Accomack County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Accomack County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Accomack County.
Arraignments in Accomack County
During an arraignment in Accomack County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Accomack County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Accomack County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
Sentencing in Accomack County
In Accomack 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.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Accomack 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.
I need help for my Accomack County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Accomack County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Accomack County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
Where will Accomack County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Accomack County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Accomack County.
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.
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.
Jury Deliberations in Accomack County
In Accomack 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.
Prosecutor in Accomack County
In Accomack County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Accomack County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Virginia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Accomack County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Accomack County Required Court Appearances
In Accomack 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.
Accomack County Criminal Court Locations
Accomack County Circuit Court – 2nd Judicial Circuit
Address: 23316 Courthouse Ave, PO Box 126, Accomac VA 23301
Phone: 757-787-5776 Fax: 757-787-1849
Accomack County General District Court – 2A Judicial District
Address: 23371 Front St, PO Box 276, Accomac VA 23301
Phone: 757-787-0923 Fax: 757-787-5619
Accomack County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
Address: Phone: 757-787-0920, x119 Fax: 757-787-4526