Park County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Park County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Park County.
Required Court Appearances in Park County
Any required court appearances in Park 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.
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.
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.
In a jury trial in Park 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 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Park County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Park County criminal cases will either be a representative of Park County or a representative from Wyoming. 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.
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.
Who can help me in Park County?
For general information about your case the Park 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.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
Park County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Park County will take place at the Park County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Park County Criminal Court Locations.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Park 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.
Park County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Park County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Park 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 Park 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.
Park County Criminal Court Locations
Park County District Court
Address: Fax: 307-527-8687 (Cody), 307-754-8687 (Powell)
Park County Circuit Court – Cody
Address: 1002 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, WY 82414
Phone: 307-527-8590 Fax: 307-527-8596
Park County Circuit Court – Powell
Address: 109 West 14th Street, Powell, WY 82435
Phone: 307-754-8890 Fax: 307-754-8896
Cody Municipal Court
Address: 1338 Rumsey Avenue, PO Box 2200, Cody, WY 82414
Phone: 307-527-7512 Fax: 307-527-6532
Frannie Municipal Court
Address: 311 5th Street, PO Box 72, Frannie WY 82423
Meeteetse Municipal Court
Address: 910 Park Avenue, PO Box 38, Meeteetse WY 82433
Phone: 307-868-2278 Fax: 307-868-2608
Powell Municipal Court
Address: 270 North Clark Street, Powell, WY 82435