Harrison County Criminal Court

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

Harrison County Required Court Appearances

In Harrison County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

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 Harrison 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.

Harrison County Criminal Court

Harrison County Criminal 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 Harrison County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

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.

Who is the prosecutor for Harrison County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Harrison County criminal cases will either be a representative of Harrison County or a representative from Mississippi. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

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.

Jury Deliberations in Harrison County

In Harrison 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.

Harrison County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

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 happens in Harrison County at an arraignment?

In Harrison 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.

Where can I get help for my Harrison County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Harrison County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

Harrison County Criminal Court Locations

  • Harrison County Circuit Court – 1st District

    Address: 1801 23rd Ave, PO Box 998, Gulfport MS 39502
    Phone: 228-865-1635 Fax: 228-865-4099

  • Harrison County Circuit Court – 2nd District

    Address: 730 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, PO Box 235, Biloxi MS 39533
    Phone: 228-435-8233 Fax: 228-435-8270

  • Harrison County Chancery Court – 1st District

    Address: 1801 23rd Ave, PO Drawer CC, Gulfport MS 39502
    Phone: 228- 865-4195 Fax: 228-214-1513

  • Harrison County Chancery Court – 2nd District

    Address: 730 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, PO Box 544, Biloxi MS 39533
    Phone: 228-865-4195 Fax: 228-214-1513

  • County Court of Harrison County – 1st District

    Address: 1801 23rd Ave, PO Box 1461, Gulfport MS 39502
    Phone: 228-865-4230 Fax: 228-865-6523

  • County Court of Harrison County – 2nd District

    Address: 730 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, PO Box 235, Biloxi MS 39533
    Phone: 228-435-8232 Fax: 228-435-8277

  • Harrison County Youth Court

    Address: 47 Maples Dr, PO Box 7017, Gulfport MS 39506
    Phone: 228-865-7000 Fax: 228-865-7012

  • Harrison County Justice Court – 1st District

    Address: 1709 24th Ave, PO Box 1754, Gulfport MS 39502
    Phone: 228-865-4193 Fax: 228-865-4216

  • Harrison County Justice Court – 2nd District

    Address: 190 Lameuse St, PO Box 1141, Biloxi MS 39533
    Phone: 228-435-8251 Fax: 228-435-8279

  • Biloxi Municipal Court

    Address: 170 Porter Ave, 1st Floor, Biloxi MS 39530
    Phone: 228-435-6125 Fax: 228-435-6165

  • D’Iberville Municipal Court

    Address: 10383 Automall Pkwy, PO Box 6519, D’Iberville MS 395340
    Phone: 228-392-7966 Fax: 228-392-8527

  • Gulfport Municipal Court

    Address: 2218 15th St, Gulfport MS 39501
    Phone: 228-868-5855 Fax: 228-868-5744

  • Long Beach Municipal Court

    Address: 201 Jeff Davis Ave, PO Box 929, Long Beach MS 39560
    Phone: 228-865-7840 Fax: 228-863-2771

  • Pass Christian Municipal Court

    Address: 105 Hiern Ave, PO Box 368, Pass Christian MS 39571
    Phone: 228-452-3307 Fax: 228-452-3320

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