New York State is one of the most populated States in the country, and nowhere is that more obvious than New York City. With so many people, the State of New York divides its courts into different buildings to handle every type of case in its own courthouse.
Without this kind of system, New York City’s courts would be even more packed and slow-moving. While this might be great for speed, it can be extremely confusing for defendants who want to fight their case. When you need to go to court, it can be extremely unclear which court to go to. Hopefully, this guide from the criminal defense attorneys at Sullivan and Galleshaw can help you figure out where you need to go to court for a felony charge in New York City.
What Court Handles Criminal Cases?
Most states follow a court structure that mirrors the federal system. That means they have “trial courts,” “appellate courts”, and a “supreme court” (the highest level of court). Every trial is heard at the trial court level. In many states, they create lower “municipal courts” that handle preliminary hearings, traffic tickets, and other lower level offenses before the case goes up to the trial court.
New York State uses some of the most confusing names for their courts, and it makes it difficult to understand where to go. First, the trial court in New York is named “The Supreme Court” instead of the highest court. These are the trial courts, located throughout the state, with one in each county. These courts are broken down into two divisions, one for civil cases and one for criminal cases. These divisions are called “terms,” meaning that the court that hears felony trials is called the “Supreme Court, Criminal Term.”
Before trial, though, many cases have a “preliminary hearing.” This is your first legal opportunity to challenge the case you are charged with. Since the standard is very low and the hearing might not accomplish much, your attorney may advise you to waive your preliminary hearing. However, you may still need to physically go to court to deal with this hearing. These hearings are held at the “New York City Criminal Courts.” The Criminal Courts hear all trials for misdemeanors and lower offenses (instead of the Supreme Court), in addition to hearing felony preliminary hearings.
This means that if you are going to a felony preliminary hearing, you go to the New York City Criminal Court in the county where the crime was charged. If you are going to trial for a felony, after your preliminary hearing, you go to the New York Supreme Court, Criminal Term in the county where the crime was charged.
New York City Courthouse Locations
If you are trying to find information about where to go to a preliminary hearing or a misdemeanor charge, look at our guide to misdemeanor courthouses, since they are both heard at the same courthouses.
Otherwise, for your felony criminal trial in New York City, you will likely go one of the following locations. Remember that you should go to the courthouse where the crime was charged, not the courthouse where you live. Even though this might mean going across town, it is important to go to court, or else you might face additional charges and re-arrest.
265 East 161st St.
Bronx, NY 10451
Phone: (718) 618-3100
320 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (347) 296-1100
New York County/Manhattan
There are two buildings for this court:
100 Centre St.
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (646) 386-4000
111 Centre St.
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (646) 386-4301
125-01 Queens Blvd.
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Phone: (718) 298-1150
Richmond County/Staten Island
26 Central Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10301
Phone: (718) 675-8700
It is very important that you talk to your lawyer about what county your charges are from, what level of charges you face, and where you need to go for your case. Your attorney can help you find not only which courthouse you should go to, but also which courtroom.
New York City has at least four courthouses per borough, so it can be very confusing to find which courthouse you are supposed to go to for trial. If your friend or loved one is in jail awaiting trial, these addresses and phone numbers can help you figure out where to go to support them at trial.
Attorney for Felonies in New York City
The Queens-based attorneys of Sullivan and Galleshaw practice throughout New York City, helping clients accused of felonies fight their cases. In any felony case, it is very important to get an experienced attorney on your side to help you challenge evidence, get charges dropped, and fight your case at trial. Call (800) 730-0135 today for a free consultation on your criminal charges.