Webster Parish Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Webster Parish. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Webster Parish.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
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.
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.
Webster Parish Required Court Appearances
In Webster 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.
Who can help me in Webster Parish?
For general information about your case the Webster Parish court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.
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.
Webster Parish Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Webster Parish will take place at the Webster Parish Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Webster Parish Criminal Court Locations.
What happens in Webster Parish at an arraignment?
In Webster 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.
Prosecutor in Webster Parish
In Webster Parish, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Webster Parish. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Louisiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Webster Parish has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
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.
Jury Deliberations in Webster Parish
In Webster 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.
Webster Parish Criminal Court Locations
Webster 26th Judicial District Court
Address: 410 Main Street, PO Box 370, Minden LA 71058
Phone: 318-371-0366 Fax: 318-371-0226
Minden City Court
Address: PO Box 968, Minden LA 71058
Phone: 318-377-4308 Fax: 318-371-1335
Springhill City Court
Address: 101 Machen Drive, PO Box 86, Springhill LA 71075
Phone: 318-539-4213 Fax: 318-539-2605
Justice of the Peace District 1
Address: 1267 Hilltop Road, Shongaloo LA 71072
Phone: 318-539-4931 Fax: 318-539-3619
Justice of the Peace District 1
Address: 216 Leton Cutoff Road, Shongaloo LA 71072
Justice of the Peace District 5
Address: 1518 Diamond T Road, Heflin LA 71039
Phone: 318-377-2414 or 318-465-9218
Cotton Valley Mayor’s Court
Address: 478 Resident Street, PO Box 415, Cotton Valley LA 71018
Phone: 318-832-4283 Fax: 318-832-4856
Dixie Inn Mayor’s Court
Address: 60 Shell Street, Dixie Inn LA 71055
Phone: 318-377-6855 Fax: 318-377-9173
Doyline Mayor’s Court
Address: PO Box 626, Doyline LA 71023
Phone: 318-745-2625 Fax: 318-745-2658
Dubberly Mayor’s Court
Address: 3465 Highway 531, PO Box 69, Dubberly LA 71024
Phone: 318-371-9528 Fax: 318-377-7879
Heflin Mayor’s Court
Address: 122 North Church Street, PO Box 198, Heflin LA 71039
Phone: 318-377-9799 Fax: 318-382-0111
Sarepta Mayor’s Court
Address: 24448 Highway 371, PO Box 338, Sarepta LA 71071
Phone: 318-847-4333 Fax: 318-847-4198
Shongaloo Mayor’s Court
Address: PO Box 74, Shongaloo LA 71072
Sibley Mayor’s Court
Address: 345 North Main Street, PO Box 128, Sibley LA 71073
Phone: 318-377-0345 Fax: 318-377-0361