July 23, 2014

Big Rig Overturns on Highway 28

Earlier this week, a semi truck overturned on Highway 28. The incident happened in Copiah County, just east of Hazlehurst. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the big rig was hauling 43,000 containers of windshield wiper fluid at the time of the crash. Initial reports from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality indicate that none of the fluid was spilled onto the roadway.

According to the driver, a car crossed over the centerline, and he turned off the road to avoid it. Thankfully, no injuries were reported. Any time 18-wheelers are involved in crashes, the potential for danger is very high. They are so much larger and heavier than traditional passenger vehicles, and they don't stop on a dime. If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi truck accident, contact the experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC today.

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July 23, 2014

Multiple Drug and Burglary Arrests in Clinton

Last week, at least nine arrests were made in connection with a burglary and drug raid in Clinton. According to WJTV News Channel 12, a burglary at the Shell convenience store on Clinton Boulevard and a drug raid at a house on Suzy Lane were connected through various suspects. Initial reports indicate that nine people were arrested in connection those crimes and a variety of other crimes around Jackson.

Shell Store Burglarized

At around 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning, the Shell store on Clinton Boulevard was burglarized by two suspects. Law enforcement officers did acquire in-store video footage of the suspects. One of the suspects apparently had a distinctive tattoo.

Suzy Lane Drug Bust

On Monday evening, officers took Edward Burtts into custody as a result of a drug bust on Suzy Lane. Because of a tattoo, they allegedly connected Burtts to the Shell store burglary and other burglaries around South Clinton. An additional suspect, William E. Weeden, was also taken into custody in connection with the burglary.

Seven Additional Arrests

Law enforcement officials from various agencies made an additional seven arrests in connection with these two incidents and other crimes. Additional charges from the Jackson Police Department, Hinds County Sherriff's Department and the Madison Sherriff's Office may be pending.

Drug Arrests

Some of the suspects are facing a variety of charges ranging from possession of paraphernalia to possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. With mandatory minimums, even the mildest of these charges could carry heavy penalties, so accused parties should contact experienced criminal defense attorneys with proven drug case experience swiftly for the best possible outcome.

Burglary Arrests

It sounds like both Edward Burtts and William Weeden are facing multiple charges from various jurisdictions, with additional charges pending. Burglary, larceny and robbery convictions can also carry heavy sentences, so it would be unwise to trust your case to an inexperienced attorney or an overburdened public defender. Nothing is more important than making sure your rights are being protected during a criminal case. Whether you're facing misdemeanor or felony charges in state or Federal courts, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible for the best representation.

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July 23, 2014

Expert Testimony in Mississippi Product Liability Cases

1958-ford-headlight-cowl-ornament-837901-m.jpgIn order to prove causation, a plaintiff asserting design or manufacturing defects must show proof of a defect as well as causation to recover under the Mississippi Products Liability Act. Defect and causation can be difficult to prove where there are multiple corporations involved in the design and manufacturing of an allegedly defective product. These elements can also be difficult to prove where a claim is cutting-edge. The more novel a claimed defect is, the more difficult it can be to secure reliable expert testimony to support the claim.

A 2012 case arose from a car accident on U.S. Hwy 45 in Mississippi. Doris Riley ran a stop sign and crossed the highway, crashing her Toyota into the side of a Ford Probe. The three-year-old daughter of Kelly Grant, who was driving the Ford Probe, was sitting in the driver's side rear seat and suffered a fatal head injury during the accident.

Grant sued Ford, claiming that the Ford Probe's design and manufacturing defects caused her daughter's death. Ford moved for summary judgment during the course of litigation, and the trial court granted the motion.

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July 16, 2014

Multiple Injury-Causing Car Crashes Around Jackson

On Sunday, three separate car crashes sent multiple people to the hospital. According to WJTV News Channel 12, one of the wrecks happened in Warren County, sometime after 10:00 a.m. on I-20. The incident occurred near exit 15 and involved a Ford F-250 pickup truck and an Expedition. Apparently, the F-250 was headed eastbound on 1-20, when it drifted into the right lane and ran the Expedition off the road and into a ditch. The F-250 then overturned. The driver was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries, but there's no word on whether or not anybody else was injured in that wreck. Law enforcement officials remarked that the driver may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Head-on Collision in Copiah County

An unrelated wreck in Copiah County sent two people to the hospital. The wreck happened at about 9:30 a.m. on Old Port Gibson Road in Hazlehurst. Very few details have been released about this head-on collision between a pickup truck and a car.

One-Car Crash in Lawrence County

A man in Lawrence County was taken to the hospital after his car struck a light pole on Bobby Kennedy Road. There's no word on the extent of his injuries or his current condition. Additionally, no information has been released on the cause of the wreck, which is likely still under investigation.

