LONG BEACH MUNICIPAL COURT

F.A.Q

This information is provided to you as a courtesy of the Long Beach Municipal Court and should not be construed as legal advice.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Where are you located?

201 Jeff Davis Avenue

Long Beach, Mississippi, 39560. 

The Court’s telephone number is (228) 865-7840.

What time does court begin? When Court is scheduled on a Friday, Court begins at 9:00 a.m. When Court is scheduled on a Wednesday, Court begins at 4:00 p.m.

What Should I Wear To Court? Appropriate attire is required in the courtroom.  In order to maintain order and to uphold the dignity and decorum of the judicial branch of our government, litigants, attorneys, witnesses, court staff and spectators are expected to dress in a manner that does not degrade or insult the dignity of the judicial proceedings in the courtroom.

Shirts and shoes must be worn in the courtroom, and prohibited attire includes:

            A.        Bare-midriff outfits, shorts, cutoffs, halter tops;

            B.        Tank tops, undershirts, see-through blouses;

            C.        Bathing suits, lingerie;

            D.        Hats, sunglasses.        

There shall be no food or drinks in the courtroom.  Cell phones and similar devices are to be turned off.

 

ARRAIGNMENTS AND PLEAS

I have been scheduled for an arraignment. What does that mean? An arraignment is your initial appearance before the Municipal Court Judge.  At the arraignment, the charge will be read to you in open court.  At this time, you will tell the Municipal Court Judge how you intend to plea to the charge (i.e. guilty or not guilty).

What is a "guilty" plea? By a plea of guilt (under most circumstances), you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no legal defense to the charge. By pleading guilty, you relieve the City of proving the charge against you.

If I plea guilty to a charge, what rights am I waiving?

A. The right to a speedy and public trial.

    B. The right to cross-examination witness who may testify against you.

    C. The right to call and/or subpoena witnesses to testify on your behalf.

    D. The right to have an attorney represent you.

    E. The right to require the City prove the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

    F. The right to testify on your own behalf.

    G. The right to an appeal.

What is a "not guilty" plea? A plea of “not guilty” means that you deny guilt for the offense charged and the City must prove the charge against you.  If you plea, “not guilty,” your case will be set for trial.

Can I change my plea of "not guilty" to "guilty"? Yes.  You can change your plea at any time before your trial begins.

I missed my court date. What should I do? Missing a court date may result in your case proceeding to trial in your absence or a warrant being issued for your arrest.  If you have missed your court date, contact the Court Clerk’s office immediately.

 

PAYMENT OF FINES

I am guilty of the offense as charges. Can I pay my fine ahead of my court date? Contact the Municipal Court Clerk to determine if you can pay your fine ahead of your court date.

How much is my fine? The amount of your fine depends on the offense with which you are charged.  The facts and circumstances of the case and your own record may affect the amount of the fine assessed by the Court.

What is the maximum fine and/or sentence I could receive? The maximum fine and/or sentence in the Municipal Court for a single offense, unless set at a lower amount or period by statute or ordinance, is $1,000.00 and/or 6 months in jail.

What are "court costs and assessments"? Mississippi law adds "court costs and assessments" to most fines. It is a statutorily mandated addition to your fines.

When is payment due on my fines? Payment is expected at the time of your sentencing.

What methods of payment are accepted by the Long Beach Municipal Court?

A. Pay online - Only full payments may be paid online with a Visa, Mastercard or Discover card.  Go to www.paymyfineonline.com

B. Pay in Person at the Courthouse - Cash, personal checks, money orders, and cashiers checks are accepted.

C. Pay by Mail: (Contact the Court Clerk’s office to verify that this option is available to you.) Send a copy of your ticket (or note the case/citation number) with your payment to:

Long Beach Municipal Court

P.O. Box 929

Long Beach, Mississippi, 39560

Personal checks, money orders, and cashiers checks are accepted by mail. Do not send cash by mail.

I owe old fines to the City. What do I do? Contact the Court Clerk’s office and make payment arrangements. A warrant may have been issued for your arrest.

 

TRIALS

With whom can I discuss my case? Defendants should speak with an attorney of their choosing. Prior to a trial, the Defendant may speak with the Long Beach Municipal Court Prosecutor. Victims and/or complainants may contact the Long Beach Municipal Court Prosecutor.

Can I get a continuance? Motions for Continuances will not be granted on initial appearances or arraignments.  A formal, written request should be filed with the Court Clerk at least five (5) business days before your trial.  The filing of a Motion for Continuance does not guarantee that a continuance will be granted by the Municipal Court Judge.  Unless you are informed otherwise in writing, you should assume that your case is still set for trial.

Do I need an attorney? You are not required to have an attorney in Municipal Court. However, you have the right to hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense.

What if I cannot afford an attorney? At the time of your arraignment, you may ask the Municipal Court Judge to appoint an attorney to defend you.  You will be permitted to complete an application for a court-appointed attorney.  Depending on your statements in the application and the nature of the charge(s) you are facing, the Municipal Court Judge may or may not appoint an attorney to defend you.  If an attorney is appointed to defend you, he or she will represent you at no cost to you.

Can I defend myself in Municipal Court? Yes. However, if you choose to defend yourself at trial, the Court will not relax the rules of evidence, procedure, or courtroom decorum simply because you are not an attorney.

How is a case presented in Municipal Court? As in all criminal trials, the City will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you.  You have the right to cross-examine each witness at the completion of his or her testimony.  Your cross-examination must be in the form of questions.  This is not the time to make a statement.  You will have the opportunity to testify later in the trial.

After the City has presented its case, you may present your case.  You may call witnesses who have knowledge about the incident.  You may testify on your own behalf, but you cannot be compelled to do so.  If you choose to testify, the Municipal Court Prosecutor may cross-examine you.

Does a judge or jury decide my case?  If your case goes to trial in Municipal Court, the case will be decided by the Municipal Court Judge, not a jury.

 

APPEALS

 Can I appeal a decision of the Municipal Court Judge after my trial? Yes.  Following your trial, if you want to appeal the decision of the Municipal Court Judge, you have thirty (30) days from the date of the decision to file an appeal.  The appeal will be heard by the County Court of Harrison County, Mississippi.  The process of filing an appeal is complicated and the Municipal Court Clerks cannot tell you how to file an appeal.  Many people employ an attorney to handle an appeal.

I will miss school or work to attend court, can the Municipal Court Clerk provide me with proof of attendance at court so I can show my teacher or boss? Yes. Please ask for this proof of attendance while you are in the courtroom.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 I cannot read the court date on my ticket.  What do I do? Contact the Court Clerk’s office immediately to verify your court date.

 Does the Court accept e-filed pleadings? No.

 Can I contact the Municipal Court Judge? No.

 Can the Municipal Court Judge give me legal advice? No.

 Can the Municipal Court Clerk give me legal advice? No

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