Seneca County Criminal Court

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

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.

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.

Seneca County Criminal Court

Seneca County Criminal Court

Seneca County Arraignments

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

Mandatory Appearances in Seneca County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Seneca 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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Seneca 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.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

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.

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.

Who can help me in Seneca County?

For general information about your case the Seneca 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.

Who is the prosecutor for Seneca County?

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

Sentencing in Seneca County

In Seneca County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

Where will Seneca County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Seneca County Criminal Court Locations

  • Seneca County Surrogate’s Court

    Address: 48 West Williams Street, Waterloo NY 13165
    Phone: 315-539-7531 Fax: 315-539-3267

  • Seneca County Court

    Address: 48 West Williams Street, Waterloo NY 13165
    Phone: 315-539-7021 Fax: 315-539-3267

  • Covert Town Court

    Address: 8469 South Main Street, PO Box 220, Interlaken NY 14847
    Phone: 607-532-4091

  • Fayette Town Court

    Address: 1439 Yellow Tavern Road, Waterloo NY 13165
    Phone: 315-585-6282

  • Junius Town Court

    Address: 655 Dublin Road, Clyde NY 14433
    Phone: 315-539-4667

  • Lodi Town Court

    Address: 8440 North Main Street, PO Box 33, Lodi NY 14860
    Phone: 607-582-7730 Fax: 607-582-7731

  • Ovid Town Court

    Address: 8440 North Main Street, PO Box 33, Lodi NY 14860
    Phone: : 607-869-9845 Fax: 607-582-7731

  • Romulus Town Court

    Address: 1435 Prospect Street, PO Box 274, Willard NY 14588
    Phone: 607-869-9650 Fax: 607-869-9670

  • Seneca Falls Town Court

    Address: 81 West Bayard Street, Seneca Falls NY 13148
    Phone: 315-568-9234 Fax: 315-568-5870

  • Tyre Town Court

    Address: Justice Jans-Duffy: 1315 Middle Black Brook Road, Seneca Falls NY 13148
    Phone: 315-568-9417 Fax: 315-568-1221

  • Varick Town Court

    Address: 4782 State Route 96, Romulus NY 14541
    Phone: 315-585-6018

  • Waterloo Town Court

    Address: 66 Virginia Street, Waterloo NY 13165
    Phone: 315-539-3213 Fax: 315-539-5803

  • Waterloo Village Court

    Address: 41 West Main Street, Waterloo NY 13165
    Phone: 315-539-2512 Fax: 315-539-2144

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