Madison Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Madison Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Madison Parish.
What happens in Madison Parish at an arraignment?
In Madison 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.
Madison Parish Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Madison Parish Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Mandatory Appearances in Madison Parish Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Madison 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.
I need help for my Madison 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 Madison 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 Madison 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.
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.
Madison Parish Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Madison Parish, the prosecutor will be a representative of Madison Parish. The Madison Parish prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
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.
In a jury trial in Madison 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.
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.
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.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Madison 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.
Madison Parish Criminal Court Locations
Madison 6th Judicial District Court
Address: 100 North Cedar Street, PO Box 1710, Tallulah LA 71282
Phone: 318-574-0655 Fax: 318-574-3961
Justice of the Peace District 2
Address: 326 Earl Road, Delhi LA 71232
Justice of the Peace Districts 1 & 3
Address: 414 East Bear Lake Road, Tallulah LA 71282
Justice of the Peace Districts 4, 5 & 6
Address: 1301 West Craig Street, Tallulah LA 71282
Phone: 318-341-7276 Fax: 318-574-5977
Justice of the Peace Districts 7 & 8
Address: 1401 Louisiana Street, Tallulah LA 71282
Phone: 318-341-7762 Fax: 318-574-3567
Delta Mayor’s Court
Address: 200 1st Street, PO Box 29, Delta LA 71233
Mound Mayor’s Court
Address: 2927 Hwy 602, Mound LA 71282
Richmond Mayor’s Court
Address: 598 Wood Street, Richmond LA 71282
Phone: 318-574-2913 Fax: 318-574-2919
Tallulah Mayor’s Court
Address: 204 North Cedar Street, Tallulah LA 71282
Phone: 318-574-0964 Fax: 318-574-2773