Cortland County Criminal Court

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

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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Cortland 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.

Cortland County Criminal Court

Cortland County Criminal Court

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Cortland 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.

Who can help me in Cortland County?

For general information about your case the Cortland 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.

Where will Cortland County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Cortland County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Cortland 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.

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.

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.

What happens in Cortland County at an arraignment?

In Cortland 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.

Who is the prosecutor for Cortland County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Cortland County criminal cases will either be a representative of Cortland 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.

Cortland County Criminal Court Locations

  • Cortland County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 46 Greenbush Street, Suite 301, Cortland NY 13045
    Phone: 607-753-5355 Fax: 212-457-2661

  • Cortland County Court

    Address: 46 Greenbush Street, Suite 301, Cortland NY 13045
    Phone: 607-753-5013 Fax: 646-963-6452

  • Cortland City Court

    Address: 25 Court Street, Cortland NY 13045
    Phone: 607-428-5420 Fax: 607-428-5435

  • Cincinnatus Town Court

    Address: 3228 Route 26, PO Box 202, Cincinnatus NY 13040
    Phone: 607-863-4466 Fax: 607-863-3733

  • Cortlandville Town Court

    Address: 3577 Terrace Road, Cortland NY 13045
    Phone: 607-756-2352 Fax: 607-756-6753

  • Cuyler Town Court

    Address: 4895 Tripoli Road, Cuyler NY 13158
    Phone: 315-243-8752 Fax: 315-852-9503

  • Freetown Town Court

    Address: 3900 Freetown Crossroad, Marathon NY 13803
    Phone: 607-849-6350

  • Harford Town Court

    Address: 394 Route 38, PO Box 10, Harford NY 13784
    Phone: 607-844-4091 Fax: 607-844-4091

  • Homer Town Court

    Address: 4 Water Street, Homer NY 13077
    Phone: 607-749-2326 Fax: 607-749-6459

  • Lapeer Town Court

    Address: 1145 Quail Hill Road, Marathon NY 13803
    Phone: 607-743-3313

  • Marathon Town Court

    Address: 40 West Main Street, PO Box 366, Marathon NY 13803
    Phone: 607-849-6960 Fax: 607-849-6968

  • Preble Town Court

    Address: 1968 Preble Road, Preble NY 13141
    Phone: 607-749-2377 Fax: 607-749-2190

  • Scott Town Court

    Address: 6689 State Route 41, Homer NY 13077
    Phone: 607-749-2902 Fax: 315-472-4321

  • Solon Town Court

    Address: 4012 North Tower Road, East Freetown NY 13040
    Phone: 607-836-6036 Fax: 607-836-6036

  • Taylor Town Court

    Address: 3854 Cheningo Solon Pond Road, Cincinnatus NY 13040
    Phone: 607-863-3556 Fax: 607-863-4120

  • Truxton Town Court

    Address: PO Box 84, Truxton NY 13158
    Phone: 607-842-6387 Fax: 607-842-6943

  • Virgil Town Court

    Address: 1176 Church Street, Cortland NY 13045
    Phone: 607-835-6587 Fax: 607-835-6462

  • Willet Town Court

    Address: PO Box 33, Willet NY 13863
    Phone: 607-863-3261 Fax: 607-863-4057

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