Hinds County Court

Hinds County Court

Hinds County, Mississippi had a population of 245,285 in 2010, making it the most populous county in the state; in 1890, the population of Hinds County was nearly 40,000. Hinds County took its name from General Thomas Hinds, a hero of the Battle of New Orleans in 1812. Early settlers to the county included W. J. Austin, Silas Brown and Hiram G. Runnels and Judge Isaac Caldwell, a member of the State Senate who died in a duel with Samuel Gwin.

Hinds County is bordered on the northwest by the Big Black River, and on the east by the Pearl River. The rural areas of Hinds County were devoted to cotton plantations in the 19th century; agriculture remained a primary industry in the county well into the 20th century. With a total of 877 square miles of land and 7.6 square miles of water, Hinds County is the third-largest county in Mississippi. Hinds County has the honor of having the state Capital of Jackson within the borders of the county.

There are two county seats in Hinds County—Raymond and Jackson. Many railroads run through the county, including the Illinois Central railroad, which runs through Hinds County from north to south. The Alabama & Vicksburg railroads run through Hinds County from east to west, while the Natchez, Jackson & Columbus Railroad runs from Natchez to Jackson. Finally, the Yazoo branch of the Illinois Central Railroad runs from Jackson to Greenwood. The primary waterways in the county include the Pearl River, Baker’s Creek, Big Black, Tallahala, Big Creeks, Rhodes, and Bogue Chitto.

Things to Do in Hinds County

There is a wide array of things to do in Hinds County for residents and visitors alike. As such, it is challenging to choose the “best” activities. Yet, according to many who visit the area, the best three things to do in Hinds County are:

  • The Petrified Forest—The existence of the Petrified Forest was known since the mid-1800s, but the forest was developed and opened for the public only over the past four decades. The Petrified Forest includes a Nature Trail, an Earth Science Museum, a gem mining flume, a campground, pavilion, and gift shop.
  • The Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences—This Museum is located in Jackson, tucked away in historic LeFleur Bluff State Park. The vast expanse of glass in the Museum overlooks a 300-acre natural landscape, 2.5 miles of nature trails and an open-air amphitheater. Inside the Museum is a 100,000-gallon aquarium, as well as 73,000 square feet of exhibits.
  • Mississippi Museum of Art—The mission of the Mississippi Museum of Art is to collect, preserve and exhibit art as well as to “engage Mississippians with visual art.” In 2011, the Museum completed Phase 2 of the plan, opening The Art Garden—a 1.2-acre public green space with a performance stage and outdoor art installations.

Felonies vs. Misdemeanors

Every state, including Mississippi, has its own set of criminal offense categories which are, generally speaking, felonies and misdemeanors. Some states also have a category known as summary offenses or infractions—the least serious crimes. While the majority of states further divide their criminal offenses into a level of offense (first-degree felony, a second-degree felony, a third-degree felony, etc.), the state of Mississippi does not. Mississippi only has misdemeanors and felonies, with no group for infractions. Felonies in the state range from murder—the most serious—to sexual battery, kidnapping, grand larceny and many more criminal offenses. The penalties for criminal offenses in Mississippi are listed under the offense itself.

As an example, the penalty for manslaughter in the state is a fine of not less than $500, and from up to one year in jail to 20 years in prison, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. The criminal offense of robbery can result in up to 15 years in prison. Penalties for possession of a drug will depend on the drug itself as well as the amount of the drug in possession. In the state of Mississippi, the death penalty is reserved for the crimes of treason, hijacking an airplane and capital murder. Misdemeanor offenses in the state are punishable by less than a year in jail and/or a fine. Misdemeanor offenses can include such offenses as DUI, petty theft, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana.

Criminal Statutes of Limitations in the State of Mississippi

Each state has statutes of limitations which dictate the length of time the state can wait before filing criminal charges against a person. The statutes vary from crime to crime, and some criminal offenses, such as murder, have no limit at all—in other words, murder charges can be brought against a person at any time in the future, even 20, 30, 40 or 50 years.

A felony conviction will become a part of your permanent criminal record, and, if you are later convicted of another felony, the court is allowed to consider the prior conviction, imposing a harsher sentence in the new case. Those with a felony conviction can find themselves at a distinct disadvantage when looking for a job, renting a home or apartment, obtaining a professional license, or going to college on a government student loan. In some instances, a convicted felon can lose the right to own a firearm or even vote.

Hinds County Court Judges include Judge Melvin V. Priester, Sr. in Subdistrict 1, Judge Larita Cooper-Stokes in Subdistrict 2 and Judge Johnnie McDaniels in Subdistrict 3. Hinds County Court is located at 407 East Pascagoula Street, Jackson, MS. Misdemeanor crimes are typically tried in County Courts, where a citation will be issued to the accused then the person will be ordered to return to the court on a specific day and time. There are certain cases where an individual could be detained until the arraignment or first hearing. If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense in the state of Mississippi, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advocate strongly on your behalf.

Contact Our Hinds County Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, whether felony or misdemeanor, contact an experienced Hinds County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. 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) 265-7766.

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