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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.

What is a plea bargain?

Plea bargains are commonly used throughout the criminal justice system which is why it is important for individuals who have been accused of crimes to understand what they are. Most individuals are familiar with the term plea bargain but may wonder exactly what that means. In general, plea bargains refer to agreements accused individuals make with the prosecution which may involve pleading guilty to certain charges in exchange for concessions the prosecution may make related to penalties or the charges they are facing.

Mississippi grand jury proceedings and preliminary hearings

As discussed in a previous blog post, the Fifth Amendment includes the right to a grand jury. Grand juries decide whether criminal charges should be brought against the defendant based on evidence presented by the prosecutor. While all states have provisions allowing for grand juries, some courts use preliminary hearings to determine whether there is probable cause. In Mississippi, grand jury hearings are held for defendants charged with a felony.

Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination

A previous blog post discussed Double Jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment, which applies to defendants in criminal proceedings. It protects innocent persons from successive prosecutions and cumulative punishments for the same crime. There are other Fifth Amendment protections for those facing the possibility of criminal conviction, such as the right to a grand jury.

Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination

A previous blog post discussed the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It entitles suspects and defendants to be informed of their rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during interrogations. The right must be clearly invoked and re-invoked after any breaks in interrogation to be effective in halting all questioning. Defendants' rights against self-incrimination extends to criminal trials as well; they may choose not to testify.

Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution details the rights of the accused. Many people have heard of "pleading the Fifth", which refers to the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment. In the historic case of Miranda vs. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that upon being taken into police custody and before being questioned, everyone must be informed of their Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during their interrogation.

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.

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