If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Mississippi, you need to act now. Whether you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, a criminal conviction can leave you with a record that will affect your ability obtain or keep employment and restrict some of your civil rights. Those are compelling reasons to get a criminal defense attorney in Mississippi and allow them to explain the process. They will prevent you from doing anything to incriminate yourself and get a tougher sentence.
Entering a Plea in Mississippi
If you are misdemeanor offender, you can waive your arraignment and plead not guilty. Once you enter your plea, a pretrial conference will be scheduled which can be used to negotiate a plea deal.
For felony offenses, your first court appearance will entail a review of your charges. At that time, a judge will ask you if you have private defense counsel of you need a court appointed an attorney to work on your case.
Misdemeanors in Mississippi
Misdemeanors in Mississippi are generally punishable by up to six months in jail and fines ranging between $100 and $500.
Some charges that are considered misdemeanors in Mississippi include:
Driving under the influence
Shoplifting property under $500
Possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana
Felonies in Mississippi
Felonies in Mississippi are punishable by a minimum of one year in jail or more. A capital murder conviction can result in the death penalty.
Examples of felonies in Mississippi include:
Possession of 50 to 150 grams of a controlled substance.
How Should I Plead?
A defendant can choose to enter one of the following pleas for their criminal charges:
Guilty- A guilty plea means you admit to the factual basis of your charges
Not Guilty- A not guilty plea means are denying the charges and will be prepped for pre-trail and trial hearings.
Nolo Contendere or No Contest- Such a plea means you are not disputing the charged.
Which plea you enter depends on the facts of your case and the body of evidence the prosecution has gathered against you. Some criminal offenders will have a better outcome for their case if they plead not guilty and negotiate a plea bargain. There is a chance you will be exonerated if you go to trial, but there is also a chance you will be convicted.
Before you enter a plea, we recommend you meet with a defense lawyer near your location to evaluate your case and help you decide on the most appropriate course of action. Deciding how you will plea is one of the most important decisions you will make your case and it is one that you shouldn’t decide without first getting the advice of a criminal defense lawyer in Mississippi. USAttorneys can help you find a nearby lawyer to explain your charges and the penalties you are facing, so you can decide how you are going to handle your criminal charges.