Mecklenburg County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Mecklenburg County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Mecklenburg County.
I need help for my Mecklenburg 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 Mecklenburg 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 Mecklenburg 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.
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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Mecklenburg County
Any required court appearances in Mecklenburg County 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.
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.
Prosecutor in Mecklenburg County
In Mecklenburg County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Mecklenburg County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Virginia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Mecklenburg County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Mecklenburg 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.
In a jury trial in Mecklenburg County, 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.
Mecklenburg County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Mecklenburg County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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 Mecklenburg County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Mecklenburg County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Mecklenburg County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Mecklenburg 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 Mecklenburg 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.
Mecklenburg County Criminal Court Locations
Mecklenburg County Circuit Court – 10th Judicial Circuit
Address: 393 Washington St, PO Box 530, Boydton VA 23917
Phone: 434-738-6191 Fax: 434-738-6861
Mecklenburg County General District Court – 10th Judicial District
Address: 911 Madison St, PO Box 306, Boydton VA 23917
Phone: 434-738-6260 Fax: 434-738-0761
Mecklenburg County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
Address: Phone: 434-738-6191, x4325 Fax: 434-738-0311