If you’ve been charged with a crime that’s going to be heard in the Municipal Court of Southaven, MS, you should understand the court procedures and how your particular case will be decided. Municipal court has jurisdiction of any cases that occurred in Southaven, but felony charges must generally be bound over to the Circuit Court in Hernando. The Municipal Court can conduct a preliminary hearing on a felony, but not a guilty plea. Basically, if you’re charged with a felony in Southaven municipal court you must either send it directly to Circuit court, have a preliminary hearing, or attempt to get it reduced to a misdemeanor. Whatever your case, having a Southaven criminal attorney guide you through the process is recommended.
If you’re charged with a misdemeanor, or a felony you’d like to have reduced to a misdemeanor, you obviously want to do everything possible to minimize the chance of jail time and having a permanent conviction. This is going to depend on the seriousness of the charge and whether you have any prior record.
First-time offenders are given the best deals. The court recognizes that people with a clean record should be allowed to keep it that way. Non-violent crimes in particular, such as drug or theft charges, can usually be resolved with having the charge expunged from the person’s record. The court will frequently require a guilty plea and a non-adjudication, which means that you are not convicted and sentenced, but essentially placed on unsupervised probation for six months to a year. At the end of the period the charge is dismissed and you can have it removed from your record.
More serious crimes such as weapons possession or domestic violence will require more work. The probation in these cases may be supervised, and in assault and domestic violence cases the court will likely order counseling or anger management.
To see what options might be available to you in your Municipal Court case, contact Southaven criminal defense attorney Patrick Stegall today. Mr. Stegall specializes in helping first-time offenders stay out of jail and avoid permanent convictions. He may be reached at (901) 205-9894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.