Leake County Criminal Court

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

Leake County Arraignments

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

Leake County Criminal Court

Leake County Criminal Court

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.

Required Court Appearances in Leake County

Any required court appearances in Leake 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.

Where can I get help for my Leake 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 Leake 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.

Prosecutor in Leake County

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

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 Leake 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.

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.

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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Leake 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.

Leake County Criminal Court locations

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

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

Leake County Criminal Court Locations

  • Leake County Circuit Court

    Address: PO Box 67, Carthage MS 39051
    Phone: 601-267-8357 Fax: 601-267-8889

  • Leake County Chancery Court

    Address: PO Box 72, Carthage MS 39051
    Phone: 601-267-7371 Fax: 601-267-6137

  • Leake County Youth Court

    Address: PO Box 72, Carthage MS 39051
    Phone: 601-267-7371 Fax: 601-267-6137

  • Leake County Justice Court

    Address: PO Box 69, Carthage MS 39051
    Phone: 601-267-5677 Fax: 601-267-6134

  • Carthage Municipal Court

    Address: 302 W Main St, Carthage MS 39051
    Phone: 601-267-5957 Fax: 601-267-8969

  • Lena Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 108, Lena MS 39094
    Phone: 601-654-3332

  • Walnut Grove Municipal Court

    Address: 139 Main St, PO Box 236, Walnut Grove MS 39189
    Phone: 601-253-9498 Fax: 601-253-2385

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