Fairfield County Criminal Court

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

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 if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

Fairfield County Criminal Court

Fairfield County Criminal Court

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.

I need help for my Fairfield County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Fairfield County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Fairfield County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

Plea Agreements

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 Fairfield 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.

Mandatory Appearances in Fairfield County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Fairfield 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.

Fairfield County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Fairfield County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

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.

Prosecutor in Fairfield County

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

Fairfield County Arraignments

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

In a jury trial in Fairfield County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.

Sentencing in Fairfield County

In Fairfield 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.

Fairfield County Criminal Court Locations

  • Danbury Judicial District

    Address: 146 White Street, Danbury, CT 06810
    Phone: 203-207-8600 Fax: 203-207-8642

  • Fairfield Judicial District

    Address: 1061 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604
    Phone: 203-579-6527 Fax: 203-382-8406

  • Housing Session at Bridgeport

    Address: 1061 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604
    Phone: 203-579-6936 Fax: 203-579-7291

  • Housing Session at Norwalk

    Address: 17 Belden Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850
    Phone: 203-846-4332

  • Small Claims Court at Bridgeport – Geographical Area 2

    Address: 172 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604
    Phone: 203-579-6568 Fax: 203-382-8408

  • Small Claims Court at Danbury – Geographical Area 3

    Address: 146 White Street, Danbury, CT 06810
    Phone: 203-207-8600

  • Small Claims Court at Norwalk – Geographical Area 20

    Address: 17 Belden Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850
    Phone: 203-846-4206

  • Small Claims Court at Stamford

    Address: 123 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905
    Phone: 203-965-5236

  • Stamford/Norwalk Judicial District

    Address: 123 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905
    Phone: 203-965-5308 Fax: 203-965-5370

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