Lamar County Criminal Court

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

Arraignments in Lamar County

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

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.

Lamar County Criminal Court

Lamar County Criminal Court

I need help for my Lamar 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 Lamar 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 Lamar 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.

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 guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

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.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Lamar County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Lamar 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.

Lamar County Prosecutor

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

Defendant Sentencing

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.

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.

Lamar County Criminal Court locations

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

Lamar County Criminal Court Locations

  • Lamar County Circuit Court

    Address: 203 Main St, PO Box 369, Purvis MS 39475
    Phone: 601-794-8504 Fax: 601-794-3905

  • Lamar County Chancery Court

    Address: 403 Main St, PO Box 247, Purvis MS 39475
    Phone: 601-794-8504 Fax: 601-794-3903

  • County Court of Lamar County

    Address: 203 Main St, PO Box 307, Purvis MS 39475
    Phone: 601-794-3473 Fax: 601-794-3905

  • Lamar County Youth Court

    Address: 203 Main St, PO Box 307, Purvis MS 39475
    Phone: 601-794-3473 Fax: 601-794-3905

  • Lamar County Justice Court

    Address: PO Box 1010, Purvis MS 39475
    Phone: 601-794-2950 Fax: 601-794-1076

  • Lumberton Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 211, Lumberton MS 39455
    Phone: 601-796-7001 Fax: 601-796-4405

  • Purvis Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 308, Purvis MS 39475
    Phone: 601-794-6512 Fax: 601-794-8003

  • Sumrall Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 247, Sumrall MS 39482
    Phone: 601-758-3591 Fax: 601-758-3581

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