Newton County Criminal Court

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

Where will Newton County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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.

Newton County Criminal Court

Newton County Criminal Court

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.

Newton County Arraignments

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

Mandatory Appearances in Newton County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Newton County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.

Sentencing in Newton County

In Newton County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

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.

I need help for my Newton 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 Newton 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 Newton 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.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

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 Newton County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Newton County criminal cases will either be a representative of Newton 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.

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.

Newton County Criminal Court Locations

  • Newton County Circuit Court

    Address: 92 W Broad St, PO Box 447, Decatur MS 39327
    Phone: 601-635-2368 Fax: 601-635-3210

  • Newton County Chancery Court

    Address: 92 W Broad St, PO Box 68, Decatur MS 39327
    Phone: 601-635-2367 Fax: 601-635-3479

  • Newton County Youth Court

    Address: 92 W Broad St, PO Box 68, Decatur MS 39327
    Phone: 601-635-2367 Fax: 601-635-3479

  • Newton County Justice Court

    Address: 75 4th Ave, PO Box 69, Decatur MS 39327
    Phone: 601-635-2927 Fax: 601-635-4047

  • Chunky Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 186, Chunky MS 39323
    Phone: 601-655-8376

  • Decatur Municipal Court

    Address: 66 7th St, PO Box 307, Decatur MS 39327
    Phone: 601-635-2761 Fax: 601-635-4012

  • Hickory Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 10, Hickory MS 39332
    Phone: 601-646-2211 Fax: 601-646-2213

  • Newton Municipal Court

    Address: 103 Banks St, Newton MS 39345
    Phone: 601-683-2041 Fax: 601-683-7453

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