Barbour County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Barbour County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Barbour 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.
Sentencing in Barbour County
In Barbour 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Barbour 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 Barbour 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.
Mandatory Appearances in Barbour County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Barbour County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
Prosecutor in Barbour County
In Barbour County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Barbour County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent West Virginia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Barbour County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Barbour County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Barbour County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Barbour 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 Barbour 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.
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.
Where can I get help for my Barbour County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Barbour County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
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.
Barbour County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Barbour County will take place at the Barbour County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Barbour County Criminal Court Locations.
Barbour County Criminal Court Locations
Barbour County Circuit Court
Address: 8 North Main Street, Philippi, WV 26416
Phone: 304-457-3454 Fax: 304-457-2790
Barbour County Magistrate Court
Address: Church and Main Streets, PO Box 541, Philippi, WV 26416
Phone: 304-457-3676 Fax: 304-457-4999
Belington Municipal Court
Address: 505 Crim Avenue, PO Box 926, Belington, WV 26250
Phone: 304-823-1611 Fax: 304-823-2307
Junior Municipal Court
Address: 130 Row Avenue, PO Box 247, Junior, WV 26275
Phone: 304-823-1829 Fax: 304-823-1046
Philippi Municipal Court
Address: 108 North Main Street, PO Box 460, Philippi, WV 26416
Phone: 304-457-3700 Fax: 304-457-2703