Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorneys
While we hope you will never need the services of a criminal law attorney, if the day comes that you do, it is crucial that you have an experienced, knowledgeable Mississippi criminal defense attorney by your side. Whether you have been charged with a criminal misdemeanor or a felony, make no mistake—the long-term consequences can be devastating. Those charged with a criminal offense are often frightened, confused and unsure of where to turn. It can feel like you have no one on your side who is willing to stand by you during this challenging time of your life.
Your Mississippi criminal defense attorney from The Stroud Law Firm can answer all your questions, explaining not only the potential criminal penalties for the charged crime but also the collateral consequences of a conviction. In many cases, a criminal conviction can even prohibit you from pursuing your chosen career, which is yet another reason to proceed carefully. We feel everyone deserves an experienced, skillful criminal defense, and our criminal defense attorneys will fight to achieve the right outcome on your behalf. The Stroud Law Firm can help you in a variety of criminal law cases, including:
Assault & Battery
Mississippi Code Annotated § 97-3-7 deals with the crimes of simple and aggravated assault. In the state of Mississippi, you could be charged with simple assault or aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is an extremely serious charge; those charged with aggravated assault may have either attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another or caused injury to another purposely, knowingly or recklessly, showing indifference to human life. The aggravated assault could also stem from an attempt to cause or actually causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon in a manner which is likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. Finally, the aggravated assault could occur when a child is injured in the process of boarding or exiting a school bus. Aggravated assault is differentiated from simple assault primarily in the extent of the injury inflicted. Broken bones, head injuries or injuries which require surgery or create a disability are all examples of injuries resulting from the aggravated assault. A person convicted of aggravated assault in the state of Mississippi could face more than 1 year in jail or up to 20 years in the state penitentiary. If the aggravated assault is committed against a “special person”, the penalties could be as high as 30 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000, or both. If a firearm is involved in the assault, the minimum prison sentence will be 5 years. The most common defense to aggravated assault is self-defense, however, by choosing the right criminal defense attorney, an effective defense will be offered on your behalf.
Domestic Violence/Simple Assault
Mississippi Code Annotated § 97-3-7 deals with domestic violence and simple assault. A person may be charged with domestic violence when a simple assault is committed against one of the following persons: a current or former spouse, the child of a current or former spouse, a person with whom the alleged offender lives or formerly lived, a family member who lives or previously lived with the alleged offender or a person the alleged offender has dated, had a romantic relationship with or had a child with. Simple assault occurs when a person threatens another person, causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon, intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury to another, or attempts to physically injure another person. Simple assault is differentiated from aggravated assault by the level of injury inflicted on the other person. A reckless act could be an act which was not necessarily meant to harm another person, however, no regard for the outcome of the act existed. A negligent act could be one which is not necessarily intentional but occurred because a person failed to exercise reasonable care. In the state of Mississippi, simple domestic violence carries the same penalty as simple assault—up to six months in jail, a $500 fine, or both. If, however, the offense is the third or subsequent conviction for domestic violence within five years, the charges become a felony, punishable by a minimum of five years in prison—and up to ten years.
Driving Under the Influence
Mississippi Code Annotated § 63-11-30 deals with driving under the influence. Lawmakers have toughened the laws pertaining to driving under the influence in the State of Mississippi, including zero tolerance laws for minors. Under Mississippi’s Implied Consent Law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent his or her driving ability is impaired. The law defines intoxication as any BAC level which is .08 percent or higher. A first offender who receives a DUI conviction could face a fine from $250-$1,000 and could spend up to 48 hours in jail. The jail time could be replaced with mandatory attendance at a victim impact panel. A first offender could also have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to one year. Subsequent DUI offenses will result in more severe penalties when those offenses occur within a five-year period. A third or subsequent conviction is a felony, resulting in up to five years in the state penitentiary, a $5,000 fine, a five-year driver’s license suspension, and vehicle seizure. If a person convicted of DUI caused the death or serious injury of another, the penalties could be as much as 25 years in prison.
