Jackson County Criminal Court

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

What happens in Jackson County at an arraignment?

In Jackson 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.

Jackson County Criminal Court

Jackson County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Jackson County

In Jackson 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.

I need help for my Jackson 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 Jackson 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 Jackson 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.

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 Jackson 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.

Prosecutor in Jackson County

In Jackson County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Jackson County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Mississippi. For the most part, the prosecutor in Jackson County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

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.

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.

Jackson County Required Court Appearances

In Jackson 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.

Where will Jackson County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Jackson County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Jackson County.

Jackson County Criminal Court Locations

  • Jackson County Circuit Court

    Address: 3104 Magnolia St, PO Box 998, Pascagoula MS 39568
    Phone: 228-769-3040 Fax: 228-769-3180

  • Jackson County Chancery Court

    Address: 3104 Magnolia St, PO Box 998, Pascagoula MS 39568
    Phone: 228-769-3124 Fax: 228-769-3397

  • County Court of Jackson County

    Address: 3104 Magnolia St, Pascagoula MS 39567
    Phone: 228-769-3040 Fax: 228-769-3180

  • Jackson County Youth Court

    Address: 4903 Telephone Rd, Pascagoula MS 39567
    Phone: 228-762-7370 Fax: 228-762-7385

  • Jackson County Justice Court – Main

    Address: 5343 Jefferson St, Moss Point MS 39653
    Phone: 228-769-3080 (Criminal) Fax: 228-769-3364

  • Jackson County Justice Court – West

    Address: 6904 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs MS 39564
    Phone: 228-875-4157 (Criminal) Fax: 228-875-0525

  • Gautier Municipal Court

    Address: 3329 Hwy 90, Gautier MS 39553
    Phone: 228-497-8036 Fax: 228-497-8043

  • Moss Point Municipal Court

    Address: 4329 McInnis Ave, Moss Point MS 39563
    Phone: 228-474-3644 Fax: 228-474-2666

  • Ocean Springs Municipal Court

    Address: 3810 Bienville Blvd, PO Box 1800, Ocean Springs MS 39566
    Phone: 228-875-5009 Fax: 228-230-1899

  • Pascagoula Municipal Court

    Address: 611 Live Oak Ave, PO Box 1385, Pascagoula MS 39568
    Phone: 228-938-6710 Fax: 228-938-6656

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