Claiborne Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Claiborne Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in Claiborne Parish.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Claiborne Parish Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Claiborne Parish, 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.
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.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
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.
Who can help me in Claiborne Parish?
For general information about your case the Claiborne Parish 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.
Arraignments in Claiborne Parish
During an arraignment in Claiborne 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 Claiborne 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 Claiborne Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Claiborne Parish?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Claiborne Parish criminal cases will either be a representative of Claiborne 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.
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.
Claiborne Parish Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Claiborne Parish will take place at the Claiborne Parish Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Claiborne Parish Criminal Court Locations.
Claiborne Parish Criminal Court Locations
Claiborne 2nd Judicial District Court
Address: 512 East Main Street, PO Box 330, Homer LA 71040
Phone: 318-927-9601 Fax: 318-927-2345
1st Justice of the Peace Court
Address: 882 Lee Lane, Haynesville LA 71038
2nd Justice of the Peace Court
Address: 103 Holly Street, Homer LA 71040
3rd Justice of the Peace Court
Address: 153 Reynolds Road, Bernice LA 71222
Athens Mayor’s Court
Address: 15329 Hwy 9, PO Box 69, Athens LA 71003
Phone: 318-258-5275 Fax: 318-258-5275
Haynesville Magistrate Court
Address: 1711 Main Street, Haynesville LA 71038
Phone: 318-624-0911 Fax: 318-624-1308
Homer Mayor’s Court
Address: 400 East Main Street, Homer LA 71040
Phone: 318-927-3555 Fax: 318-927-3399
Lisbon Mayor’s Court
Address: 131 Hebron Road, PO Box 248, Lisbon LA 71048