Weapons charges in the state of Mississippi come in many forms and carry different sets of penalties.  Probably the most common type of weapon charge is unlawfully carrying a handgun.  Carrying a concealed handgun in Mississippi as a first offense is punishable by a fine of $100 to $500 or six months imprisonment in the county jail, or both.  For second offenses on up, the punishment is greater.

Having a valid Mississippi handgun carry permit, or a permit from a reciprocal jurisdiction, is a defense to prosecution.  Valid permit holders may carry their weapons in Mississippi in any place where it’s not otherwise illegal to carry.  It is also an exception if the individual, without a permit, is carrying in his or her home, place of business, vehicle, or while engaged in lawful sport-shooting activities.

Can a Mississippi weapons charge be removed from your record?  If it is a misdemeanor charge, yes.  Felonies, however, cannot.  Generally the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony under Mississippi law is the length of punishment.  Misdemeanors are punished at less than a year, and felonies are punished at a year or greater.  Also, the place of confinement matters.  Imprisonment for misdemeanors is in the county jail, while imprisonment for felonies is in the state penitentiary.

First and second offense weapons crimes in Mississippi are misdemeanors (punishment of up to six months in the county jail), so it would be possible to have these charges removed from your record.  It may require supervised probation, paying court costs and fines, and filing a petition for expungement with the court.  To insure that an unlawful weapons possession charge does not go on your record, contact a Southaven criminal defense lawyer for help.

A third offense, however, is a felony because it is punishable by at least one year in the state penitentiary.  Felony weapons charges in Mississippi cannot be expunged from your record.  Carrying a weapon on school property, even as a first offense, is a felony punishable up to three years.  Additionally, carrying or using a weapon in the commission of any felony may bring an additional five years’ punishment (separate from the punishment for the underlying felony) which cannot be reduced or suspended through probation.

Mississippi gun crimes can bring all sorts of unpleasant consequences including jail time, a permanent conviction, and confiscation of the weapon.  If you have been charged with one of these offenses, contact Patrick Stegall, a Southaven gun crimes attorney.  Mr. Stegall can help you avoid a permanent conviction.  Please call him at (901) 205-9894, or email him at pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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