Big Horn County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Big Horn County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Big Horn County.
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 Big Horn County?
For general information about your case the Big Horn 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.
Sentencing in Big Horn County
In Big Horn 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.
In a jury trial in Big Horn 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.
What happens in Big Horn County at an arraignment?
In Big Horn 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.
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 Big Horn County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Big Horn County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Big Horn County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Mandatory Appearances in Big Horn County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Big Horn County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
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.
Big Horn County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Big Horn County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Big Horn County. The Big Horn 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.
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.
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.
Big Horn County Criminal Court Locations
Big Horn County District Court
Address: 420 West C Street, PO Box 670, Basin, WY 82410
Phone: 307-568-2381 Fax: 307-568-2791
Big Horn County Circuit Court – Basin
Address: 420 West C Street, PO Box 749, Basin, WY 82410
Phone: 307-568-2367 Fax: 307-568-2554
Big Horn County Circuit Court – Lovell
Address: 355 East 5th Street, PO Box 595, Lovell, WY 82431
Phone: 307-548-7601 Fax: 307-548-9691
Basin Municipal Court
Address: 209 South 4th Street, PO Box 599, Basin, WY 82410
Phone: 307-568-3331 Fax: 307-568-9352
Burlington Municipal Court
Address: 101 West Poplar Avenue, Burlington, WY 82411
Phone: 307-762-3502 Fax: 307-762-3600
Byron Municipal Court
Address: 35 South Pryor Street, Byron, WY 82412
Cowley Municipal Court
Address: 20 South Division, Cowley, WY 82420
Deaver Municipal Court
Address: 113 1st Avenue West, Deaver, WY 82421
Greybull Municipal Court
Address: 24 South 5th Street, Greybull, WY 82426
Lovell Municipal Court
Address: 355 East 5th Street, Lovell, WY 82431
Manderson Municipal Court
Address: 100 West Railway Street, Manderson, WY 82432