Holmes County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Holmes County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Holmes County.
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.
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.
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.
Holmes County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Holmes County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Holmes 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 Holmes 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.
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 Holmes 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.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a jury trial in Holmes 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.
Holmes County Required Court Appearances
In Holmes 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.
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.
Holmes County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Holmes County will take place at the Holmes County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Holmes County Criminal Court Locations.
I need help for my Holmes 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 Holmes 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 Holmes 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.
Prosecutor in Holmes County
In Holmes County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Holmes County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Mississippi. For the most part, the prosecutor in Holmes County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Holmes County Criminal Court Locations
Holmes County Circuit Court
Address: 22549 Depot St, PO Box 718, Lexington MS 39095
Phone: 662-834-2476 Fax: 662-834-3870
Holmes County Chancery Court
Address: PO Box 1211, Lexington MS 39095
Phone: 662-834-2508 Fax: 662-834-1872
Holmes County Youth Court
Address: PO Box 239, Lexington MS 39095
Phone: 662-834-2508 Fax: 662-834-1872
Holmes County Justice Court
Address: 200 Court Sq, PO Box 99, Lexington MS 39095
Phone: 662-834-4565 Fax: 662-834-1402
Cruger Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 214, Cruger MS 38924
Phone: 662-235-5986 Fax: 662-834-2400
Durant Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 272, Durant MS 39063
Phone: 662-653-6846 Fax: 662-653-3799
Goodman Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 397, Goodman MS 39079
Phone: 662-472-2263 Fax: 662-472-2513
Lexington Municipal Court
Address: 207 Tchula St, Lexington MS 39169
Phone: 662-834-3508 Fax: 662-834-3951
Pickens Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 297, Pickens MS 39146
Phone: 662-468-2171 Fax: 662-468-2172
Tchula Municipal Court
Address: 1027 Main St, PO Box 356, Tchula MS 39169
Phone: 662-235-5112 Fax: 662-235-5428