Sunflower County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Sunflower County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Sunflower County.
I need help for my Sunflower 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 Sunflower 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 Sunflower 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.
In a jury trial in Sunflower County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Sunflower County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Sunflower County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Sunflower County. The Sunflower 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.
Required Court Appearances in Sunflower County
Any required court appearances in Sunflower County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
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.
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 Sunflower 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.
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.
What happens in Sunflower County at an arraignment?
In Sunflower 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunflower County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Sunflower County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Sunflower County Criminal Court Locations
Sunflower County Circuit Court
Address: 200 Main St, PO Box 880, Indianola MS 38751
Phone: 662-887-1252 Fax: 662-887-7077
Sunflower County Chancery Court
Address: PO Box 988, Indianola MS 38751
Phone: 662- 887-4703 Fax: 662-887-7054
Sunflower County Youth Court
Address: PO Box 998, Indianola MS 38751
Phone: 662-887-7424 Fax: 662-887-2748
Sunflower County Justice Court – North
Address: 119 N Chester Ave, PO Box 52, Ruleville MS 38771
Phone: 662-756-2835 Fax: 662-756-4175
Sunflower County Justice Court – South
Address: 202 Main St, PO Box 487, Indianola MS 38751
Phone: 662-887-6921 Fax: 662-887-2798
Drew Municipal Court
Address: 120 W Shaw Ave, Drew MS 38737
Phone: 662-745-2200 Fax: 662-745-0183
Indianola Municipal Court
Address: 101 Front St, PO Box 269, Indianola MS 38751
Phone: 662-887-5583 Fax: 662-887-6009
Inverness Municipal Court
Address: 802 E Grand Ave, PO Box 166, Inverness MS 38753
Phone: 662-265-5741 Fax: 662-265-6009
Moorhead Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 578, Moorhead MS 38761
Phone: 662-246-5461 Fax: 662-246-5037
Ruleville Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 428, Ruleville MS 38771
Phone: 662-756-2793 Fax: 662-756-9959
Sunflower Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 127, Sunflower MS 38778
Phone: 662-569-3388 Fax: 662-569-3711