Wood County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Wood County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Wood County.
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.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
Where will Wood County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Wood County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Wood County.
Jury Deliberations in Wood County
In Wood 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.
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.
I need help for my Wood County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Wood County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Wood County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
What happens in Wood County at an arraignment?
In Wood 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.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
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 Wood County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Mandatory Appearances in Wood County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Wood 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.
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 Wood 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Wood County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Wood County criminal cases will either be a representative of Wood 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.
Wood County Criminal Court Locations
Wood County Circuit Court
Address: 400 Market Street, Wisconsin Rapids WI 54494
Wood County Circuit Court – Marshfield
Address: 630 South Central Avenue, Suite 210, Marshfield WI 54449
City of Marshfield Municipal Court
Address: 630 S Central Avenue, Suite 210, Marshfield WI 54449
Phone: 715-384-6903 Fax: 715-384-7831
City of Nekoosa Municipal Court
Address: 951 Market Street, Nekoosa WI 54457
Phone: 715-886-7875 Fax: 715-886-7901
City of Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Court
Address: 444 West Grand Avenue, Wisconsin Rapids WI 54495
Phone: 715-421-6212 Fax: 715-423-4408
Grand Rapids / Saratoga Municipal Court
Address: 2410 48th Street South, Wisconsin Rapids WI 54494
Phone: 715-424-1830 Fax: 715-424-0688
Village of Port Edwards Municipal Court
Address: 201 Market Avenue, PO Box 10, Port Edwards WI 54469
Phone: 715-887-3512 Fax: 715-887-3524