Grays Harbor County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Grays Harbor County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Grays Harbor County.
Grays Harbor County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Grays Harbor County will take place at the Grays Harbor County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Grays Harbor County Criminal Court Locations.
Sentencing in Grays Harbor County
In Grays Harbor 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.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
In a jury trial in Grays Harbor 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.
Grays Harbor County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Grays Harbor County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Grays Harbor 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 Grays Harbor 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.
Prosecutor in Grays Harbor County
In Grays Harbor County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Grays Harbor County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Washington. For the most part, the prosecutor in Grays Harbor County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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 Grays Harbor 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.
Mandatory Appearances in Grays Harbor County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Grays Harbor 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.
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 Grays Harbor County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Where can I get help for my Grays Harbor 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 Grays Harbor 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.
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.
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.
Grays Harbor County Criminal Court Locations
Grays Harbor County Superior Court
Address: 102 W Broadway Avenue, Suite 203, Montesano WA 98563
Phone: 360-249-3842 Fax: 360-249-6381
Grays Harbor County Superior Court – Juvenile
Address: 103 Hagara Street, Aberdeen WA 98520
Phone: 360-533-3919 Fax: 360-533-3927
Grays Harbor County District Court – Aberdeen
Address: 2109 Sumner Avenue, Room 201, Aberdeen WA 98520
Phone: 360-532-7061 Fax: 360-532-7704
Grays Harbor County District Court – Montesano
Address: 102 W Broadway Avenue, Room 202A, Montesano WA 98563
Phone: 360-249-3441 Fax: 360-249-6382
Aberdeen Municipal Court
Address: 210 E Market Street, Aberdeen WA 98520
Phone: 360-533-5411 Fax: 360-537-3247
Cosmopolis Municipal Court
Address: 1312 1st Street, PO Box 478, Cosmopolis WA 98537
Phone: 360-532-9264 Fax: 360-532-9273
Elma Municipal Court
Address: 202 W Main Street, PO Box 2013, Elma WA 98541
Phone: 360-482-2603 Fax: 360-482-0103
Hoquiam Municipal Court
Address: 609 8th Street, Hoquiam WA 98550
Phone: 360-637-5700 x234 Fax: 360-533-3602
Montesano Municipal Court
Address: 112 N Main Street, Montesano WA 98563
Phone: 360-249-4245 Fax: 360-249-6225
Oakville Municipal Court
Address: 204 E Main Street, PO Box D, Oakville WA 98568
Phone: 360-273-5531 Fax: 360-273-5120
Ocean Shores Municipal Court
Address: 585 Point Brown Avenue NW, PO Box 909, Ocean Shores WA 98569
Phone: 360-289-2486 Fax: 360-289-7911
Westport Municipal Court
Address: 604 N Montesano Street, PO Box 1208, Westport WA 98595
Phone: 360-268-0125 Fax: 360-268-1363