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Arrested on a Felony Charge in Jackson or Hinds County? Here’s What to Expect

Arrested on a Felony Charge in Jackson or Hinds County? Here’s What to Expect


In Mississippi’s Hinds County — the state’s most populous county and residential to Jackson, the state capital — 1000’s of individuals arrested annually on felony legal fees can transfer by way of as many as three completely different courts. The Marshall Project – Jackson tapped consultants and reviewed courtroom guidelines to reply widespread questions in regards to the course of.

What rights does an individual have after arrest?

A defendant has a constitutional proper to stay silent. This means somebody underneath arrest can refuse to talk with police or to talk to police solely with their lawyer current.

Also, a defendant has the best to name a lawyer, and anybody who can not afford to rent a non-public legal professional additionally has the best to have a lawyer offered for them by the courtroom freed from cost.

What occurs after somebody has been arrested on a felony, or critical legal cost, in Hinds County?

Mississippi courtroom guidelines require that the arrested individual see a judge inside 48 hours if that individual is jailed. The courtroom listening to is named the “preliminary look.”

What occurs at an preliminary look?

A judge usually determines whether or not a defendant is eligible to be launched from jail whereas ready for a legal case to maneuver by way of the authorized system. The judge could require {that a} defendant observe sure necessities to be launched from jail.

Where is the preliminary look held?

Where an preliminary look takes place is dependent upon which regulation enforcement company made the arrest and the place the arrest occurred. People arrested throughout the metropolis limits of Jackson by the Jackson Police Department usually have an preliminary look on the Jackson Municipal Court at 327 East Pascagoula St.

Will a defendant get an legal professional on the preliminary look listening to?

The judge ought to decide whether or not the defendant can afford an legal professional. If the judge determines somebody is just too poor to afford a non-public observe legal professional, the judge ought to appoint a lawyer on the county’s expense.

Is there a public defender for the county?

If somebody is arrested in Jackson or Hinds County and can’t afford an legal professional, that individual will probably be represented by the Hinds County Public Defender’s Office. The Public Defender’s Office, which has no web site, will be reached at 601-948-2683.

What occurs if an individual is arrested by an company apart from the Jackson metropolis police?

People arrested throughout the metropolis limits of Jackson by the Capitol Police go to Hinds County Court, positioned within the Hinds County Courthouse at 407 East Pascagoula St., for his or her preliminary appearances.

As of January 2024, state regulation requires that folks arrested on felony fees by Capitol Police would have their preliminary look earlier than a newly created courtroom, the Capitol Complex Improvement District Court, normally simply known as the “CCID courtroom.” Federal litigation associated to the CCID is ongoing, and state officers haven’t mentioned once they consider the brand new courtroom will start working. No judges have been appointed but.

What makes the Capitol Complex courtroom completely different?

Unlike all different judges within the state, who’re elected by the voters, the brand new district courtroom judges are appointed by the chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Where is the Capitol Complex Improvement District positioned?

The CCID refers back to the space inside Jackson and across the Capitol the place Capitol Police have jurisdiction (see map here). A lawsuit in federal courtroom is trying to dam the creation of this Capitol Complex courtroom. The lawsuit claims that the brand new courtroom unconstitutionally undermines the facility of Black voters in Jackson to have a say within the election of native judges and prosecutors.

What if somebody is arrested exterior of Jackson and the Capitol Complex district?

People arrested by the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office exterior the cities in Hinds County will usually even have an preliminary look on the Hinds County Court.

There are a number of smaller cities in Hinds County as effectively. People arrested within the metropolis of Clinton go to the municipal courtroom there and, if they’ll’t afford their legal professional, are represented by the Hinds County Public Defender’s Office. In the town of Byram, preliminary appearances for felony defendants additionally happen within the metropolis’s municipal courtroom, with a metropolis public defender accessible.

Can a defendant be launched from jail earlier than trial?

Yes, however the judge may specify any variety of launch circumstances or restrictions. These are sometimes known as “bail circumstances.”

For instance, a judge could merely require that an individual promise to look in any respect future courtroom appearances. A judge could require that the defendant not journey exterior the county the place they stay, that they keep away from sure locations or individuals, or that they periodically report again to courtroom.

However, the judge may as an alternative resolve a defendant should pay cash upfront of launch, usually known as a “bond.”

How does a defendant get a bond?

Many individuals will use a bonding firm, generally known as a “bondsman.” An individual pays the bonding firm a sure amount of cash, usually 10% of the complete quantity set by the judge. The bonding firm then agrees to pay the complete quantity if that individual fails to point out up for a courtroom date.

