Albany County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Albany County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Albany County.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Albany 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.
Arraignments in Albany County
During an arraignment in Albany 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 Albany 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 Albany County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
Who is the prosecutor for Albany County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Albany County criminal cases will either be a representative of Albany County or a representative from New York. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Albany County
Any required court appearances in Albany 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.
Where can I get help for my Albany 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 Albany 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.
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.
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 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.
Albany County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Albany County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Albany County Criminal Court Locations
Albany County Surrogate’s Court
Address: 16 Eagle Street, Room 123, Albany NY 12207
Phone: 518-285-8585 Fax: 518-462-0194
Albany County Court
Address: 16 Eagle Street, Room 128, Albany NY 12207
Phone: 518-285-8777 Fax: 518-436-3986
Albany City Court – Civil Part
Address: 24 Eagle Street, Room 209, Albany NY 12207
Phone: 518-453-4640 Fax: 518-453-8679
Albany City Court – Criminal Part
Address: 1 Morton Avenue, Albany NY 12202
Phone: 518-453-5520 Fax: 518-453-8989
Albany City Court – Traffic Part
Address: 24 Eagle Street, Albany NY 12207
Phone: 518-453-4630 Fax: 518-453-8699
Cohoes City Court
Address: 97 Mohawk Street, PO Box 678, Cohoes NY 12047
Phone: 518-453-5501 Fax: 518-233-8202
Watervliet City Court
Address: 2 15th Street, Watervliet NY 12189
Altamont Justice Court
Address: 115 Main Street, PO Box 643, Altamont NY 12009
Phone: 518-861-8554 Ext. 12 Fax: 518-861-5379
Berne Town Court
Address: PO Box 57, Berne NY 12023
Phone: 518-872-1448 Fax:518-872-9303
Bethlehem Justice Court
Address: 447 Delaware Avenue, Delmar NY 12054
Coeymans Town Court
Address: 18 Russell Avenue, Ravena NY 12143
Phone: 518-756-8480 Fax: 518-756-7730
Colonie Justice Court
Address: 312 Wolf Road, Latham NY 12110
Green Island Town Court
Address: 73 Hudson Avenue, Green Island NY 12183
Phone: 518-273-0661 Fax: 518-273-0688
Guilderland Town Court
Address: 5209 Western Turnpike, PO Box 339, Guilderland NY 12084
Phone: 518-356-1980 Ext. 1073
Knox Town Court
Address: 2192 2192 NY – 156, PO Box 124, Knox NY 12107
Menands Village Court
Address: 250 Broadway, Menands NY 12204
Phone: 518-434-3992 Fax: 518-626-0428
New Scotland Town Court
Address: 58 Verda Avenue, PO Box 318, Clarksville NY 12041
Work: 518-475-0493 Fax: 518-439-9135
Ravena Justice Court
Address: 15 Mountain Road, Ravena NY 12143
Phone: 518-756-2313 Fax: 518-756-3969
Rensselaerville Justice Court
Address: 87 Barger Road, Medusa NY 12120
Phone: 518-239-4225 Fax: 518-239-6339
Voorheesville Justice Court
Address: 29 Voorheesville Avenue, PO Box 367, Voorheesville NY 12186
Westerlo Justice Court
Address: 671 County Route 401, Westerlo NY 12193
Phone: 518-797-3239 Fax: 518-797-3598