Lafayette County Criminal Court

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

What happens in Lafayette County at an arraignment?

In Lafayette County 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.

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.

Lafayette County Criminal Court

Lafayette County Criminal Court

Lafayette County Prosecutor

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

Lafayette County Required Court Appearances

In Lafayette 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.

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.

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.

Jury Deliberations in Lafayette County

In Lafayette County, 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.

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.

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Lafayette County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Lafayette County will take place at the Lafayette County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Lafayette County Criminal Court Locations.

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.

Where can I get help for my Lafayette 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 Lafayette 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.

Lafayette County Criminal Court Locations

  • Lafayette County Circuit Court

    Address: 1 Courthouse Sq, Ste 101, Oxford MS 38655
    Phone: 662-234-4951 Fax: 662-236-0238

  • Lafayette County Chancery Court

    Address: 300 N Lamar Blvd, PO Box 1240, Oxford MS 38655
    Phone: 662-234-2131 Fax: 662-234-5038

  • Lafayette County Youth Court

    Address: 300 N Lamar Blvd, PO Box 1240, Oxford MS 38655
    Phone: 662-234-2131 Fax: 662-234-5038

  • Lafayette County Justice Court

    Address: 713 Jackson Ave, Oxford MS 38655
    Phone: 662-234-1545 Fax: 662-238-7990

  • Abbeville Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 19, Abbeville MS 38601
    Phone: 662-236-8588

  • Oxford Municipal Court

    Address: 107 Courthouse Sq, Oxford MS 38655
    Phone: 662-234-2320 Fax: 662-232-2346

  • Taylor Municipal Court

    Address: 12 Main St, PO Box 6, Taylor MS 38676
    Phone: 662-236-7551 Fax: 662-236-7551

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.