Cabell County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Cabell County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Cabell County.
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.
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 Cabell County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Who can help me in Cabell County?
For general information about your case the Cabell 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.
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.
Prosecutor in Cabell County
In Cabell County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Cabell County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent West Virginia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Cabell County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Cabell County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Cabell County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Cabell 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 Cabell 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.
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.
Where will Cabell County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Cabell County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Cabell County.
Mandatory Appearances in Cabell County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Cabell 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.
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 Cabell 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.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
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.
Cabell County Criminal Court Locations
Cabell County Circuit Court
Address: 750 5th Avenue, Room 114, Huntington, WV 25701
Phone: 304-526-8622 Fax: 304-526-8699
Cabell County Magistrate Court
Address: 750 5th Avenue, Huntington, WV 25701
Phone: 304-526-8642 Fax: 304-526-8646
Barboursville Municipal Court
Address: 721 Central Avenue, PO Box 262, Barboursville, WV 25504
Huntington Municipal Court
Address: 800 5th Avenue, PO Box 1659, Huntington, WV 25717
Phone: 304-696-5920 Fax: 304-696-4493
Milton Municipal Court
Address: 1139 Smith Street, PO Box 98, Milton, WV 25541
Phone: 304-743-3032 Fax: 304-743-1872