Plaquemines Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Plaquemines Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Plaquemines Parish.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Plaquemines Parish Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Plaquemines 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.
Arraignments in Plaquemines Parish
During an arraignment in Plaquemines 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 Plaquemines 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 Plaquemines Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
I need help for my Plaquemines 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 Plaquemines 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 Plaquemines 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.
Jury Deliberations in Plaquemines Parish
In Plaquemines 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
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.
Where will Plaquemines Parish criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Plaquemines Parish. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Plaquemines Parish.
Prosecutor in Plaquemines Parish
In Plaquemines Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Plaquemines Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Plaquemines Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Plaquemines 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.
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.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate 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.
Plaquemines Parish Criminal Court Locations
Plaquemines 25th Judicial District Court
Address: 301 Main Street, Suite 108, PO Box 40, Belle Chasse LA 70037
Phone: 504-297-5180 Fax: 504-297-5195
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: 12925 Hwy 15, Phoenix LA 70040
Justice of the Peace Ward 3
Address: PO Box 162, Pointe a la Hache LA 70082
Justice of the Peace Ward 5
Address: PO Box 414, Venice LA 70091
Justice of the Peace Ward 6
Address: 509 Dr. Gorman Drive, Belle Chasse LA 70037
Justice of the Peace Ward 7
Address: 281 Rocky Road, Belle Chasse LA 70037
Justice of the Peace Ward 8
Address: 24776 Diamond Road, Port Sulphur LA 70083
Justice of the Peace Ward 9
Address: PO Box 380, Port Sulphur LA 70083
Justice of the Peace Ward 10
Address: 35677 Hwy 11, Apt. F3, Buras LA 70041