Winnebago County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Winnebago County.
Jury Deliberations in Winnebago County
In Winnebago 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Winnebago County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Winnebago County criminal cases will either be a representative of Winnebago County or a representative from Wisconsin. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
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.
Winnebago County Required Court Appearances
In Winnebago 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Winnebago 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 an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Winnebago County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Winnebago County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Winnebago County will take place at the Winnebago County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Winnebago County Criminal Court Locations.
What happens in Winnebago County at an arraignment?
In Winnebago County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
Where can I get help for my Winnebago County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Winnebago County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
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.
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.
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.
Winnebago County Criminal Court Locations
Winnebago County Circuit Court
Address: 415 Jackson Street, PO Box 2808, Oshkosh, WI 54903
City of Omro Municipal Court
Address: 205 South Webster Avenue, PO Box 399, Omro WI 54963
Phone: 920-685-7035 Fax: 920-685-7011
Neenah – Menasha Municipal Court
Address: 211 Walnut Avenue, Neenah WI 54956
Phone: 920-886-6285 Fax: 920-886-6286
Town of Menasha Municipal Court
Address: 2000 Municipal Drive, Neenah WI 54956
Phone: 920-720-7107 Fax: 920-720-7116
Winneconne Municipal Court
Address: 30 South 1st Street, PO Box 488, Winneconne WI 54986
Phone: 920-582-9944 Fax: 920-582-0313