Recently in Criminal Law Category

June 19, 2015

Drug Possession Charges in Jackson

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Earlier this week, 27-year-old Christopher Sheriff was charged with drug possession and intent to distribute in Jackson. According to WJTV News Channel 12, police officers allegedly found an estimated $15,000 worth of marijuana, crack cocaine and powder cocaine in his home.

Although very few details have been released, we do know that Sheriff was reportedly on probation for other crimes at the time. He is currently facing indictments on two counts of aggravated assault on an officer and fleeing from an officer.

If you or somebody you love is facing drug possession charges or intent to distribute charges in or around the Jackson Metro area, contact the experienced criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate consultation.

June 11, 2015

Viral Video "Witness" Arrested for Shoplifting

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The subject of a recent viral video out of Jackson has been arrested in connection with a shoplifting case in Ridgeland. According to WAPT News Channel 16, the green-haired "witness" who allegedly saw a recent car crash that injured a Jackson Police Officer, has been arrested and charged with shoplifting by the Ridgeland Police Department. Although the video of Courtney Barnes wasn't originally aired on local news, for fear of a potentially embellished statement, the video quickly made it online where it went viral.

Shoplifting Arrest in Jackson

Initial reports indicate that Barnes was recognized as resembling the suspect in surveillance photo posted on Instagram by a local small business recently. Apparently, the owner of Swell-O-Phonic in Fondren posted the image, and somebody recognized the suspect in the photo as the viral video star, Courtney Barnes. A warrant was issued, and Barnes was arrested and booked by officers with the Ridgeland Police Department. Law enforcement authorities also reported that Barnes was facing similar charges in Jackson.

Shoplifting Charges in Jackson, Mississippi

Shoplifting charges in and around the Jackson Metro Area are nothing to take lightly. Don't assume that because you're a first time offender or because the crime was non-violent, that you won't do hard time. Shoplifting charges are typically categorized by the value of the allegedly lifted items. The more expensive items in question, the more time you could be facing. The sooner you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case, the better outcome you will have.

When to Call a Criminal Defense Attorney

After any kind of arrest, it's a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your defense. Remember, you do have the right to remain silent, so exercise it. Wait for your lawyer before speaking with detectives or interrogators. You are absolutely entitled to refrain from answering any questions until your lawyer is present.

If you have been arrested for shoplifting or if a loved one has been arrested and charged with shoplifting, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate case consultation.

June 8, 2015

EXPUNGEMENT: Erase Your Past

Have you or your loved ones ever been arrested, convicted, charged with a crime, or been charged with a crime and had the charge dismissed or remanded? Under Mississippi law, the record of that arrest or charge may be expunged. The term "expungement" is just a fancy legal term that means "erasing" your criminal record. There are times in everyone's life when they do things without thinking about future consequences, and those poor or silly choices can comes back to haunt them with a vengeance when they apply for schools, loans, or jobs. These mistakes are often just distant memories to the individual, but to a potential employer, Loan Company, or educational institution that runs a background check, they can be much more serious. And a criminal conviction will take away the right to vote in some instances, the right to hold office, the right to possess a weapon and go hunting.

Even if you are charged and do not get convicted, there is a haunting record of your arrest. Some people may ask, how is this possible? Didn't the judge and prosecutor dismiss or drop the charges because you agreed to go to counseling, mandatory education classes, paid the fines, or you completed all the court asked so you would not have a criminal record? Although, the judge may have dismissed your case or the prosecutor dropped the charges, if you were ever arrested, your "arrest" is recorded and will show up in a background check unless you get it expunged. Having a criminal record is like having a dark shadow always following you. In today's work climate, a person needs a record that is clean if he/she hopes not to start the job search ahead of the next person.

An expungement erases from your record all history of the arrest or conviction. When the attorneys at Coxwell & Associates handle an expungement they personally make sure the Mississippi Criminal Information Center (MCIC) and all arresting agencies get a copy of the expungement. The MCIC then forwards the expungement to the F.B.I. and the National Criminal Information Center to clear the person's record. In addition, at Coxwell & Associates they are able to help you get your record erased from a dozen or more private companies that keep databases of arrests and convictions. As a result, an employer conducting a background check should not be able to locate your previous offense or arrest record since it has been expunged. Under Mississippi law, an expungement will restore a person to the same status before the arrest and charge. The person may not be found guilty of perjury for not mentioning the arrest or conviction.

