Recently in Criminal Law Category

December 12, 2014

Deadly Shooting on Primos Avenue

On Thursday evening, an apparent domestic dispute left one man dead on Primos Avenue. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened sometime after 8:00 p.m. in the 800 block of Primos Avenue. Although very few details have been released, we know that 29-year-old Mario Tarrio was shot and killed inside of a house. At this time, his cousin, Melvin Tarrio, is being treated as a suspect. There's no word on whether or not any charges have been filed or what the motive could have been.

Incident Still Under Investigation with Authorities

According to the Jackson Police Department (JPD), the investigation is ongoing. Since we don't know the circumstances of what happened inside of the house, there's no telling if and when charges will be filed. At this time, it's also unclear what the struggle was about or which of the two men originally produced the gun.

Homicide Charges in Mississippi

The State of Mississippi takes murder and homicide incredibly serious. If convicted, you could be facing harsh sentences including up to life in prison with or without parole or even the death penalty. In addition to lengthy prison sentences, you could also be facing hefty fines. The best possible outcome of your case starts with contacting a proven criminal defense lawyer to advise and represent you during the lengthy and complicated legal process.

When to Call a Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged with murder, you need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. No matter what the circumstances of your individual case were, proven and skilled representation is an absolute necessity. In Mississippi, people who are accused of murder could be facing up to life in prison or even the death penalty. Whether you've been charged or you've just been named as a suspect, getting in touch with a lawyer needs to be your first priority. Don't count on an overburdened public defender to have the time or resources available to aggressively defend your rights. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC send their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Mario Tarrio.

December 5, 2014

25 Pounds of Marijuana Confiscated During Drug Arrest

Earlier this week, officers with the Jackson Police Department (JPD) confiscated 25 pounds of pot during an arrest. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened off of Interstate 55. Narcotics officers were allegedly given a tip about a huge drug bust. Although very few details about the investigation and arrest have been made available, we do know that law enforcement officers arrested 39-year-old Alrick Manning during a traffic stop, after finding money in his car.

$28,000 Worth of Marijuana Found

Investigators and trained drug-search dogs then went to the hotel room where Manning was staying, the Extended Stay on I-55. WJTV News Channel 12 also reports that they found 25 pounds of weed and about $23,000 in cash. The street value of the marijuana is estimated at about $28,000. No information has been released about the charges facing Manning or whether or not he has been released on bail.

Drug Bust Arrests in Jackson

Depending upon the amount of drugs you're busted with and what type, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Jackson. In Mississippi, 30 grams or less of Marijuana is a misdemeanor. Anything over that, and you're looking at felony charges and potentially heavy sentences. In larger quantities, you can be hit with a variety of additional charges too, like intent to distribute and paraphernalia.

Mandatory Minimums

With the so-called "War on Drugs" and truth-in-sentencing laws, even first time offenders can get slapped with lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. It doesn't matter if you've never been arrested before in your life. You could be facing ten years or more in a federal penitentiary, for what basically could have been a victimless crime.

When to Call a Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has arrested and charged with felony possession or intent to distribute, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better. Don't waste time working with an overburdened public defender, call the proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 today.

November 26, 2014

Aggravated Assault Arrests in Vicksburg

On Tuesday, two people were arrested in connection with a shooting that happened in Vicksburg over the weekend. According to WJTV News Channel 12, three people were shot at a house party around midnight, in the 3100 block of Washington. All three victims were treated and released from the hospital.

Billdevon Shelton, 18-years-old, was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault on Tuesday, and 21-year-old Roderick Burden Jr. was also arrested and charged with felon being in possession of a firearm. Very few details have been released about the arrest, but WJTV News Channel 12 did report that the investigation is ongoing. If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault, contact the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC today.

November 21, 2014

MSU Football Player Arrested

Early Friday morning, a defensive back for the Mississippi State University's football team was arrested in connection with a domestic violence and burglary call. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened sometime around 3:00 a.m. at the Aspen Heights apartment complex on Rocky Road.

Justin Cox, 21 years old, was arrested on the scene and charged with aggravated domestic violence and suspicion of burglary of a dwelling. Very few details have been released, but WJTV News did report that there was a woman with a head injury on the scene.

If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence or burglary charges, contact an experienced and proven criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer questions about your case.

