Iberia Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Iberia Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Iberia 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.
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.
Where will Iberia Parish criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Iberia Parish. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Iberia Parish.
In a jury trial in Iberia 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.
If guilty, who sentences the defendant?
If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Iberia Parish
Any required court appearances in Iberia 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.
Who can help me in Iberia Parish?
For general information about your case the Iberia 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Iberia Parish you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
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.
Iberia Parish Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Iberia Parish this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Iberia 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 Iberia 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.
Prosecutor in Iberia Parish
In Iberia Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Iberia Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Iberia Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Iberia Parish Criminal Court Locations
Iberia 16th Judicial District Court
Address: 300 Iberia Street, PO Drawer 12010, New Iberia LA 70562
Phone: 337-365-7282 Fax: 337-365-0737
Jeanerette City Court
Address: 811 Canal St, PO Box 268, Jeanerette LA 70544
Phone: 337-276-5603 Fax: 337-276-6989
New Iberia City Court
Address: 457 East Main Street, Room 206, New Iberia LA 70560
Phone: 337-369-2334 Fax: 337-369-2363
Justice of the Peace Ward 1
Address: 114 Migues Road, PO Box 12024, New Iberia LA 70562
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: 4918 Freyou Road, New Iberia LA 70560
Justice of the Peace Ward 3
Address: 1000 Cajun Drive, New Iberia LA 70563
Loreauville Mayor’s Court
Address: 103 South Main, PO Box 336, Loreauville LA 70552
Phone: 337-229-8306 Fax: 337-229-4450