MISDEMEANOR EXPUNGEMENT

A misdemeanor arrest or charge can be expunged from a person's record in Mississippi. A misdemeanor is a "minor" crime, or one which does not result in prison time. A misdemeanor can carry up to a year in the County Jail and a fine. So, misdemeanors are not really "minor" crimes. The majority of people who encounter the criminal justice system are charged with misdemeanors and these charges can be devastating on a person's future.

First Offense: Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §99-19-71(1), "Any person who is convicted of a misdemeanor, excluding a conviction for a traffic violation, and who is a first offender, may petition the justice, county, circuit or municipal court in which the conviction was had for an order to expunge any such conviction from all public records."
There are some situations that provide for expungement of additional misdemeanor convictions obtained in municipal court. Miss. Code Ann. § 21-23-7(6) provides that upon prior notice to the prosecuting attorney and upon a showing in open court of (1) rehabilitation, (2) good conduct for a period of 2 years since the last conviction in any court and (3) that the best interest of society would be served, the court may, in its discretion, order the record of conviction of a person of any or all misdemeanors in that court expunged.

Non-Adjudication: Under Mississippi law a misdemeanor charge that has been non-adjudicated shall be dismissed upon successful completion of court-imposed conditions. Upon dismissal, Mississippi law directs the Court to expunge the record upon petition to the Court. However, Courts and prosecutors do not expunge or erase your record for you. You must do it yourself.

Expungement after Dismissal or No Charge: Mississippi law requires the Court, upon petition, to expunge the record in which an arrest was made, the individual was released and the case was dismissed or the charges were dropped or there was no disposition of the case or the individual was not formally charged within 12 months of being arrested.

Expungement of Minor in Possession Charge: A minor in possession of light wine and beer conviction may be expunged in certain circumstances but no "sooner than one (1) year after the dismissal of the charge or completion of any sentence and/or payment of any fine." Miss. Code Ann. § 67-3-70(6).

DUI EXPUNGEMENT

Upon 5 years after successful completion of all the terms and conditions of the sentenced imposed by the court, the individual can petition the circuit court were convicted to have the DUI expunged if (1) it was a first offense DUI under Miss. Code Ann. §63-11-30(2) or (3); (2) the individual is not a holder of a commercial driver license holder (CDL); (3) the individual did not refuse to submit to a blood or breath test; (4) the individual's blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) tested below .16% (if available); (5) the individual has not been convicted or does not have any pending charges of DUI; and (6) the individual provides the court with justification of why the DUI conviction should be expunged. This right to expungement is relatively new. It became the law in 2014.

FELONY EXPUNGEMENT

Some felony charges can be expunged, even after a guilty plea or a conviction. Any felony charge that was dismissed, not prosecuted or the individual was found not guilty can be expunged.
Expungement of Certain Felonies: Mississippi law allows for the expungement of the following felony convictions:

1. A bad check offense ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-19-55;
2. Possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(c) or (d);
3. False pretense ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-19-39;
4. Larceny ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-14-41;
5. Malicious mischief ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-17-67; or
6. Shoplifting ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-23-93.

An individual is only eligible to expunge one of the above felony convictions. Any person convicted of one of the above felonies must wait 5 years from the successful completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence before petitioning the court for an expungement. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-71(2) (a).
Expungement of Felonies Committed While Under the Age of 18: Mississippi law allows for the expungement of additional felony convictions if committed while the person was under the age of 18. In such cases, any one felony conviction may be expunged except for the following:

1. Rape ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-65 and 97-3-71;
2. Sexual Battery ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-95;
3. Murder ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-21;
4. Manslaughter ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-25;
5. Carjacking ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-113 through 97-3-117;
6. Burglary of a commercial establishment or occupied dwelling;
7. Cyberstalking ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-45-15;
8. Exploitation of children by the use of computer or other means ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-5-31 through 97-5-37;
9. Armed robbery ~ Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-79; and
10. Any felony that, in the determination of the circuit court, is a violent crime or felony that is related to the distribution of a controlled substance and in the court's discretion such should not be expunged.
An individual is only eligible to expunge one felony conviction committed while under the age of 18. Any individual with such conviction must wait 5 years from the date of successful completion of all terms and conditions imposed in the sentence before expungement is available. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-71. Beginning July 1st, 2015, a person who received a felony conviction under the age of twenty-one (21) may obtain an expungement.

