CRIMINAL LAW QUESTIONS
Frequently Asked Questions
What rights do I have after I am arrested?
1. The right to be told what you have been charged with.
2. The right to talk to an attorney.
3. The right to remain silent.
For more information on these rights, click HERE.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Generally, a felony is much more serious than a misdemeanor. With a felony, the potential punishment is a prison sentence of a year or longer while a misdemeanor is punishable by a prison sentence of no more than a year.
Should you have a lawyer present when questioned?
If you are being questioned about your possible involvement in criminal activity, it is almost always best to talk to a lawyer first.
Should you exercise your right to remain silent?
If the police are questioning you as a potential suspect, you should assert your right to remain silent. Many times speaking with the police will only increase the chance that you are convicted or receive a harsher sentence. If you do talk, your words may be twisted around and used against you.
What is bail?
Bail is money or property that is deposited with the court to make sure that you show back up in court at the required time. Bail is usually made in one of the following forms: (1) cash or check; (2) property worth the full amount; or (3) by obtaining a bail bond. If you do not show up, the court keeps the bail and issues a warrant for your arrest.
How is bail set?
Judges are responsible for setting bail. The Eighth Amendment prohibits the setting of an excessive bail. The amount of the bail should not exceed what is reasonably necessary. In certain cases (like those involving violent crimes) it is not unusual for bail to be set very high or not allowed at all. There are also situations where people who are not a flight risk are released without bail “on their own recognizance.”
What is a preliminary hearing?
If the prosecutor decides to bring charges, the person charged is entitled to a preliminary hearing at which time the prosecutor must show that there is enough evidence of the crime to warrant a trial. f the judge finds that there is enough evidence to support the charges, then the case will move forward.
What is a grand jury?
In felony cases, prosecutors may present evidence to a grand jury who will decide whether an indictment should be returned. The proceedings are secret.
What is an arraignment?
Your first appearance in court is often at an arraignment. You have a right to be arraigned without unnecessary delay. At the arraignment the court will tell you what you are charged with; you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty; bail can be raised or lowered; and a trial date may be set.
How are attorney fees paid?
We typically provide our legal services in criminal cases for a nonrefundable flat fee. With a flat fee, once the amount is agreed, that is all you will have to pay. However, in certain situations we will bill against a refundable retainer at an agreed hourly rate.
What is sentencing?
Sentencing is the procedure where the punishment is decided and imposed. Sentencing occurs after a guilty plea or conviction.
What are Federal Sentencing Guidelines?
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines provide a recommended range of incarceration time. They involve a complex formula that takes into consideration various factors. The Sentencing Guidelines are advisory, not mandatory. The court may find that your particular case requires an upward or downward departure from what is provided for by the guidelines.
What is a white collar crime?
The phrase “white collar crime” refers to a crime committed by a business person, professional or public official which involves allegations of dishonesty and deception for one’s personal financial benefit.
We provide represent people charged with state and federal crimes throughout the State of Mississippi. Contact us online. or call us at 601-957-3101. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your specific case.
Our office is conveniently located in downtown Jackson, just off I-55. Parking is available behind the building. We schedule evening and weekend appointments on request.