Category Archives: Misdemeanor Crimes

A discussion of misdemeanor crimes under Mississippi law.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Lawyer Explains False Statements to Obtain Credit Cards

Mississippi criminal law prohibits making false statements to obtain a credit card.  Mississippi Code Section 97-19-11 makes it illegal to “directly or indirectly” makes a “false statement in writing with intent that it be relied upon with respect to his identity or that of any other person, firm or corporation.”

In Mississippi, providing false information to obtain a credit card is a misdemeanor.  If convicted of this crime, a person is facing a sentence of six (6) months in jail and a fine of $1,000.00.

Mississippi limits this statute to false statements regarding identity.  This law was obviously enacted in response to the related crime of identity theft.  Other statements one might falsify on a credit card application, such as income, do not fall under this statute.  However, lying about such other matters to obtain a credit card may be illegal under other state and federal criminal statutes.

There are defenses to the charge of making false statements to obtain credit cards in Mississippi.  If you have been arrested for this crime or other fraud-related offenses, please contact Jackson, Mississippi criminal defense lawyer Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 to discuss your case.  As always, there is no cost for an initial consultation.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains What You Need To Know If Charged With Possession Of Stolen Property

If you’re charged with possession of or receiving stolen property in Mississippi, here are some things you need to know.  

A person is guilty of possession of stolen property or receiving stolen property under Mississippi law if he intentionally possesses, receives, retains or disposes of stolen property.  Mississippi law requires that a person charged with receiving or possession of stolen property either (1) know that the property is stolen, or (2) have reasonable grounds to believe that the property is stolen. 

Under Mississippi law, the standard for deciding whether a person should have known the property was stolen is whether the accused received the stolen property under circumstances that reasonable men would believe the property was stolen.  The State sometimes tries to prove this by showing that the accused person paid a lot less for the property than the property was worth.  For example, if a person buys a Glock pistol for $50.00, when the fair market value is $500.00, then he obviously should know that it is stolen.  In such a case, the person would likely be found guilty of possession or receiving stolen property in Mississippi.

Whether possession of stolen property is a felony or a misdemeanor in Mississippi depends on the value of the property.  If the property has a value of $500.00 or less, then it is a misdemeanor which carries a sentence of six (6) months in the county jail.  If the stolen property has a value of more than $500.00, then it is a felony, with a potential sentence of ten (10) years in prison and a fine of $10,000.00.

There are defenses to the charge of possession or receiving stolen property in Mississippi.  These cases are easiest to defend where the State tries to prove that the defendant paid so much less for the property than it was worth, that he should have known it was stolen.  As an example, I once had a client who purchased a stolen vehicle for $750.00 from another individual (my client did not know it was stolen).  The Blue Book value of the vehicle was around $6,000.00.  However, when my client bought the car, the engine was knocking and leaking oil, and the transmission needed to be replaced.  Under those circumstances, my client likely overpaid for the car.  After presenting those facts to the prosecutor, the State dismissed the possession of stolen property charge against my client.

If you have been charged with possession of stolen property or receiving stolen property, don’t assume you are guilty.  Please contact Jackson, Mississippi criminal defense attorney Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 for a free case evaluation.

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 Attorney Explains Attempt to Commit a Crime

Mississippi law makes it a crime to attempt to commit a criminal offense.  Under Mississippi criminal law,

Every person who shall design and endeavor to commit an offense, and shall do any overt act toward the commission thereof, but shall fail therein, but shall be prevented from committing the same [is guilty of attempt]….

Mississippi Code Section 97-1-7.

The sentence for attempt in Mississippi depends on the crime that was attempted.  If the crime attempted was a capital crime, such as the Mississippi capital murder or capital rape laws, then the potential sentence is ten (10) years in prison.  For all other crimes, whether felonies or misdemeanors, the potential sentence is the same as the sentence for the crime that was attempted.

Mississippi’s attempt statute applies to all crimes under Mississippi law.  Courts in Mississippi have specifically addressed attempt to commit the following offenses:

Murder;

Aggravated Assault;

House Burglary;

Robbery;

Armed Robbery;

Jury Tampering;

False Pretenses;

Embezzlement;

Rape;

Capital Rape;

Sexual Battery; and 

Kidnaping

Under Mississippi law, in order to convict a person of attempt to commit a crime, the State must prove (1) that the defendant intended to commit a certain crime; (b) that the defendant took some action or did some type of act toward committing the crime; and (c) that the defendant failed to actually complete the crime.

If the crime is actually completed, then the defendant cannot be charged with attempt.  See Mississippi Code Section 97-1-9.

Mississippi law provides many defenses to the charge of attempt.  If you have been charged with attempt or any other crime, you need a Mississippi criminal lawyer to handle your case.  Please contact me at 601.944.1984, or visit my Mississippi criminal defense website for more information.

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.

Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Petit Larceny

Petit Larceny (pronounced “petty” larceny) is a misdemeanor crime in Mississippi.

The crime of petit larceny is identical to grand larceny, with one important exception: the value of the stolen property.  In order to convict the accused of petit larceny in Mississippi, the State must prove:

(1) that the accused took, stole and carried away;

(2) the personal property of another person; and

(3) that the property had a value of less than $500.00.

See Mississippi Code Section 97-17-43.

The same general rules that apply to grand larceny also apply to petit larceny.  Most notably, the State has to prove that the accused took the property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the use of the property.  Also, if the accused intended to use the property temporarily, and then return it to the owner, he cannot be found guilty of petit larceny.

While petit larceny is a misdemeanor in Mississippi, there are still substantial penalties: Up to six (6) months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.  If the victim is a church or other place of worship, the penalty is doubled to one (1) year in jail and a $2,000.00 fine.

If you’ve been charged with petit larceny in Mississippi, please contact me at 601.944.1984 to discuss your case.