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Gautier Municipal Court

In 1867 Fernando Upton Gautier established the Fernando Gautier & Sons Sawmill on the west side of the Pascagoula River. Growth to the area took off after the sawmill was established. Because the family’s name was painted on the sawmill water tower, the town soon became known as Gautier. At this time there were only about 200 people in the town until shipyard workers who came to work in Pascagoula at the Ingalls Shipyard began moving to the area at the beginning of World War II. The Ingalls shipyard was purchased and expanded in the 1960’s, triggering another growth spurt in Gautier. The City of Gautier was not incorporated until 1986, yet the city continued to grow.

The Pascagoula River borders the east side of Gautier, offering a wide array of water recreation, fishing and eco-tourism opportunities. The Pascagoula River is also known as the Singing River because of the “singing” sounds heard in late summer and autumn during the late evening hours. The legend is based on the mysterious extinction of the gentle Pascagoula Indian tribe. The nearby Biloxi Indian tribe was not so gentle and peaceful, therefore became an enemy of the Pascagoula Indians. As the legend goes, Anola, a Biloxi princess, fell in love with the chief of the Pascagoula tribe, Altama, despite the fact she was promised to the chief of her own tribe.

Anola fled the Biloxi tribe to live with Altama and his people, leading to all-out war between the two tribes. The Pascagoulas swore to save the young couple or perish along with them. Because the Pascagoulas were so outnumbered, they joined hands, began changing a song of death, and walked into the river rather than be captured by the Biloxi. It is believed the “singing” sounds heard at the river today are the death song of the Pascagoulas.

The 2005 devastation of Hurricane Katrina slowed the growth of Gautier and surrounding Mississippi towns, although it is believed Gautier will grow in the same way Jackson is growing over the next few decades. U.S. Route 90 passes through the center of Gautier, while I-10 goes through the northern part of the city. Gautier is comprised of 32.1 square miles, with nearly 6 percent of that being water. As of 2017, the population of Gautier was nearing the 20,000 mark

Gautier Municipal Court

Judge Jason Thornton presides over Gautier Municipal Court, which meets on Monday afternoons and Fridays. The court is located across from the City Hall at 3330 Highway 90. Police officer who work for the City of Gautier have the authority to make arrests for traffic offenses and misdemeanor criminal offenses. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department can make arrests within the city limits as well, as can the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Felonies and Misdemeanors

Felony offenses in any state are extremely serious, and Mississippi is no exception. A felony conviction can result in one year up to life in prison or, for a capital offense, the death penalty. A capital offense in the state includes treason, hijacking an airplane and capital murder. Capital murder occurs when the murder was for gain, the murder was accomplished via a bomb or other explosive device, while serving a life sentence in prison, killing three or more people at the same time, or knowingly killing a fireman or peace officer while that person is acting in an official capacity.

Other felony offenses in the state of Mississippi include:

  • Rape
  • Unnatural intercourse with a child younger than 12
  • Nonconsensual, unnatural intercourse with a person
  • Felonious abuse
  • Battery of a child
  • Kidnapping
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Sexual battery
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Attempted Murder
  • Embezzlement
  • Aggravated domestic violence
  • Computer fraud when the damage or loss is more than $500
  • Possession of 50-150 grams of a Class V substance

Examples of the penalties for felony offenses in Mississippi include: Up to 20 y ears in prison for a manslaughter conviction, up to 30 years in prison for a sexual battery conviction, up to 15 years in prison for a robbery conviction, up to 5 years in prison for a conviction of computer fraud, and 1-4 years in prison for a conviction of possession of a Class V substance (depends on the amount). In addition to the penalties you will face from the court system, you will also deal with many other consequences of a felony conviction. You could find yourself unable to obtain a job—even one you are well-qualified for. If you intended to seek higher education, you could find it impossible to obtain a government student loan or even to obtain a professional license which you have worked hard for. Depending on your offense, you may be unable to own a firearm, vote, or even rent an apartment. As you can see, the repercussions for a Mississippi felony conviction are significant.

A Mississippi misdemeanor offense conviction is less serious than a felony offense conviction, but still very serious, as prospective employers can see the conviction on your criminal record, not to mention the fact that you could spend up to a year in jail and pay fines as large as $1,000. In most cases, time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary is reserved for felony crimes. A misdemeanor offense typically begins when a law enforcement officer writes you a ticket or signs an affidavit which states he or she saw you commit the misdemeanor offense. You could potentially be jailed for a misdemeanor offense and be required to post a bond. Some of the most common misdemeanor offenses in the state of Mississippi include:

  • Most DUI offenses
  • Shoplifting items worth less than $500
  • Petty theft
  • Simple battery
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Possession of marijuana in an amount less than 30 grams

If you have been arrested in the state of Mississippi and charged with a felony or misdemeanor, it is definitely in your best interests to speak to a knowledgeable Mississippi criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can help you avoid some of the repercussions associated with a misdemeanor or felony conviction.

Contact Our Gautier Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Gautier, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, you need to fight for your rights and protect your freedom. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced Jackson criminal defense attorney immediately.

At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for our clients and we can build a defense that is designed to expose the holes in the prosecution’s case against you. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.

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