Tag Archives: Ridgeland MS

What You Need To Know If Charged With Sale Of Xanax

If you have been charged with Sale of Xanax in Mississippi, here’s what you need to know:

In Mississippi, Sale of Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a felony crime.  Mississippi controlled substance law not only makes selling Xanax illegal, but also makes it illegal for a person to “barter, transfer [or] dispense” Xanax.  The penalty for Sale of Xanax in Mississippi is twenty (20) years in prison and a fine of $1,000.00 (minimum) to $250,000.00 (maximum).

It may appear that a Sale of Xanax charge is easy for the State to prove in Mississippi.  However, Mississippi criminal law provides many defenses to persons accused of selling Xanax (far too many for one post).  One of the most overlooked defenses involves whether the State actually has the Xanax that was sold.  Under Mississippi law, absent some very unusual circumstances, the State will be required to introduce the Xanax into evidence at trial.  Don’t assume that the police have the drugs.  Sometimes the evidence will, for whatever reason, get lost or misplaced.

So how do you know whether the State has the pills?  Your lawyer should make an appointment with the prosecutor and police to view this type of evidence.  It usually only takes a few minutes to view the drugs and verify that the State has them.  However, if the prosecutor is unable to locate the drugs, the Sale of Xanax charge will likely be dismissed.  If your lawyer doesn’t verify that the drugs are present, then you may be missing an opportunity to get the case dismissed.

If you are charged with Sale of Xanax or Alprazolam in Mississippi, you need a criminal lawyer who will fight hard to beat your drug charges.  Please contact Mississippi criminal lawyer Curt Crowley for a free case evaluation at 601.898.0685.  You can also visit his Jackson MS criminal lawyer website for more information.

Criminal Lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi Explains Arson of a Church or Place of Worship

Mississippi law deals severely with persons who are charged with arson of a church or house of worship.  The Mississippi first-degree arson statutes contain a section that deals specifically with setting fire to a church.

The basic elements of church arson in Mississippi are similar to those for arson of a house or dwelling.  Specifically, in order to prove the charge of arson of a church, the State must show: (1) that the defendant willfully and maliciously, (2) set fire to, or burned, or caused to be burned, or was a party to destruction by explosion from combustible material, (3) a church or other place of worship.  Mississippi arson law also provides that a person may be charged and convicted under the arson statute if he aids, counsels or procures the burning of a church or place of worship.

In addition to the above, under Mississippi arson law, a person can be found guilty of arson of a church regardless of whether the church was in use or vacant.

A person charged with arson of a church in Mississippi faces a potential sentence of five (5) to thirty (30) years in prison, and restitution for any property damaged as a result of the arson.  It is noteworthy that this maximum sentence exceeds the maximum sentence for arson of a dwelling by ten (10) years.

Of all crimes in Mississippi, arson is perhaps the most defensible.  Arson is the type of crime that usually has no witnesses, the case is entirely circumstantial, most physical evidence is destroyed by fire, and arson investigators frequently disagree with one another as to the cause and origin of a fire.  The nature of this crime provides a defense on every front for someone charged with arson in Mississippi.

I am a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer and I’m here to help.  If you’ve been charged with arson of a church or other building, please visit my Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense website for more information, or call 601.944.1984 for a free case evaluation.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Lawyer Explains Charge of Arson of a Dwelling House or First-Degree Arson

Charged with arson in Mississippi?  Following are some facts about the crime of arson of a dwelling house (also known as first-degree arson) in Mississippi.

In order to convict a person of arson, the State must show:

(a) that the defendant willfully and maliciously;

(b) set fire to, or caused to be burned, or aided or procured the burning;

(c) of any dwelling house (or state-supported school);

Mississippi Code Section 97-17-1.  Arson of a dwelling house is a felony, and carries a sentence of five (5) to twenty (20) years in prison.

Under Mississippi arson law, a dwelling house includes not only the house itself, but also any kitchen, shop, barn, stable or other structure that is on the same parcel of land with the house.  It does not matter if the house was occupied or vacant at the time the arson was committed.  Either way, it’s still arson under this statute.

