Worcester County Criminal Court

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

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.

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.

Worcester County Criminal Court

Worcester County Criminal Court

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

Mandatory Appearances in Worcester County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Worcester County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.

I need help for my Worcester 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 Worcester 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 Worcester 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.

What happens in Worcester County at an arraignment?

In Worcester County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

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.

Prosecutor in Worcester County

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

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Worcester 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.

Worcester County Criminal Court locations

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

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 Worcester 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.

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.

Worcester County Criminal Court Locations

  • Worcester Superior Court

    Address: 225 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608
    Phone: 508-831-2000

  • Clinton District Court

    Address: 300 Boylston Street, Clinton, MA 01510
    Phone: 978-368-7811 Fax: 978-368-7827

  • Dudley District Court

    Address: 279 West Main Street, Dudley, MA 01571
    Phone: 508-943-7123 Fax: 508-949-0015

  • East Brookfield District Court

    Address: 544 East Main Street, East Brookfield, MA 01515
    Phone: 508-885-6305 Fax: 508-885-7623

  • Fitchburg District Court

    Address: 100 Elm Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
    Phone: 978-345-2111 Fax: 978-342-2461

  • Gardner District Court

    Address: 108 Matthews Street, Gardner, MA 01440
    Phone: 978-632-2373 Fax: 978-630-3902

  • Leominster District Court

    Address: 25 School Street, Leominster, MA 01453
    Phone: 978-537-3722 Fax: 978-537-3970

  • Milford District Court

    Address: 161 West Street, Milford, MA 01757
    Phone: 508-473-1260 Fax: 508-634-8477

  • Uxbridge District Court

    Address: 261 South Main Street, Uxbridge, MA 01569
    Phone: 508-278-2454 Fax: 508-278-2929

  • Westborough District Court

    Address: 186 Oak Street, Westborough, MA 01581
    Phone: 508-366-8266 Fax: 508-366-8268

  • Winchendon District Court

    Address: 108 Matthews Street, Gardner, MA 01440
    Phone: 978-632-6326 Fax: 978-632-3580

  • Worcester District Court

    Address: 225 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608
    Phone: 508-831-2010

  • Worcester Housing Court

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

  • Dudley Juvenile Court

    Address: 100 West Main Street, Dudley, MA 01571
    Phone: 508-949-3070

  • Fitchburg Juvenile Court

    Address: 120 Elm Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
    Phone: 978-345-7620

  • Milford Juvenile Court

    Address: 161 West Street, Milford, MA 01757
    Phone: 508-478-8638

  • Worcester Juvenile Court

    Address: 225 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608
    Phone: 508-831-2000

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