Clarke County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Clarke County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Clarke County.
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.
Who can help me in Clarke County?
For general information about your case the Clarke 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.
Prosecutor in Clarke County
In Clarke County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Clarke County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Mississippi. For the most part, the prosecutor in Clarke County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
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 Clarke County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Clarke 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.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Clarke County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Arraignments in Clarke County
During an arraignment in Clarke 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 Clarke 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 Clarke County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Where will Clarke County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Clarke County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Clarke County.
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.
Jury Deliberations in Clarke County
In Clarke 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.
Sentencing in Clarke County
In Clarke County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Clarke County Criminal Court Locations
Clarke County Circuit Court
Address: 101 S Archusa Ave, PO Box 216, Quitman MS 39355
Phone: 601-776-3111 Fax: 601-776-1001
Clarke County Chancery Court
Address: 101 S Archusa Ave, PO Box 689, Quitman MS 39355
Phone: 662-776-2126 Fax: 601-776-2756
Clarke County Youth Court
Address: 101 S Archusa Ave, PO Box 689, Quitman MS 39355
Phone: 601-776-2126 Fax: 601-776-2756
Clarke County Justice Court
Address: 100 E Church St, PO Box 4, Quitman MS 39355
Phone: 601-776-5371 Fax: 601-776-1014
Enterprise Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 266, Enterprise MS 39330
Pachuta Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 189, Pachuta MS 39347
Phone: 601-776-3131 Fax: 601-776-5677
Quitman Municipal Court
Address: 101 E Church St, PO Box 16, Quitman MS 39355
Phone: 601-776-6461 Fax: 601-776-4010
Shubuta Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 416, Shubuta MS 39360
Phone: 601-687-1536 Fax: 601-687-1291
Stonewall Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 1059, Stonewall MS 39330
Phone: 601-659-7033 Fax: 601-659-7035