East Carroll Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in East Carroll Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in East Carroll Parish.
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.
Prosecutor in East Carroll Parish
In East Carroll Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing East Carroll Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in East Carroll Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Where will East Carroll Parish criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of East Carroll Parish. See here for the location of the criminal courts in East Carroll Parish.
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.
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.
I need help for my East Carroll 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 East Carroll 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 East Carroll 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.
East Carroll Parish Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In East Carroll Parish this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in East Carroll Parish Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In East Carroll Parish a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
East Carroll Parish Required Court Appearances
In East Carroll 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 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.
East Carroll Parish Criminal Court Locations
East Carroll 6th Judicial District Court
Address: 400 1st Street, Suite 3, Lake Providence LA 71254
Phone: 318-559-2399 Fax: 318-559-0037
1st Justice Court
Address: 331 Keene Street, Lake Providence LA 71254
Lake Providence Mayor’s Court
Address: 201 Sparrow Street, Lake Providence LA 71254
Phone: 318-559-2288 Fax: 318-559-3442