Lowndes County Criminal Court

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

Plea Agreements

A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Lowndes County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.

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.

Lowndes County Criminal Court

Lowndes County Criminal Court

I need help for my Lowndes 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 Lowndes 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 Lowndes 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.

Lowndes County Arraignments

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

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.

Prosecutor in Lowndes County

In Lowndes County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Lowndes County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Mississippi. For the most part, the prosecutor in Lowndes County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Lowndes County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Lowndes 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.

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.

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.

Lowndes County Criminal Court hearings

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

Lowndes County Criminal Court Locations

  • Lowndes County Circuit Court

    Address: 505 2nd Ave N, PO Box 31, Columbus MS 39703
    Phone: 662-329-5900 Fax: 662-329-5935

  • Lowndes County Chancery Court

    Address: 505 2nd Ave N, PO Box 684, Columbus MS 39703
    Phone: 662-329-5844 Fax: 622-241-1913

  • County Court of Lowndes County

    Address: 505 2nd Ave N, PO Box 31, Columbus MS 39703
    Phone: 662-329-5900 Fax: 662-329-5935

  • Lowndes County Youth Court

    Address: 1602 College St, Columbus MS 39703
    Phone: 662-245-4622 Fax: 662-245-4617

  • Lowndes County Justice Court

    Address: 309 S Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr, Columbus MS 39701
    Phone: 662-329-5929 Fax: 662-245-4619

  • Caledonia Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 100, Caledonia MS 39740
    Phone: 662-356-4117 Fax: 662-356-9122

  • Columbus Municipal Court

    Address: 1501 Main St, Columbus MS 39701
    Phone: 662-244-3512 Fax: 662-244-3586

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