November 14, 2014

Woman Arrested in Pearl for 20 Pounds of Heroin

On November 10, 2014, a woman was arrested in Pearl, and 20 pounds of heroin was confiscated during the arrest. It was an estimated $1 million worth of drugs. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident happened on the Monday afternoon around 4:40 p.m. during a traffic stop. Apparently, 46-year-old Ana Yesenia Garcia of Friendswood, Texas was pulled over, and for currently unknown reasons, a search of her vehicle was conducted. Law enforcement officers found 20 bundles of heroin, weighing a combined total of about 20 pounds.

$1 Million in Drugs Seized

Officials estimate that the drugs are valued at over $1 million. Initial reports suspect that it may have been pure white heroin from South America, more specifically, Columbia. At this time, there's no word on why Garcia was stopped in the first place or why her vehicle was searched. Very few details about the arrest have been released. Garcia was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Law enforcement officials believe that this may have been the largest Heroin bust from a traffic stop on record for Mississippi.

Felony Drug Charges in Mississippi

This certainly isn't your average possession case. If you're busted with upwards of 20 pounds of any kind of controlled substance, you're facing drug charges in Federal courts. A variety of drug charges also carry mandatory minimum sentences, which means even first time offenders can get locked up for a very long time, regardless of the circumstances of the case. Additionally, a federal case is going to be much more complicated than a case held in State courts.

After a Drug Arrest

If you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver or distribute, you need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. Don't trust your freedom and your future to a public defender who does not have the time or resources to make sure your case is successful. Contact the proven criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for a case consultation today at (601) 948-1600.

November 7, 2014

32 Arrested in Marijuana Grow Bust

WJTV News Channel 12 recently issued a press release regarding the arrest of 32 people in association with a statewide marijuana-growing bust. Apparently, this was part of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics' annual anti-marijuana-growing campaign. Very few details have been released, but they're also saying that the pot was being grown in 21 different counties across the state.

Airborne Marijuana Spotters

Officials with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), in association with the Department of Public Safety and the Mississippi Highway Patrol, utilized helicopters and other aircraft in efforts to "spot" grow operations from the air. All in all, ground agents seized 1,367 plants and charged suspects with manufacture of marijuana. This was part of an outdoor domestic cannabis eradication program funded by a grant from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Controversial and Illegal Marijuana Growing Operations

Although the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is slowly becoming legalized across the country, that doesn't impact what's going on in Mississippi. It's still illegal to use and grow marijuana in the state, which means that these 32 suspects are most likely facing felony charges. If convicted, they could be facing harsh sentences in federal court.

When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of weed or manufacturing cannabis, you need to call a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Depending upon the charges and how much pot you were arrested with, you could be facing misdemeanor and/or felony charges. You may feel like the system is totally unjust as you see other states across the country allow their citizens to use marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, but in the eyes of the law in Mississippi, you're in hot water.

After a Drug Arrest

If you're facing drug charges, you need to call a lawyer swiftly. Don't trust your fate to an overburdened public defender though. You need to speak with an attorney who will fight for your freedom and your future. It isn't enough for a law firm to just advertise that they have experience. It's absolutely essential to pick a law firm with proven results. At Coxwell & Associates we prove we have experience by putting our cases and successes on our website. The skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer your questions at (877) 231-1600, or locally at 601-948-1600.

October 31, 2014

Two Arrests for Jackson Car Burglary

Two arrests have been made in connection with a car burglary that happened in Jackson on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the incident occurred around the 4500 block of I-55 north, near Highland Village. Apparently, the burglary involved a 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Shortly after the alleged burglary, one of the suspects was apprehended during a traffic stop, and the second suspect was arrested in connection with a residence search in the 100 block of Dewitt Street.

In addition to burglary charges, there were also stolen weapons charges. Law enforcement officials haven't located the third and final suspect associated with the burglary. If you or a loved one is facing any kind of criminal charges, included auto burglary, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for a consultation today.

October 24, 2014

Suspects in Armed Carjacking Investigation Arrested

The remaining suspect in an armed carjacking that happened in September was arrested on Tuesday. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Monterrio Short, Tomokio Brock, Keisha Davis, Marquis Davis and Michael Gross were all considered suspects in the September 29, 2014 carjacking that happened on I-55, near a South Jackson apartment building.

Initially, police officers arrested Keisha Davis, Marquis Davis and Michael Gross within hours of the carjacking. On Monday, Tomokio Brock surrendered himself to law enforcement officers in connection with the crime, and on Tuesday the final suspect was arrested. Very few details have been released about these arrests, but if you or a loved one is facing armed carjacking charges in Jackson, contact our skilled criminal defense team as soon as possible.

