Dutchess County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Dutchess County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Dutchess County.
Mandatory Appearances in Dutchess County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Dutchess 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.
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.
Dutchess County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Dutchess County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Dutchess County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Dutchess County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
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.
I need help for my Dutchess 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 Dutchess 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 Dutchess 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 if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
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 will Dutchess County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Dutchess County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Dutchess County.
Dutchess County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Dutchess County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Dutchess County. The Dutchess 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.
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.
In a jury trial in Dutchess 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.
Dutchess County Criminal Court Locations
Dutchess County Surrogate’s Court
Address: 10 Market Street, Poughkeepsie NY 12601
Phone: 845-431-1770 Fax: 845-476-3659
Dutchess County Court
Address: 10 Market Street, Poughkeepsie NY 12601
Phone: 845-431-1710 Fax: 845-473-5403
Beacon City Court
Address: 1 Municipal Center, Beacon NY 12508
Phone: 845-431-1900 Fax: 845-838-5041
Poughkeepsie City Court
Address: 62 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie NY 12601
Phone: 845-483-8200 Fax: 845-451-4094
Amenia Town Court
Address: 4988 Route 22, PO Box 126, Amenia NY 12501
Phone: 845-373-7017 or 845-373-8434 Fax: 845-373-8435
Beekman Town Court
Address: 4 Main Street, Poughquag NY 12570
Phone: 845-724-5300 Ext. 1 Fax: 845-724-3284
Clinton Justice Court
Address: Physical: 1215 Centre Road, Rhinebeck NY 12572
Phone: 845-266-5988 Fax: 845-266-3335
Dover Justice Court
Address: 126 East Duncan Hill Road, Dover Plains NY 12522
Phone: 845-832-9373 or 845-877-6128
East Fishkill Justice Court
Address: Town Hall, 330 Route 376, Hopewell Junction NY 12533
Fishkill Town Justice Court
Address: 807 Route 52, Fishkill NY 12524
Phone: 845-831-7860 Fax: 845-831-1569
Fishkill Village Justice Court
Address: 1095 Main Street, Fishkill NY 12524
Phone: 845-897-2103 Fax: 845-897-4940
Hyde Park Justice Court
Address: Town Hall, 4383 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park NY 12538
Phone: 845-229-5111 Ext. 8 Fax: 845-229-2137
LaGrange Justice Court
Address: Town Hall, 120 Stringham Road, Lagrangeville NY 12540
Phone: 845-452-1837 Fax: 845-454-8364
Milan Town Justice Court
Address: 20 Wilcox Circle, Milan NY 12571
Phone: 845-758-6960 Fax: 845-758-1175
North East Town Court
Address: 19 Maple Avenue, PO Box 516, Millerton NY 12546
Pawling Town Justice Court
Address: 160 Charles Coleman Blvd, Pawling NY 12564
Phone: 845-855-3516 Fax: 845-855-7265
Pawling Village Court
Address: 9 Memorial Avenue, Pawling NY 12564
Pine Plains Justice Court
Address: 3284 Route 199, Pine Plains NY 12567
Pleasant Valley Justice Court
Address: 1554 Main Street, Pleasant Valley NY 12569
Phone: 845-635-2856 Fax: 845-635-1989
Poughkeepsie Town Justice Court
Address: 17 Tucker Drive, Poughkeepsie NY 12603
Phone: 845-485-3692 Fax: 845-485-2939
Red Hook Town Justice Court
Address: 7340 South Broadway, Red Hook NY 12571
Phone: 845-758-4609 or 845-758-4611 Fax: 845-758-2033
Red Hook Village Court
Address: 7467 South Broadway, Red Hook NY 12571
Phone: 845-757-4113 Fax: 845-758-1695
Rhinebeck Town Justice Court
Address: 80 East Market Street, Rhinebeck NY 12572
Phone: 845-876-3858 Fax: 845-876-8265
Rhinebeck Village Justice Court
Address: 76 East Market Street, Rhinebeck NY 12572
Phone: 845-876-4119 Fax: 845-876-7068
Stanford Town Court
Address: 26 Town Hall Road, PO Box 436, Stanfordville NY 12581
Phone: 845-868-2269 Fax: 845-868-1570
Tivoli Village Justice Court
Address: 1 Tivoli Commons, PO Box 397, Tivoli NY 12583
Union Vale Town Court
Address: 249 Duncan Road, Lagrangeville NY 12540
Wappinger Justice Court
Address: Town Hall, 20 Middlebush Road, Wappingers Falls NY 12590
Phone: 845-297-6070 Fax: 845-297-7739
Wappingers Falls Justice Court
Address: 7 Mill Street, Wappingers Falls NY 12590
Phone: 845-297-6777 Fax: 845-298-6057
Washington Justice Court
Address: 10 Reservoir Drive, PO Box 667, Millbrook NY 12545
Phone: 845-677-6366 Fax: 845-677-6366