Erie County Criminal Court

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

What happens in Erie County at an arraignment?

In Erie 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.

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.

Erie County Criminal Court

Erie County Criminal Court

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.

Who can help me in Erie County?

For general information about your case the Erie 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.

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.

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.

Erie County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Erie County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

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.

Erie County Prosecutor

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

Erie County Required Court Appearances

In Erie 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.

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.

Erie County Criminal Court Locations

  • Erie County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo NY 14202
    Phone: 716-845-2560 Fax: 716-845-7565

  • Erie County Court

    Address: 25 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo NY 14202
    Phone: 716-845-9301 Fax: 716-851-3293

  • Buffalo City Court

    Address: 50 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo NY 14202
    Phone: 716-845-2600 Fax: 716-847-8257

  • Lackawanna City Court

    Address: 714 Ridge Road, Lackawanna NY 14218
    Phone: 716-845-7220 Fax: 716-845-7599

  • Tonawanda City Court

    Address: 200 Niagara Street, Tonawanda NY 14150
    Phone: 716-845-2160 Fax: 716-845-7590

  • Akron Village Court

    Address: 5 Clarence Center Road, PO Box 227, Akron NY 14001
    Phone: 716-542-4575 Fax: 716-542-5824

  • Alden Town Court

    Address: 3311 Wende Road, PO Box 180, Alden NY 14004
    Phone: 716-937-6969 Ext. 6 Fax: 716-937-9587

  • Alden Village Justice Court

    Address: 13336 Broadway, Alden NY 14004
    Phone: 716-937-9216 Ext. 14

  • Amherst Town Court

    Address: 400 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst NY 14228
    Phone: 716-689-4200 Fax: 716-689-4249

  • Angola Village Court

    Address: 41 Commercial Street, Angola NY 14006
    Phone: 716-549-4035

  • Aurora Town Court

    Address: 571 Main Street, East Aurora NY 14052
    Phone: 716-652-5275 Fax: 716-652-4687

  • Blasdell Justice Court

    Address: 121 Miriam Avenue, Blasdell NY 14219
    Phone: 716-821-7908 Fax: 716-827-1061

  • Boston Town Court

    Address: 8500 Boston State Road, Boston NY 14025
    Phone: 716-941-6115 Fax: 716-941-5169

  • Brant Justice Court

    Address: 1272 Brant-North Collins Road, Brant NY 14027
    Phone: 716-549-0300 Fax: 716-549-5684

  • Cheektowaga Town Court

    Address: 3223 Union Road, Cheektowaga NY 14227
    Phone: 716-686-3459 (Civil/Small Claims) Fax: 716-686-3553

  • Clarence Justice Court

    Address: 1 Town Place, Clarence NY 14031
    Phone: 716-741-8948 Fax: 716-741-2976

  • Colden Town Court

    Address: 8812 State Road, Colden NY 14033
    Phone: 716-941-6242

  • Collins Town Court

    Address: 14093 Mill Street, PO Box 420, Collins NY 14034
    Phone: 716-532-3340 Fax: 716-532-2874

  • Concord Town Court

    Address: 86 Franklin Street, PO Box 368, Springville NY 14141
    Phone: 716-592-9898 Fax: 716-592-0204

  • Depew Justice Court

    Address: 85 Manitou Street, Depew NY 14043
    Phone: 716-683-0978 Fax: 716-686-0437

  • Eden Town Court

    Address: 2795 East Church Street, Eden NY 14057
    Phone: 716-992-3559 Fax: 716-992-9040

  • Elma Town Court

    Address: 1600 Bowen Road, Elma NY 14059
    Phone: 716-652-3260 Ext. 8 Fax: 716-805-1264

  • Evans Justice Court

    Address: 8787 Erie Road, Angola NY 14006
    Phone: 716-549-3707 Fax: 716-549-0940

  • Grand Island Town Court

    Address: 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island NY 14072
    Phone: 716-773-9600 Ext. 650 Fax: 716-775-3527

  • Hamburg Town Justice Court

    Address: 6100 South Park Avenue, Hamburg NY 14075
    Phone: 716-649-6111 Ext. 2390 Fax: 716-646-5452

  • Hamburg Village Court

    Address: 100 Main Street, Hamburg NY 14075
    Phone: 716-649-7204 Fax: 716-649-0672

  • Holland Town Court

    Address: 47 Pearl Street, PO Box 70, Holland NY 14080
    Phone: 716-537-2770 Fax: 716-537-3586

  • Kenmore Justice Court

    Address: 2919 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore NY 14217
    Phone: 716-873-4554 Fax: 716-873-4559

  • Lancaster Town Court

    Address: 525 Pavement Road, Lancaster NY 14086
    Phone: 716-683-1814 Fax: 716-685-5313

  • Lancaster Village Justice Court

    Address: Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway, Lancaster NY 14086
    Phone: 716-683-6780 Fax: 716-684-6780

  • Marilla Town Court

    Address: 1740 Two Rod Road, PO Box 120, Marilla NY 14102
    Phone: 716-652-5350 Fax: 716-652-1213

  • Newstead Town Court

    Address: 5 Clarence Center Road, PO Box 227, Akron NY 14001
    Phone: 716-542-4575 Fax: 716-542-5824

  • North Collins Town Court

    Address: 10543 Main Street, PO Box 51, North Collins NY 14111
    Phone: 716-337-3712 Fax: 716-337-3435

  • Orchard Park Town Justice Court

    Address: 4295 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park NY 14127
    Phone: 716-662-6415 Fax: 716-662-6416

  • Orchard Park Village Court

    Address: 4295 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park NY 14127
    Phone: 716-662-9327 Fax: 716-662-0891

  • Sardinia Town Court

    Address: 12320 Savage Road, Sardinia NY 14134
    Phone: 716-496-8900

  • Springville Village Court

    Address: 65 Franklin Street, PO Box 362, Springville NY 14141
    Phone: 716-592-4936 Fax: 716-592-9107

  • Tonawanda Town Justice Court

    Address: 1835 Sheridan Drive, Buffalo NY 14223
    Phone: 716-876-5536 Fax: 716-876-0324

  • Wales Town Court

    Address: Wales Memorial Building, 11006 Emery Road, South Wales NY 14139
    Phone: 716-652-3320 Fax: 716-652-3310

  • West Seneca Town Justice Court

    Address: 1250 Union Road, West Seneca NY 14224
    Phone: 716-558-3247 (Criminal) Fax: 716-674-0518

  • Williamsville Village Court

    Address: 5565 Main Street, Williamsville NY 14221
    Phone: 716-632-0450 Fax: 716-565-0342

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