Lynchburg Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Lynchburg. See below for more information about criminal cases in Lynchburg.
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 Lynchburg?
For general information about your case the Lynchburg 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Lynchburg 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.
Required Court Appearances in Lynchburg
Any required court appearances in Lynchburg 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.
Lynchburg Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Lynchburg will take place at the Lynchburg Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Lynchburg Criminal Court Locations.
Prosecutor in Lynchburg
In Lynchburg, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Lynchburg. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Virginia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Lynchburg has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Sentencing in Lynchburg
In Lynchburg 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.
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.
Arraignments in Lynchburg
During an arraignment in Lynchburg, 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 Lynchburg, 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 Lynchburg the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
In a jury trial in Lynchburg, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Lynchburg a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Lynchburg Criminal Court Locations
City of Lynchburg Circuit Court – 24th Judicial Circuit
Address: 900 Court St, PO Box 4, Lynchburg VA 24505
Phone: 434-455-2620 Fax: 434-847-1864
City of Lynchburg General District Court – 24th Judicial District
Address: 905 Court St, Lynchburg VA 24504
Phone: 434-455-2640 (Civil) 434-455-2630 (Criminal/Traffic) Fax: 434-847-1779
City of Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
Address: 901 Church St, Lynchburg VA 24504
Phone: 434-455-2670 Fax: 434-847-1442