Expungement for Non-adjudication or Pretrial Intervention: When a felony charge has been non-adjudicated, Mississippi law allows that upon successful completion of the court imposed terms and conditions, the charge is to be dismissed. Upon dismissal of the charge and upon petition to the Court, the law instructs the Court to expunge the record.

Expungement after Dismissal or Case Retired to File: Mississippi law requires, upon petition, the Court to expunge the record of any case in which an arrest was made, the individual arrested was released and the case was dismissed or the charges were dropped or there was no disposition of the case. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-15-26 (5) or §99-19-71(4).

Crimes That Cannot Be Expunged: Mississippi law does not allow for expungement of the following crimes.

1. Sex offenses. If an individual is required to register as a sex offender, the underlying conviction cannot be expunged. Miss. Code Ann. § 45-33-55.
2. Violent Crimes
1. Attempted Murder
2. Aggravated Assault
3. Manslaughter
4. Killing of an unborn child
5. Kidnapping
6. Human trafficking
7. Poisoning

If you have a prior arrest or conviction and would like to inquire about an expungement, please contact the team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at 601-948-1600. The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates have real experience helping people solve life's problems.

May 21, 2015

Robbery Arrest in Jackson

On Tuesday, a woman was arrested in connection with a robbery at the Regional Bank at 1455 Jacksonian Plaza. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 40-year-old Latina M. Younger was arrested and charged with bank robbery. She allegedly used a note to demand money from a bank teller. Although she apparently fled on foot, law enforcement officers apprehended her at the Venture Car Wash in Jackson, shortly after the robbery took place.

Robbery Charges in Jackson

Although very few case details have been released, we do know that she was interviewed at the station and charged with bank robbery. If you or somebody you love is facing bank robbery charges in or around the Jackson Metro area, contact the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate consultation.

May 14, 2015

Burglary Arrests in Clinton

Earlier this week, two people were arrested in connection with recent burglaries in Clinton. According to WJTV News Channel 12, an unidentified minor and 18-year-old Paul Covington have been charged with two counts of burglary. The burglaries in question reportedly happened at local churches.

At this time, very few details about the investigation or the arrests have been released. We do know that the two suspects are being accused of burglarizing both the Parkway Baptist Church and Providence Presbyterian Church.

If you or somebody you love is facing burglary charges in or around the Jackson area, contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate case consultation.

May 7, 2015

Vicksburg Marijuana Arrest

A woman in Vicksburg is now facing drug charges after a search and subsequent arrest by the Vicksburg Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 33-year-old LaToya Mitchell has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Very few details have been released, but she was allegedly found to have two pounds of marijuana in her possession.

Although this was a joint arrest by two different law enforcement agencies, we don't know why Mitchell was searched or any other details about her case. At this time, she is being held on a $10,000 bond at the Warren County Jail.

If you or a loved one is facing charges related to marijuana possession or distribution, you need to speak with a proven criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Thanks to the War on Drugs and mandatory minimums, even first-time non-violent offenders can do hard time.

April 29, 2015

Aggravated Assault in Hattiesburg

At least two people are wanted in associate with an aggravated assault that took place in Hattiesburg over the weekend. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened on Eagle Drive. Apparently, there was some type of altercation that escalated to a shooting. Although very few details have been released, we do know that authorities are looking for Damion Robertson and Randall Bridges in connection with this incident.

Assault Versus Aggravated Assault in Mississippi

Whether you've just been arrested or a friend or family member is facing assault charges, you may be wondering what the difference between assault and aggravated assault is. In most cases, aggravated assault typically involves weapons or some kind of escalation of violence. Simple assault charges might involve minor fisticuffs, pushing somebody or grabbing somebody. Cases involving weapons, guns, knives or any type of object used as a weapon will quickly escalate the charge from simple to aggravated. Listed below are a few different types of aggravated assault.

