Under Mississippi law, a crime is considered a misdemeanor if the maximum possible punishment does not include state prison time; misdemeanors are less serious crimes that are punishable by up to a year in a county jail and/or require a fine. Misdemeanor charges are not broken down into different classes or categories, but are specifically outlined with focused penalties based on the particular criminal infraction. If a crime calls for penalties that include spending time in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, it will fall within a felony class charge. Sometimes a plea bargain can facilitate a reduction of a felony charge downgraded to a misdemeanor and that individual will not have to spent time in state prison.
Common focused misdemeanor examples:
Action after citation.
A law enforcement officer will issue a citation outlining the nature of the offense, and the alleged law breaker will have to appear at a hearing in Mississippi Law Court. There are cases where the alleged criminal will have to wait in jail until their hearing and times when they can go home and wait until the court appearance date. The first day of the hearing, commonly know as the arraignment, will establish a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty,” and the judge will either pass down a sentence based on the crime, or an individual will have the option to secure legal counsel and the case will be continued on another date after the case can be prepped by the attorney.
Statute of limitations.
Mississippi prosecutors have a limited period of time to bring most criminal charges usually two years form the date of the alleged crime. There are situations where the timeline may be extended.
Seek legal counsel.
There may be times when a person gets into trouble and thinks they can handle the matter on their own, but when it involves criminal activity, it is best to have legal counsel involved to protect interests toward the least amount of jail time and fines allowed by law. An experienced lawyer at Ballard Law, PLLC can go over the supporting law relevant to your case and see if there are grounds for dismissal or reduction of any charges, as well as taking measures to have harmful records expunged through court petition when required.
Ballard Law, PLLC
Attorney at Law
108 S President St.
Jackson, MS 39201
Phone: (769) 572-5111