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Gulfport teen faces manslaughter charge

Teenagers face manslaughter charges after fatally shooting his little brother in the stomach. The 16-year-old was arrested and charged as an adult with one count of manslaughter. He allegedly attempted to scare his 6-year-old brother, while the child was sitting on top of a washing machine playing a video game. When the gun failed to go off, he pulled the trigger again, firing the fatal shot.

What is the benefit of pleading no contest?

Most Mississippi criminal trials settle out of court through negotiations. These negotiations often result in plea bargains, which are negotiated agreements involving exchanges regarding a defendant's charge, sentence or facts of the case. The terms of plea bargains often entail a defendant pleading guilty or no contest in exchange for a less serious charge or a lighter sentence.

Mississippi hosts drug summit to combat opioid, heroin crisis

The Mississippi Drug Summit was held last week in Madison, led by Attorney General Jim Hood. The abuse of heroin and opioids is a nationwide epidemic that has grown exponentially in the last decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses between 2000 to 2015. Attorney General Hood believes that prevention, not criminal conviction, is the best option for fighting Mississippi's opioid and heroin problem and his goal during the summit was to educate the public on how to fight addiction.

Can my criminal record be expunged?

Expungement is the legal process of clearing an arrest or conviction from a person's criminal record. The record is not completely erased, but rather remains accessible to certain government agencies. In certain situations, an expunged criminal conviction may still be considered proof of a prior conviction during sentencing for future crimes or in immigration/deportation proceedings. It may also still be considered a prior offense in the event of future arrest. However, once expungement is complete, generally the person arrested or convicted is no longer required to divulge their criminal record to employers, loan officers, educational institutions or other companies.

Two Gulfport men arrested for drug trafficking

An investigation into drug trafficking in South Mississippi led to the arrest of two men. According to the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, the men are facing criminal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Both men are from Gulport and were arrested by agents on Community Road.

Defending a charge of domestic violence in Mississippi

There are several acts that constitute domestic violence in Mississippi including emotional, psychological, sexual and physical abuse. The elements of one form of domestic violence - physical abuse - are similar to those of assault, as discussed in a previous blog post. The difference between assault and domestic violence is the alleged victim. If a simple assault is committed against a spouse, family member or someone who had a dating relationship with the accused, it generally constitutes domestic violence.

Legal defenses to assault

In Mississippi, those convicted of assault can face serious penalties, including fines and jail time. However, depending on the nature of the alleged assault, there are legal defenses that may mitigate potential penalties.

What are the field sobriety tests for DUI stops?

If a police officer believes a driver has been drinking, they may ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests in order to establish probable cause for an arrest. These tests are used to help officers determine whether the driver had been driving with blood alcohol content over the legal limit, which in Mississippi is .08 percent.

Lawmakers work to add domestic violence as a ground for divorce

In Mississippi, couples who are planning to get a divorce have to give a reason for the divorce. Mississippi has both fault and no-fault divorces. Lawmakers are working on having domestic violence added for a reason in fault divorces. Those who have been accused of domestic violence may need a criminal defense attorney to represent their interests because of the high cost of a conviction.

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