Mad Dog Bites

NHTSA Fights Back . . . Again

April 19, 2013

In light of the increasing effectiveness of DUI defense attorneys, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided to help prosecutors and law enforcement convict more defendants.  NHTSA recently released a report in which they attempt to debunk many common defenses.  The report is effectively styled as a how-to guide for prosecutors to combat many common defenses.  For more information, follow the link below.

http://duinewsblog.org/2013/04/19/nhtsa-fights-back-against-succesful-dui-attorneys/

Mississippi Faces Tougher DUI Laws

April 5, 2013

On April 2, 2013, the Mississippi Legislature passed the most current version of House Bill 481.  Not only does the bill extend the use of ignition interlock devices to first-time offenders, but it also requires second and third-time offenders to use ignition interlocks in order to have their driver's license reinstated.  Most significantly, however, the bill would make any fourth of subsequent offense a felony, regardless of when the prior convictions occurred.  Please follow the link below to read the full story.

http://duinewsblog.org/2013/04/05/tougher-dui-laws-await-governors-signature/

The High Costs of Driving Under the Influence

March 22, 2013

As many people know, being charged with DUI can be expensive.  In our estimation, even a DUI conviction may ultimately cost as much as $17,000.  But that is only one side of the equation.  52-year-old Charles Scrimpshire of Pass Christian, Mississippi, received a 25 year sentence last week after pleading guilty to aggravated DUI.  Please follow the link below for the full article.

http://duinewsblog.org/2013/03/22/mississippi-man-receives-25-year-sentence-the-high-costs-of-driving-under-the-influence/

Alcohol + Energy Drink = GIVE ME MORE!

March 1, 2013

The combination of alcohol and energy drinks has become a popular cocktail.  But a recent study concluded that the combination can have negative consequences.  According to the researchers, the energy drink cocktail may cuase an increased desire to consume more alcohol.  The study also concluded that this increased desire to drink may last longer than if drinking alcohol alone, possibly leading to excessive consumption.  For more information, please visit the link below.

http://duinewsblog.org/2013/03/01/alcohol-energy-drink-give-me-more/

Former Utah State Trooper Faces Serious Allegations

February 26, 2013

A lawsuit was filed last month against the Utah Highway Patrol and former Utah State Trooper Julie Tapia.  The complaint alleges that Tapia violated the civil rights of at least two people by falsely arresting them for DUI.  The complaint and various media outlets report that Tapia was ultimately fired after she testified in a DUI trial that she intentionally violated department policy regarding DUI procedures.  For more information, please visit the link below.

http://duinewsblog.org/2013/02/22/dui-hard-charger-falls-on-hard-times/

Happy Holidays

December 3, 2012

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over, the State of Mississippi released the data on their actions.

“The Thanksgiving holiday enforcement period lasted from 6p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 through midnight on Sunday, November 25. . . . During the enforcement period, troopers made 7,495 traffic stops. Of those, there were 199 arrests, including one for public drunkenness, 20 drug arrests, four felony arrests and 174 DUI arrests. Troopers investigated 175 accidents, including four alcohol-related crashes, 39 accidents with injuries and two resulted in fatalities.”

http://www.wtva.com/news/local/story/Mississippi-Highway-Patrol-releases-holiday/wuto0Lnm9kW8DD8LZY3pEw.cspx.

As the holiday season continues, please remeber to be safe and if you find yourself in a situation where you have consumed alcohol, do not drive and call someone to come and get you.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign

August 19, 2011

Kicking off early in anticipation of Labor Day festivities, Mississippi State Highway Patrol has issued a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign that will run through the end of Labor Day weekend. The campaign kick off focuses on the fact that “buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

“We are not anti-alcohol or anti-fun. We are for saving lives,” Santa Cruz said. “Too many lives are lost due to drunk driving.” The Clarion Ledger reports that “in 2010, alcohol-related deaths were down 12.5 percent to 231 fatalities from 264 in 2009. In the same timeframe, DUIs were up 3.2 percent to 33,153 from 32,099 in 2009.

State, county and local law enforcement will be out with extra patrols and checkpoints.”

To learn more on this article, please visit the site below, as it is the source of my Mad Dog Bites blog entry:

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110819/NEWS/108190331/Story-sobering-reminder

To learn more about your rights, please visit our website: www.mississippidui.com or call our office at 6019484444 with any questions or concerns.

FAST FOOD CHAINS SELLING ALCOHOL

August 01, 2011

In an article entitled “Sonic, Burger King, other fast-food chains selling alcohol,” the Clarion Ledger reports that due to the economic hardships on fast food restaurants, some fast food chains are exploring the option of allowing alcoholic beverages to be sold in-house after executives in the company determined the reward is worth the risk of potentially portraying the wrong message to youth and the risk of putting potential drunk drivers on the roadway:

“•Sonic. Later this summer, the chain plans its first attempt to sell alcohol at two new locations: one in Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale. The Miami unit will sell three types of draft beer, 25 kinds of bottled beer and 10 varieties of wine to customers who eat on its patio — but not to folks in cars, says Drew Ritger, SVP of business analysis. The Fort Lauderdale location will only sell beer and wine inside.

•Burger King. Besides the three domestic Whopper Bars that serve beer, there are three others that also serve brews in Singapore, Venezuela and Spain, says spokeswoman Lauren Kuzniar. A cold brew at a domestic Whopper Bar fetches about $4.25.