Different Types of Aggravated Assault

• Using a weapon of any kind
• Using an ordinary object as a weapon
• Shooting
• Injuring somebody very badly whether a weapon was used or not
• Stabbing
• Using a car as a weapon
• Using a stick or bat to strike somebody with

Felony Charges in Mississippi

If a weapon was used or serious bodily injury has occurred, you're likely facing aggravated assault charges. It's important to note that these will be felony charges. This means you could do a minimum of one year in a federal prison. Depending upon the severity and details of your particular case, you could be facing an extensive length of time behind bars, if convicted. Your first order of business needs to be contacting an experienced and proven criminal defense attorney.

When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

After any arrest, it's a good idea to contact a criminal defense attorney before you begin speaking with law enforcement. You have the right to remain silent, exercise it. If you or somebody you love is facing assault or aggravated assault charges in Jackson or the surrounding areas, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate case consultation.

April 23, 2015

Three Arrested for Growing Marijuana

At least three people were arrested for allegedly growing marijuana in Jones County this week. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the arrests went down on Monday as the Jones County Sheriff's Deputies executed a search warrant. Apparently, they searched a house on Sharon Moss Road and found an indoor marijuana growing operation. Christopher Michael Williams, Jeffery Williams and Melissa Wells were arrested in connection with the grow operation.

$10,000 to $15,000 in Marijuana

This search was reportedly part of an ongoing investigation that was initially started back in January. The search and seizure included approximately $10,000 to $15,000 worth of pot, cash, scales, vaporizers, fertilizers, lamps, humidifiers and other types of grow paraphernalia. WJTV News Channel 12 also reports that similar vaporizers were recently confiscated in local high schools too. Law enforcement officials also claim to have seized information with the names of customers as well.

Marijuana Possession, Distribution and Growing Arrests

Although progressive legislation involving the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is sweeping the country, possession, distribution and manufacturing (growing) marijuana is still illegal in Mississippi. If you're facing any kind of charges involving marijuana, you need to speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible about your case. Draconian drug laws including mandatory minimums mean that even first-time, non-violent offenders can face years or decades in prison. What's going on in other parts of the country doesn't have anything to do with your particular case. Having an experienced and proven criminal defense attorney on your side will be your best asset during a difficult time.

After a Marijuana Grow Arrest

Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney after a marijuana grow arrest needs to be your number-one priority. You need somebody with the experience and case results to back up their claims. These aren't simple misdemeanor charges. You could be facing a lengthy prison sentence and extensive fines.

If you or somebody you love has been arrested in connection with a marijuana grow operation, call the skilled and proven criminal defense attorneys at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate consultation.

April 16, 2015

60 Years for Marijuana Conviction

A man was recently sentenced to 60 years for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 36-year-old Kendal Deval Martin was sentenced to 60 years without the possibility of probation, parole or early release. Since Martin is considered a 'habitual and subsequent' drug offender, he will have to serve the entire sentence, effectively spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Depending upon the amount of certain types of drugs, suspects could be facing possession with intent to distribute charges. Basically, if you have a larger amount than what is considered for 'personal use,' you could be charged with intent to distribute.

If you or somebody you love is facing drug possession or distribution charges, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 today.

April 1, 2015

Armed Robbery in Jackson

On Tuesday, a liquor store in Jackson was robbed. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened at the Wine & Spirits shop on I-55 North. Apparently, a suspect walked into the liquor store with a gun and demanded money from the clerk. Witness reports indicate that he may have left in a white car, although there is no information on the make or model involved.

Armed Robbery Charges in Jackson

Although no arrests or charges have been made, the suspect could potentially be facing felony armed robbery charges. If you're facing armed robbery charges in or around the Jackson metro area, contact the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a consultation today.

March 26, 2015

Assault Arrests at JSU

On Monday, two people were arrested in association with a potential road rage incident at Jackson State University (JSU). According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened near the Palisades apartment complex. Apparently, two men and one woman got into some kind of altercation. One of the men brandished a weapon. JUS police officers responded to the scene, and both men were arrested.

Although very few details about how the arrest went down were released, we do know that charges included simple assault and possession of a weapon on school property. If you or a loved one is facing assault or weapons charges, contact the skilled defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a consultation today.

March 12, 2015

$100K in Cocaine Seized, Three Arrested

Earlier this week, three people were arrested and approximately $100,000 worth of cocaine was seized in a drug bust by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN). According to WJTV News Channel 12, officials also found over $8,900 in cash and four vehicles in the Picayune bust. Gerald Hinton, 50, Draeshund "Lil Dip" Magee, 37, and Joshua Ceaser, 32, were arrested in connection with the drugs.