What if the defendant launched on bond doesn’t present up in courtroom?

A defendant can be topic to arrest plus danger dropping the bond. The defendant may be jailed pending the end result of the case.

What does the judge base a bond determination on?

The seriousness of the cost, prior legal historical past, ties to the area people and the suggestions, if any, of the arresting officer or the county prosecutor could all play a job within the launch circumstances ordered by a judge.

However, judges have nearly limitless discretion over bond choices and people judges could not at all times clarify the explanations for his or her choices.

What occurs if an arrested individual can not afford to pay the bond?

Defendants have the best to contact their legal professional or public defender. The lawyer could file a movement to ask the judge to rethink and set a decrease bond.

How does a judge resolve if somebody will get a public defender?

There is not any set revenue threshold in Mississippi. A judge will usually take a look at a defendant’s revenue, month-to-month bills, money owed, and any belongings, reminiscent of property, to resolve whether or not to nominate a public defender. Because there aren’t any statewide eligibility guidelines, completely different judges use completely different requirements when evaluating whether or not somebody qualifies for appointed counsel. Judges could ask a defendant to finish a written type that asks monetary questions. Other judges could merely ask defendants in courtroom about their funds.

Will the arrested individual at all times see a judge inside 48 hours?

This rule doesn’t apply to individuals not being held in jail. An arrest warrant, for instance, may already include written bail circumstances. This means a defendant might be allowed to submit bond instantly or shortly after an arrest without having to see a judge.

What occurs after the preliminary look?

The protection legal professional may file a movement to switch the felony case to the Hinds County Court. The public defender’s workplace does this for a number of causes, together with for defendants who can’t pay their preliminary bond set by the municipal judge. Once in county courtroom, public defenders can ask a judge there to rethink the bond quantity and decrease it.

Public defenders may additionally switch a case to County Court for defendants charged with critical crimes. At the County Court, the protection lawyer can request a preliminary listening to.

What is a preliminary listening to?

State officers on the public listening to should present sufficient proof to persuade a judge that “possible trigger” exists to assist the cost or fees. “Probable trigger” is a decrease threshold of proof than what’s required for a conviction in a jury trial.

Prosecutors will usually present the minimal proof they consider is required to persuade a judge that possible trigger exists.

A protection legal professional may have the chance to query any witness that testifies for the prosecutor. A defendant may additionally name their very own witnesses or introduce different proof.

At the top of a preliminary listening to, if a judge believes there’s possible trigger that somebody dedicated against the law, then the judge will order that individual certain over to the grand jury.

What does “certain over to the grand jury” imply?

It means the case can preserve transferring ahead, however solely after a prosecutor will get an indictment from a grand jury.

What is an indictment?

An indictment is an official accusation by a grand jury that strikes a felony case towards trial. Grand juries are composed of residents and meet a number of occasions a 12 months to think about dozens of instances offered to them by prosecutors. A grand jury, which meets in secret, has the choice of returning an indictment or not issuing an indictment. A grand jury normally solely hears proof offered by the prosecutor. Defense attorneys usually are not allowed to attend the listening to.

When will a grand jury act?

There is not any time restrict for a grand jury to listen to a case. An indictment may happen a 12 months, or much more, after an arrest.

What occurs after an indictment?

The case strikes to the Circuit Court till a remaining decision within the case is reached. There are 4 circuit judges in Hinds County. All 4 judges are elected by Hinds County voters.

What will my lawyer do after an indictment is issued?

A protection legal professional will request the entire state’s proof from the prosecutor. A judge will set a trial date, the place a jury or judge will decide if the defendant is responsible or not responsible of the cost or fees.

Who are the felony courtroom judges of Hinds County?

The Circuit Court has 4 judges. The judges are every elected to four-year phrases in nonpartisan elections. They are:

Who do the prosecutors work for?

The Office of the Hinds County District Attorney oversees almost all legal prosecutions within the county. The workplace is headed by District Attorney Jody E. Owens II, a Democrat in his second four-year time period as of January 2024.

What can occur earlier than the beginning of a trial?

The prosecutor could provide a plea deal, which normally means the prosecutor agrees to hunt a much less extreme punishment or drop among the fees in trade for a responsible plea to a number of of the costs.

On the opposite hand, if a protection legal professional believes the costs lack proof or in any other case usually are not supported by the regulation, the protection legal professional can ask a judge to dismiss the costs.

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