Smith County Criminal Court

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

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

Prosecutor in Smith County

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

Smith County Criminal Court

Smith County Criminal Court

Smith County Criminal Court locations

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

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Smith 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.

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.

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

What happens in Smith County at an arraignment?

In Smith 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.

Who can help me in Smith County?

For general information about your case the Smith County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Required Court Appearances in Smith County

Any required court appearances in Smith 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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Smith County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

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.

Sentencing in Smith County

In Smith 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.

Smith County Criminal Court Locations

  • Smith County Circuit Court

    Address: 1 Barn Hwy 35 S, PO Box 517, Raleigh MS 39153
    Phone: 601-782-4751 Fax: 601-782-4007

  • Smith County Chancery Court

    Address: 123 Main St, PO Box 39, Raleigh MS 39153
    Phone: 601-782-9811 Fax: 601-782-4690

  • Smith County Youth Court

    Address: 123 Main St, PO Box 39, Raleigh MS 39153
    Phone: 601-782-9811 Fax: 601-782-4690

  • Smith County Justice Court

    Address: 1 Barn Hwy 35 S, PO Box 171, Raleigh MS 39153
    Phone: 601-782-4334 Fax: 601-782-4005

  • Mize Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 68, Mize MS 39116
    Phone: 601-733-2221 Fax: 601-733-2220

  • Polkville Municipal Court

    Address: 6606 Hwy 13, Morton MS 39117
    Phone: 601-537-3115 Fax: 601-537-3051

  • Raleigh Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 355, Raleigh MS 39153
    Phone: 601-782-4672 Fax: 601-782-4278

  • Taylorsville Municipal Court

    Address: 202 Eureka St, PO Box 358, Taylorsville MS 39168
    Phone: 601-785-6531 Fax: 601-785-2200

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