The house may be the property of another person or the defendant himself.  In other words, a person can be charged with arson in Mississippi, even if he sets fire to his own property.

In order to prove arson, the State must prove that the fire was set intentionally.  This is usually proven through the use of an arson investigator.  Arson investigators determine whether a fire was intentionally set, by using scientific testing and investigation.

Negligently or accidentally starting a fire is not arson in Mississippi.  The State is not required to prove that the defendant had a motive to commit arson.  However, if the State has evidence of a motive on the part of the defendant, the State can introduce this evidence at trial.  The defendant can then present evidence that he or she had no motive.

In Mississippi, arson is the type of crime that usually does not have any eyewitnesses to the crime or direct evidence linking the suspect to the crime.  The State almost always attempts to prove arson by circumstantial evidence.  Because of this, there are a large number of defenses to available for a person charged with arson.  A few examples of these defenses include:

(a)  The fire was an accident, rather than intentionally set.  The defendant has the right to offer proof through an independent arson investigator that the fire was not intentionally set;

(b) The defendant can show that he had no reason, or motive, to set fire to the property.  This usually occurs when the State alleges that the defendant set fire to the property because of financial difficulties, or where there was bad blood between the defendant and the victim.  Note that the State is not required to prove motive;

(c) The defendant may show that he was somewhere else at the time the fire was started.  This is known as an alibi defense. 

These are but a few of the defenses available to a person charged with arson in Mississippi.  I am a criminal lawyer who handles arson cases in Jackson, Madison, Ridgeland, and all other areas of Mississippi.  If you’ve been charged with arson, please call me at 601.944.1984 to discuss your case.  There is no charge for an initial consultation.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Trespassing Charges

Mississippi criminal law makes trespassing illegal.  A person can be charged with trespassing in Mississippi when he “willfully or maliciously” trespasses upon the property of another person.  Trespassing is a misdemeanor, and carries a potential sentence of up to six (6) months in jail and a $500.00 fine.

Mississippi law further makes trespassing upon “enclosed land” a crime.  To be charged with trespassing in Mississippi under the enclosed land statute, the accused must have entered the land without the owner’s consent, and after being warned not to enter the property.  This warning can be either by personal notice from the landowner, or by “POSTED” signs.  Under a separate statute, Mississippi criminal law makes it illegal to deface, remove, alter or destroy “POSTED” signs, even if the accused did not actually trespass on the land.

Even where a person has the owner’s consent to enter property, he can be charged with trespassing if he does not leave when the owner of the property requests that he do so.

There are defenses to trespassing.  For example, if a person reasonably believes that he is on his own property, and mistakenly trespasses on the property of another, then he is not guilty of trespassing.  This most often arises when a person is in the woods or pasture land and goes onto someone else’s land by mistake.

If you have been charged with a crime in Mississippi, please contact us to discuss your options.  You can call Mississippi criminal defense lawyer Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 for a free consultation.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Lawyer Tells What You Need To Know If Charged With Malicious Mischief In Mississippi

If you’ve been charged with malicious mischief in Mississippi, here’s what you need to know.

The charge of malicious mischief can be either a felony or misdemeanor in Mississippi.  The easiest way to describe the crime of malicious mischief is to say that it is the act of intentionally destroying someone else’s property.  Mississippi criminal law states that a person can be charged with malicious mischief if he intentionally destroys, disfigures, or injures any real or personal property of another person.

If the property destroyed was worth $500.00 or less, then it is a misdemeanor which carries a sentence of twelve (12) months in the county jail, and a fine of $1,000.00.  Where the property destroyed was worth more than $500.00, malicious mischief is a felony in Mississippi, and carries a sentence of five (5) years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.

The value of the property is considered to be the cost to repair or replace the damaged property.

There are defenses available to a charge of malicious mischief.  If you’ve been charged with a crime, please contact us at 601.944.1984, for a complimentary case evaluation.  For more information, you can also visit our Jackson, MS criminal lawyer website.

Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer: Aggravated Assault Charges Dismissed

We are pleased to announce that aggravated assault charges have been dismissed against one of our clients.  The charges were pending in Madison County, Mississippi.

