Union Parish Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Union Parish. See below for more information about criminal cases in Union Parish.
In a jury trial in Union Parish, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Union Parish Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Union Parish Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Where can I get help for my Union Parish criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Union Parish will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
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.
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.
Arraignments in Union Parish
During an arraignment in Union 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 Union 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 Union Parish the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Union Parish Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Union 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.
Sentencing in Union Parish
In Union 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.
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.
Prosecutor in Union Parish
In Union Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Union Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Union Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Union Parish Criminal Court Locations
Union 3rd Judicial District Court
Address: 100 East Bayou Street, Suite 105, Farmerville LA 71241
Phone: 318-368-3055 Fax: 318-368-3861
Justice of the Peace Ward 1
Address: 960 North Spillway Road, Farmerville LA 71241
Justice of the Peace Ward 2
Address: 814 Denton Road, Farmerville LA 71241
Justice of the Peace Ward 3
Address: 694 Clellan Bryan Road, Spearsville LA 71277
Bernice Mayor’s Court
Address: 403 East 4th Street, PO Box 633, Bernice LA 71222
Phone: 318-285-9071 Fax: 318-285-9737
Downsville Mayor’s Court
Address: PO Box 128, Downsville LA 71234
Farmerville Mayor’s Court
Address: 407 South Main, PO Box 427, Farmerville LA 71241
Phone: 318-368-9242 Fax: 318-368-7142
Junction City Mayor’s Court
Address: PO Box 142, Junction City LA 71256
Phone: 318-986-4459 Fax: 318-986-5647
Lillie Mayor’s Court
Address: 111 Highway 15, PO Box 10, Lillie LA 71256
Phone: 318-285-0222 Fax: 318-285-0137
Marion Mayor’s Court
Address: 398 Main Street, Marion LA 71260
Spearsville Mayor’s Court
Address: 2511 Hwy 3121, Spearsville LA 71277
Phone: 318-778-3886 Fax: 318-778-3889