Beauregard Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Beauregard Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Beauregard Parish.
Arraignments in Beauregard Parish
During an arraignment in Beauregard 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 Beauregard 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 Beauregard Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Prosecutor in Beauregard Parish
In Beauregard Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Beauregard Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Beauregard Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Where can I get help for my Beauregard 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 Beauregard 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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Beauregard Parish
Any required court appearances in Beauregard Parish Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
Where will Beauregard Parish criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Beauregard Parish. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Beauregard Parish.
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 Beauregard Parish a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jury Deliberations in Beauregard Parish
In Beauregard 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.
Beauregard Parish Criminal Court Locations
Beauregard 36th Judicial District Court
Address: 201 West 1st Street, PO Box 100, DeRidder LA 70634
Phone: 337-463-8595 Fax: 337-462-3916
Justice of the Peace District 1
Address: 290 Ray Brown Road, Fields LA 70653
Justice of the Peace District 2
Address: PO Box 333, Merryville LA 70653
Justice of the Peace District 4
Address: 961 Newt Hodges Road, Ragley LA 70657
Justice of the Peace District 5
Address: 1477 Hwy 1147, DeRidder LA 70634
DeRidder Mayor’s Court
Address: 200 South Jefferson Street, DeRidder LA 70634
Phone: 337-462-8900 Fax: 337-462-8908
Merryville Mayor’s Court
Address: 530 Hennigan Street, PO Box 607, Merryville LA 70653