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 McAlister Law Firm, LLC

Most of the cases that we handle deal with drug possession and drug paraphernalia, as well as DUIs. I also have experience in cases that can be as extreme as murder, attempted murder, and even drive-by shootings. So, we do handle quite a variety of criminal defense areas, though we’ve specialized in cases involving DUIs and drug-related crimes.

If My Miranda Rights Were Not Read To Me, Does That Automatically Mean My Case Will Be Dropped?

It does not. The Miranda Rights protect you as an individual from improper searches and seizures, but they only play a part in the entire process. They allow an attorney to file a motion to exclude certain parts of evidence obtained in a seizure or a search that was improper. Therefore, while they do play a role, the judge will not automatically dismiss your case if your Miranda Rights were not read.

What Are The Differences Between Misdemeanor And Felony Convictions In Mississippi?

You have to look to the state statutes to define what you are charged with. Some charges are misdemeanors, while others are felonies, and the difference depends on the degree of the crime. A misdemeanor is usually less than one year in jail as a punishment; a felony is a year and a day and more, all the way up to life. When it comes to murder or a capital murder, it could include the death penalty. Usually, misdemeanors are tried in municipal and justice court. When you go to the circuit court, that is when you are being charged with a felony. In most cases, you’ll be indicted by a grand jury before you go to court for a felony.

Once I’m Out Of Jail, What Should I Expect As Far As Court Dates? What Am I Required To Do?

You’re usually bonded out of jail, either through an “own recognizance” (O.R.) bond or through a moneyed bond, which involves you paying a portion and a bondsman paying the other portion. You’ll usually be given some paperwork that will tell you when your next court date is, especially if you’re charged with a misdemeanor. If it is a first appearance and you have been indicted and were picked up on a warrant, it will have when your first appearance date is set. Do not lose that paperwork; it is very important to an attorney. When you go to see an attorney, they need to know what court you are going to be under, which judge, what your case number is, and what the charges are. All of that information is usually on the paperwork, which is why it’s very important that an attorney have that. If not, they will spend probably 30 minutes to an hour calling all of the court houses looking for your case, and they might not find it right away.

The number one thing you can do is retain your paperwork and make sure you go and see an attorney immediately. Your rights should not be taken lightly, nor should your freedom, because that’s what your case will ultimately be about. So, go consult an attorney. They will go to the first appearance with you, they’ll let the judge know that they’re representing you, and they’ll inform the judge if you are going to be pleading guilty or not guilty. I always advise to begin by pleading not guilty so that you can have time to prepare your defense for trial.

If I Have A Prior Arrest Or Conviction, How Much Can That Hurt My Current Case?

It depends on what those prior arrests or prior convictions were for. Your entire history goes into play, but what would hurt you most is if you’ve been convicted of prior felonies. Then, you are looking at being sentenced as a habitual offender, which is something you really just don’t want to face because it’s very difficult to overcome and makes it harder for your attorney to work a deal. It’s the responsibility of your attorney to try to negotiate and get you the very best deal they can get, especially if you are guilty of the charge or if the evidence is piled against you to the point that it’s more than likely you’ll be given a guilty plea from a jury. In order to work a deal, your attorney has to consider your past prior convictions and arrests, and the DA will definitely be looking at that.

Are There Alternative Punishments To Jail That Someone Could Qualify For After A First-Time Conviction?

Again, it’s going to be dependent on what you’re being charged with. If it’s a misdemeanor, we can always request something other than jail or fines, and I don’t mind asking. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it—that’s my philosophy. We might ask for you to do community work in place of fines that are very high. The fines, especially in misdemeanor cases, can be extremely high and take a year or two to pay off, but if you do community service, you can knock that amount off pretty quickly.

There are also other alternative programs. Let’s say you are arrested for drug possession or a DUI. A good option for you could be rehab instead of jail. Sounds good to me. In many cases, we could work that deal out for you, and it turns out better for you in the end. Furthermore, if you are a first-time offender with a DUI, we have an option to help you get that case where it’s non-adjudicated and taken off your record after a period of time. You would really need an attorney to help guide you through that

For more information on Divorce & Criminal Law in Mississippi, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (228) 300-4433 today.

McAlister Law Firm, LLC

Call Now To See How We Can Help!
(228) 300-4433