And as a post script, it is worth mentioning that armed car jacking, along with armed robbery, and any other violent crime or crime committed with the use of the weapon, has enhanced penalties. If you get convicted of one of these crimes you can get a LONG LONG time in jail, and you half to serve at least 50% of your sentence before you get any benefit like earned time, good time, ect. Crimes committed with weapons, and violent crimes in general are punished very harshly. Don't ruin your life! Being broke and free is better than getting half your life committed to the Mississippi State Penitentiary Hotel, where you do get three bad meals a day, daily excitement in the form of crowded confinement, angry men who are bored to death and who might want to hurt you.

Be smart and don't commit the crime. If you make a poor decision and get in trouble, visit our website and you can see examples of Coxwell & Associates's lawyers who have real experience helping people. While many T.V. and internet lawyers tout their experience, at Coxwell & Associates we put before you the real cases so you can see our experience and dedication to our client's legal needs.

October 17, 2014

Woman in Jackson Arrested for Burglary

A woman has recently been arrested in connection with a house burglary that occurred on September 30, 2014. The Pearl Police Department has been looking for the suspect for weeks. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Zaria Khaleela Harris is now in custody. Additionally, two other people with outstanding misdemeanors warrants were picked up during her arrest.

There's no word on exactly what charges Harris is facing at this point, but burglary is likely one of them. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with burglary, theft or larceny, you need to speak with a proven criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you're facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you need a lawyer who takes your freedom and your future seriously. The team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC is standing by to answer your questions at (601) 948-1600.

October 6, 2014

New DUI Laws in Mississippi - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

On October 1 of this year, the DUI laws in this state got a face-lift. As with most changes to our laws, there are some very happy groups and some not-so-happy groups. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was very happy about this change in penalties for driving under the influence--though some groups originally pushed for a lower Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Luckily for restaurateurs and social drinkers, the desired change of BAC from the current 0.08 to 0.05 did not occur. However, the DUI laws did see some substantial changes in the latest legislative session. Thumbnail image for chuckscasedui-lawyer.jpg


THE GOOD: Until this new legislation went into effect, one convicted of a DUI could not get that DUI expunged from his record, nor was he eligible for non-adjudication. But now there is hope!

Any first-time offender (who does not have a commercial driver's license) may petition the Circuit Court of the county in which the conviction stands for an expunction of the charge. There are some restrictions, however:
• The petitioner must wait five years after the successful completion of all terms and conditions of his sentence.
• It is only available when all terms and conditions have been met (all fines are paid, all classes attended); if the person submitted to an Intoxilyzer test; if the results of that test were below .16%; if there are no other pending DUIs or convictions; and if the person provides justification to the Court.
Not only are there options for expungements, but there is an option for non-adjudication as well. Non-adjudication is a process allowed by our Courts to essentially give defendants a second chance after a mistake. When you enter into an agreement for non-adjudication, you enter a plea of guilty, but the judge withholds acceptance of that plea and gives you some conditions to fulfill. Once you've completed those to the Court's satisfaction, the charge against you is remanded and essentially dismissed. The catch is that you must complete the Court's terms and conditions--or else you have already pled guilty and will be convicted. A DUI non-adjudication will work the same way, but again with some restrictions:
• Applied to first offenders of any crime only
• Applies only when there was no refusal to submit to testing (unless good cause is shown)
• Must pay all fines as if you had been convicted; must attend alcohol safety classes; must surrender license for 90-days or use an ignition interlock for 120 days.
If you fit into either of these categories and want to speak with an attorney at Coxwell and Associates about your options for expunction, please call to speak with one of our attorneys at any time.

THE BAD: While the penalties did not get any harsher for those who are convicted of driving under the influence, the new law does make it more difficult to move on with life after your mistake. Under the laws as they were prior to October 1, 2014, those convicted of DUI could-- after a certain period of license suspension and after completion of the Court's sentence--petition the Court for a hardship license and essentially get their driving privileges back due to hardships due to work, school, or family. However, the new law does away with this option: Anyone convicted of a DUI will have their license suspended by the Department of Public Safety for 90 days (first offense); one year (second offense); three years (subsequent offenses). The hardship license is not an option.

While the loss of the hardship option is bad news for many, the new law does open up options. Though driving privileges must be revoked when there is a conviction for DUI, the new laws allow for limited driving privileges when the person agrees to use of an ignition-interlock device. If the defendant chooses the ignition interlock option, he or she must surrender her unrestricted license and instead get one from DPS indicating they are allowed to drive only with an ignition interlock. Though I am no scientist, these devices are installed in a car and provide a portable breathalyzer of sorts--in order to start the car, you must provide a sample proving you are not under the influence of alcohol.

