Plymouth County Criminal Court

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

Prosecutor in Plymouth County

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

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.

Plymouth County Criminal Court

Plymouth County Criminal Court

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.

Arraignments in Plymouth County

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

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

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.

Who can help me in Plymouth County?

For general information about your case the Plymouth 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.

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 Plymouth 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.

Where will Plymouth County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

Plymouth County Required Court Appearances

In Plymouth 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 Deliberations in Plymouth County

In Plymouth 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.

Plymouth County Criminal Court Locations

  • Plymouth County Superior Court

    Address: 52 Obery Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
    Phone: 508-747-8400 Fax: 508-830-0676

  • Plymouth County Superior Court

    Address: 72 Belmont Street, Brockton, MA 02301
    Phone: 508-583-8250 Fax: 508-584-5639

  • Brockton District Court

    Address: 215 Main Street, Brockton, MA 02301
    Phone: 508-587-8000 (Criminal) Fax: 508-587-6791

  • Hingham District Court

    Address: 28 George Washington Boulevard, Hingham, MA 02043
    Phone: 781-749-7000 Fax: 781-740-8390

  • Plymouth District Court

    Address: 52 Obery Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
    Phone: 508-747-8400 Fax: 508-830-9303

  • Wareham District Court

    Address: 2200 Cranberry Highway, West Wareham, MA 02576
    Phone: 508-295-8300 Fax: 508-291-2931

  • Southeast Housing Court

    Address: 52 Obery Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
    Phone: 508-747-8550 Fax: 508-747-2017

  • Southeast Housing Court

    Address: 215 Main Street, Suite 160, Brockton, MA 02303
    Phone: 508-894-4170 Fax: 508-894-4168

  • Plymouth County Juvenile Court

    Address: 215 Main Street, Brockton, MA 02303-7398
    Phone: 508-586-4030

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