Dealing with the Aftermath

Car accident victims are often left in the hospital and out of work. You might be facing extensive medical bills, property damage and lost wages associated with the wreck. To top it off, you're finding your insurance company a little less than helpful to work with. Putting the pieces of your life back together after a car accident can be difficult, especially if you're still trying to recover from injuries.

After a Car Accident

After any kind of car accident, your first priority needs to be taking care of your immediate medical needs. Next, you need to speak with an experienced injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can be your advocate during a difficult time, and even deal with pushy insurance companies. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to somebody else's negligent, careless or willful misconduct behind the wheel, contact the experienced injury attorneys at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation today.

July 16, 2014

Drug Bust in Hinds County

On Sunday, a drug bust in Hinds County landed 41-year-old Anthony Demond Thompson in jail. The incident happened at around 7:00 p.m. at 557 Kirkley Drive in Jackson. According to WJTV News Channel 12, deputies found five pounds of high grade marijuana, scales, cell phones and a small caliber hand gun during their search. Thompson's mother was also questioned on the scene. Very few details have been released about this bust, which is being called an ongoing investigation. WJTV News did report that law enforcement authorities are hoping to arrest more people in combination with this bust.

After a Drug Arrest

After any kind of arrest involving drugs, whether you're facing state or federal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can ascertain whether or not you were lawfully searched and be your advocate during this difficult time. Even first-time nonviolent offenders can face heavy sentences due to mandatory minimums.

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July 15, 2014

Design Defects in Mississippi

oil-rig-at-night-1434470-m.jpgIn a 2012 Mississippi Supreme Court case, a plaintiff claimed he suffered from asbestosis because of a product used on certain oil and gas drilling rigs where he had been employed. He sued the product manufacturer, alleging design defects and failure to warn, and also sued for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The product was a drilling additive used to increase the viscosity of drilling mud fluids called Flosal, which contained 85-95% asbestos. The fluids were used on rigs to lift cuttings from the bottom of the well bore to the surface of it. It would be pumped down the well through a drill pipe and back to the surface with the cuttings.

The plaintiff had worked on oil and gas rigs from 1964-1983. He worked in several capacities and used different viscosifiers, which included Flosal. In 1995, he started to experience shortness of breath, and an x-ray showed pulmonary fibrosis or lung scarring. He wasn't treated for fibrosis then, but he got treatment from a pulmonologist in 2003. The doctor who treated him found that he was probably suffering from asbestosis and conclusively diagnosed him with asbestosis in 2010. Individuals with asbestosis do not develop symptoms until 15-30 years after exposure to asbestos fibers.

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July 9, 2014

20 DUI Arrests Over Holiday Weekend

Over the holiday weekend, law enforcement officers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) made 20 DUI arrests in the Metro area. Statewide, there were 203 DUI arrests by the MHP. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the MHP started their holiday operational hours from Thursday evening to Sunday. It's not uncommon for local and state law enforcement authorities to step up their efforts to catch suspected drunk drivers over holiday weekends. The total number of DUI arrests in Jackson and statewide is unknown, because these numbers don't reflect arrests made by local law enforcement authorities.

Need to Know: DUI in Mississippi

In Mississippi, it is illegal for drivers to be under the influence of alcohol while they're behind the wheel or while having a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher. Read that again, because it does not say "driving drunk." And if there is not a breath test, the officer can still charge a driver with driving under the influence of intoxicating beverages or under the influence of some other substance. For drivers under the age of 21, a BAC of .02% or more is illegal, and for commercial drivers, a BAC of .04% or more is illegal. If your or a loved one has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you need to contact a skilled DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The negative effects of a DUI conviction can follow you for years to come.

What if I Refuse the Breath Test?

If you refuse a breath test, you will have to go through a breath test refusal hearing. In this hearing, the State will have to prove their case by a "preponderance of the evidence," which basically means "more likely than not." This hearing allows your attorney a chance to cross-examine the arresting officer, which can be incredibly helpful, especially if you feel like he or she didn't have probable cause to stop your vehicle. Your license will be suspended for a period of time, but you will be issued a temporary license which will be valid for 45 days.

Going to Trial

The initial DUI trial will be held in either a Justice Court or a Municipal Court. Of course, the top priority is getting you cleared of all charges, but in the event of a guilty verdict, the next step is an appeal. You will be able to appeal the conviction to County Court or Circuit Court, depending on where you've been convicted. The most important thing you can do for your case is speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates don't want to handle every DUI. Rather, they are the attorneys for professionals like doctors, lawyers, businessmen, students, and other people who must have their driver's license. The attorneys have a proven record of success, it is not empty talk. If you have a DUi problem call to discuss your problem with one of the attorneys. You will receive straightforward and honest advice.

