St. Landry Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in St. Landry Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in St. Landry Parish.
St. Landry Parish Prosecutor
For criminal cases in St. Landry Parish, the prosecutor will be a representative of St. Landry Parish. The St. Landry 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.
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.
St. Landry Parish Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in St. Landry Parish will take place at the St. Landry Parish Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the St. Landry Parish Criminal Court Locations.
Sentencing in St. Landry Parish
In St. Landry 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.
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.
Appealing a guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
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.
I need help for my St. Landry 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. Landry 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. Landry 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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in St. Landry Parish
Any required court appearances in St. Landry 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.
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.
What happens in St. Landry Parish at an arraignment?
In St. Landry Parish the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
St. Landry Parish Criminal Court Locations
St. Landry 27th Judicial District Court
Address: 118 South Court Street, PO Box 750, Opelousas LA 70571
Phone: 337-942-5606 Fax: 337-948-1653
Eunice City Court
Address: 300 South 2nd Street, PO Box 591, Eunice LA 70535
Phone: 337-457-6535 Fax: 337-457-6546
Opelousas City Court
Address: 127 East Grolee Street, PO Box 1999, Opelousas LA 70570
Phone: 337-948-2570 Fax: 337-948-2575
Justice of the Peace District 4
Address: 113 South Budd Street, Sunset LA 70584
Justice of the Peace District 5
Address: 476 Main Street, Cankton LA 70584
Phone: 337-668-4310 or 337-308-0215 Fax: 337-668-4514
Justice of the Peace District 6
Address: 7420 Hwy 93, Arnaudville LA 70512
Justice of the Peace District 6
Address: 1428 Old School Road, Arnaudville LA 70512
Phone: 337-351-9014 Fax: 337-879-2654
Justice of the Peace District 7
Address: PO Box 521, Melville LA 71353
Justice of the Peace District 8
Address: PO Box 88, Port Barre LA 70577
Justice of the Peace District 9
Address: 7981 Hwy 71, Washington LA 70589
Phone: 337-623-5909 or 337-945-4238 Fax: 337-942-1912
Justice of the Peace District 10
Address: PO Box 132, LeBeau LA 71345
Phone: 337-346-4116 Fax: 318-346-4344
Justice of the Peace District 11
Address: 2338 Grand Prairie Hwy, Washington LA 70589
Justice of the Peace District 11
Address: 205 Flamingo Lane, Opelousas LA 70570
Justice of the Peace District 12
Address: 18065 Hwy 182, Bunkie LA 71322
Phone: 318-838-2493 or 337-831-0153
Justice of the Peace District 13
Address: 913 Hwy 363, Washington LA 70589
Justice of the Peace District 18
Address: 190 St. Paul Avenue, Opelousas LA 70570
Phone: 337-543-2511 or 337-594-8007
Justice of the Peace District 19
Address: 1410 Noel Road, Church Point LA 70525
Phone: 337-658-0676 Fax: 337-684-6317
Arnaudville Mayor’s Court
Address: 107 Rue De Jausiers, PO Box 1010, Arnaudville LA 70512
Phone: 337-754-5911 Fax: 337-754-7935
Cankton Mayor’s Court
Address: 107 Dandurand Road, Cankton LA 70584
Phone: 337-668-4456 Fax: 337-668-4864
Grand Coteau Mayor’s Court
Address: 231 Burleigh Lane, PO Drawer G, Grand Coteau LA 70541
Phone: 337-662-5246 Fax: 337-662-5701
Krotz Springs Mayor’s Court
Address: 224 Main Street, PO Box 218, Krotz Springs LA 70750
Phone: 337-566-2322 Fax: 337-566-2320
Leonville Mayor’s Court
Address: 3722 Hwy 31, PO Box 57, Leonville LA 70551
Phone: 337-879-2601 Fax: 337-879-7922
Melville Mayor’s Court
Address: 516 Church Street, PO Box 268, Melville LA 71353
Phone: 337-623-4226 Fax: 337-623-3620
Palmetto Mayor’s Court
Address: 224 East Railroad Avenue, PO Box 97, Palmetto LA 71358
Phone: 337-623-4426 Fax: 337-623-3138
Port Barre Mayor’s Court
Address: 504 Saizan Avenue, PO Box 219, Port Barre LA 70577
Phone: 337-585-7646 Fax: 337-585-6645
Sunset Mayor’s Court
Address: 211 Marie Street, Sunset LA 70584
Phone: 337-662-5296 Fax: 337-662-5763
Washington Mayor’s Court
Address: 405 North Washington Street, PO Box 218, Washington LA 70589
Phone: 337-826-3626 Fax: 337-826-3601