Jackson Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Jackson Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Jackson Parish.
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.
Jackson Parish Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Jackson Parish will take place at the Jackson Parish Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Jackson Parish Criminal Court Locations.
Arraignments in Jackson Parish
During an arraignment in Jackson 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 Jackson 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 Jackson Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Prosecutor in Jackson Parish
In Jackson Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Jackson Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Jackson Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Mandatory Appearances in Jackson Parish Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Jackson 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 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.
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 Jackson Parish a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Jury Deliberations in Jackson Parish
In Jackson 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.
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.
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.
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.
I need help for my Jackson 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 Jackson 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 Jackson 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.
Jackson Parish Criminal Court Locations
Jackson 2nd Judicial District Court
Address: 500 East Court Avenue, Room 103, PO Box 730, Jonesboro LA 71251
Phone: 318-259-2424 Fax: 318-395-0386
Justice of the Peace District A
Address: 136 West 2nd Street, Quitman LA 71268
Justice of the Peace District B
Address: 442 Stonewell Road, Quitman LA 71268
Justice of the Peace District C
Address: 1069 Concord Road, Chatham LA 71226
Justice of the Peace District D
Address: 136 West 2nd Street, Quitman LA 71268
Justice of the Peace District E
Address: PO Box 585, Jonesboro LA 71251
Chatham Mayor’s Court
Address: 1709 Oak Street, PO Box 7, Chatham LA 71226
Phone: 318-249-2541 Fax: 318-249-4436
East Hodge Mayor’s Court
Address: 6011 Main Street, PO Drawer 10, East Hodge LA 71247
Phone: 318-259-9127 Fax: 318-395-8813
Eros Mayor’s Court
Address: 9890 Hwy 34, PO Drawer 200, Eros LA 71238
Phone: 318-249-2183 Fax: 318-249-2269
Hodge Mayor’s Court
Address: 4693 Quitman Hwy, PO Drawer 280, Hodge LA 71247
Phone: 318-259-4704 Fax: 318-259-6670
Jonesboro Mayor’s Court
Address: 128 Allen Avenue, PO Box 610, Jonesboro LA 71251
Phone: 318-259-2385 Fax: 318-259-4177
North Hodge Mayor’s Court
Address: 5204 Quitman Hwy, PO Box 520, Hodge LA 71247
Phone: 318-259-4272 Fax: 318-259-1055
Quitman Mayor’s Court
Address: 8255 Quitman Hwy, PO Box 35, Quitman LA 71268
Phone: 318-259-8014 Fax: 318-259-3533