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Greene County, Mississippi

Greene County, Mississippi—one of the oldest counties in Mississippi—is named for American Revolutionary War General, Nathanael Greene. Greene County was established in 1811, formed from Amite, Franklin, and Wayne counties. Perry County was formed in 1820 from the portion of Greene County which lay west of the dividing line between the eighth and ninth ranges. Over the years, the boundaries of Greene County changed, as more counties were established in the Mississippi Territory.

Greene County began as a county of 2300 square miles in 1811, but by 1820, it had been reduced to 864 square miles. The earliest settlers in Greene County were a group of conservative Scotsmen from the Carolinas and Virginia. The county seat of Greene County is Leakesville, located on the Chickasawhay River and named from Governor Walter Leake. The first courthouse in Greene County was built in the mid-1800s, then destroyed by a fire in 1875, wiping out all county records.

Early settlers of Greene County raised or manufactured most of what they needed; as the story goes, a state senator, A.W. Ramsey, was largely believed to be the best-dressed man in the Senate and all of his clothing was made on a hand loom by his wife. Herds of cattle, chickens, and hogs ranged freely over the county, finding a ready market in Mobile.

Today, Greene County has a total area of 719 square miles, with about six square miles of water. Bordering counties are Perry County to the west, George County to the south, Mobile County, Alabama, to the southeast, Washington County, Alabama, to the northeast and Wayne County to the north. The cities in Greene County include Leakesville, McLain and State Line. A portion of State Line is in Wayne County. Unincorporated communities include Avera, Leaf, Neely, Vernal, Sand Hill, and Piave. As of 2017, the population of Greene County was approximately 14,500.

Greene County is filled with activities and attractions with something for everyone to enjoy. The Greene County PCA Championship Rodeo is held every May in Leakesville, MS, at the indoor arena of the Greene County Rural Events Center. Notable people from Leakesville, MS, include Don Churchwell, NFL player, Walter Pacer, NFL player, Kermit Davis, Head Coach at Ole Miss, Wilmer Mizell, MLB pitcher, and congressman, and Bill Hicks, comedian, buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

Greene County Courts

There are three courts in Greene County. The first is the Chancery Court, located at 400 Main Street in Leakesville, MS. Cases heard in the Greene County Chancery Court include property disputes over $50,000, land issues, such as titles and contracts, emancipation issues, domestic and family matters (divorce, child custody, property division, adoptions, alimony) estate issues, insurance settlements to minors and the commitments of the mentally disabled. Judges who preside over the Greene County 16th Chancery District Court include the Honorable Judge Mark Maples, the Honorable Judge Tanya Hasbrouck, and the Honorable Judge D. Neil Harris.

The 19th Circuit Court in Greene County is also located at the Greene County Courthouse at 400 Main Street, in Leakesville, MS. The Circuit Court cases are mostly heard by juries and involve jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters which are not exclusively vested in another Greene County Court. The following Judges preside over the Greene County Circuit Court: Honorable Judge Robert P. Krebs, The Honorable Judge Dale Harkey, and the Honorable Judge Kathy King Jackson.

The Greene County Justice Court is located at 407 Greene Street, in Leakesville, MS. The Justice Court presides over civil suits, traffic tickets issued by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi State Highway Patrol, and delinquent mobile home taxes. Public Service tickets and Gaming, Fishing and Marine Reserve tickets are also resolved in the Greene County Justice Court. The Justice Court hears DUI matters and violations of County ordinances as well as the initial appearances for felony cases.

Judges from the Greene County Justice Court have court sessions at the jail three times a week to ensure the individual’s right to have an initial appearance within three days of arrest. The Honorable Judge Jeff Byrd and the Honorable Judge L. Joe Beard preside over the Greene County Justice Court. The Greene County Youth Court is located at 416 Main Street in Leakesville, MS. Cases heard in the Youth Court include children in need of supervision, abused and neglected children and delinquent children. The Honorable Judge Cheryl Kittrell Pierce presides over the Greene County Youth Court.

Felonies and Misdemeanors in the State of Mississippi

In the state of Mississippi—as in all states—a misdemeanor offense is much less serious than a felony offense. Not only do felony offenses potentially have very serious penalties in the event of a conviction, but there are also many additional consequences of a felony conviction. These consequences can include the loss of certain rights, such as owning a gun, voting, obtaining a professional license, renting an apartment, or obtaining a government student loan. Most felony offenses revolve around harm done to another person, or a violent crime, although not always. Such offenses as embezzlement and computer crimes are also sometimes charged and punished as felony offenses. While a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor—barring any extenuating circumstances—a third DUI is considered a felony offense, with felony-level punishments.

Felony convictions can result in from one year in prison up to life in prison, except for capital offenses. Capital offenses include airplane hijacking, treason, and capital murder, and can result in life in prison, or even the death penalty. Misdemeanor convictions can result from one day to one year in a county or city jail, as well as fines up to $1,000.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense—misdemeanor or felony—it is extremely important that you contact an experienced Mississippi criminal defense attorney who can work hard on your behalf to ensure your rights and your future are properly protected. It is never a good idea to face criminal charges on your own, as there are simply too many issues which can arise that you would not know how to deal with.

Contact Our Greene 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 Greene 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.

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