Articles Posted in MS Criminal Laws

While there are many aggravating factors associated with DUIs in Mississippi, perhaps one of the most notable involves child endangerment. If you had a child in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest, you face enhanced penalties that can be quite severe. It is obviously in your best interests to fight these charges in the most effective way possible – but how exactly do you accomplish this goal? With the right defense strategy, this might be easier than you realize. With that said, it is important to realize that the most appropriate defense strategy depends entirely on the unique circumstances surrounding your arrest – and it’s always best to consult with an attorney. 

The Passenger Was Not a Child

If the circumstances regarding the underlying DUI offense seem impossible to fight, it may be worth establishing that there was no child in your vehicle at the time of your DUI. Many police officers take a quick look inside vehicles and determine an occupant’s age simply by glancing at them. However, this is not an accurate way of determining a child’s age. Some children look much younger than they actually are, and some look much older. Sometimes, the easiest way to beat a DUI child endangerment offense is to simply provide the court with a copy of the minor’s birth certificate. 

A term like “simple assault” is extremely vague, especially when one considers the plethora of possible violent crimes in Mississippi. What exactly makes a simple assault “simple?” Is it the straightforward nature of the crime? Is it the lack of a deadly weapon? Could it be the minor nature of the resulting injuries? Many defendants ask these questions when they learn that they have been charged with simple assault in the State of Mississippi. The answers are not always clear, and it may take an experienced defense attorney to explain this deceptively complex crime in more detail. What exactly is simple assault in Mississippi?

Penalties for Simple Assault in Mississippi

The first thing you need to know about simple assault in Mississippi is that this crime is considered a misdemeanor. In other words, it is not a felony, and as such, the maximum penalties are lower. For most instances of simple assault, the longest period you can spend in jail is six months. In addition, you can face a fine of up to $500 for simple assault. 

If you have been charged with fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle, you should know that you face serious consequences. Felony charges are possible, and you could spend years in prison. However, you should also know that there are a number of viable defenses to this crime. Of course, the most optimal defense strategy will depend on your unique circumstances – but these potential defenses highlight the possibilities: 

No Reasonable Suspicion

The most obvious defense in this scenario for many defendants is the lack of reasonable suspicion. If you were not committing a crime and the police had no reason to believe that you were doing anything illegal, it may be unconstitutional for police officers to attempt to pull you over. As such, you may be legally justified in eluding or failing to stop based on the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States against unreasonable searches and seizures. MS Code § 97-9-72 (2020) specifically states that someone is only guilty of fleeing if the officer is “acting in the lawful performance of duty” and they have a “reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver in question has committed a crime.”

In the complex landscape of criminal law, defending individuals charged with driving under the influence (DUI) requires a comprehensive approach. One crucial aspect that can significantly impact the outcome of DUI cases is the testimony of expert witnesses. Expert witnesses play a pivotal role in DUI defense by providing specialized knowledge and objective analysis. In this blog, we will delve into the importance of expert witnesses and how their testimony can shape the defense strategy in DUI cases.

Understanding Expert Witnesses 

Expert witnesses are professionals with specialized knowledge, training, education, or experience in a particular field relevant to the case at hand. In DUI defense, expert witnesses can include toxicologists, forensic chemists, accident reconstruction experts, field sobriety test specialists, and more. These individuals possess the expertise necessary to examine scientific evidence, evaluate the reliability of law enforcement procedures, and provide professional opinions regarding the defendant’s sobriety, the accuracy of test results, and any potential errors or inconsistencies.

South Carolina is taking stricter measures to combat drunk driving, potentially creating a larger number of drivers who will have to use ignition interlock devices. These devices are breath-analysis systems integrated into a vehicle’s electrical system to prevent individuals under the influence from starting the car until they pass a breath test with a blood-alcohol level below 0.02%.

Here are the key points:

  1. Expansion of the Program: South Carolina recently updated its laws, requiring anyone convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% to install an ignition interlock device. This represents a significant expansion from the previous requirement, which applied to those with a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or repeat offenders.

The death penalty is a highly debated topic in Mississippi. It raises important questions about whether it is a fair and effective way to administer justice. In this blog, we will explore the history, legal framework, controversies, and ongoing discussions surrounding the use of the death penalty in Mississippi.

The Historical Context

Mississippi has a long history of using different methods, such as hanging, electrocution, and lethal injection, for carrying out the death penalty. Over time, the state has made changes to its approach based on legal reforms and changing public opinions.

Armed robbery is a serious criminal offense in Mississippi, punishable by imprisonment, fines, and other penalties. If you or a loved one has been charged with armed robbery, it is crucial to act quick and seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide you with effective legal representation.

How Does Mississippi Define Armed Robbery?

In Mississippi, every person who feloniously takes or attempts to take from another person or entity against his will through the use of force or the threat of force, while in possession of a deadly weapon or firearm is considered to be guilty of armed robbery. The state considers this to be a serious offense that can result in significant prison time and other severe penalties.

The 2023 St. Paddy’s Day parade in downtown Jackson took a tragic turn when two people were shot and killed. The suspect, Jordan Kyle Cummins, was arrested by Capitol Police. This incident sheds light on the gun violence problem in Mississippi. According to WAPT News, two victims were shot and killed around 1:00 p.m. during the parade festivities. Authorities said that Cummins was taken into custody without incident. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi has had a higher gun mortality rate than any other state in the country. In 2020, Mississippi had a death rate of 28.6%, and with all of the gun related deaths that are on the news, it is likely that this number hasn’t decreased since 2020.

The Most Common Gun Crime Charges in Mississippi 

The week of March 13, 2023, Mississippi passed House Bill 1222, also called the Mississippi Collaborative Response to Mental Health Act. This bill, which passed unanimously, was sent to the governor for his signature. It requires each municipality and county law enforcement agency to provide mental health training to all officers by 2031. It also requires that these law enforcement agencies must employ at least one Crisis Intervention Team Officer by the year 2025. 

In the wake of police brutality and the broad media coverage it has gained, many states are looking at ways to curb deaths caused by police. For most, this looks like some sort of intervention program such as the one proposed here in Mississippi. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, of the 1,000 people fatally shot by police in 2018, 25% were mentally ill. The type of training looking to be introduced here aims to reduce the risk of serious injury or death during an emergency interaction between people with mental illness and police officers. Studies show this type of training leads to beneficial officer-level outcomes, such as officer satisfaction and self-perception of a reduction in use of force. It would also likely lead to prebooking diversion from jails to psychiatric facilities. This way, those suffering from mental illness can get the help they need rather than being thrown in a stressful environment like jail which would only make the matter worse.

Mental Illness in the Mississippi

Motor vehicle thefts across 30 major cities have increased by 59% from 2019 to 2022, according to the statistics released by the Council on Criminal Justice earlier this year. CBS News reported that according to a criminologist, Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, “motor vehicle thefts had been plummeting” for decades and were on their way down, due largely in part to the fact newer technology made stealing a car more difficult. However, Dr. Rosenfeld disclosed that the downward trend quickly began reversing “right at the start” of the pandemic, and “has persisted through the end of 2022 with no sign of letting up.” 

According to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, motor vehicle theft is the third most common property crime in the United States. Data from the city of Chicago indicates that most citywide carjackers are young adults, but that carjackings by juveniles has more than doubled, from 18% to 41%, between 2016 and 2021. Additionally, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that there were more than 936,000 vehicle thefts in 2021, a 27% increase since 2019. Crime analysts like Dr. Rosenberg stress that “recent increases in property crime and carjacking require immediate action from law enforcement and policy makers.”

How Does Mississippi Define Carjacking?

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