Natchitoches Parish Criminal Court

Natchitoches Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Natchitoches Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in Natchitoches Parish.

Sentencing in Natchitoches Parish

In Natchitoches Parish if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

Natchitoches Parish Required Court Appearances

In Natchitoches 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.

Natchitoches Parish Criminal Court

Natchitoches Parish Criminal Court

Prosecutor in Natchitoches Parish

In Natchitoches Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Natchitoches Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Natchitoches Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

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.

Jury Deliberations in Natchitoches Parish

In Natchitoches 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.

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.

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.

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 happens in Natchitoches Parish at an arraignment?

In Natchitoches 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.

Who can help me in Natchitoches Parish?

For general information about your case the Natchitoches 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.

Where will Natchitoches Parish criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Natchitoches Parish. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Natchitoches 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.

Natchitoches Parish Criminal Court Locations

  • Natchitoches 10th Judicial District Court

    Address: 200 Church Street, PO Box 476, Natchitoches LA 71458
    Phone: 318-352-8152 Fax: 318-352-9321

  • Natchitoches City Court

    Address: 314 Amulet Street, PO Box 70, Natchitoches LA 71458
    Phone: 318-352-6666 Fax: 318-352-6767

  • Justice of the Peace Ward 2

    Address: 1135 Hart Road, Campti LA 71411
    Phone: 318-875-2112

  • Justice of the Peace Ward 3

    Address: 10363 Hwy 120, Robeline LA 71469
    Phone: 318-472-8739

  • Justice of the Peace Ward 4

    Address: 340 Hwy 495, PO Box 5, Cloutierville LA 71416
    Phone: 318-332-7116

  • Ashland Mayor’s Court

    Address: 521 Hwy 153, PO Box 327, Ashland LA 71002
    Phone: 318-544-0044 Fax: 318-544-8846

  • Campti Mayor’s Court

    Address: 197 Edenborn Street, PO Box 216, Campti LA 71411
    Phone: 318-476-3321 Fax: 318-476-2622

  • Clarence Mayor’s Court

    Address: PO Box 309, Clarence LA 71414
    Phone: 318-357-0440 Fax: 318-356-9700

  • Goldonna Mayor’s Court

    Address: PO Box 216, Goldonna LA 71031
    Phone: 318-727-8770

  • Natchez Mayor’s Court

    Address: 181 Main Street, PO Box 229, Natchez LA 71456
    Phone: 318-352-1414 Fax: 318-352-6266

  • Powhatan Mayor’s Court

    Address: 291 North Railroad Street, PO Box 126, Powhatan LA 71066
    Phone: 318-352-8549 Fax: 318-352-7791

  • Provencal Mayor’s Court

    Address: 1968 Hwy 117, PO Box 400, Provencal LA 71468
    Phone: 318-472-8767 Fax: 318-472-8767

  • Robeline Mayor’s Court

    Address: 122 Depot Street, PO Box 217, Robeline LA 71469
    Phone: 318-472-6121 Fax: 318-472-6128

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