Acadia Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Acadia Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in Acadia Parish.
Jury Deliberations in Acadia Parish
In Acadia Parish, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
Who is the prosecutor for Acadia Parish?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Acadia Parish criminal cases will either be a representative of Acadia Parish or a representative from Louisiana. 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.
Acadia Parish Required Court Appearances
In Acadia Parish, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
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 Acadia Parish 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.
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.
Where can I get help for my Acadia Parish 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 Acadia Parish 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.
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 Acadia Parish
During an arraignment in Acadia Parish, 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 Acadia Parish, 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 Acadia Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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 Acadia Parish a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Acadia Parish Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Acadia Parish will take place at the Acadia Parish Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Acadia Parish Criminal Court Locations.
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 Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acadia Parish Criminal Court Locations
Acadia 15th Judicial District Court
Address: Court Circle, PO Box 922, Crowley LA 70527
Phone: 337-788-8881 Fax: 337-783-3855
Crowley City Court
Address: 426 North Avenue F, PO Box 225, Crowley LA 70527
Phone: 337-788-4117 Fax: 337-788-4149
Rayne City Court
Address: 301 East Louisiana Avenue, PO Box 31, Rayne LA 70578
Phone: 337-334-9677 Fax: 337-334-9626
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: 122 O’Neal Lane, Branch LA 70516
Justice of the Peace Ward 3
Address: 666 Beaugh Street, Church Point LA 70525
Justice of the Peace Ward 4
Address: PO Box 498, Iota LA 70543
Justice of the Peace Ward 5
Address: 4265 South Leblanc Road, Morse LA 70559
Justice of the Peace Ward 7
Address: 139 Miguel Road, Basile LA 70515
Church Point Mayor’s Court
Address: 102 Church Blvd, Church Point LA 70525
Phone: 337-684-5692 Fax: 337-684-6891
Estherwood Mayor’s Court
Address: 124 North LeBlanc Street, Estherwood LA 70534
Phone: 337-783-0464 Fax: 337-783-0596
Iota Mayor’s Court
Address: 116 Duson Avenue, PO Box 890, Iota LA 70543
Phone: 337-779-2597 Fax: 337-779-2599
Mermentau Mayor’s Court
Address: 104 7th Street, PO Box 280, Mermentau LA 70556
Phone: 337-824-8466 Fax: 337-824-6973
Morse Mayor’s Court
Address: 232 Jules, PO Box 36, Morse LA 70559
Phone: 337-783-7555 Fax: 337-783-7555