Although very few details about how the arrests went down have been released, we do know that there was a joint investigation between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. At this time, all of the suspects have been charged with conspiracy to distribute.

If you or a loved one is facing drug possession or distribution charges in or around the Jackson area, contact the skilled defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for an immediate consultation. The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates have what their past clients call real experience when it comes to defending criminal cases. The attorneys have had success helping people in matters ranging from professionals who got a DUI to some of the most serious cases one can imagine. One only needs to look at the client "thank you" and recommendation section on the Coxwell & Associates website or look at the list or representative cases to see the depth of real experience.

March 5, 2015

Jackson Car Break-in Suspects

At least three people are in custody in connection with car break-ins at an apartment complex in Jackson this week. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Zaccheus Thicklen, Justin Taylor and Christopher Spell have been charged with seven counts of auto burglary. Very few details have been released about the crimes or the subsequent arrests, but we do know that authorities are still trying to locate a fourth suspect.

Car Burglary at Woodridge Apartments

Apparently, a resident at the Woodridge Apartment complex alerted authorities after early morning car break-ins. There was a chase on foot, and law enforcement officers with the Jackson Police Department (JPD) apprehended the three suspects. At this time, they're still trying to find a fourth suspect, and anybody with information is being asked to come forward.

Car Burglaries in Jackson

Car burglaries in Jackson can leave victims and community members understandably shaken up, but that doesn't mean that the accused don't deserve their day in court. In America, you're innocent until proven guilty. This means that suspects in custody or who have been charged and released deserve to have their rights protected and looked after during all investigative processes and court proceedings.

Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Fewer things are more important than your future and your freedom. You can't properly look after or provide for your family if you're in jail or prison. As soon as you've been arrested, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don't waste valuable time or talk to investigators without proven representation.

When to Call a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or somebody you love has been arrested for car burglary in or around the Jackson metro area, you need to call a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner you can begin working on your defense.

Call the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a case consultation today.

February 20, 2015

Manslaughter Arrest in Yazoo City

On Wednesday, 28-year-old Eric Terrell Rogers died as a result of injures sustained in a shooting that happened in Yazoo City. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Rogers was shot in the chest. Although he was taken to King's Daughter Hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.

At this time, a 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged with manslaughter in connection with the shooting. Initial witness reports indicate that this could have been an accidental shooting, but very few details have been released. Eric Alton Lee has been charged with manslaughter.

Manslaughter Charges in Jackson

If you or a loved one has been charged with manslaughter or any criminal offense in or around the Jackson area, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates understand that sometimes "good people make bad choices." They have decades of real experience helping people solve their legal problems.

February 13, 2015

Aggravated Assault in Jackson

On Friday, a Jackson resident was sentenced to 10 years for aggravated assault. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 31-year-old Christopher Wilson was sentenced to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He will have five years to serve, five years suspended and three years of post-release supervision. His sentencing was delayed since the jury found him guilty in court a month ago.

Victim Stabbed 27 Times

Wilson, in addition to four other co-defendants, were accused of stabbing another pre-trial detainee 27 times while they were inside the Hinds County Detention Center. The victim, who survived the attack, was able to identify the assailants. The article didn't report on what sentences or other charges the co-defendants were also facing.

Assault Charges in Jackson

Circumstances can vary widely from case to case. An arrest for assault can happen in bar fights, domestic disputes and even in correctional holding facilities. While most simple assault charges involve minor fisticuff, slaps or shoves, aggravated assault typically involves weapons and or much greater harm to the other party involved. Aggravated assaults, whether they involve traditional weapons or not, can leave victims in the hospital with severe injuries. This isn't your average bar fight. Listed below are just a few examples of different types of aggravated assault.

Examples of Aggravated Assault

• Stabbing somebody
• Shooting somebody
• Beating somebody with a blunt object
• Using your automobile as a weapon
• Beating and injury somebody very badly
• Using a rope or similar object to choke a person
• Using any type of ordinary everyday object to hurt somebody with

When to Call a Lawyer

After any kind of arrest, whether it's simple assault, aggravated assault or some other type of crime, you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. You need an attorney with the time, resources and skills to devote to your freedom and future.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, contact the skilled defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a case consultation today.