St. Helena Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in St. Helena Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in St. Helena Parish.
Where will St. Helena Parish criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of St. Helena Parish. See here for the location of the criminal courts in St. Helena Parish.
Sentencing in St. Helena Parish
In St. Helena 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.
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.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
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.
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.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In St. Helena Parish a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
I need help for my St. Helena 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. Helena 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. Helena 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.
Arraignments in St. Helena Parish
During an arraignment in St. Helena 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. Helena 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. Helena Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Who is the prosecutor for St. Helena Parish?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for St. Helena Parish criminal cases will either be a representative of St. Helena 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.
Required Court Appearances in St. Helena Parish
Any required court appearances in St. Helena 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.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
St. Helena Parish Criminal Court Locations
St. Helena 21st Judicial District Court
Address: 369 Sitman Street, PO Box 308, Greensburg LA 70441
Phone: 225-222-4514 Fax: 225-222-3443
Justice of the Peace Ward 1
Address: PO Box 33, Greensburg LA 70441
Phone: 225-603-7524 or 985-514-5883
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: 4962 Hwy 1043, Greensburg LA 70441
Phone: 225-222-6969 or 225-485-4004
Justice of the Peace Ward 3
Address: 75 Caston Lane, Greensburg LA 70441
Justice of the Peace Ward 4
Address: 219 Dennis Lee Road, Denham Springs LA 70726
Phone: 225-777-4475 or 225-362-4493
Justice of the Peace Ward 5
Address: 31906 Hwy 16, Amite LA 70422
Justice of the Peace Ward 6
Address: 583 McMillan Lane, Kentwood LA 70444
Greensburg Mayor’s Court
Address: 14516 Hwy 37, PO Box 160, Greensburg LA 70441
Phone: 225-222-4312 Fax: 225-222-4372
Montpelier Mayor’s Court
Address: 36400 Highway 16, Montpelier LA 70422