Claiborne County Criminal Court

Claiborne County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Claiborne County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Claiborne County.

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.

Arraignments in Claiborne County

During an arraignment in Claiborne County, 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 Claiborne County, 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 Claiborne County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Claiborne County Criminal Court

Claiborne County Criminal Court

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.

Claiborne County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Claiborne County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

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.

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

Claiborne County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Claiborne County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Claiborne County. The Claiborne 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.

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.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Claiborne County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Claiborne 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.

I need help for my Claiborne County 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 Claiborne County 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 Claiborne County 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.

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.

Claiborne County Criminal Court Locations

  • Claiborne County Circuit Court

    Address: 410 Market St, PO Box 549, Port Gibson MS 39150
    Phone: 601-437-5841 Fax: 601-437-4543

  • Claiborne County Chancery Court

    Address: 410 Market St, PO Box 449, Port Gibson MS 39150
    Phone: 601-437-4992 Fax: 601-437-3137

  • Claiborne County Youth Court

    Address: 410 Market St, PO Box 449, Port Gibson MS 39150
    Phone: 601-437-4992 Fax: 601-437-3137

  • Claiborne County Justice Court

    Address: 510 Market St, Ste 101, Port Gibson MS 39150
    Phone: 601-437-4478 Fax: 601-437-3833

  • Port Gibson Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 607, Port Gibson MS 39150
    Phone: 601-437-44234 Fax: 601-437-8667

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