July 9, 2014

Madison County Drug Arrest

Last week, a man in Madison County was arrested for allegedly having 10 pounds of marijuana and 125 doses of ecstasy in his possession. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Fred Carvin Jr. was charged with possession of marijuana and ecstasy with intent to distribute. He was released from jail on a $10,000 bond.

The arrest happened on I-55 near exit 125. Apparently, he was pulled over, and law enforcement officials claimed to have smelled marijuana in the vehicle, which Carvin denies. They searched the automobile and found a small bag of marijuana and then found 10 pounds in the trunk along with the ecstasy.

Due to the amount of Marijuana involved, if convicted Carvin could face very stiff sentencing, even if he's a first time offender. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with possession, contact the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC today.

The State of Mississippi recently enacted H.B. 585 which made substantial changes in many criminal punishments. However substantial amounts of drugs still carry very harsh punishments. This gentlemen needs to get legal counsel immediately.

Merrida Coxwell and Charles Mullins are two (2) of the partners at Coxwell & Associates. Both are experienced attorneys due to the number of cases they have handled and the complexity of cases. While many other lawyers advertise "they have experience" a search of their legal backgrounds show otherwise. A search of Merrida Coxwell and Chuck Mullins on Google produces page after page of stories about real cases. If you have a criminal problem or have incurred a serious injury, call Merrida Coxwell or Chuck Mullins at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC.

July 8, 2014

Employer Liability After a Catastrophic Accident in Mississippi

fire-brigade-759826-m.jpgIt can be difficult to recover the full amount needed after a catastrophic accident with serious injuries or deaths in Mississippi. The minimum insurance coverage required per person for bodily injury is $25,000, and the minimum for bodily injury per accident is $50,000.

If a defendant only has the minimum insurance, long-term treatment for injuries such as traumatic brain injury or paralysis would not be compensated appropriately. Accordingly, there are some instances where it may be appropriate to assert vicarious liability. For example, it may be strategically important to assert employer liability in a vehicle accident case in order to ensure that there are several potential sources of compensation.

In a recent case, an appellate court considered an automobile accident that involved issues of employer liability. The case arose when a man was driving his motorcycle in Mississippi when he was hit by a car driven by a woman on her way to work. He suffered bodily injuries and property damage. He sued the woman claiming "negligent, careless and wanton conduct" and asked for more than $1 million in damages. The woman was transporting open containers of paint thinner at the time.

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July 3, 2014

I-55 Drug Bust in Jackson

On Tuesday night, three people were arrested in a drug bust on I-55. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the three suspects, Jill Norman, Niesha Moore and Brandy Cain, were all charged with possession of meth and possession of paraphernalia. Two of the suspects were booked in the Hinds County Jail and released. The third suspect allegedly had an outstanding warrant and was taken to the Rankin County Jail.

WJTV News reports that this is an ongoing investigation, and officials with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics expect to make additional arrests. Very few details about the bust have been released, but if you or a loved one is facing drug possession and paraphernalia charges, contact the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC today. Whether you're facing charges in federal or state court, our experienced defense attorneys are ready to fight for your rights.

July 3, 2014

Tractor Trailer Runs Off Road

Earlier this week, an 18-wheeler accident had portions of I-55 closed in Lincoln County, Mississippi. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the semi truck ran off the roadway and crashed into an area full of trees. Initial reports indicate that the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. WJTV also reports that the truck, which is owned by Central Transport LLC out of Warren, Michigan, wasn't hauling any kind of hazardous materials.

Truckers Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

The southbound lane of the roadway had to be closed as MDOT cleaned up the scene. Thankfully, no other vehicles were involved in this wreck. Commercial truck drivers have a variety of federal regulations and rules to follow to prevent incidents like this from happening. There are even rules and regulations to keep drivers from getting behind the wheel when they're tired. If a driver is found to have violated any regulations, he or she can be held accountable for damages if anybody else has been injured or killed.

Crashes Involving Semi Trucks

Since 18-wheelers are so much larger and heavier than traditional passenger occupant vehicles, crashes can be devastating and fatal for other motorists. Since these trucks are so large, and sometimes carry volatile and hazardous materials, it's absolutely essential that drivers and trucking companies adhere to the federal safety regulations strictly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The commercial trucking industry must comply with all federal regulations in order to operate on U.S. roadways safely. Semi trucks are just too big to have drowsy, distracted or impaired drivers behind the wheel.

After a Tractor Trailer Accident

After an accident involving a tractor trailer, it's absolutely critical to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Commercial trucking cases are much more complicated that traditional car accident cases. Attorneys need to be familiar with federal trucking safety regulations, and additional investigative efforts may be necessary for the case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a semi truck, contact the experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free consultation today.

