Olive Branch, Mississippi, Criminal Defense Attorneys
When someone in Olive Branch, Mississippi is arrested for a criminal offense, one of the first questions they ask is whether the charge they are facing is a misdemeanor or a felony. While most people are familiar with the lingo, thanks to reruns of Law and Order, they may not quire understand the distinction between the two categories of crime. The difference matters and it’s one of the many reasons why it is so important to have an experienced Olive Branch criminal defense attorney working on your side.
First things first, in Mississippi a criminal charge is typically labeled a misdemeanor if it involves a relatively short jail sentence, under one year. Though misdemeanors may be seen as merely a slap on the wrist, the reality is that months in jail is no laughing matter and surely not something most Mississippians would want to risk. Beyond this loss of freedom, misdemeanors also come with hefty fines, sometimes in the thousands of dollars, which make them big headaches to the families forced to cough up such large sums of money.
In Mississippi, misdemeanors can involve crime of many different varieties. Certain DUI offenses qualify as well as reckless driving, possession of certain drug paraphernalia and shoplifting goods under $300 in value. Some may be surprised that even marijuana possession is a misdemeanor, so long as the amount of pot in question is below a certain number of grams. The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors can be very fine in some cases; for instance, stealing over $300 worth of merchandise can put a defendant into an entirely different realm of criminal penalties.
In Olive Branch, those unfortunate enough to be charged with felonies have learned the hard way just how serious such charges can be. Felonies are typically reserved for more severe or dangerous crimes and come with correspondingly longer prison sentences and stiffer financial penalties.
Examples of crimes in Mississippi that are deemed felonies include most violent acts like assault or aggravated assault, rape, kidnaping, manslaughter and, obviously, murder. Beyond these violent offenses, many white-collar crimes, including embezzlement and financial fraud, are felonies despite involving no physical force or harm to others.
If you, or someone you know, have been charged with any crime in Olive Branch, Mississippi or the surrounding area, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Lasting harm in the form of reduced job prospects, higher insurance rates and substantial fines are all reasons why you should seek out the most capable Olive Branch criminal defense attorney you can find. A skilled attorney will know whether it is in your best interest to submit to the charges and work out a plea agreement or whether to contest the charges and take the matter to trial. The Olive Branch criminal defense attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm will work hard to assist you in your defense and ensure your freedom.