Middlesex County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Middlesex County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Middlesex County.
Where will Middlesex County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Middlesex County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Middlesex County.
Required Court Appearances in Middlesex County
Any required court appearances in Middlesex 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.
What happens in Middlesex County at an arraignment?
In Middlesex County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
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.
Prosecutor in Middlesex County
In Middlesex County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Middlesex County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Virginia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Middlesex County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
Who can help me in Middlesex County?
For general information about your case the Middlesex 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.
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.
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.
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 Middlesex 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.
In a jury trial in Middlesex 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.
Sentencing in Middlesex County
In Middlesex 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.
Middlesex County Criminal Court Locations
Middlesex County Circuit Court – 9th Judicial Circuit
Address: Routes 17 & 33, PO Box 158, Saluda, VA 23149
Phone: 804-758-5317 Fax: 804-758-8637
Middlesex County General District Court – 9th Judicial District
Address: 73 Bowden St, PO Box 169, Saluda VA 23149
Phone: 804-758-4312 Fax: 804-758-4343
Middlesex County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
Address: 7400 Justice Dr, #204, PO Box 630, Gloucester VA 23061
Phone: 804-693-4850 Fax: 804-693-7904