Hamilton County Criminal Court

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

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.

Hamilton County Criminal Court locations

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

Hamilton County Criminal Court

Hamilton County Criminal Court

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.

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.

Hamilton County Prosecutor

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

Hamilton County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Hamilton County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Hamilton 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 Hamilton 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.

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.

Required Court Appearances in Hamilton County

Any required court appearances in Hamilton 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.

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.

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.

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.

Who can help me in Hamilton County?

For general information about your case the Hamilton 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.

Hamilton County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hamilton County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 79 White Birch Lane, PO Box 780, Indian Lake NY 12842
    Phone: 518-648-5411 Fax: 518-453-8687

  • Hamilton County Court

    Address: 79 White Birch Lane, PO Box 780, Indian Lake NY 12842
    Phone: 518-648-5411 Fax: 518-453-8687

  • Arietta Town Court

    Address: 155 Old Piseco Road, Piseco NY 12139
    Phone: 518-548-5703

  • Benson Town Court

    Address: PO Box 1017, Northville NY 12134
    Phone: 518-863-4449

  • Hope Town Court

    Address: 548 State Route 30, Northville NY 12134
    Phone: 518-924-4302

  • Indian Lake Town Court

    Address: 5 Pelon Road, PO Box 730, Indian Lake NY 12842
    Phone: 518-648-6226 or 518-648-5592

  • Inlet Town Court

    Address: 160 Route 28, Inlet NY 13360
    Phone: 315-357-6121 Fax: 315-357-3011

  • Lake Pleasant Town Court

    Address: Route 8, PO Box 799, Lake Pleasant NY 12108
    Phone: 518-548-3625 Fax: 518-548-3028

  • Long Lake Town Court

    Address: 1204 Main Street, PO Box 697, Long Lake NY 12847
    Phone: 518-624-3761 Fax: 518-624-4714

  • Morehouse Town Court

    Address: PO Box 16, Hoffmeister NY 13353
    Phone: 315-826-7093 Fax: 315-826-3215

  • Wells Town Court

    Address: 1382 State Route 30, PO Box 222, Wells NY 12190
    Phone: 518-924-7407 Fax: 518-924-3444

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