Orleans Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Orleans Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Orleans Parish.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
Mandatory Appearances in Orleans Parish Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Orleans 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.
In a jury trial in Orleans 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.
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 Orleans 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.
Orleans Parish Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Orleans Parish Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Who is the prosecutor for Orleans Parish?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Orleans Parish criminal cases will either be a representative of Orleans Parish or a representative from Louisiana. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
Sentencing in Orleans Parish
In Orleans 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.
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.
Arraignments in Orleans Parish
During an arraignment in Orleans 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 Orleans 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 Orleans Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
I need help for my Orleans 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 Orleans 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 Orleans 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.
Orleans Parish Criminal Court Locations
Orleans Parish Civil District Court
Address: 421 Loyola Avenue, Room 402, New Orleans LA 70112
Phone: 504-407-0000 Fax: 504-592-9128
Orleans Parish Criminal District Court
Address: 2700 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans LA 70119
Phone: 504-658-9000 Fax: 504-658-9183
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court
Address: 421 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans LA 70112
Phone: 504-658-9500 Fax: 504-658-9556
First City Court of New Orleans
Address: 421 Loyola Avenue, Room 201, New Orleans LA 70112
Phone: 504-407-0400 Fax: 504-592-9281
Second City Court of New Orleans
Address: 225 Morgan Street, Room 206, New Orleans LA 70114
Phone: 504-407-0435 Fax: 504-366-2970
New Orleans Municipal Court
Address: 727 South Broad Street, New Orleans LA 70119
Phone: 504-658-9700 Fax: 504-658-9725
New Orleans Traffic Court
Address: 727 South Broad Street, New Orleans LA 70119