Drug Charges—Sale and Possession
Being convicted of a Mississippi charge of drug sales or drug possession can change your life forever. Mississippi classifies drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and others as controlled dangerous substances, including the compounds used to manufacture certain drugs. Mississippi divides controlled dangerous substances into five “schedules,” with Schedule I being the most dangerous drugs with the highest probability of abuse and addiction—and no medical value. Schedules II, III, IV and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse as well as an increase in recognized medical value. These classes determine the penalties for illegally possessing or illegally selling a specific drug. The penalty will be dependent on the amount of the drug possessed or sold, the type of drug possessed or sold and whether there are prior drug convictions. As an example, possession of less than one-tenth of a gram of a Schedule I drug could be charged as a misdemeanor, with a fine up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail, while a felony charge for a Schedule I drug could bring penalties of up to $10,000 in fines, and at least one and up to four years in prison. Possession of more than a gram increases these penalties significantly. A conviction for selling drugs comes with even more severe penalties. It is essential that you speak to an experienced Mississippi criminal defense attorney as soon as possible when facing Mississippi drug charges.
Mississippi Code Annotated § 97-29-47 deals with public drunkenness. Public intoxication—being drunk in public—can result in some fairly serious consequences. Of course, those consequences will depend on the circumstances surrounding your individual case, but a public intoxication charge could potentially land you in jail for up to 30 days. If the incident of public intoxication involved violence, additional criminal charges could also be filed. Public intoxication could include the use of profanity, swear words or cursing in public—it is illegal in the state of Mississippi to be drunk and/or use profane language in a public place in the presence of two or more people. Fines for a conviction of this crime could be up to $100. While public intoxication is not the worst thing you could be charged with, it is nonetheless very serious, requiring an experienced Mississippi criminal defense attorney’s experience and knowledge.
Mississippi Code Annotated § 63-3-1201 deals with reckless driving. Reckless driving occurs when a person drives a vehicle in such a manner as to indicate willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others or for the safety of the property of others. A conviction for reckless driving can bring a fine of up to $100 as a first offense, and up to ten days in jail and a fine as large as $500 for a second offense. While reckless driving in Mississippi is a misdemeanor, there could be many negative consequences in addition to the potential jail time and required fines. You could potentially have your driver’s license suspended if you have other violations, and such a conviction will almost certainly raise your insurance premiums. A reckless driving conviction can also affect your employment or future employment. If you have a commercial driver’s license, your job will definitely be in jeopardy.
Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, between the years 2007 and 2009, nearly one in five fatal collisions involved an unlicensed driver,or a driver with an invalid license. We are a nation who loves to drive, therefore being without a driver’s license for any significant length of time can cause a number of problems for most people. A driver in Mississippi could have his or her driver’s license suspended for a number of reasons, including:
- Being habitually negligent or reckless when driving;
- Being convicted for certain controlled substance crimes;
- Causing death, injury or serious property damage to another;
- Being deemed incompetent to drive a vehicle;
- Being caught driving without auto insurance;
- Being frequently convicted of serious traffic offenses;
- Refusing to submit to a chemical test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI
- Failing to pay fines or fees, or to respond to a summons for certain traffic violations, or
- Failing to pay child support.
and revoked for:
- Any felony if a vehicle was used;
- Manslaughter or negligent homicide when a vehicle was used;
- Hit-and-run (you failed to stop following a collision which resulted in the death or injury to another);
- Three reckless driving convictions within 12 months, or
- Contempt charges for failure to pay a fine or failure to respond to a summons.
If you are caught driving while your license is suspended or revoked, you could spend between two days and six months in jail, and could pay a fine between $200 and $500.
The Stroud Law Firm is well-known and well-respected in Mississippi courts. No matter which criminal offense you have been charged with, the right way to protect yourself, your family and your future is to ensure your attorney is qualified and experienced. The Stroud Law Firm offers an outstanding, knowledgeable defense to Mississippi residents charged with a criminal offense. The attorney you choose at this juncture in your life can truly make the difference between a future filled with serious repercussions and a future filled with hope and promise. Contact The Stroud Law Firm today at (662) 536-5656.
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Contact The Stroud Law Firm today as the first step in regaining your life after a criminal charge. The ramifications of going through your case alone or without an experienced attorney can be life-altering, as the consequences of a criminal charge in Mississippi or Tennessee can be severe. Be sure to arm yourself with a defense team that is compassionate, trustworthy, and willing to seek justice for you.
For more information on local criminal law, visit our Southaven, Olive Branch, Tunica, and Memphis, Tennessee pages.