Craig County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Craig County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Craig 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.
Required Court Appearances in Craig County
Any required court appearances in Craig 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.
Craig County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Craig County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Craig 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 Craig 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.
In a jury trial in Craig 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 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.
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.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Craig County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Craig County will take place at the Craig County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Craig County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
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.
Prosecutor in Craig County
In Craig County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Craig County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Oklahoma. For the most part, the prosecutor in Craig County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Who can help me in Craig County?
For general information about your case the Craig 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.
Craig County Criminal Court Locations
Craig County District Court
Address: 201 West Delaware, Suite 201, Vinita, OK 74301
Phone: 918-256-6451 Fax: 918-256-7606
Big Cabin Municipal Court
Address: 264 East Main Street, PO Box 146, Big Cabin, OK 74332
Phone: 918-783-5911 Fax: 918-783-5913
Ketchum Municipal Court
Address: 124 South Broadway Avenue, PO Box 150, Ketchum, OK 74349
Vinita Municipal Court
Address: 104 East Illinois Avenue, Vinita, OK 74301
Welch Municipal Court
Address: 124 West 3rd Street, PO Box 277, Welch, OK 74369