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criminal defense Archives

Unpaid traffic fines no longer lead to license suspension

Some Mississippians will be getting their licenses reinstated, according to an agreement between the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at the University Mississippi School of Law and the Department of Public Safety. According to the agreement, drivers who had their licenses suspended for failing to pay a traffic-related fine will have their licenses reinstated in January 2018.

Defending Mississippi DUI/DWI charges

Those charged with a Mississippi DUI/DWI face criminal penalties and other long-term consequences, such as driver's license suspension, fines, probation and jail time. The severity of the penalties depends on the circumstances of the DUI offense, the offender's driving history and whether the offender had previous DUI charges.

Firearms-related crime linked to inadequate background reporting

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, of the 4,462 firearms recovered in Mississippi last year, many were used in the commission of a crime. ATF statistics show that 2,187 of those firearms are under investigation and that over 70 percent of the remaining 1,275 firearms were seized from illegal possessors.

Should I enter into a plea bargain?

A previous blog post discussed plea bargaining - a strategy for defendants who wish to avoid trial, have certain charges dismissed or receive a lesser sentence. This is typically accomplished through three areas of plea negotiation: charge bargaining, sentence bargaining and fact bargaining. There are many considerations for defendants deciding whether to waive their right to a jury trial and enter into a plea bargain.

What can be negotiated during plea bargaining?

Mississippi defendants may be able to resolve their cases through plea bargaining. A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant on the charges, sentence or facts associated with the defendant's case. The goal of plea bargaining is typically to avoid trial, have charges dismissed or to receive a lesser sentence. The seriousness of the crime, the allegations and evidence and the chances of a guilty verdict are all factors.

Court ruling: Mississippi woman's rights were violated

A Mississippi federal appeals court recently ruled that a woman's constitutional rights were violated when she was jailed for 96 days without seeing a judge. The woman is now entitled to sue the sheriff and county that wrongfully held her for so long.

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.

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