Hot Springs County Criminal Court

Hot Springs County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Hot Springs County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Hot Springs County.

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.

Sentencing in Hot Springs County

In Hot Springs 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.

Hot Springs County Criminal Court

Hot Springs County Criminal Court

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.

Plea Agreements

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 Hot Springs 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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Hot Springs 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.

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.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

Where will Hot Springs County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Hot Springs County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Hot Springs County.

Who can help me in Hot Springs County?

For general information about your case the Hot Springs 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.

Hot Springs County Required Court Appearances

In Hot Springs 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.

Prosecutor in Hot Springs County

In Hot Springs County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Hot Springs County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Wyoming. For the most part, the prosecutor in Hot Springs County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Hot Springs County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Hot Springs County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Hot Springs 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 Hot Springs 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.

Hot Springs County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hot Springs County District Court

    Address: 415 Arapahoe Street, Thermopolis, WY 82443
    Phone: 307-864-3323 Fax: 307-864-3210

  • Hot Springs County Circuit Court

    Address: 417 Arapahoe Street, Thermopolis, WY 82443
    Phone: 307-864-5161 Fax: 307-864-2067

  • East Thermopolis Municipal Court

    Address: 112 East Warren Street, East Thermopolis, WY 82443
    Phone: 307-864-9221

  • Thermopolis Municipal Court

    Address: 417 Arapahoe Street, Thermopolis, WY 82443
    Phone: 307-864-5161 Fax: 307-864-2067

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