Madera County Criminal Court

Madera County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Madera County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Madera County.

Jury Deliberations in Madera County

In Madera 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.

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.

Madera County Criminal Court

Madera County Criminal Court

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.

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.

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.

Prosecutor in Madera County

In Madera County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Madera County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent California. For the most part, the prosecutor in Madera County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Madera 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.

Madera County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Madera County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Madera 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 Madera 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.

Madera County Required Court Appearances

In Madera 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.

Who can help me in Madera County?

For general information about your case the Madera 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.

Madera County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Madera County will take place at the Madera County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Madera County Criminal Court Locations.

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 Madera County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Madera County Criminal Court Locations

  • Madera County Superior Court – Borden Division

    Address: 209 West Yosemite Avenue, Madera CA 93637
    Phone: 559-675-7786 Fax: 559-673-0542

  • Madera County Superior Court – Chowchilla Division

    Address: 209 West Yosemite Avenue, Madera CA 93637
    Phone: 559-675-7944 Fax: 559-675-7618

  • Madera County Superior Court – Family Court Services

    Address: 760 North I Street, Suite 106, Madera CA 93637
    Phone: 559-675-7810 Fax: 559-673-8216

  • Madera County Superior Court – Family Law Center

    Address: 209 West Yosemite Avenue, Madera CA 93638
    Phone: 559-661-5161 Fax: 559-675-4947

  • Madera County Superior Court – Main Courthouse

    Address: 209 West Yosemite Avenue, Madera CA 93637
    Phone: 559-675-7995 (Civil) Fax: 559-675-6565

  • Madera County Superior Court – Sierra Division

    Address: 40601 Road 274, Bass Lake CA 93604
    Phone: 559-642-3235 Fax: 559-642-3445

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