According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP), there has been a surge in DUIs and DUI-related accidents during this holiday season. The surge has been exponential and has warranted reports about the increase. Over the Christmas holiday, three people were fatally killed and thousands of motorists were issued traffic citation on Mississippi highways as a result. The MHP reports that Mississippi state troopers responded to 116 motor vehicle accidents with 27 resulting injuries during the Christmas week. Aside from the accidents, the MPH issued over 2,500 DUI citations with 39 DUI arrests. The three fatalities occurred in Hinds and Copiah counties. Given the surge, many individuals with DUI charges will seek the representation of DUI attorneys. To obtain good DUI representation, those seeking representation should keep the following in mind:
What are the Possible Penalties of the Particular Charge?
Individuals facing a DUI charge must determine from an experienced attorney what, if any, kinds of penalties they are facing. The Mississippi DUI penalty structure is organized by the number of DUI convictions an offender has had and the severity of the circumstances surrounding the charge. Generally, it is a misdemeanor to receive a DUI conviction for the first time.First-time offenders have to pay a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $1,000 in fines, and spend 48 hours or less in jail. A second offense is also a misdemeanor if the offender has only one prior conviction within five years. Both third and fourth DUI convictions are classified as felonies. The third offense carries a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Is Taking a Plea Bargain Better?
With the help of an experienced attorney, the charged individual should also determine if a plea bargain is available and whether the deal is worth taking. As background, a plea bargain is where a prosecutor agrees to reduce the defendant's punishment in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty. Prosecutors usually accomplish this by decreasing the number of charges or lessening the severity of the charges. The prosecutors may also agree to request that the judge reduce the sentence. In circumstances in which the prosecutor will need the cooperation of the defendant, the prosecutor may request that the defendant agree to make a testimony against other defendants in exchange for a favorable outcome.
Should You Make Arrangements to Mitigate the Charges?
Pre-court arrangements made at the recommendation of any attorney can have a favorable impact on the outcome of the case. An attorney can recommend that the individual sign up for community service activities and begin logging hours in anticipation of a court order to complete community service. A preemptive arrangement will bode well for the offender in the court proceeding. Similarly, an attorney can also recommend signing up for an alcohol safety education course as a litigation strategy. When the judge and prosecutor notice that the offender has already taken steps to better themselves, the more likely the court will order a lesser conviction or sentence.
Let Us Help With Your DUI Case
If you have been charged with a DUI offense, please call us now. Attorney James Robert Ferguson is a seasoned DUI attorney with experience working with DUI offenders of all kinds, including first-time offenders and offenders involved in aggravated crimes. Contact us to determine your rights in the matter. We will provide a unique approach to help you with your case.