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Gulfport Mississippi Legal Blog

What are felony charges and the penalties for them?

Felony charges are particularly serious charges and accused individuals facing them may wonder why and what the possible penalties are that individuals accused of committing a felony should expect. Felony charges are the most serious criminal charges an accused individual can face. Felonies are divided by classes which also impacts the potential punishment the accused individual faces.

Felony charges are generally punishable by a year or more in prison and fines. This is distinguishable from misdemeanor charges which are usually punishable by a year or less in a local jail. Additionally, felony charges historically were considered crimes of moral turpitude and, thus, more serious than misdemeanor criminal charges. Because facing any criminal charges is serious, individuals accused of committing a felony or other crime should know what to do to respond.

How do I get custody of my children in a divorce?

Getting custody of your children may be a high priority for you in a divorce. As a result, it is helpful to understand how child custody decisions are determined. To begin with, it is helpful to know how the family law court evaluates child custody disputes. Child custody decisions are based on a variety of factors that the family law court takes into account when determining custody.

Child custody factors are aimed at determining what is in the best interests of the child and developing a child custody arrangement that serves that interest. Factors the family law court will consider when determining child custody and what is in the best interests of the child include: the parent's ability to provide the child with everyday essentials; the mental and physical medical history of the parents; the parent's habits, including any alcohol use or smoking; the wishes of the parents; and the emotional bonds between the child and each parent.

Bankrupty conundrum: Should you file?

The last thing you ever thought you'd be considering is going through bankruptcy. However, with your finances extremely tight and your mortgage falling behind, you want to do anything you can to save your home and the work you've put into building a life for yourself.

The reality of a bankruptcy isn't that it will make you start over. Instead, you'll have exemptions and a way to get back on your feet financially. Not everything about a bankruptcy is easy, but it can help you immediately if you do decide to file.

What is Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one type of personal bankruptcy that can help individuals who are struggling with debt to address their financial concerns. Unlike Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, which allows the filing party to liquidate non-exempt assets to repay creditors, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the filing party to reorganize their debts and repay them according to a repayment plan developed with the bankruptcy court, which will ultimately allow the filing party to enjoy a fresh financial start without liquidating any of their assets.

In both a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect after the filing party files for bankruptcy protection. The automatic stay prevents creditor collection actions while the bankruptcy process progresses, which can provide valuable breathing room in many circumstances for individuals seeking bankruptcy protection.

Plea bargain basics and their importance

Understanding the basics of the plea bargain process is important for individuals who have been accused of a crime because the plea bargain process refers to a way that many criminal cases are decided rather than by going to trial. Depending on the circumstances, the basis for negotiating a plea agreement may vary, so it is helpful to be familiar with the different areas of negotiation related to plea agreements.

The first type of plea agreement may be based on a charge bargain. When charge bargaining, the accused individual may agree to a guilty plea to lesser charges they are facing in return for an agreement from the prosecutor to drop more serious charges the accused individual is also facing. Another common type of plea bargaining is sentence bargaining. Sentence bargaining refers to the accused individual's agreement to a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence or reduced sentence recommendation to the judge in the case. Additional types of plea negotiations may also be possible.

A look at the divorce process

In some ways, there is a timeline involved with the divorce process even after the divorce is concluded and the parties begin to move on with their lives and life invariably changes as they move forward into the future. This is true in circumstances of military divorce, but also in circumstances of civilian divorce as well. The impact of divorce can be felt well into the future, which is why the family law process provides resources to help couples through the divorce process and beyond.

When a couple has made the difficult decision to divorce, they will need to pursue the claim in court. There are two grounds for divorce in Mississippi, including fault and no-fault, so it is important to be familiar with what each of those are. The divorce can also be contested or uncontested. Next, divorcing couples will need to address important divorce-related considerations, including property division, alimony, child support and child custody. Divorcing military couples may also need to consider pensions and other issues as well.

The basics of Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help with a fresh financial start for those that may be struggling with the stress and strain of overwhelming debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy works by allowing the party filing for bankruptcy to liquidate assets to repay creditors and enjoy debt relief. After attending required credit counseling, the party seeking bankruptcy relief can file for bankruptcy protection.

The filing party is required to provide information concerning income, debts, expenditures and creditor holdings including unsecured and secured debts, as well as some additional pieces of information. Certain types of property are also considered exempt from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Exempt property can include clothing, furniture and cars subject to certain limits. There are also categories of exempt property the filing party should also be familiar with.

What is the best interests of the child in child custody?

Because what is in the best interests of the child is the standard the family law court uses when making child custody determinations, it helps to be familiar with what factors impact the determination of what is in the best interests of the child. Parents may wonder what the best interests of the child refers to. It is something it is helpful for them to understand so that they can also remain focused on what is in the best interests of the child during the child custody process.

The best interests of the child standard is generally based on the child's needs and overall well-being. The factors used to determine what is in the best interests of the child vary by state but generally include some common factors that are considered. The family law court will look to parenting ability and if the parent is able to meet the child's physical and emotional needs. The physical and mental health of the parents is also considered.

Knowing your debts: What to expect during bankruptcy

No matter how much debt you're in, one of your options is to seek out bankruptcy. However, depending on the kind of bankruptcy you're seeking and your personal situation, you may not be able to discharge as many of your debts as you may believe. It's important to know your debts and what can, or cannot, be discharged if you choose to enter into bankruptcy.

With a discharged debt, you don't have to pay what you owed. Instead, it's like the debt never existed. The trade off is that your credit takes a hit. Additionally, it may take time before you can create new debts with credit cards or rental agreements.

Mississippi corrections worker arrested for domestic violence

Domestic violence has a broad impact on families and communities. A corrections officer in a nearby Mississippi community is facing felony charges stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident. The corrections officer was arrested and charged with aggravated domestic violence. Following a complaint, and a short time later following investigation by authorities, the man was arrested. The alleged incident remains under investigation and the man's employment status with the sheriff's office is being reviewed.

Family violence is a considerable concern for any family impacted by it and domestic assault charges are serious for any individual accused of them and facing them. Family violence impacts everyone in the family and for the accused individual, can impact their personal and professional lives in a significant way. There are legal and other resources available to all parties involved in an alleged domestic violence incident.

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