Hampden County Criminal Court

Hampden County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Hampden County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Hampden County.

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.

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.

Hampden County Criminal Court

Hampden County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Hampden County

In Hampden 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.

I need help for my Hampden 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 Hampden 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 Hampden 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.

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.

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 Hampden County

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

Hampden County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

Prosecutor in Hampden County

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

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 Hampden 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.

Required Court Appearances in Hampden County

Any required court appearances in Hampden 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.

Hampden County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hampden Superior Court

    Address: 50 State Street, PO Box 559, Springfield, MA 01102
    Phone: 413-735-6017 (Criminal) Fax: 413-737-1611

  • Chicopee District Court

    Address: 30 Church Street, Chicopee, MA 01020
    Phone: 413-598-0099 Fax: 413-594-6187

  • Holyoke District Court

    Address: 20 Court Plaza, Holyoke, MA 01040
    Phone: 413-538-9710 Fax: 413-533-7165

  • Palmer District Court

    Address: 235 Sykes Street, Suite 3, Palmer, MA 01069-1190
    Phone: 413-283-8916 Fax: 413-283-6775

  • Springfield District Court

    Address: 50 State Street, PO Box 2421, Springfield, MA 01102
    Phone: 413-748-8600 (Criminal) Fax: 413-747-4842

  • Westfield District Court

    Address: 224 Elm Street, Westfield, MA 01085
    Phone: 413-568-8946 Fax: 413-568-4863

  • Western Housing Court

    Address: 37 Elm Street, PO Box 559, Springfield, MA 01102
    Phone: 413-748-7838 Fax: 413-732-4607

  • Hampden County Juvenile Court

    Address: 121 Elm Street, Holyoke, MA 01040
    Phone: 413-533-1482

  • Hampden County Juvenile Court

    Address: 235 Sykes Street, Suite 3, Palmer, MA 01069
    Phone: 413-283-1057

  • Hampden County Juvenile Court

    Address: 80 State Street, Springfield, MA 01103
    Phone: 413-748-7860

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.