Rapides Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Rapides Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Rapides Parish.
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 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Rapides 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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Rapides Parish?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Rapides Parish criminal cases will either be a representative of Rapides 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.
Rapides Parish Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Rapides Parish Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
I need help for my Rapides 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 Rapides 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 Rapides 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.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
Sentencing in Rapides Parish
In Rapides 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.
Rapides Parish Required Court Appearances
In Rapides 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.
Rapides Parish Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Rapides Parish this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Rapides Parish Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Rapides Parish a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
Rapides Parish Criminal Court Locations
Rapides 9th Judicial District Court
Address: 701 Murray Street, PO Box 952, Alexandria LA 71309
Phone: 318-473-8153 Fax: 318-473-4667
Alexandria City Court
Address: 515 Washington Street, PO Box 30, Alexandria LA 71309
Pineville City Court
Address: 904 Main Street, PO Box 3671, Pineville LA 71361
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: 3870 Hwy 457, Alexandria LA 71302
Justice of the Peace Ward 3 – 1st Justice Court
Address: PO Box 106, Cheneyville LA 71325
Justice of the Peace Ward 3 – 2nd Justice Court
Address: PO Box 766, Lecompte LA 71346
Justice of the Peace Ward 4 – 1st Justice Court
Address: PO Box 194, Woodworth LA 71485
Justice of the Peace Ward 4 – 2nd Justice Court
Address: 21 Science Hill Cemetery Road, Glenmora LA 71433
Justice of the Peace Ward 5 – 1st Justice Court
Address: 157 Dixie Church Road, Sieper LA 71472
Justice of the Peace Ward 5 – 2nd Justice Court
Address: 36 Ed Miller Road, Elmer LA 71424
Phone: 318-659-4357 (home) or 318-442-9251 (work)
Justice of the Peace Ward 6
Address: 257 West River Road, Glenmora LA 71433
Justice of the Peace Ward 7 – 1st Justice Court
Address: 1681 Lena Flatwoods Road, Lena LA 71477
Justice of the Peace Ward 7 – 2nd Justice Court
Address: PO Box 45, Boyce LA 71409
Justice of the Peace Ward 8
Address: 3530 England Drive, Alexandria LA 71303
Phone: 318-623- 1743
Justice of the Peace Ward 10
Address: 4221 Aspen Court, Pineville LA 71360
Justice of the Peace Ward 11
Address: 88 Daisy Bell Lane, Deville LA 71328
Phone: 318-466-5329 or 318-664-1828
Ball Mayor’s Court
Address: 100 Municipal Lane, PO Box 800, Ball LA 71405
Phone: 318-640-9604 Fax: 318-641-9847
Boyce Mayor’s Court
Address: 807 Londonderry Avenue, PO Box 146, Boyce LA 71409
Phone: 318-793-2175 Fax: 318-793-5978
Cheneyville Mayor’s Court
Address: 802 Klock Street, PO Box 322, Cheneyville LA 71325
Phone: 318-279-2155 Fax: 318-279-2266
Forest Hill Mayor’s Court
Address: 4300 Hwy 112, PO Box 309, Forest Hill LA 71430
Phone: 318-748-6300 Fax: 318-748-8850
Glenmora Mayor’s Court
Address: 1000 7th Street, PO Box 265, Glenmora LA 71433
Phone: 318-748-4885 Fax: 318-748-4649
Lecompte Mayor’s Court
Address: 1302 Weems Street, PO Box 649, Lecompte LA 71346
Phone: 318-776-5488 Fax: 318-776-0004
McNary Mayor’s Court
Address: 53 West Cady Avenue, PO Box 1197, Glenmora LA 71433
Phone: 318-748-8264 Fax: 318-748-8524
Woodworth Mayor’s Court
Address: 9363 Hwy 165 South, PO Box 228, Woodworth LA 71485
Phone: 318-442-1198 Fax: 318-487-6110