Jones County Criminal Court

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

Jones County Arraignments

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

Mandatory Appearances in Jones County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Jones 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.

Jones County Criminal Court

Jones County Criminal Court

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Jones County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

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.

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.

Who is the prosecutor for Jones County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Jones County criminal cases will either be a representative of Jones 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.

Where can I get help for my Jones County 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 Jones County 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.

Jones County Criminal Court locations

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

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 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.

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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Jones County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

Jones County Criminal Court Locations

  • Jones County Circuit Court – 1st District

    Address: 101 Court St, Suite B, Ellisville MS 39437
    Phone: 601-477-8538 Fax: 601-477-8539

  • Jones County Circuit Court – 2nd District

    Address: 415 N 5th Ave, PO Box 1336, Laurel MS 39441
    Phone: 601-425-2556 Fax: 601-399-4774

  • Jones County Chancery Court – 1st District

    Address: 101 N Court St, Suite D, PO Box 248, Ellisville MS 39437
    Phone: 601-477-3307 Fax: 601-477-1240

  • Jones County Chancery Court – 2nd District

    Address: 415 N 5th Ave, PO Box 1468, Laurel MS 39441
    Phone: 601-428-0527 Fax: 601-428-3602

  • County Court of Jones County – 1st District

    Address: 101 Court St, Suite B, Ellisville MS 39437
    Phone: 601-477-8538 Fax: 601-477-8539

  • County Court of Jones County – 2nd District

    Address: 415 N 5th Ave, PO Box 1336, Laurel MS 39441
    Phone: 601-425-2556 Fax: 601-399-4774

  • Jones County Youth Court

    Address: 415 N 5th Ave, PO Box 1336, Laurel MS 39441
    Phone: 601-425-2556 Fax: 601-399-4774

  • Jones County Justice Court

    Address: 5180 Hwy 11 N, Ellisville MS 39437
    Phone: 601-428-3137 Fax: 601-428-0526

  • Ellisville Municipal Court

    Address: 102 W Holly St, Ellisville MS 39437
    Phone: 601-477-9252 Fax: 601-477-3929

  • Laurel Municipal Court

    Address: 317 S Magnolia St, Laurel MS 39440
    Phone: 601-428-6517 Fax: 601-399-4460

  • Sandersville Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 692, Sandersville MS 39477
    Phone: 601-649-3068 Fax: 601-649-3622

  • Soso Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 99, Soso MS 39480
    Phone: 601-729-2958 Fax: 601-729-2186

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