Sussex County Criminal Court

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

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

Jury Deliberations in Sussex County

In Sussex 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.

Sussex County Criminal Court

Sussex County Criminal Court

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.

Sussex County Required Court Appearances

In Sussex 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.

Sussex County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Sussex County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Sussex County. The Sussex 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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Sussex County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

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.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

Arraignments in Sussex County

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

Sussex County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Sussex County will take place at the Sussex County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Sussex County Criminal Court Locations.

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.

Where can I get help for my Sussex 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 Sussex 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.

Sussex County Criminal Court Locations

  • Sussex County Superior Court

    Address: 43-47 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860
    Phone: 973-579-0675

  • Sussex County Superior Court – Civil Division

    Address: 43-47 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860
    Phone: 973-579-0918 Fax: 973-579-0736

  • Sussex County Superior Court – Criminal Division

    Address: 43-47 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860
    Phone: 973-326-6995

  • Sussex County Superior Court – Family Division

    Address: 43-47 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860
    Phone: 973-579-0630 Fax: 973-579-0719

  • Sussex County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 3 High Street, Suite 1, Newton, NJ 07860
    Phone: 973-579-0920 Fax: 973-579-0909

  • Andover Township Municipal Court

    Address: 134 Newton Sparta Road, Newton, NJ 07860
    Phone: 973-383-4280 Ext. 227 Fax: 973-383-6328

  • Byram Township Municipal Court

    Address: 10 Mansfield Drive, Byram, NJ 07874
    Phone: 973-347-2500 Ext. 126 Fax: 973-347-3236

  • Frankford Township Joint Municipal Court

    Address: 151 US Highway 206, Augusta, NJ 07822
    Phone: 973-948-4045 Fax: 973-948-4271

  • Franklin Borough Municipal Court

    Address: 46 Main Street, Franklin, NJ 07416
    Phone: 973-827-9280 Ext. 107 or 108 Fax: 973-827-0921

  • Green Township Joint Municipal Court

    Address: 150 Kennedy Road, PO Box 65, Tranquility, NJ 07879
    Phone: 908-850-0990 Fax: 908-852-4935

  • Hamburg Municipal Court

    Address: 11 Orchard Street, Hamburg, NJ 07419
    Phone: 973-209-4545

  • Hardyston Municipal Court

    Address: 149 Wheatsworth Road, Hardyston, NJ 07419
    Phone: 973-823-7038

  • Hopatcong Municipal Court

    Address: 111 River Styx Road, Hopatcong, NJ 07843
    Phone: 973-770-1200

  • Newton Municipal Court

    Address: 39 Trinity Street, Newton, NJ 07860
    Phone: 973-383-3521 Ext. 242 Fax: 973-383-0465

  • Ogdensburg Municipal Court

    Address: 14 Highland Avenue, Ogdensburg, NJ 07439
    Phone: 973-827-3895

  • Sparta Township Municipal Court

    Address: 65 Main Street, Sparta, NJ 07871
    Phone: 973-729-3501 Fax: 973-726-4480

  • Stanhope Municipal Court

    Address: 111 River Styx Road, Hopatcong, NJ 07843
    Phone: 973-770-1200

  • Vernon Township Municipal Court

    Address: 21 Church Street, Vernon, NJ 07462
    Phone: 973-764-4737 Fax: 973-764-4761

  • Wantage/Sussex/Stillwater Joint Municipal Court

    Address: 888 Route 23, Wantage, NJ 07461
    Phone: 973-875-7310

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