Northampton County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Northampton County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Northampton County.
Sentencing in Northampton County
In Northampton 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.
Northampton County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Northampton County will take place at the Northampton County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Northampton County Criminal Court Locations.
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 is the prosecutor for Northampton County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Northampton County criminal cases will either be a representative of Northampton County or a representative from Pennsylvania. 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.
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 Northampton 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 Deliberations in Northampton County
In Northampton County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is 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.
Northampton County Required Court Appearances
In Northampton 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.
Northampton County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Northampton County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Northampton 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 Northampton 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.
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.
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.
Who can help me in Northampton County?
For general information about your case the Northampton 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.
Northampton County Criminal Court Locations
Northampton County Court of Common Pleas – Clerk of Courts (Criminal)
Address: 669 Washington St, Easton PA 18042
Phone: 610-559-3087 Fax: 610-252-4391
Northampton County Court of Common Pleas – Prothonotary (Civil)
Address: 669 Washington St, Easton PA 18042
Phone: 610-559-3060 Fax: 610-559-3710
Northampton County Orphans’ Court
Address: 669 Washington St, Easton PA 18042
Phone: 610-559-3095 Fax: 610-559-3735
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-1-04
Address: 248 Brodhead Rd, #2, Bethlehem PA 18017
Phone: 610-691-2364 Fax: 610-861-7645
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-01
Address: 402 E Broad St, Bethlehem PA 18018
Phone: 610-691-1501 Fax: 610-691-6506
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-03
Address: 224 Nazareth Pike, #18A, Bethlehem PA 18020
Phone: 610-746-9740 Fax: 610-746-2470
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-04
Address: 1404 Walter St, Bethlehem PA 18015
Phone: 610-865-4010 Fax: 610-865-4361
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-05
Address: 400 Northampton St, #100, Easton PA 18042
Phone: 610-258-5900 Fax: 610-258-2870
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-06
Address: 210 Line St, Easton PA 18042
Phone: 610-258-8711 Fax: 610-253-0685
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-07
Address: 24 W 21st St, #101, Northampton PA 18067
Phone: 610-262-7433 Fax: 610-262-2885
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-08
Address: 136 S Main St, Nazareth PA 18064
Phone: 610-759-6424 Fax: 610-759-9356
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-09
Address: 3 Weller Pl, Easton PA 18045
Phone: 610-258-7266 Fax: 610-258-1713
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-10
Address: 202 W 4th St, #2, Bethlehem PA 18015
Phone: 610-868-9191 Fax: 610-868-1196
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-11
Address: 1214 Stefko Blvd, Bethlehem PA 18017
Phone: 610-694-0553 Fax: 610-694-0638
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-2-12
Address: 1710 Butler St, Easton PA 18042
Phone: 610-258-4640 Fax: 610-258-1835
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-3-01
Address: 4330 Lehigh Dr, PO Box 958, Cherryville PA 18035
Phone: 610-767-6345 Fax: 610-767-4498
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-3-02
Address: 31C W 1st St, PO Box 175, Wind Gap PA 18091
Phone: 610-863-5447 Fax: 610-863-7002
Northampton County Magisterial District Court 03-3-03
Address: 718 S Main St, PO Box 186, Bangor PA 18013
Phone: 610-588-3998 Fax: 610-588-5537