If you have been accused of a crime in Mississippi, you should hire an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. If you receive a felony conviction, there is a real possibility of serving time in prison, and even misdemeanor convictions can have a serious impact on the course that your life takes and the opportunities that are available to you. However, you should not assume that you will be convicted just because you are charged. Experienced Biloxi criminal defense lawyer James L. Farrior, III may be able to develop a strong, comprehensive strategy to prevent a conviction. He also can assist Mississippi residents with personal injury and family law matters.Understanding Felony and Misdemeanor Charges
To get a conviction, the prosecution must prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt, a very tough standard. You may have substantive as well as procedural defenses that you can raise.
Unlike some states, Mississippi does not categorize its felonies to determine sentencing, and each felony offense carries its own penalties. For example, you may face a sentence of life in prison for murder, while you may face up to 15 years of imprisonment for robbery. You may face 1-4 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines for possession of Class V controlled substances. You may face 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines for sexual battery.
Many of the commonly charged crimes in Mississippi relate to controlled substances. The state penalizes actions involving many different drugs and divides them into five schedules, with the first schedule being the most dangerous and the fifth schedule being the least dangerous. Cocaine, for example, is a Schedule II drug. You should retain a criminal defense attorney in the Biloxi area to help you fight a cocaine charge, since you may face significant penalties. The potential sentence for possession of cocaine for personal use varies based on how much cocaine is at issue. If you are caught with 0.1 grams, this is a misdemeanor, and you can be punished with up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you are caught with 10-30 grams, on the other hand, you can face 3-20 years of imprisonment and up to $500,000 in fines. If you are caught with more than 30 grams of cocaine, you can be charged with cocaine trafficking, whether or not you were actually selling the cocaine.Defending a Charge
There are various defenses that we may be able to raise on your behalf. It may be possible, for example, for your Biloxi criminal defense attorney to argue that the police did not have probable cause to conduct a search in which a controlled substance was found. In that case, it may be possible to file a motion to suppress to get evidence of the cocaine suppressed, and without that evidence, the prosecutor might not be able to prove their case.
In other instances, we may be able to challenge the prosecution’s ability to prove the intent element of a charge, if this is required. The question of intent often arises in theft cases and cases involving violent crimes. If intent is an element of a crime, the prosecution will need to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt as well.
In still other situations, we may be able to challenge the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses, or we may be able to construct an alibi for you to show that you likely could not have committed the crime. These are just some examples of how an attorney can craft strategies for a defendant and make sure that any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case are exposed.Hire a Skillful Criminal Defense Lawyer in Biloxi
If you are accused or charged with a crime in Mississippi, you should make sure to enlist a legal advocate to fight for your rights. James L. Farrior, III, Attorney at Law has represented people in the Gulf Coast region since 1987. Our firm provides personal attention and dedicated service in criminal defense as well as personal injury and family law matters. Call us today at (228) 388-1924 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. We assist defendants in Biloxi, Gautier, Bay Saint Louis, Lucedale, Wiggins, Poplarville, and other areas of Harrison, Jackson, Hancock, George, Stone, and Pearl River Counties.