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George County, Mississippi

George County, Mississippi is named for James Z. George, a U.S. Senator from Mississippi, as well as an American military officer, politician, writer, and lawyer. George was known as the “Great Commoner” in the state, born in Monroe County, Georgia, then moving to Mississippi after the remarriage of his mother. After being admitted to the bar, George became a Supreme Court reporter, and, over the next two decades, he prepared a 10-volume digest of the Mississippi Supreme Court cases. George County came from parts of Green and Jackson Counties, organized in 1910. At the time of its organization, William H. Taft was President of the United States, and Edmond Noel was the Mississippi Governor.

The county seat of George is Lucedale; the county is bordered by Perry County, Stone County, Jackson County, Mobile County, and Greene County. Lucedale was named for Gregory N. Luce, who built and operated a lumber business in the town. Luce was from Michigan, later founding Luce Products, Inc. and Luce Farms in 1914. Luce’s goal in opening these two businesses was to help those who lost their jobs when the lumber mill closed. Luce Farms was later purchased by the Farm Security Administration, to be divided into forty-acre tracts. The main street in Lucedale is named 15-26-63, for the three state highways which converge in the town. In the northern part of George County, the Chickasawhay and Leaf Rivers converge to form the Pascagoula River.

The southeastern portion of the county has the Escatawpa River flowing through from Alabama to Jackson County, MS. Black Creek, and Red Creek flow through the southwest portion of George County. In addition to Lucedale, communities in the county include Shipman, Agricola, Basin, Benndale, Buzzard Roost, Rocky Creek, Bexley, Merrill, and Crossroads. George County has a total area of 484 square miles, with 5 square miles of water.

There are several “must see” locations in George County, including the 100-year-old Courthouse with its signature red dome, or the metal span Merrill Bridge. The Merrill Bridge has crossed the Pascagoula River for ninety years. Lucedale offers a scenic downtown park with walking paths and playgrounds, as well as the Old School House. You can also enjoy the Lucedale Farmer’s Market on Saturdays in June and early July. As of the 2010 census, the population of George County was nearly 23,000.

George County Justice Court

The George County Justice Court is located at 368 Cox Street, Lucedale, MS. Cases heard in the George County Justice Court include criminal misdemeanor charges, felony preliminaries, civil actions under $3,500, Fish and Wildlife and Department of Marine Resources citations, and citations from the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the JC Constable and the George County Sheriff’s Department. Judges for the George County Justice Court include: Judge Mike Bullock and Judge Jessie Underwood. The clerk of the George County Justice Court is Sandy Tanner.

Felonies and Misdemeanors in the State of Mississippi

A felony charge is much more serious than a misdemeanor charge, with a felony conviction resulting in larger fines, potential prison time, and the loss of certain rights. A misdemeanor conviction, on the other hand, has a maximum of 364 days in jail (county or city jail, rather than state prison), and a maximum fine of $1,000. In some cases, whether a criminal offense will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on prior convictions, pending charges, and the facts surrounding the case. Felony convictions can bring fines which are considerably more than $1,000, as well as at least one year in state prison, all the way to life in prison or, for capital offenses, the death penalty. In the state of Mississippi, there are three capital offenses—hijacking an airplane, treason, and capital murder.

Some of the offenses in the state of Mississippi which could potentially be charged as a felony include a third DUI conviction, manslaughter, aggravated assault, theft of more than $500, drug trafficking, burglary, and armed robbery. Crimes committed against another person—with the exception of simple assault—are considered felonies.

Because felonies are much more serious than misdemeanors, a felony conviction can trigger additional constitutional rights issues. Defendants who are considered low income or indigent could be entitled to a court-appointed attorney. Some of the offenses and corresponding penalties for felonies in the state include:

  • Kidnapping (up to 30 years in prison)
  • Embezzlement (over $500, a fine up to $25,000 and up to 10 years in prison, embezzlement of public funds, or trust property, fines up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to 10 years)
  • and the amount
  • Murder (up to life in prison)
  • Grand larceny (up to 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000)
  • Domestic Violence (up to $500 in fines and up to six months in jail)
  • Robbery (up to 15 years in prison)
  • Some repeat offenses, such as a third conviction for shoplifting, or a third DUI conviction

A person convicted of a felony offense could potentially lose certain rights as well, including the right to own a firearm, vote, or serve in the military. Those with a felony conviction in the state could also find it difficult to obtain employment, obtain a professional license, rent an apartment, or secure a federal student loan to go to college. A misdemeanor conviction has far fewer long-term consequences than a felony conviction.

Because of this, a person charged with a felony offense should immediately speak to an experienced George County attorney who can work to have the felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor. Having a knowledgeable Mississippi criminal defense attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of the charges while ensuring your rights and your future are properly protected.

Contact Our George County Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have been arrested on felony or misdemeanor criminal charges in the state of Mississippi, it is crucial that you speak to a knowledgeable George County criminal defense attorney who will ensure your rights are properly protected. 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 (601) 948-1600 or (877) 231-1600.

Client Reviews
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"Merrida was there immediately when I needed him. Great service. Explained the law in layman's terms and gave sound advice. I highly recommend Merrida Coxwell." B. Chism
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"The best in the state of Mississippi I highly recommend Mr. Coxwell and his team of lawyers." M. Denton