Norfolk County Criminal Court

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

Norfolk County Required Court Appearances

In Norfolk 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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Norfolk 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.

Norfolk County Criminal Court

Norfolk County Criminal Court

I need help for my Norfolk 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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk 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.

Norfolk County Arraignments

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

Where will Norfolk County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Appealing a Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

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 Norfolk 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.

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.

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.

Sentencing in Norfolk County

In Norfolk 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.

Prosecutor in Norfolk County

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

Norfolk County Criminal Court Locations

  • Norfolk Superior Court

    Address: 650 High Street, Dedham, MA 02026
    Phone: 781-320-9726 (Criminal)

  • Brookline District Court

    Address: 360 Washington Street, Brookline, MA 02445
    Phone: 617-232-4660

  • Dedham District Court

    Address: 631 High Street, Dedham, MA 02026
    Phone: 781-329-4777 Ext. 403 (Criminal) Fax: 781-320-8249

  • Quincy District Court

    Address: 1 Dennis Ryan Parkway, Quincy, MA 02169
    Phone: 617-471-1650 Fax: 617-472-1924

  • Stoughton District Court

    Address: 1288 Central Street, Stoughton, MA 02072
    Phone: 781-344-2131 Fax: 781-341-8744

  • Wrentham District Court

    Address: 60 East Street, Wrentham, MA 02093
    Phone: 508-384-3106 Ext. 222 (Criminal) Fax: 508-384-5052

  • Worcester Housing Court

    Address: 225 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608
    Phone: 508-831-2050 Fax: 508-792-1170

  • Norfolk County Juvenile Court

    Address: 55 Allied Drive, Dedham, MA 02026
    Phone: 781-329-1500 Fax: 781-329-1640

  • Norfolk County Juvenile Court

    Address: 1 Dennis Ryan Parkway, Quincy, MA 02169
    Phone: 617-376-7505 Fax: 617-376-2115

  • Norfolk County Juvenile Court

    Address: 1288 Central Street, Stoughton, MA 02072
    Phone: 781-344-2131 Fax: 781-341-8744

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