Flora Municipal Court
In 1882, efforts to build a new rail line from Yazoo City to Jackson finally came to fruition when the Illinois Central Railroad chose a spot eight miles southwest of Charlton for the Train Depot. Since it was common practice at the time to name train stations for interesting or important people in the state, the Depot was named for Flora Mann Jones, the young wife of local landowner, W.B. Jones. At this point in time, the town of Flora’s sole purpose was the development of local agriculture, and cotton harvesting. The Depot-turned-town of Flora gave the right-of-way to the railroad, but was not incorporated until later, in 1886. Today, the Flora Depot still stands as a historical museum. As a small town in Madison County, it is estimated the current-day population is approximately 2,000.
From the time of its incorporation, Flora steadily grew, and in 1941 the Mississippi Ordnance Plant was built north of the town. The Plant produced igniter charges and propellant for large-caliber guns, while also offering firing ranges for anti-aircraft guns, live grenades, demolition explosives, rifles and submachine guns. By 1943 the site was declared surplus. Eventually, one of the reinforced bunkers became a storage facility for the Southern Vital Records. In 1977, a local high school student made headlines when he found an abandoned M-2A2 tank.
The Department of Homeland Security announced in 2008 that the Flora Industrial Park was one of six locations being considered for a new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, however lost out to Manhattan, Kansas. Outside the Flora city limits lies the Mississippi Petrified Forest—the only forest of its type east of the Mississippi. The Sweet Olive Tour Boat is a fun adventure for many, while the Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences is always a hit, particularly for those with children. Notable people from Flora include E.C. Coleman, professional basketball player, Parys Haralson, professional football player, Paul “Wine” Jones, blues singer and guitarist, and Belle Kearney, temperance reformer, suffragist, teacher, and first female Mississippi State Senator in 1923.
Flora Municipal Court
The Flora Municipal Court is located at 168 Southeast Carter Avenue, Flora, MS. The judge at the Flora Municipal Court is Judge Stanley Stater, the Court Clerk is Carol Greene, and the Prosecutor is William Gault. The Flora Municipal Court meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. Any time you are within the Flora city limits and are charged with a criminal offense, the Flora Municipal Court will have jurisdiction over your case. The Flora Municipal Court also hears cases regarding city ordinance violations. Traffic violations, misdemeanors and felonies (initial appearance only) are heard in the Flora Municipal Court. In short, any arrest made by the Flora Police Department will be resolved in the Flora Municipal Court. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Highway Patrol may also make arrests within the city limits of Flora.
Felonies, Misdemeanors and Civil Cases
The American legal system addresses wrongdoing with either civil or criminal cases. A criminal case can be further divided into misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is considered a lesser crime while a felony is a very serious crime, often one in which another person is injured or killed. A criminal offense is prosecuted by the state, while a civil offense is a dispute between individuals or entities, regarding the responsibilities and/or legal duties owed to one another. A civil claim is adjudicated via a civil lawsuit. A criminal offense is generally considered to be a crime against society or a crime against the state. Criminal offenses can result in jail or prison as a penalty, while civil lawsuits generally only result in monetary penalties.
The standard of proof is very different in a criminal case versus a civil case—the burden of proof in a criminal case is substantially higher since the penalties and consequences are much more severe. A defendant in a criminal case is entitled to an attorney, while the plaintiff or defendant in a civil case must provide his or her own attorney. Despite the differences between civil and criminal cases, in some instances the same conduct can result in both criminal and civil liability. The best example of this is the O.J. Simpson trial. The alleged criminal conduct led to felony charges and a criminal trial. The same conduct let to a civil wrongful death trial. Because the standard of proof is very different from a civil to a criminal trial, Simpson was found not guilty at his criminal trial, and guilty at his civil trial—for the same conduct.
Felonies in the state of Mississippi include such offenses as capital murder, manslaughter, murder, attempted murder, rape, arson, drug crimes, sexual assault and other sex crimes, burglary, assault and some white-collar crimes like embezzlement or computer fraud as well. In some cases, repeat misdemeanors like a third-offense DUI or a third-offense shoplifting charge can become a felony charge. In other cases, the monetary value of an item can determine whether the offense is a felony or a misdemeanor. As an example, shoplifting items worth less than $500 is a misdemeanor crime in the state of Mississippi, but a felony if the worth of the items is more than $500.
Misdemeanor offenses in the state of Mississippi includes such offenses as first or second-time DUI, petty theft, simple battery, possession of marijuana less than 30 grams, carrying a concealed weapon or shoplifting an item or items worth less than $500. The penalties for a Mississippi misdemeanor conviction cannot be more than one year in county or city jail, and a fine of not more than $1,000. A felony conviction can result in one year to life in the Mississippi State Penitentiary, and much larges fines. While a misdemeanor conviction could potentially prevent you from obtaining a job you are otherwise well-qualified for, a felony conviction can prevent you from owning a firearm, voting, obtaining a professional license or a federal student loan or even renting an apartment. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is definitely in your best interests to speak to a knowledgeable Mississippi criminal defense attorney who will work hard to protect your rights and your future.
Contact Our Flora Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with a crime in Flora or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Flora criminal defense attorney who will protect your rights throughout the criminal process.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That’s why we work tirelessly to defend our Flora clients. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at (601) 265-7766.
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