June 27, 2014

MHP Chopper Locates Eleven Marijuana Plants

On Wednesday, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety's (DPS) new helicopter took its maiden-mission flight. By 3:30 p.m., 11 marijuana plants were located and seized. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) is working with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in an attempt to eradicate marijuana growth around the state. This particular mission was conducted in Tchula.

No information was released on whether or not any charges were made, so it's possible that this seizure was conducted without any arrests. If you or a loved one is facing drug procession or trafficking charges of any kind, at the state or federal level, contact the skilled attorneys at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (228) 248-1600 for a case consultation today.

June 27, 2014

Cocaine Possession Arrest in Vicksburg

Last week, a 20-year-old Vicksburg man was arrested for possession of cocaine. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Karllandys Demichael Clark was arrested during a traffic stop. As of last Friday, he was being held without bond and awaiting his initial court appearance at the Issaquena County Correctional Facility. According to WJTV News, law enforcement officers found a bottle containing crack cocaine and powder cocaine during a traffic stop which happened at Drummond and Realty Streets.

Inequality and The War on Drugs

Sadly, the so-called "War on Drugs" does little more than highlight the overwhelming inequality for people of various social classes across the country. With more people in prisons and jails than ever, and increasingly high recidivism rates, it's easy to study the war on drugs as socio-economical class warfare. One of the clearest examples of the war on drug's class-warfare agenda is how different sentences, mandatory minimums and punishments are utilized for different types of drugs. Typically, drug forms that are used more often by people in lower socio-economic classes often carry much higher sentences. A good example of this inequality is the difference between an arrest for cocaine and an arrest for crack cocaine.

Crack Versus Cocaine Charges

Sentencing and mandatory minimums are often much higher for drug cases where crack cocaine is involved than where traditional cocaine is involved. In the early 1990's the general public was lead to believe that crack was infinitely more dangerous than cocaine, and harsher sentences were adopted. The same can be said for methamphetamine sentencing as well. Both of these drugs share a common theme, they're typically used by people who are in a lower socio-economic category than say, powder cocaine drug users or even marijuana users, in some cases.

What to do After a Drug Arrest

After any drug arrest, is absolutely critical to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can be your advocate during a difficult time. Don't trust your fate to an overburdened public defender. Depending on what type of drug was involved, you could be looking at a minimum of 10 years for certain charges, even if you're a first-time offender. Contact the experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for skilled representation in state and federal court at (228) 248-1600.

June 20, 2014

MBN Drug Bust

$100K MBN Drug Bust
On Wednesday, a drug-bust involving federal, state and local law enforcement agencies landed a Gulf Coast man in jail. According to WJTV News Channel 12, over $100,000 in marijuana was seized, along with over $40,000 in cash, eight firearms and two automobiles. Clifton Barry Hall, 60 years old, of D'Iberville, was arrested earlier in the day, prior to the big bust. He allegedly had more than a kilogram of marijuana on him and was charged with intent to distribute.
Hall is being held on a $25,000 bond at the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility. At this time, very few details about this drug bust have been released. WJTV News reports that this arrest was somehow connected to a 10-month investigation being conducted by local, state and federal authorities. If you or a loved one is facing state or federal drug charges, contact the experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (228) 248-1600 today.

June 20, 2014

Do You Know Your Rights?

Everybody knows what "pleading the fifth" means, but do you really understand your rights? If you're pulled over by a police officer or taken into custody, do you know what to do? Chances are, you may have a pretty good idea, but you're still a little fuzzy on the details. After all, you know you have the right to remain silent, but that's easier said than done, when an imposing authority figure begins drilling you with questions. Nobody can take your rights away from you. Should you ever be arrested, detained or questioned for any reason you need to have a full and complete understanding of your rights.

Just the Basics

• The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures.
• The Fifth Amendment protects an individual's right against self-incrimination.

The Fourth Amendment: Just the Facts

Under the Fourth Amendment, you do have the right to refuse consent of car or home searches. You don't have to consent to a search, just because a police officer asks you. In the eyes of the law, a seizure must be reasonable. Did the officer use physical force or a show of authority? Were you detained? In some cases, it may be difficult to recognize a show of authority.

Need to Know: Fifth Amendment

Under the Fifth Amendment, you do have the right not to speak with police officers. If you're being arrested, ask to contact your lawyer. Even if you've been read your "Miranda Rights," you still might think it's okay to talk to police officers. Don't throw away your right against self incrimination. Instead of talking to the police, talk to your lawyer.

Protecting Your Rights

More often than you would think, a misunderstanding of one's rights can land them in jail or prison. In addition to understanding and exercising your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, skilled representation is an absolute necessity. The most important thing you can do after any arrest is contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. If your rights have been violated, or evidence has been obtained unlawfully, an experienced criminal defense attorney can file a motion to suppress the illegally-obtained evidence and help protect your rights. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime at the state or federal level, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for experienced representation.