Copiah County Criminal Court

Copiah County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Copiah County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Copiah County.

Sentencing in Copiah County

In Copiah County 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.

Who can help me in Copiah County?

For general information about your case the Copiah 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.

Copiah County Criminal Court

Copiah County Criminal Court

Copiah County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Copiah County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Copiah 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 Copiah 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.

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 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.

Where will Copiah County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Copiah County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Copiah County.

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.

Copiah County Required Court Appearances

In Copiah County, 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.

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.

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.

Who is the prosecutor for Copiah County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Copiah County criminal cases will either be a representative of Copiah County or a representative from Mississippi. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

Copiah County Criminal Court Locations

  • Copiah County Circuit Court

    Address: 100 Caldwell Dr, PO Box 467, Hazlehurst MS 39083
    Phone: 601-894-1241 Fax: 601-894-3026

  • Copiah County Chancery Court

    Address: 122 S Lowe St, PO Box 507, Hazlehurst MS 39083
    Phone: 601-894-3021 Fax: 601-894-4081

  • Copiah County Youth Court

    Address: 122 S Lowe St, PO Box 507, Hazlehurst MS 39083
    Phone: 601-894-3021 Fax: 601-894-4081

  • Copiah County Justice Court

    Address: 121 W Frost St, PO Box 798, Hazlehurst MS 39083
    Phone: 601-894-3218 Fax: 601-894-6038

  • Beauregard Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 332, Beauregard MS 39191
    Phone: 601-643-1255

  • Crystal Springs Municipal Court

    Address: 210 E Railroad Ave, PO Box 473, Crystal Springs MS 39059
    Phone: 601-892-2121 Fax: 601-892-6008

  • Georgetown Municipal Court

    Address: 1048 Poplar St, Georgetown MS 39078
    Phone: 601-858-2463

  • Hazlehurst Municipal Court

    Address: 202 E Whitworth St, PO Box 549, Hazlehurst MS 39083
    Phone: 601-894-1181 Fax: 601-894-3707

  • Wesson Municipal Court

    Address: 1018 Spring St, PO Box 297, Wesson MS 39191
    Phone: 601-643-5221 Fax: 601-643-5201

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