Sullivan County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Sullivan County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Sullivan County.
Required Court Appearances in Sullivan County
Any required court appearances in Sullivan 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.
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 Sullivan County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Arraignments in Sullivan County
During an arraignment in Sullivan 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 Sullivan 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 Sullivan County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
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 Sullivan 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.
Sentencing in Sullivan County
In Sullivan 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.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
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.
Where can I get help for my Sullivan 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 Sullivan 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.
Sullivan County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Sullivan County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Sullivan County. The Sullivan County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
Sullivan County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Sullivan County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Sullivan County Criminal Court Locations
Sullivan County Superior Court
Address: 22 Main Street, Newport NH 03773
Sullivan County 5th Circuit Court District Division – Claremont
Address: 1 Police Court, Suite 2, Claremont NH 03743
Phone : 603-542-6064
Sullivan County 5th Circuit Court District Division – Newport
Address: 55 Main Street, Newport NH 03773
Sullivan County 5th Circuit Court Probate Division
Address: 14 Main Street, Suite 5, Newport NH 03773
Sullivan County 5th Circuit Court Family Division – Claremont
Address: 1 Police Court, Claremont NH 03743
Sullivan County 5th Circuit Court Family Division – Newport
Address: 55 Main Street, Newport NH 03773