If you are charged with a crime in the state of Mississippi, it’s important to be familiar with the laws and understand your rights. Your first step should be to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney. When you have a clear overview of criminal defense in Mississippi, you have a better chance of a successful outcome for your case. Once you are booked, you will be brought before the judge in a proceeding called an arraignment. In this first step of the process you will be asked to enter a plea. You will be given a written document stating all the facts of the crime and what is believed to be your involvement. If you enter a not guilty plea to the charges, a trial date will be set.
Also during an arraignment proceeding, bail may be set or there is the possibility that you will be denied bail and remain in custody until your trial. If you are able to post bail, you are released but must appear for any future hearings to avoid forfeiting your bail. An overview of criminal defense in Mississippi can help you make the right decisions in determining what steps to take if you are denied bail.
If you have a jury trial, the jury will hear opening statements, witnesses’ testimony, the presentation of evidence and the closing statements. A verdict is then rendered by the judge. In some jurisdictions in Mississippi the jury or a sentencing council may render the sentence. A sentence may consist of paying a fine, probation, or a specific jail term. If you are placed on probation you must adhere to the terms or your probation may be revoked and you will then be sent to jail.
If you are found guilty and convicted of a crime you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process is not a retrial of your case but a review if all the proceedings that took place in an effort to determine if you have received a fare trial or not. If it is shown that there were errors made during your trial, you may then be granted a new trial. An overview of criminal defense in Mississippi will explain the steps you need to follow to begin your appeal process.