Typically, misdemeanor crimes have been called “lesser crimes”. The reason for this is because their punishments are “lesser” than felony crimes. Don’t let lesser fool you- misdemeanor crimes are still serious.
You or a loved one can be arrested for a misdemeanor for a variety of reasons. Perhaps your son or daughter has been accused of selling or buying drugs at their school. Two (2) school resource officers are employed by the Flowood’s police department and they have the power to arrest and charge students who are accused of committing crimes. Or maybe you have been arrested for a traffic violation by one of the twenty (20) Flowood patrol officers. Maybe you have been accused of possessing or selling drugs by one of the three (3) canine units in Flowood. Whatever the charge may be, it has the potential of disrupting your life. Here at Coxwell & Associates we consider every charge to be serious and work to get you results.
The process of defending a misdemeanor is still just as burdensome and time consuming as that of a felony charge. After you or a loved one has been arrested in Flowood, they will be taken in front of a judge who will either set a bail (the amount of money that must be paid in order for the accused to get out of jail) or release the accused on their own until his or her initial appearance in front of a judge. Most judges will set bail. If that bail is not paid, then you or your loved one is stuck in jail until that initial appearance with the judge.
At the initial appearance in Flowood or Rankin County, you or your loved one will be able to plead guilty or not guilty. Should you or a loved one plead guilty, then this process ends. You must accept the punishment recommended by the Prosecutor (an individual who does not represent you or your interests!) and given to you by the judge. But if you plead not guilty, then the judge will set a trial date.
The trial is where you, along with your attorney, have an opportunity to defend yourself against the misdemeanor charges. You are guaranteed certain rights during this process. The Fifth (5th) Amendment gives the right to choose not to testify. You are also allowed to call witnesses and have them explain what happened. The Prosecution (the other side) has an opportunity to call witnesses as well. Thanks to the Sixth (6th) Amendment, you have a right to have your attorney confront and cross examine these witnesses who are testifying against you. Should you have a jury deciding your case, rather than a judge, then you also have a right to offer instructions to the jury. These instructions help clarify and explain the law that you have been accused of violating.
After all of this, a decision is made concerning your innocence or guilt. If you or a loved one is convicted, then jail time and fines are on the table for punishment. For misdemeanor crimes, the fines can be as high as one thousand dollars ($1,000). A misdemeanor conviction in Flowood could also land you or a loved one in Rankin County jail or Flowood jail for up to one (1) year. More than that, judges sometimes combine the two punishments and an individual can be subjected to a fine along with jail time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to defend against a misdemeanor charge in Flowood, then set up a free consultation with our experienced attorneys today by calling us at (601) 948-1600. We’ve worked tirelessly for over thirty (30) years helping good people get back on their feet. With a convenient office and free parking located at 500 North State Street in downtown Jackson, we are ready to meet with you to discuss your charges so you spend your time taking care of yourself and your family.