Bossier Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Bossier Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in Bossier 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 Bossier Parish a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
In a jury trial in Bossier Parish, 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.
Where will Bossier Parish criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Bossier Parish. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Bossier Parish.
I need help for my Bossier Parish criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Bossier Parish court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Bossier Parish will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
Bossier Parish Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Bossier Parish, the prosecutor will be a representative of Bossier Parish. The Bossier Parish prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
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.
Sentencing in Bossier Parish
In Bossier Parish if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Bossier Parish Required Court Appearances
In Bossier 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.
What happens in Bossier Parish at an arraignment?
In Bossier Parish the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
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 Bossier 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.
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.
Bossier Parish Criminal Court Locations
Bossier 26th Judicial District Court
Address: 204 Burt Blvd, 3rd Floor, PO Box 430, Benton LA 71006
Phone: 318-965-2336 Fax: 318-965-1299
Bossier City Court
Address: 620 Benton Road, PO Box 5337, Bossier City LA 71171
Justice of the Peace District 1
Address: 228 Welham Trace, Bossier City LA 71112
Justice of the Peace District 3
Address: 613 Carolina Street, Plain Dealing LA 71604
Justice of the Peace District 3
Address: 171 Buckshot Road, Plain Dealing LA 71064
Justice of the Peace District 4
Address: 153 Salem Cemetery Road, Plain Dealing LA 71064
Justice of the Peace District 5
Address: 101 Mildred Street, Benton LA 71006
Justice of the Peace District 6 – Haughton
Address: P O Box 308, Haughton LA 71037
Justice of the Peace District 6 – Princeton
Address: 5436 Hwy 80 East, PO Box 146, Princeton LA 71067
Benton Mayor’s Court
Address: 105 Sibley Street, PO Box 1390, Benton LA 71006
Haughton Mayor’s Court
Address: 118 West McKinley, PO Box 729, Haughton LA 71037
Plain Dealing Mayor’s Court
Address: 205 West Palmetto, PO Box 426, Plain Dealing LA 71064
Phone: 318-326-4234 Fax: 318-326-7022