Wilkinson County Criminal Court

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

Wilkinson County Arraignments

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

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.

Wilkinson County Criminal Court

Wilkinson County Criminal Court

Mandatory Appearances in Wilkinson County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Wilkinson 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.

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.

Jury Deliberations in Wilkinson County

In Wilkinson 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.

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.

Wilkinson County Criminal Court hearings

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

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.

Wilkinson County Prosecutor

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

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

Who can help me in Wilkinson County?

For general information about your case the Wilkinson County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Wilkinson County Criminal Court Locations

  • Wilkinson County Circuit Court

    Address: 525 Main St, PO Box 327, Woodville MS 39669
    Phone: 601-888-6697 Fax: 601-888-6984

  • Wilkinson County Chancery Court

    Address: 525 Main St, PO Box 516, Woodville MS 39669
    Phone: 601-888-4381 Fax: 601-888-6776

  • Wilkinson County Youth Court

    Address: 525 Main St, PO Box 516, Woodville MS 39669
    Phone: 601-888-4381 Fax: 601-888-6776

  • Wilkinson County Justice Court

    Address: 525 Main St, PO Box 40, Woodville MS 39669
    Phone: 601-888-3538 Fax: 601-888-6776

  • Woodville Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 605, Woodville MS 39669
    Phone: 601-888-3338 Fax: 601-888-4488

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