Sweetwater County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Sweetwater County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Sweetwater County.
Who is the prosecutor for Sweetwater County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Sweetwater County criminal cases will either be a representative of Sweetwater County or a representative from Wyoming. 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.
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.
Arraignments in Sweetwater County
During an arraignment in Sweetwater 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 Sweetwater 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 Sweetwater County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Sweetwater County Required Court Appearances
In Sweetwater 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.
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.
Who can help me in Sweetwater County?
For general information about your case the Sweetwater 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.
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.
Sweetwater County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Sweetwater County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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 Sweetwater 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.
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 Sweetwater County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Jury Deliberations in Sweetwater County
In Sweetwater 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.
Sweetwater County Criminal Court Locations
Sweetwater County District Court
Address: 80 West Flaming Gorge Way, Suite 255, Green River, WY 82935
Phone: 307-872-3820 Fax: 307-872-3986
Sweetwater County Circuit Court – Green River
Address: 80 West Flaming Gorge Way, Suite 206, PO Drawer 1720, Green River, WY 82935
Phone: 307-872-3800 Fax: 307-872-3973
Sweetwater County Circuit Court – Rock Springs
Address: 731 C Street, PO Box 2028, Rock Springs, WY 82902
Phone: 307-922-5220 Fax: 307-352-6758
Bairoil Municipal Court
Address: 1101 Antelope Drive, PO Box 58, Bairoil, WY 82322
Green River Municipal Court
Address: 50 East 2nd North, Green River, WY 82935
Phone: 307-872-0550 Fax: 307-872-6115
Rock Springs Municipal Court
Address: 212 D Street, Rock Springs, WY 82901
Superior Municipal Court
Address: 3 North Main Street, PO Box 40, Superior, WY 82945
Phone: 307-362-8173 Fax: 307-362-8173
Wamsutter Municipal Court
Address: 231 McCormick, PO Box 6, Wamsutter, WY 82336