Barnstable County Criminal Court

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

Barnstable County Criminal Court locations

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

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Barnstable 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.

Barnstable County Criminal Court

Barnstable County Criminal Court

Who is the prosecutor for Barnstable County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Barnstable County criminal cases will either be a representative of Barnstable County or a representative from Massachusetts. 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.

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.

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

Arraignments in Barnstable County

During an arraignment in Barnstable 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 Barnstable 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 Barnstable County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Sentencing in Barnstable County

In Barnstable 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.

Where can I get help for my Barnstable County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Barnstable County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

Barnstable County Required Court Appearances

In Barnstable 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.

Barnstable County Criminal Court Locations

  • Barnstable Superior Court

    Address: 3195 Main Street, PO Box 425, Barnstable, MA 02630
    Phone: 508-375-6684 Fax: 508-362-1658 (Criminal)

  • Barnstable District Court

    Address: 3195 Main Street, PO Box 427, Barnstable, MA 02630
    Phone: 508-375-6785 (Civil)

  • Falmouth District Court

    Address: 161 Jones Road, Falmouth, MA 02540
    Phone: 508-495-1500

  • Orleans District Court

    Address: 237 Rock Harbor Road, Orleans, MA 02653
    Phone: 508-255-4700

  • Barnstable Juvenile Court

    Address: 3195 Main Street, PO Box 427, Barnstable, MA 02630
    Phone: 508-362-1389

  • Falmouth Juvenile Court

    Address: 161 Jones Road, Falmouth, MA 02540
    Phone: 508-495-1696 Fax: 508-495-3526

  • Orleans Juvenile Court

    Address: 237 Rock Harbor Road, Orleans, MA 02653
    Phone: 508-240-5044

  • Plymouth Juvenile Court

    Address: 52 Obery Street, Suite 1092, Plymouth, MA 02360
    Phone: 508-747-0858

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