Perry County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Perry County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Perry County.
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.
Perry County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Perry County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Perry County. The Perry 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Perry 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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Perry County
Any required court appearances in Perry 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.
Where can I get help for my Perry 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 Perry 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.
Perry County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Perry County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Sentencing in Perry County
In Perry 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.
What happens in Perry County at an arraignment?
In Perry 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.
Jury Deliberations in Perry County
In Perry 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.
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 Perry County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Perry County Criminal Court Locations
Perry County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 2 E Main St, PO Box 325, New Bloomfield PA 17068
Phone: 717-582-2131 Fax: 717-582-5167
Perry County Orphans’ Court
Address: 2 E Main St, PO Box 223, New Bloomfield PA 17068
Phone: 717-582-2131 Fax: 717-582-5149
Perry County Magisterial District Court 41-3-03
Address: 3351 Susquehanna Trail, Duncannon PA 17020
Phone: 717-834-4990 Fax: 717-834-5968
Perry County Magisterial District Court 41-3-04
Address: 133 S Fifth St, Newport PA 17074
Phone: 717-567-6365 Fax: 717-567-9323
Perry County Magisterial District Court 41-3-05
Address: 3553 Shermans Valley Rd, PO Box 908, Loysville PA 17047
Phone: 717-789-4117 Fax: 717-789-3337