Calhoun County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Calhoun County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Calhoun County.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Calhoun County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Calhoun County, 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.
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.
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.
Who can help me in Calhoun County?
For general information about your case the Calhoun County 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.
Calhoun County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Calhoun County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Calhoun County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Calhoun County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Calhoun County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Calhoun County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
Calhoun County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Calhoun County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Calhoun County. The Calhoun County 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.
In a jury trial in Calhoun County, 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.
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.
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.
Calhoun County Criminal Court Locations
Calhoun County Circuit Court
Address: 103 W Main St, PO Box 25, Pittsboro MS 38951
Phone: 662-412-3101 Fax: 662-412-3103
Calhoun County Chancery Court
Address: 103 W Main St, PO Box 8, Pittsboro MS 38951
Phone: 662-412-3117 Fax: 662-412-3128
Calhoun County Youth Court
Address: 103 W Main St, PO Box 273, Pittsboro MS 38951
Phone: 662-412-3119 Fax: 662-412-3128
Calhoun County Justice Court
Address: 103 W Main St, PO Box 7, Pittsboro MS 38951
Big Creek Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 2098, Big Creek MS 38914
Bruce Municipal Court
Address: 100 Public Square, PO Box 667, Bruce MS 38915
Phone: 662-983-2492 Fax: 662-983-2433
Calhoun City Municipal Court
Address: 102 S Monroe St, Calhoun City, MS 38916
Phone: 662-628-8345 Fax: 662-628-8931
Derma Municipal Court
Address: 120 S Main Street, PO Box 98, Derma MS 38839
Phone: 662-628-6635 Fax: 662-628-4101
Pittsboro Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 187, Pittsboro MS 38951
Vardaman Municipal Court
Address: 135 N Main Street, PO Box 194, Vardaman MS 38878
Phone: 662-682-7561 Fax: 662-682-7567