THE UGLY: Despite some positive steps towards forgiveness and second chances, DUI laws still carry some very stiff penalties. When in doubt, follow Merrida's never-fail way to get out of a DUI: don't drink and drive. Hire a designated driver or take turns on nights out with your friends. It's not worth the bodily danger to you or others, and it's not worth the serious consequences of the law--even if no one gets injured. If you find yourself facing some of these serious consequences, call the experienced attorneys at Coxwell and Associates to discuss your options.

October 3, 2014

Pearl Police Chase Ends with Two Arrests

On Tuesday night, two people were arrested after a high-speed chase in Pearl. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the chase started just before 8:00 p.m. Law enforcement officials report that this was the third chase in Pearl over the past week. The chase happened near the intersection of Highway 80 and Airport Road and ended with a multi-car crash. Apparently, a tip about drugs at the Southern Gardens Trailer Park sparked law enforcement interest prior to the chase.

Drugs and Guns Found in Car

Very few details have been released about the tip, chase or the subsequent arrests, but officials reportedly found methamphetamine and two weapons in the suspect's car. Even though their car flipped multiple times during the crash, the two suspects were able to exit the vehicle. Law enforcement officers did arrest the suspects after pursuing on foot. Although the wreck was described as "multi-car," there's no word on whether or not anybody was injured or if the two suspects, who were able to exit the vehicle, were injured.

After an Arrest

Although there's no word on exactly what charges these two suspects are facing, they're likely looking at drug charges, weapons charges, fleeing, resisting arrest and endangering the public. The most important thing you can do after any arrest is contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are able to do so. Misdemeanor charges can land you in jail for up to a year, and depending on the quantity of methamphetamines or other type of drug is discovered, you could be facing felony charges carrying stiff penalties and sentences.

Whether you're facing drug charges in state or Mississippi Federal courts, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Weapons charges can only complicate the case, so you don't want your future in the hands of an overburdened public defender. Federal criminal defense cases are also much more difficult than criminal defense cases in State courts. Procedural rules vary from State to Federal Court. The ultimate goal of your attorney should be to get your charges thrown out completely.

Continue reading "Pearl Police Chase Ends with Two Arrests" »

September 25, 2014

Stolen Vehicles Found in Jackson

mississippi.jpgEarlier this week, three people were taken into custody after stolen vehicles were found on a property in Jackson. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the vehicles in question were located on a property on Fountain Avenue. As of Wednesday, September 24, 2014, law enforcement officials had three people in custody.

There's no word on whether or not any or all of those people have been charged with crimes yet. The vehicles were allegedly stolen from people in Vicksburg, Ridgeland and Jackson. Although very little information has been released, authorities did confiscate a tow truck as evidence, and the term "chop shop" has been used.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a theft, robbery, burglary or some other crime, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for experienced representation. The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates are know statewide for their skill, experience, dedication and compassion to their clients. The lawyers don't take every case that comes into the office but the cases they take are worked hard for the best interests of the client.

September 18, 2014

Man in Jackson Charged with Grand Larceny

Earlier this week, a man was arrested and charged with grand larceny in a case involving stolen batteries from the City of Jackson. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 42-year-old David Bernard Ezell allegedly stole 12 batteries that were used in the cell phone towers on Lynch Street. They also report that the suspect, who is also a former AT&T employee, is linked with similar charges in Clinton and Vicksburg.

The current charges involved are associated with a theft that happened on August 7th. All together, the batteries were worth about $7,200 to the city, so the suspect is facing grand larceny charges. If you or a loved one is facing larceny, robbery, burglary or theft charges, contact the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC for a case consultation today. The lawyers at Coxwell & Associates have real experience. They don't just say they have experience like many lawyers, rather they show you that experience on their webpage.

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September 12, 2014

What can Ray Rice's case teach Mississippi about Domestic Assault?

ray-rice-punch-ap_296.jpgAs a huge NFL fan, specifically of the Cleveland Browns, it gave me complete and unbridled satisfaction when Ray Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens. However, the reason for his abrupt dismissal from the team was a despicable act which we as a society cannot tolerate.

Everyone is probably familiar with the facts of this case. On February 15, 2014, the day after Valentine's Day mind you, Ray Rice and his then fiance Janay Palmer were both arrested and charged with domestic assault. Video surveillance captured Ray dragging his unconscious fiance out of the elevator. Police reports reflect that Ray had knocked Janay out cold. Ray filed assault charges against Janay as well. This is a pretty common tactic in cases like this.

