Evangeline Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Evangeline Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in Evangeline Parish.
Evangeline Parish Required Court Appearances
In Evangeline 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.
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 Evangeline Parish
In Evangeline Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Evangeline Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Evangeline Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
What happens in Evangeline Parish at an arraignment?
In Evangeline 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 Evangeline 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.
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.
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.
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.
Evangeline Parish Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Evangeline Parish will take place at the Evangeline Parish Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Evangeline Parish Criminal Court Locations.
Where can I get help for my Evangeline 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 Evangeline 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.
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.
Jury Deliberations in Evangeline Parish
In Evangeline 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.
Evangeline Parish Criminal Court Locations
Evangeline 13th Judicial District Court
Address: 200 Court Street, Suite 104, PO Drawer 347, Ville Platte LA 70586
Phone: 337-363-5671 Fax: 337-363-5780
Ville Platte City Court
Address: 114 Armand Street, PO Box 147, Ville Platte LA 70586
Phone: 337-363-1500 Fax: 337-363-8889
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: 2192 Navy Road, Mamou LA 70554
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: PO Box 729, Basile LA 70515
Justice of the Peace Ward 3
Address: 1633 Tiger Lane, Ville Platte LA 70586
Justice of the Peace Ward 4
Address: PO Box 698, Pine Prairie LA 70576
Justice of the Peace Ward 5
Address: 1220 Melissa Lane, Ville Platte LA 70586
Basile Mayor’s Court
Address: 3211 Railroad Street, PO Box 308, Basile LA 70515
Phone: 337-432-6693 Fax: 337-432-5448
Chataignier Mayor’s Court
Address: 226 MLK Street, PO Box 70, Chataignier LA 70524
Mamou Mayor’s Court
Address: 625 6th Street, PO Box 490, Mamou LA 70554
Phone: 337-468-3272 Fax: 337-468-3089
Pine Prairie Mayor’s Court
Address: 1006 Edwin Elliott Drive, PO Box 380, Pine Prairie LA 70576
Phone: 337-599-2708 or 318-599-2904 Fax: 337-599-3093
Turkey Creek Mayor’s Court
Address: 7711 US Hwy 167 North, PO Box 98, Turkey Creek LA 70585
Phone: 337-461-2212 Fax: 337-461-5195