Webster County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Webster County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Webster County.
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.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
Webster County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Webster County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Prosecutor in Webster County
In Webster County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Webster County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Mississippi. For the most part, the prosecutor in Webster County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
Where can I get help for my Webster 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 Webster 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.
Webster County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Webster County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Webster 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 Webster 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.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Webster County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Webster 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.
Jury Deliberations in Webster County
In Webster 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.
Webster County Criminal Court Locations
Webster County Circuit Court
Address: PO Box 308, Walthall MS 39771
Phone: 662-258-6287 Fax: 662-258-7686
Webster County Chancery Court
Address: PO Box 398, Walthall MS 39771
Phone: 662-258-4131 Fax: 662-258-7686
Webster County Youth Court
Address: PO Box 398, Walthall MS 39771
Phone: 662-258-4131 Fax: 662-258-6657
Webster County Justice Court
Address: 24 E Fox Ave, Eupora MS 39744
Phone: 662-258-2590 Fax: 662-258-3093
Eupora Municipal Court
Address: 390 Clark Ave, Eupora MS 39744
Phone: 662-258-4121 Fax: 662-258-2027
Maben Municipal Court
Address: PO Drawer L, Maben MS 39750
Phone: 662-263-4212 Fax: 662-263-4212
Mathiston Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 178, Mathiston MS 39752
Phone: 662-263-4898 Fax: 662-263-4873
Walthall Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 306, Walthall MS 39771