New Haven County Criminal Court

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

Where will New Haven County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of New Haven County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in New Haven County.

New Haven County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in New Haven County, the prosecutor will be a representative of New Haven County. The New Haven County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.

New Haven County Criminal Court

New Haven County Criminal Court

Required Court Appearances in New Haven County

Any required court appearances in New Haven County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In New Haven 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.

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.

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

Who can help me in New Haven County?

For general information about your case the New Haven 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.

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.

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.

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.

New Haven County Arraignments

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

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

New Haven County Criminal Court Locations

  • Ansonia-Milford Judicial District

    Address: 14 West River Street, PO Box 210, Milford CT 06460
    Phone: 203-877-4293 Fax: 203-876-8640

  • Housing Session at New Haven

    Address: 121 Elm Street, New Haven, CT 06510
    Phone: 203-789-7937 Fax: 203-773-6795

  • Housing Session at Waterbury

    Address: 300 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT 06702
    Phone: 203-591-3310 Fax: 203-596-4080

  • Meriden Judicial District

    Address: 54 West Main Street, Meriden, CT 06451
    Phone: 203-238-6666 Fax: 203-238-6322

  • New Haven Judicial District

    Address: 235 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510
    Phone: 203-503-6800 Fax: 203-503-6885

  • Small Claims Court at Derby – Geographical Area 5

    Address: 106 Elizabeth Street, Derby, CT 06418
    Phone: 203-735-7438 Fax: 203-735-2047

  • Small Claims Court at Meriden- Geographical Area 7

    Address: 54 West Main Street, Meriden, CT 06451
    Phone: 203-238-6130 Fax: 203-238-6016

  • Small Claims Court at Milford Geographical Area 22

    Address: 14 West River Street, 2nd Floor, Milford, CT 06460
    Phone: 203-874-1116 Fax: 203-874-5233

  • Small Claims Court at New Haven

    Address: 235 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510
    Phone: 203-503-6800

  • Small Claims Court at Waterbury

    Address: 300 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT 06702
    Phone: 203-591-3320

  • Waterbury Judicial District

    Address: 300 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT 06702
    Phone: 203-591-3300 Fax: 203-596-4032

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