Kemper County Criminal Court

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

Where can I get help for my Kemper 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 Kemper 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.

Kemper County Criminal Court

Kemper County Criminal Court

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.

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.

Required Court Appearances in Kemper County

Any required court appearances in Kemper County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

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.

Kemper County Arraignments

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

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.

Kemper County Prosecutor

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

Jury Deliberations in Kemper County

In Kemper 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.

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.

Where will Kemper County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Kemper County Criminal Court Locations

  • Kemper County Circuit Court

    Address: PO Box 130, De Kalb MS 39328
    Phone: 601-743-2224 Fax: 601-743-4173

  • Kemper County Chancery Court

    Address: PO Box 188, De Kalb MS 39328
    Phone: 601-743-2460 Fax: 601-743-2789

  • Kemper County Youth Court

    Address: PO Box 188, De Kalb, MS 39328
    Phone: 601-743-2460 Fax: 601-743-2789

  • Kemper County Justice Court

    Address: PO Box 661, De Kalb MS 39328
    Phone: 601-743-2793 Fax: 601-743-2789

  • De Kalb Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 579, De Kalb MS 39328
    Phone: 601-743-9197 Fax: 601-743-2422

  • Scooba Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 68, Scooba MS 39358
    Phone: 662-476-8451 Fax: 662-476-8281

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