Randolph County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Randolph County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Randolph 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.
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.
I need help for my Randolph 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 Randolph 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 Randolph 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.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
Randolph County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Randolph County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Randolph County. The Randolph County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines 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 Randolph 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.
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.
Randolph County Required Court Appearances
In Randolph 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.
Randolph County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Randolph County will take place at the Randolph County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Randolph County Criminal Court Locations.
Sentencing in Randolph County
In Randolph 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.
Randolph County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Randolph County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Randolph 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 Randolph 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.
Randolph County Criminal Court Locations
Randolph County Circuit Court
Address: 2 Randolph Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241
Phone: 304-636-2765 Fax: 304-637-3700
Randolph County Magistrate Court
Address: 11 Randolph Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241
Phone: 304-636-5885 Fax: 304-636-2510
Beverly Municipal Court
Address: 1 Walnut Street, Drawer 279, Beverly, WV 26253
Phone: 304-636-5360 Fax: 304-637-2104
Elkins Municipal Court
Address: 401 Davis Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241
Phone: 304-636-1414 Fax: 304-636-7866
Harman Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 125, Harman, WV 26270
Huttonsville Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 81, Huttonsville, WV 26273
Mill Creek Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 128, Mill Creek, WV 26280
Montrose Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 84, Montrose, WV 26283