Rankin County Criminal Court

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

Rankin County Required Court Appearances

In Rankin 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.

Rankin County Criminal Court

Rankin County Criminal Court

Rankin County Prosecutor

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

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 Rankin 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.

Where can I get help for my Rankin 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 Rankin 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.

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.

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.

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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Rankin 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.

Arraignments in Rankin County

During an arraignment in Rankin County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Rankin County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Rankin County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

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.

Rankin County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Rankin County will take place at the Rankin County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Rankin County Criminal Court Locations.

Rankin County Criminal Court Locations

  • Rankin County Circuit Court

    Address: 215 E Government St, PO Box 1599, Brandon MS 39043
    Phone: 601-825-1466 Fax: 601-825-1465

  • Rankin County Chancery Court

    Address: 211 E Government St, Ste D, Brandon MS 39042
    Phone: 601-825-1469 Fax: 601-824-7116

  • County Court of Rankin County

    Address: 215 E Government St, PO Box 1599, Brandon MS 39043
    Phone: 601-825-1466 Fax: 601-825-1465

  • City of Pearl Youth Court

    Address: 2561 Old Brandon Road, PO Box 5426, Pearl, MS 39288
    Phone: 601-863-3237 Fax: 601-863-3234

  • Rankin County Youth Court

    Address: 100 Court Cove, Pelahatchie MS 39145
    Phone: 601-824-2545 Fax: 601-591-4788

  • Rankin County Justice Court

    Address: 117 N Timber St, PO Box 71, Brandon MS 39043
    Phone: 601-824-2665 Fax: 601-824-2668

  • Brandon Municipal Court

    Address: 1455 W Government St, Brandon MS 39042
    Phone: 601-825-7227 Fax: 601-825-8595

  • Florence Municipal Court

    Address: 203 College St, PO Box 309, Florence MS 39073
    Phone: 601-845-1748 Fax: 601-845-0458

  • Flowood Municipal Court

    Address: 2101 Airport Rd, Ste B, Flowood MS 39232
    Phone: 601-420-3364

  • Pearl Municipal Court

    Address: 2561 Old Brandon Rd, Pearl MS 39208
    Phone: 601-932-2262

  • Pelahatchie Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 229, Pelahatchie MS 39145
    Phone: 601-854-5223

  • Puckett Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 130, Puckett MS 39151
    Phone: 601-825-8074

  • Richland Municipal Court

    Address: 371 Scarbrough St, Richland MS 39218
    Phone: 601-420-1563 Fax: 601-936-4614

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