Oconto County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Oconto County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Oconto County.
Required Court Appearances in Oconto County
Any required court appearances in Oconto 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Oconto County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Oconto County criminal cases will either be a representative of Oconto County or a representative from Wisconsin. 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Oconto 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.
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.
Arraignments in Oconto County
During an arraignment in Oconto County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Oconto County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Oconto County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Where can I get help for my Oconto 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 Oconto 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.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
Where will Oconto County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Oconto County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Oconto 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.
Oconto County Criminal Court Locations
Oconto County Circuit Court
Address: 301 Washington Street, Oconto WI 54153
Phone: 920-834-6857 Fax: 920-834-6867
City of Gillett Municipal Court
Address: 150 North McKenzie Avenue, Gillett WI 54124
Phone: 920-855-2255 Fax: 920-855-6283
City of Oconto Falls Municipal Court
Address: 500 North Chestnut Avenue, PO Box 70, Oconto Falls WI 54154
Phone: 920-846-4517 Fax: 920-846-4516
City of Oconto Municipal Court
Address: 1210 Main Street, Oconto WI 54153
Phone: 920-834-7718 Fax: 920-846-4510
Village of Lena Municipal Court
Address: 117 East Main Street, Lena WI 54139
Phone: 920-829-5226 Fax: 920-829-5746
Village of Suring Municipal Court
Address: 604 East Main Street, PO Box 31, Suring WI 54174
Phone: 920-842-2333 Fax: 920-842-4521