Ocean Springs Municipal Court

Ocean Springs Municipal Court

Ocean Springs is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, located about two miles west of Gautier, with a population of more than 17,500. Ocean Springs has a reputation in the state as an arts community, and in 2015 the town was voted as a Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns. Ocean Springs boasts a historic, yet relatively secluded downtown area, with huge oak trees lining the streets. In 2005, the town of Ocean Springs was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed the Biloxi Bay Bridge connecting Ocean Springs to Biloxi. Ocean Springs is known as the City of Discovery, appreciated for its beauty for centuries.

When the railroad came through Ocean Springs in 1870, the surrounding industry began developing quickly, with the seafood industry taking center stage. As early as 1872, Ocean Springs oysters were being shipped to New Orleans and Mobile, although the seafood industry in the area was primarily small, family-oriented businesses. The Ocean Springs Packing Company was erected near the L & N railroad bridge in 1914, when seafood began being processed in fish and oyster houses—wood and tin sheds. Ocean Springs was incorporated in 1892 and tourism continued to increase in the area with tourists seeking hydrotherapy from the natural mineral springs on Fort Bayou which triggered 25 new hotels in the area.

In 1890, architect Louis Sullivan and his draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright designed gulf-side retreats for Sullivan and James Charnley, a wealthy Chicago lumber merchant. Fire took Charnley’s home out, although it was later exactly re-built, then Hurricane Katrina took destroyed the Sullivan home and significantly damaged the Charnley home. Horticulture in Ocean Springs—pecan and citrus—began growing in the early 1900’s, and in the 1920’s Ocean Springs began to rise as an art colony which continues to flourish today. In the 1950’s Ferson Optics came to the area, the Gulf Coast Research Lab expanded, and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula and Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi continued to fuel Ocean Springs employment opportunities.

When gambling casinos became legal in Harrison and Hancock counties, the industry began phasing out the seafood processing plants in the area. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 BP oil spill resulted in significant economic losses for all coastal towns and cities, including Ocean Springs. Notable people from the Ocean Springs area include Gordon Gunter, a well-known scientist, Dave Martin, an author, and Walter Inglis Anderson, an American painter and writer.

Ocean Springs Municipal Court

The Ocean Springs Municipal Court is located at 3810 Bienville Blvd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564. Judge Calvin Taylor presides over the court, with Hailey Sheline as Court Clerk and Prosecutor Douglas Tynes. The Ocean Springs Municipal Court is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Ocean Springs Municipal Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal offenses, municipal ordinances, traffic violations and civil domestic protective orders but has no jurisdiction over felony offenses or juvenile criminal offenses (Juvenile traffic offenses, including DUI can be heard in the Ocean Springs Municipal Court). Cases for those arrested under felony statutes will be prosecuted through the Jackson, George or Greene County District Attorney’s office. Appeals will also be transferred to the Jackson County Court. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department can make arrests within the city limits as well, as can the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Felonies and Misdemeanors

If you are charged with a felony offense in the state of Mississippi, it is very important that you take the charges very seriously. A felony conviction in the state can result in a year in prison to life in prison, depending on the crime. While many states divide felony and misdemeanor offenses into sub-categories, Mississippi does not, rather lists penalties for each individual offense. A felony conviction can alter a life, not just in the present but for a very long time to come. A felony conviction can determine which jobs a person gets—and which they do not get, even when well-qualified. A felony conviction can keep an individual from obtaining a professional license, owning a gun, voting, going to college on a government student loan and even renting a home.

Most people who commit a criminal offense are good people who made a mistake, yet that one mistake can potentially derail an entire life. A capital felony in the state is even more serious and can result in the death penalty. A capital felony in Mississippi includes treason, hijacking an airplane and capital murder. A felony criminal offense is often a violent crime—although not always. In the state of Mississippi some of the most common felonies in the state (along with their penalties) are:

  • Murder (up to life in prison)
  • Kidnapping (up to 30 years in prison)
  • Computer fraud (when the damage or loss is $500 or more—a fine as large as $10,000 and/or up to 5 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)
  • Domestic Violence (up to $500 in fines and up to six months in jail)
  • Robbery (up to 15 years in prison)
  • Sexual battery (up to 30 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines)
  • Possession of a Class V drug (50-150 grams—one to four years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, depending on the substance and the amount
  • Grand larceny (up to 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000)
  • Some repeat offenses, such as a third conviction for shoplifting or a third DUI conviction

While a misdemeanor offense is less serious than a felony criminal offense, it can nonetheless come with serious consequences, most notably, up to a year in jail and a fine as large as $1,000. Those sentenced to jail for a misdemeanor offense will usually spend the time in a city or county jail rather than the Mississippi State Penitentiary. Misdemeanor offenses are usually set into motion when a police officer writes a ticket or signs an affidavit swearing he or she saw the person commit a crime. If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense it can be extremely beneficial to speak to an experienced Mississippi criminal defense attorney right away.

Contact Our Ocean Springs Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Ocean Springs, 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 (601) 265-7766.

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