Okanogan County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Okanogan County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Okanogan County.
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 Okanogan 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.
Sentencing in Okanogan County
In Okanogan 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 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.
Where can I get help for my Okanogan 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 Okanogan 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.
Mandatory Appearances in Okanogan County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Okanogan 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.
Prosecutor in Okanogan County
In Okanogan County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Okanogan County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Washington. For the most part, the prosecutor in Okanogan County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
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.
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.
Okanogan County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Okanogan County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Okanogan 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 Okanogan 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.
Jury Deliberations in Okanogan County
In Okanogan 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.
Okanogan County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Okanogan County will take place at the Okanogan County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Okanogan County Criminal Court Locations.
Okanogan County Criminal Court Locations
Okanogan County Superior Court
Address: 149 3rd Avenue N, PO Box 72, Okanogan WA 98840
Phone: 509-422-7275 Fax: 509-422-7277
Okanogan County Superior Court – Juvenile
Address: 237 4th Avenue N, PO Box 432, Okanogan WA 98840
Phone: 509-422-7250 Fax: 509-422-7268
Okanogan County District Court
Address: 149 3rd Avenue N, Room 306, PO Box 980, Okanogan WA 98840
Phone: 509-422-7170 Fax: 509-422-7174
Brewster Municipal Court
Address: 105 S 3rd Street, PO Box 1074, Brewster WA 98812
Phone: 509-689-2756 Fax: 509-689-3096
Omak Municipal Court
Address: 2 N Ash Street, PO Box 72, Omak WA 98841
Phone: 509-826-2971 Fax: 509-826-6531
Tonasket Municipal Court
Address: 209 S Whitcomb Avenue, PO Box 487, Tonasket WA 98855
Phone: 509-486-2132 Fax: 509-486-1831
Twisp Municipal Court
Address: 118 S Glover Street, PO Box 278, Twisp WA 98856
Winthrop Municipal Court
Address: 208 Riverside Avenue, PO Box 459, Winthrop WA 98862