On March 27th, the case was presented to a grand jury which indicted Ray for aggravated assault. This is a felony which carries up to 5 years in prison. The assault charges against Janay were dropped. On the next day, Ray and Janay were married. The two were originally scheduled to wed in the summer but why wait? In Mississippi a spouse cannot testify against another spouse. That's called the spousal privilege. However, this privilege does not apply in domestic violence cases. New Jersey has a similar privilege which does not apply in domestic cases. So either Ray and Janay just couldn't wait to get married OR they were getting married in order to make it more difficult for a jury to convict Ray.

Well, Ray was offered a plea deal for probation which he rejected. He then applied for and was received in a pretrial diversion program. If he completes the six month program the charge would be erased from his record.

Ray and Janay met with executives from both the NFL and the Ravens. No one knows what was discussed but we presume they were asked what happened inside the elevator. After the meetings, Ray was suspended for two games. Case closed. Or was it?

On September 8, 2014 TMZ released a video from inside the elevator. TMZ obtained the video from the casino. Both the NFL and Ravens quickly explained that neither had seen the video. Later that same day the Ravens cut Ray and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

Several questions remain. A law enforcement official revealed that a copy of the elevator video had been sent to the NFL, contradicting the NFL's position. But did we need the video? Everyone saw the original video with Ray dragging an unconscious Janay out. How did she get that way? Ray admitted to hitting her. Did we need to see it to believe it?

Domestic violence in any shape, form, or fashion is wrong. Whether it's the man or woman (and yes there are cases where women assault men). Mississippi's domestic laws are strict. If you are arrested for domestic violence, you must stay in jail for 24 hours and see a judge before you can bond out of jail. A first offense conviction can land you in jail for 12 months plus you are forbidden from possessing a gun under federal law. For subsequent offenses, the jail time increases. If the assault causes serious bodily injury you could be facing 20 years in jail.

We have strong laws in Mississippi but why do we still see such tragic domestic violence cases? I think we see from Ray Rice's case that a domestic violence victim can be the problem. In this case the victim, Janay, stood behind Ray despite being knocked out. We have witnessed other cases where victims with a history of being abused consistently stand up for their abusers. This makes the prosecutor's case very difficult to prove if you have a victim refusing to cooperate.

Continue reading "What can Ray Rice's case teach Mississippi about Domestic Assault?" »

September 11, 2014

20 People Indicted on Federal Drug Charges

At least 20 people are facing federal drug charges in three separate indictments this week. About 15 of those people arrested are from Mississippi. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the indictments are allegedly the result of an extensive Organized Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. This network was reportedly involved in the distribution of over 100 kilograms of methamphetamine between Mississippi and California.

Drugs Manufactured in California

The drugs are suspected to have been manufactured in a super-lab somewhere in California. Officials also suspect that the drugs were trafficked in private vehicles and through the U.S. Postal Service. Of the 20 charged, 16 were arrested in central Mississippi and California. Firearms and ammunition were also seized during arrests. If convicted, many of the suspects could be facing 20 years to life in prison.

Federal Drug Charges

Federal drug charges involving crack cocaine and crystal meth often hold the strictest penalties for defendants. With mandatory minimum laws, even first-time offenders can serve lengthy sentences in federal prisons. Effectively removing a judge's discretion in sentencing, mandatory minimums can even send non-violent offenders to prison for 10 years, 20 years or longer.

The Complexity of a Federal Case

Criminal defense cases, especially where drugs are involved, are much more complicated than criminal cases in state courts. Procedural differences and the higher level of punishment involved make federal drug cases more difficult for criminal defense lawyers. This is why it's so important to have an experienced lawyer fighting for your rights.

When to Contact a Lawyer

The experienced team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC has successfully represented defendants in drug cases in Mississippi State and Federal courts. If you've been arrested and indicted on federal drug charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney with successful drug case experience as soon as possible.

With mandatory minimum laws, you can't afford to have somebody on your side that isn't completely dedicated to your freedom. We're not here to judge you. We're here to be your advocate in the complex criminal justice system. Our ultimate goal is to get any and all charges against you dismissed. The dedication of Coxwell & Associates paid off in two (2) federal drug cases. In both instances in Jackson the accused people were found not guilty. Unfortunately for clients, this does not happen every time, but an experienced group of attorneys like those at Coxwell & Associates helps provide the accused a "leg up." Call Coxwell & Associates if you have a criminal problem, big or small or if you have been seriously injured in a accident.

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