Category Archives: Nonviolent Crime

Exploration of non-violent crimes, or crimes that do not involve the use of violence, 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 Discusses Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell or Distribute

If you’ve been charged with possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana in Mississippi, there are some things you need to know.

Mississippi Code Section 41-29-139 makes it a felony crime to “sell, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribute, dispense or possess with intent to sell barter, transfer, distribute or dispense” marijuana.

The penalties for possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana in Mississippi are severe.  If the amount of marijuana involved is less than 30 grams, the potential sentence is three (3) years in prison, and a $3,000.00 fine.  In the case of a first offender who is charged with possession with intent to sell or distribute more than 30 grams, but less than 1 kilogram or marijuana, the potential sentence is twenty (20) years in prison, and a fine of $30,000.00.  In all other cases, the potential sentence is thirty (30) years in prison, and a fine of $5,000.00 (minimum) to $1,000,000.00 (maximum).

In Mississippi, the State must prove that the accused possessed the marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute.  Intent must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Sometimes there is direct evidence of intent, such as where a person who has agreed to deliver marijuana to an informant is arrested on the way to make the delivery.  Most cases, however, are based on circumstantial evidence.

Under Mississippi law, the State may try to prove that a person had the intent to sell or distribute by showing that the amount of the marijuana in the person’s possession is proof of intent to sell.  In order to charge and convict a person based upon the amount of marijuana, Mississippi prosecutors must prove that the amount of marijuana in his possession exceeded the amount that would be reasonable for personal use.  Mississippi law states that if the amount of marijuana could just as likely be for personal use, as it was for sell or distribution, then the person cannot be convicted of possession with intent.  The proper charge in such a case would be simple possession of marijuana

In addition to the amount of marijuana, Mississippi law states that the packaging of the marijuana as well as other evidence of drug trafficking may be used to show possession with intent to sell or distribute.

In Mississippi, it is seldom easy for the State to prove possession with intent based upon the weight and packaging of marijuana.  The Mississippi Supreme Court has held that where a defendant was caught with 323.4 grams of marijuana, two (2) scales, a device used to hold marijuana, rolling papers, and $356.00 in cash, there was insufficient evidence of intent to sell or distribute.  The Court stated that the amount of marijuana was within the amount that a person could reasonably use, and that the holding device and rolling papers were consistent with using marijuana, not selling it.  Jowers v. State, 593 So.2d 46 (Miss. 1992).  Instead of possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana, the defendant could only be convicted of simple possession of marijuana.  This is significant, as the penalties for simple possession are much less than those for possession with intent.

If you have been charged with possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana in Mississippi, there are defenses available.  You need a criminal defense lawyer to handle your case and protect your interests.  Please call Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 for a free consultation.  For more information, please feel free to visit our Mississippi criminal defense website.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Felony Possession of Marijuana

Possession of marijuana is illegal under Mississippi law.  Whether or not possession of marijuana is a felony under Mississippi law depends upon how much marijuana was in the person’s possession at the time they were arrested.

Marijuana is weighed by the gram.  If the amount of marijuana is thirty (30) grams or less, then the charge of possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Mississippi.  If the amount of marijuana is more than thirty (30) grams, then the person will be charged with possession of marijuana as a felony in Mississippi.

Mississippi law states that the potential penalty for a charge of possession of marijuana also depends upon the weight of the marijuana.  The weights and potential sentences are as follows:

More than 30 grams, but less than 250 grams:  three (3) years in prison and a $3,000.00 fine;

250 grams, but less than 500 grams: two (2) years to eight (8) years in prison and a $50,000.00 fine;

500 grams, but less than 1 kilogram: four (4) to sixteen (16) years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine;

1 kilogram, but less than 5 kilograms: six (6) to twenty-four (24) years in prison and a $500,000.00 fine;

5 kilograms or more: ten (10) to thirty (30) years in prison and a $1,000,000.00 fine.

If you’ve been charged with possession of marijuana in Mississippi, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to protect your interests.  Possession of marijuana carries stiff penalties under Mississippi law.  If you’ve been charged with possession, please call criminal defense lawyer Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 for a free case evaluation.  You may also visit our Mississippi criminal defense website for more information.

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.

Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Tells What You Need To Know If Charged With Sale of Methamphetamine Or Possession With Intent to Distribute

If you have been arrested and charged with sale of methamphetamine, or possession with intent to sell, distribute or transfer meth in Mississippi, there are some things you need to know.

(1) It is illegal in Mississippi to sell, transfer, manufacture or distribute methamphetamine;

(2) It is also illegal to possess methamphetamine with the intent to sell, transfer, manufacture or distribute to another person;

(3) Regardless of whether you are charged with possession with intent, or the actual sale of methamphetamine, the penalties are the same;

(4) If you are charged with possession with intent, or the sale or transfer of methamphetamine, you face a potential sentence of thirty (30) years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.00;

(5) Even though you may think you are guilty, there are many defenses to possession of meth, and the State’s case is seldom as strong as you think;

(6) If the charge is possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, deliver, etc., the amount of meth in your possession may require that the charge be reduced to simple possession of meth.  This will greatly reduce the potential maximum sentence you face.

I’m a criminal lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi, and represent people charged with possession with intent to sell methamphetamine and other drugs and controlled substances.  If you have been charged with sale of methamphetamine or other controlled substances, please contact us at our Jackson, Mississippi criminal defense website for a free case evaluation.