As most clients visiting this site have pending cases within Hamilton County this page will focus on the procedural legal process within Noblesville. The Hamilton County criminal court system has its county seat in Noblesville, Indiana. The legal significance of this location is that most all felony and misdemeanor cases are heard within the County Courthouse in Noblesville. Carmel City Court, located in Carmel Indiana, is a criminal court enabled to hear misdemeanor cases only. However, at the present time, all criminal case filings other than non dui traffic offenses are heard within one of the Superior Courts in Noblesville. As a result, whether a criminal offense you have been accused of occurred in Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Sheridan or Noblesville, your case (other than a misdmeanor traffic offense) will be heard within one of the County Superior Courts in Noblesville.
Just as the court system in Hamilton County is centered in Noblesville, the County prosecutor is as well. No matter whether the investigative police agency is located in Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, etc. all criminal cases are ultimately brought to the prosecutor’s office in Noblesville for review.
Most all criminal cases here are originally filed within the County Magistrate court (sometimes called Hamilton Superior Court 7). If the case filed is a misdemeanor, the local criminal court rules in Noblesville allow for the Defendant’s appearance in court to be “waived.” In other words, if the accused has retained an attorney, the defense lawyer can make arrangements for the person not to have to appear in court.
If the criminal offense charged is a felony, the accused would need to appear for the Initial Hearing whether one has retained an attorney or not. At this Initial Hearing held for all felony prosecutions, the Defendant is to be advised of the criminal charges, the Defendant’s address is confirmed, bail and/or the conditions of pre trial release is discussed and the identity of legal counsel is put on record. Thereafter, the case would be re assigned to a different, randomly assigned superior court for what is called a “Pre Trial Conference.”
Once again, depending upon the court the case has been assigned to, the experienced attorney will know to advise a client as to whether a future appearance will be required. This Pre Trial Conference is most notably assigned to address “discovery” issues. These issues can include deadlines for the prosecution to disclose information to the defense attorney including proposals that may be able to resolve a case favorably prior to trial.
Unlike other counties in Indiana, in Hamilton County criminal cases cannot usually be concluded at a pre trial conference even when an agreement has been reached. In most cases courts here require for case settlements on either a pre determined guilty plea hearing or on occasion on a “bench” trial date for a misdemeanor case where a jury is not present.
Depending upon the court assigned to, some judges are reluctant to relinquish control over a Defendant’s sentence to another county. This is particularly so in cases where a defense or dui attorney in Noblesville or Carmel may otherwise arrange alternative sentencing options for people residing in another county or state. As a result your criminal defense attorney must have the experience necessary to fashion options that require any probation terms to be fulfilled outside of the county where warranted and in cases unable to be dismissed without trial.
The reputation of Hamilton County Indiana as one that is less lenient when it comes to criminal sentencing options is often well founded. How one secures the most favorable outcome often depends on the defense attorney’s knowledge of local court procedure, judicial philosophy of the judge assigned to your case and a working relationship with the prosecutors within Hamilton County.