Lincoln County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Lincoln County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Lincoln County.
Sentencing in Lincoln County
In Lincoln 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.
Lincoln County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Lincoln County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Lincoln 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 Lincoln 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.
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.
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.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
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.
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.
Prosecutor in Lincoln County
In Lincoln County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Lincoln County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Wyoming. For the most part, the prosecutor in Lincoln County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
Where will Lincoln County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Lincoln County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Lincoln County.
Where can I get help for my Lincoln 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 Lincoln 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.
Lincoln County Required Court Appearances
In Lincoln County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
Lincoln County Criminal Court Locations
Lincoln County District Court
Address: 925 Sage Avenue, PO Drawer 510, Kemmerer, WY 83101
Phone: 307-877-9056 Fax: 307-877-6263
Lincoln County Circuit Court – Afton
Address: 421 Jefferson Street, Afton, WY 83110
Phone: 307-886-9271 Fax: 307-886-9021
Lincoln County Circuit Court – Kemmerer
Address: 925 Sage Avenue, PO Box 949, Kemmerer, WY 83101
Phone: 307-877-4431 Fax: 307-877-4936
Afton Municipal Court
Address: 416 Washington Street, PO Box 310, Afton, WY 83110
Phone: 307-885-9831 Fax: 307-885-2489
Alpine Municipal Court
Address: 250 River Circle, PO Box 3070, Alpine, WY 83128
Phone: 307-654-7757 Fax: 307-654-7454
Cokeville Municipal Court
Address: 110 Pine Street, PO Box 99, Cokeville, WY 83114
Diamondville Municipal Court
Address: 20 US Hwy 189, PO Box 281, Diamondville, WY 83116
Phone: 307-877-6676 Fax: 307-877-6709
Kemmerer Municipal Court
Address: 220 Wyoming Highway 233, Kemmerer, WY 83101
Phone: 307-828-2350 Fax: 307-828-2355
La Barge Municipal Court
Address: 228 South La Barge Street, La Barge, WY 83123
Opal Municipal Court
Address: 135 Chrisman Street, PO Box 130, Opal, WY 83124
Star Valley Ranch Municipal Court
Address: HC 62 Box 7028, Star Valley Ranch, WY 83127