Mississippi has a strong, tough law against domestic violence. While Mississippi’s domestic violence law is strong, it is also fairly simple to understand, as it overlaps with the misdemeanor simple assault statute.
Under Mississippi law, a person is guilty of misdemeanor, or “simple,” domestic violence if he (a) intentionally or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, (b) negligently causes injury to a person using a deadly weapon, or (c) attempts by “physical menace” to cause someone fear of “imminent” bodily harm. These are the same exact elements as the Mississippi misdemeanor simple assault statute. However, in order to be the crime of domestic violence, the victim must have one of the following relationships with the defendant:
1. A Current or former spouse;
2. A child of a current or former spouse;
3. A person living as a spouse, or who formerly lived as a spouse with the defendant;
4. A child of one of the persons in #3;
5. Any other relative who lives or formerly lived with the defendant;
6. A person who has a current or former dating relationship with the defendant; or
7. A person with whom the defendant has a biological or adopted child.
See Mississippi Code Section 97-3-7(3).
A person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence faces up to six (6) months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. If a person is convicted of a third or subsequent domestic violence offense, then the charge is a felony. In this situation, the penalties include a minimum of five (5) days to a maximum of ten (10) years in prison.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, please contact me at 601-944-1984 to discuss the facts of your arrest and charges. There is no cost for an initial consultation.