Ulster County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Ulster County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Ulster County.
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.
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.
Ulster County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Ulster County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Ulster 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 Ulster 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 Ulster County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Ulster 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.
Ulster County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Ulster County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Ulster County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Ulster County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Ulster County criminal cases will either be a representative of Ulster 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.
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.
Who can help me in Ulster County?
For general information about your case the Ulster 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.
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 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.
Ulster County Criminal Court Locations
Ulster County Surrogate’s Court
Address: 240 Fair Street, Kingston NY 12401
Phone: 845-340-3348 Fax: 845-340-3350
Ulster County Court
Address: 285 Wall Street, Kingston NY 12401
Phone: 845-340-3377 Fax: 845-340-3387
Kingston City Court
Address: 1 Garraghan Drive, Kingston NY 12401
Phone: 845-338-2974 Fax: 845-338-1443
Denning Justice Court
Address: 1567 Denning Road, PO Box 66, Claryville NY 12725
Ellenville Village Court
Address: 2 Elting Court, Ellenville NY 12428
Phone: 845-647-5107 Fax: 845-647-5186
Esopus Justice Court
Address: 284 Broadway, PO Box 700, Port Ewen NY 12466
Gardiner Town Court
Address: 2340 Route 44/55, PO Box 289, Gardiner NY 12525
Phone: 845-256-0017 ext 106 Fax: 845-255-2481
Hardenburgh Town Court
Address: 51 Rider Hollow Road, PO Box 451, Arkville NY 12406
Hurley Justice Court
Address: 10 Wamsley Place, PO Box 325, Hurley NY 12443
Phone: 845-331-7474 Ext. 1 Fax: 845-340-4523
Kingston Town Court
Address: 906 Sawkill Road, Kingston NY 12401
Lloyd Town Court
Address: 12 Church Street, Suite 2, Highland NY 12528
Phone: 845-691-7544 Fax: 845-691-7103
Marbletown Justice Court
Address: 3775 Main Street, PO Box 128, Stone Ridge NY 12484
Phone: 845-687-4328 Ext. 8 Fax: 845-687-4336
Marlborough Justice Court
Address: 1650 Route 9W, PO Box 305, Milton NY 12547
Phone: 845-795-2256 Fax: 845-795-5846
New Paltz Town Justice Court
Address: 23 Plattekill Avenue, New Paltz NY 12561
Phone: 845-255-0041 Fax: 845-255-0814
Olive Town Court
Address: 50 Bostock Road, PO Box 201, Shokan NY 12481
Plattekill Town Court
Address: 1915 Route 44-55, PO Box 45, Modena NY 12548
Phone: 845-883-5805 Fax: 845-883-6730
Rochester Town Justice Court
Address: 140 Samsonville Road, PO Box 167, Kerhonkson NY 12446
Phone: 845-626-2522 Fax: 845-626-2549
Rosendale Justice Court
Address: 520 Lefever Falls Road, PO Box 423, Rosendale NY 12472
Saugerties Town Justice Court
Address: 4 High Street, Saugerties NY 12477
Phone: 845-246-2800 ext 325
Saugerties Village Justice Court
Address: 43 Partition Street, Saugerties NY 12477
Phone: 845-246-3958 Fax: 845-246-3958
Shandaken Justice Court
Address: 7209 Route 28, PO Box 6, Shandaken NY 12480
Phone: 845-688-5005 Fax: 845-688-5348
Shawangunk Town Court
Address: 14 Central Avenue, PO Box 247, Wallkill NY 12589
Ulster Town Court
Address: 1 Town Hall Drive, Lake Katrine NY 12449
Phone: 845-382-1737 Fax: 845-382-1838
Wawarsing Town Court
Address: 108 Canal Street, PO Box 671, Ellenville NY 12428
Phone: 845-647-7800 Ext. 1 Fax: 845-647-4776
Woodstock Justice Court
Address: 76 Tinker Street, Woodstock NY 12498
Phone: 845-679-6345 Fax: 845-679-6826