Whitman County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Whitman County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Whitman County.
Who is the prosecutor for Whitman County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Whitman County criminal cases will either be a representative of Whitman County or a representative from Washington. 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.
In a jury trial in Whitman 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.
Whitman County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Whitman County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Who can help me in Whitman County?
For general information about your case the Whitman 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.
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.
Whitman County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Whitman County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Whitman 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 Whitman 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.
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 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.
Required Court Appearances in Whitman County
Any required court appearances in Whitman 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.
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.
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.
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.
Whitman County Criminal Court Locations
Whitman County Superior Court
Address: 400 N Main Street, PO Box 390, Colfax WA 99111
Phone: 509-397-6240 Fax: 509-397-3546
Whitman County Superior Court – Juvenile and Family
Address: 400 N Main Street, PO Box 598, Colfax WA 99111
Phone: 509-397-5300 Fax: 509-397-5591
Whitman County District Court
Address: 400 N Main Street, PO Box 230, Colfax WA 99111
Phone: 509-397-6260 Fax: 509-397-5584
Whitman County District Court – Pullman
Address: 325 SE Paradise Street, Pullman WA 99163
Phone: 509-332-2065 Fax: 509-338-3318
Albion Municipal Court
Address: 310 N F Street, PO Box 38, Albion, WA 99102
Colfax Municipal Court
Address: 400 N Mill Street, PO Box 229, Colfax WA 99111
Phone: 509-397-3861 Fax: 509-397-3044
Colton Municipal Court
Address: 706 Broadway, PO Box 157, Colton WA 99113
Phone: 509-229-3887 Fax: 509-229-3294
Uniontown Municipal Court
Address: 110 S Montgomery Street, PO Box 87, Uniontown WA 99179
Phone: 509-229-3805 Fax: 509-229-3748