Converse County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Converse County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Converse County.
Where will Converse County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Converse County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Converse County.
Converse County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Converse County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Converse 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 Converse 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 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.
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 guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Converse 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.
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 Converse County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Who can help me in Converse County?
For general information about your case the Converse 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 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.
Mandatory Appearances in Converse County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Converse 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 Converse County
In Converse County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Converse County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Wyoming. For the most part, the prosecutor in Converse County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the 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.
Converse County Criminal Court Locations
Converse County District Court
Address: 107 North 5th Street, Suite 228, PO Box 189, Douglas, WY 82633
Phone: 307-358-3165 Fax: 307-358-9783
Converse County Circuit Court
Address: 107 North 5th Street, Suite 231, PO Box 45, Douglas, WY 82633
Phone: 307-358-2196 Fax: 307-358-2501
Douglas Municipal Court
Address: 101 North 4th Street, Douglas, WY 82633
Glenrock Municipal Court
Address: 219 South 3rd Street, Glenrock, WY 82637
Rolling Hills Municipal Court
Address: 38 South Badger Road, Rolling Hills, WY 82637