St. Charles Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in St. Charles Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in St. Charles Parish.
Jury Deliberations in St. Charles Parish
In St. Charles 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.
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.
I need help for my St. Charles 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 St. Charles 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 St. Charles 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 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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in St. Charles Parish
Any required court appearances in St. Charles Parish Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
St. Charles Parish Prosecutor
For criminal cases in St. Charles Parish, the prosecutor will be a representative of St. Charles Parish. The St. Charles 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.
Arraignments in St. Charles Parish
During an arraignment in St. Charles 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 St. Charles 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 St. Charles Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
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.
Sentencing in St. Charles Parish
In St. Charles 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.
St. Charles Parish Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the St. Charles Parish Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
St. Charles Parish Criminal Court Locations
St. Charles 29th Judicial District Court
Address: 15045 River Road, PO Box 424, Hahnville LA 70057
Phone: 985-783-6632 Fax: 985-783-2005
Justice of the Peace District 2
Address: PO Box 242, Luling LA 70070
Justice of the Peace District 3
Address: 21 Shadow Lane, Destrehan LA 70047
Justice of the Peace District 4
Address: 145 Dixie Drive, Des Allemands LA 70030
Justice of the Peace District 5
Address: 121 Riverview Drive, St. Rose LA 70087
Justice of the Peace District 6
Address: 800 Clayton Drive, Norco LA 70079
Justice of the Peace District 7
Address: 101 Wade Street, Luling LA 70070