Boone County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Boone County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Boone County.
Who can help me in Boone County?
For general information about your case the Boone 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.
If guilty, who sentences the defendant?
If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.
Boone County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Boone County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Boone County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Boone County criminal cases will either be a representative of Boone County or a representative from West Virginia. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
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.
Arraignments in Boone County
During an arraignment in Boone County, 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 Boone County, 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 Boone County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
In a jury trial in Boone 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 Boone County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Boone 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.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
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.
Boone County Criminal Court Locations
Boone County Circuit Court
Address: 200 State Street, Madison, WV 25130
Phone: 304-369-7321 Fax: 304-369-7326
Boone County Magistrate Court
Address: 200 State Street, Madison, WV 25130
Phone: 304-369-7364 Fax: 304-369-1932
Danville Municipal Court
Address: 731 Hopkins Road, PO Box 217, Danville, WV 25053
Phone: 304-369-5428 Fax: 304-369-5429
Madison Municipal Court
Address: 255 Washington Avenue, Madison, WV 25130
Phone: 304-369-2762 Fax: 304-369-2718
Sylvester Municipal Court
Address: 32832 Coal River Road, PO Box 10, Sylvester, WV 25193
Whitesville Municipal Court
Address: 39140 Coal River Road, PO Box 475, Whitesville, WV 25209
Phone: 304-854-2658 Fax: 304-854-0579