Our client, DV, was charged with aggravated assault in Madison County, which occurred in Ridgeland, Mississippi.  She was accused of stabbing the alleged victim.  DV hired me as her lawyer immediately after she was arrested.

Bond was initially set so high that DV could not get out of jail.  The first order of business was to get a bond reduction.  Within one (1) week of hiring me, I got her bond reduced by 80%, and she bonded out of jail and went home to her family.

As soon as DV made bail, we went to work on the defense investigation of the case.  DV said she acted in self-defense.  We located a witness who saw everything that happened.  This witness was never interviewed by the police.  We convinced the witness to give us a recorded statement.  The statement backed up DV’s claim of self-defense.

As a lawyer who handles aggravated assault cases in Mississippi, I knew that self-defense would be a defense to this charge, so we next began to look into the character and background of the victim.  Our investigation revealed that the victim had criminal convictions for false pretenses in Hinds County, and was currently on probation.  We also discovered that the victim had an active warrant for her arrest.  This information was very relevant to the victim’s credibility as a witness.  This information was disclosed to the prosecutor as required by Mississippi criminal discovery rules.

Trial was set to begin on Tuesday of last week.  The day before trial, the prosecutor notified me that the State had agreed to dismiss the aggravated assault charges against DV.  This was certainly the best result possible, and the prosecutor should be commended for disposing of this case prior to trial.  

As a criminal defense attorney, the most rewarding part of my job is to call a client and tell them that criminal charges have been dismissed.  It was even more rewarding in this case because there was never a doubt in my mind that the client was innocent of these charges.  I also had no doubt that the “victim” would have killed the client had she not defended herself.  It was a clear case of self-defense under Mississippi aggravated assault law, and it was our privilege to protect DV and keep her out of prison.  And now that the charges have been dismissed, we can even get the charge expunged from her record.

This aggravated assault case shows some things you need to know if you are charged with assault in Mississippi:

(1) Just because you get arrested, charged or indicted for assault, it does not always mean you will be convicted;

(2) If you get charged with assault in Mississippi and think it was self-defense, it probably was;

(3) If you are charged with assault in Mississippi you need a criminal lawyer who handles assault cases–and has the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and keep you out of prison;

(4) If you get charged with assault in Mississippi, you need a lawyer who knows how to investigate and prepare assault cases before trial.  Do not assume that the police have interviewed all the witnesses or found all the facts and evidence in your case.  This is the job of a criminal defense lawyer, and can be the difference between going home, or going to prison.

I’m a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer who handles assault cases.  If you have been charged with assault in Mississippi, please contact me at 601.944.1984 to discuss your case.  While I can’t guarantee the same result we got for DV, you can rest assured that we will do everything under the sun, leaving no rock unturned, to get your assault charges dismissed.

Curt Crowley is a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer and is based in Jackson, Mississippi.  He handles assault and other criminal cases in Madison County, Ridgeland, Canton, Madison, Flora and throughout the State of Mississippi.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Theft of Gasoline and Drive-offs

Mississippi has special laws that deal with persons who gas-up their cars at convenience stores, then drive-off without paying.

Under a separate provision of the Mississippi petit larceny statute,

any person who leaves the premises of an establishment at which motor fuel offered for retail sale was dispensed into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle by driving away in that motor vehicle without having made due payment or authorized charge for the motor fuel so dispensed, with intent to defraud the retail establishment, shall be guilty of petit larceny….

The penalty for theft of gasoline in Mississippi includes up to six (6) months in jail, and a fine of $1,000.00.

In addition to jail time and fines, upon a second or subsequent offense, the defendant’s driver’s license will be suspended as follows:

(a) Second offense: Driver’s License shall be suspended for six (6) months;

(b) Third or subsequent offense: Driver’s License shall be suspended for one (1) year.

The penalties for driving off without paying for gas are substantial, especially given the mandatory license suspension for second and subsequent offenses.  If you have been charged or arrested for theft of gasoline, please contact Curt Crowley, a Jackson MS criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.