Ridgeland Municipal Court

Ridgeland Municipal Court

Ridgeland is a city in Madison County, Mississippi, with a population of 24,047 at the time of the 2010 census. The historic Natchez Trace meanders through the middle of Ridgeland while the Ross Barnett Reservoir offers a wide array of outdoor activities as well as being home to many special events and festivals. Although Ridgeland engaged in a centennial celebration in 1999, the history of the town actually dates back to the 1700’s.

In 1805, what would eventually become Ridgeland the Choctaw Indian Agency existed and was known as Turner Brashear’s Stand. A number of famous Americans traveled through Ridgeland on the Natchez Trace, including Andrew Jackson, John James Audubon and Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark). In the mid-1800’s, the name Brashear’s Stand was changed to King’s Inn—King was associated with the with a gang of thugs known as the Murrells who terrorized, robbed and even killed Natchez Trace travelers.

King’s Inn was used as a headquarters for General Stephen Lee during the Civil War, and between 1896 and 1908, the area which is now Ridgeland was a bustling community with a three-story hotel, a canning factory, two churches and a sawmill. On the current site of the town’s water tower, a small schoolhouse was built in 1910, then later, in 1925, Ridgeland and Madison schools were consolidated. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the state of Mississippi, Ridgeland is virtually across the street from the state capital, Jackson. Because of its proximity to Jackson, there are scores of activities to engage visitors to the area as well as those who live in Ridgeland.

Faith Hill, country music start, was born and raised in Ridgeland until her family moved to Star when Faith was in junior high. All three members of The Band Perry were born and raised in Ridgeland as was Bianca Knight, famed track and field athlete. David H. Nutt, attorney and philanthropist—and, as of 2014, the richest person in Mississippi—is also a resident of Ridgeland.

Ridgeland Municipal Court

Ridgeland Municipal Court is located at 115 West School Street, adjacent to the Police Department. Court is held on two days of the week: Traffic Court is held on Mondays at 2:00 p.m., Initial hearings and trials are held on Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m., and misdemeanor cases and preliminary hearings of felony cases are heard at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Judge Harold McCarley presides over the Ridgeland Municipal Court. Any arrest made by the Ridgeland Police Department will be heard in Ridgeland Municipal Court. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department as well as the Mississippi Highway Patrol can make arrests within the Ridgeland city limits and across Madison County.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor

Every state has its own variation of categories of criminal offenses. In general, the categories are: felony, misdemeanor and infraction. Many states further divide those categories into subcategories, such as a first-degree, felony, second-degree felony, and so on. The state of Mississippi does not have these subcategories, rather lists penalties for specific criminal offenses. In all states, a felony offense is the most serious criminal act, a misdemeanor is less serious (but still significant, as far as penalties and consequences). Some states (not Mississippi) also have infractions, which are the least serious type of criminal offense. Infractions are typically minor or petty offenses which are punishable by fines, but no jail time or probation. In some states, traffic offenses can be misdemeanors, while in others, they are infractions. Misdemeanors are considered criminal, while infractions are usually considered civil.

Forty-one states in the U.S. also use some type of “point” system, where each misdemeanor traffic offense adds a certain number of points to the person’s driving record. When enough points are accrued, the person could lose his or her driver’s license or could be subject to fines, surcharges and fees. While Mississippi does not have a point system, each subsequent traffic violations carries harsher penalties, including a driver’s license suspension. If convicted of a misdemeanor traffic offense and the driver’s license is suspended, a driver cannot have his or her license reinstated until all the state’s requirements are satisfied.

In the state of Mississippi, the death penalty is reserved for treason, hijacking an airplane and capital murder. A capital murder occurs when the murder in question results in the death of three or more people in a single act, results in the death of a firefighter, a peace officer or an elected official, one which occurred while the criminal was committing another felony offense against a minor, one which was perpetrated while the offender was serving a life imprisonment sentence, one which was perpetrated for capital gain, was perpetrated using an explosive device or was perpetrated on property owned by an educational institute.

Felony offenses in Mississippi include such offenses as murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated domestic violence, sexual abuse of a minor, kidnapping, rape, arson, burglary, forgery, counterfeiting, embezzlement, obtaining money or property under false pretenses or by fraud, felonious child abuse, touching a child for lustful purposes, sexual battery of a child, exploitation of children, promoting prostitution when the person involved is a minor and human trafficking.

Misdemeanor offenses in the state of Mississippi are those punishable by less than a year in jail and/or a fine. Misdemeanor offenses in Mississippi include: DUI, shoplifting less than $500, petty theft, simple battery, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana. General misdemeanors are usually minor crimes such as criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. Assault misdemeanors could include child abuse and domestic violence. Driving misdemeanors could include such offenses as reckless driving or DWI. Sexual misdemeanors could include obscenity or prostitution.

Misdemeanors are usually tried in Municipal, Justice or County Courts. A citation is issued to the accused, then, depending on the offense, the person may be allowed to go home, ordered to return to court on a certain day and time. In other cases, the individual could be detained until an arraignment, or first hearing. Whether you have been charged with a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense in the state of Mississippi, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Mississippi criminal defense attorney.

Contact Our Ridgeland Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Ridgeland, 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 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.

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