•Starbucks. Four Starbucks coffee shops in the Seattle area now sell beer and wine, and a fifth will begin selling alcoholic beverages in September, says spokeswoman Lisa Passe. Beer goes for $5 a bottle, and a glass of wine for up to $9.

•Pizza Hut. The chain has sold beer for decades in many dine-in locations, and a handful of delivery/carry-out locations offer it, says spokesman Chris Fuller. A brew sells for up to $3.”

Source: http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011110702010

Pearl to Allow Liquor Sales by the Glass July 27, 2011 In an article entitled “Pearl Lifts Glass in Vote on Liquor Sales” in the Clarion Ledger newspaper, the City of Pearl eagerly announced that, with a final count of 1875 to 1206, the residents of Pearl voted to allow the sale of liquor by the glass within the City Limits of Pearl. Pearl is located within Rankin County, which has been historically known as a “Dry County,” prohibiting  the sale of liquor within its county lines. With the citizens of Pearl voting to allow liquor to come into the city of Pearl, Residents of Rankin County will not only be able to enjoy the ability to drink liquor without having to go to the neighboring counties of Hinds and Madison, they will also be able to enjoy the new restaurants and clubs that will soon come to the fast-growing City. Source: http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110727/NEWS01/107270345/Pearl-lifts-glass-vote-liquor-sales?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Home|s Hiring a Good Defense Attorney February 14, 2011

Here are a few tips when looking for a good defense attorney: Shop Around – Lawyers use advertising and advertising works but do not be suckered into hiring an attorney just because they have flexible payment plans or a picture of them looking mean.  When looking for a good defense attorney ask your friends and family if they know someone.  If they do, go talk to that attorney.  Also, go talk to the attorney that you saw in the ad.  Bottom line is to go and talk to a few attorneys so you can make an educated decision. Look for Specialists – No two cases are the same just as no two defense lawyers are the same.  Just because an attorney does criminal defense does not mean he may be the best for your type of criminal case.  Certain areas of criminal law are highly technical and general defense attorneys may not know all the ins and outs of a particular area like DUI. Beware of Former Prosecutors – You may think that former prosecutors may be the best to get your case won because they used to be on the other side and know all the tricks the prosecution is going to use against you.  This may be the case for some former prosecutors, but you also have to remember that if they are former prosecutors, they became prosecutors for a reason.  They will also likely still have friendly relationships with the current prosecutors which may influence his defense for you.  Ultimately, how commited to criminal defense is a person going to be if they originally entered the field of law prosecuting people like yourself? Don't Rely on Connections – Just because an attorney is friends with and hangs out with the judge, prosecutor or police officer does not mean they are just going to look the other way regarding your crime when your defense attorney asks.  A defense attorney having a good relationship with the judge, prosecutor or police officer helps with credibility, but they have a job to do and are not going to set that job aside just because their buddy asks them to.  Avoid lawyers that promise the moon because they hang out with the judge, prosecutor or police officer.  These lawyers are usually stretching the truth. Make an educated decision when looking for a defense attorney.  After you hire one, then be a good client.  Good clients are honest with their attorney, no matter how embarassing, and good clients know that the legal system is slow and that just because you do not hear from your attorney, does not mean that he is not working on your case to the best of his ability.  Follow all these tips and you should find yourself with the best attorney for your particular case. Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6123526/The-Truth-About-Hiring-a-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer

Programs Focus on Students Health August 30, 2010 The Department of Health Education and Wellness is offering several programs this school year to help students and staff improve their health.  Alcohol is the focus of one of the programs.  Take a further look at the article:

The Campus Alcohol and Drug Education (C.A.D.E.) program is available. Through the program, students can receive awareness about MSU's alcohol policy, State and Federal alcohol regulations, driving under the influence information, and referral services.

The program also offers an offender's course for students who have violated an alcohol policy on or off campus. Each course has four or more classes, including an alcohol anonymous meeting, which must be completed with at least an 85 percent final grade. “I think the prevention program will help,” Anfernee Bonds, freshman majoring in political science, said. “When some people drink they tend to go crazy and not control themselves.” For more information, call 325-2141. Source: http://media.www.reflector-online.com/media/storage/paper938/news/2010/08/24/News/Programs.Focus.On.Student.Health-3924940.shtml If you are around campus and are stopped for DUI, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights. Restaurant Not to Appeal Loss of Liquor License August 04, 2010 Reuben's Fish House lost its liquor license after the alcohol induced death of a patron.  The restaurant chose not to appeal the decision.  Take a further look at the article:

Monday was the deadline for Ruben's to either surrender its license to serve liquor or appeal the revocation to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Office of the Mississippi Tax Commission. Kathy Waterbury, Tax Commission spokeswoman, reported Ruben's surrendered its license July 20.

Ruben's was notified several days prior to July 20 its license was being pulled after an investigation by ABC enforcement agents concluded bartenders and management at The Loft, the bar located at Ruben's, were negligent in contributing to the death of John Caldwell, 46, of Columbus, May 31. Caldwell engaged in a drinking contest with an off-duty bartender and died hours afterward from alcohol poisoning. Ruben's is free to reapply for its liquor license at any time, but a mandatory background investigation follows any request for licensure and Ed Morgan, Mississippi's commissioner of revenue, would ultimately make the decision to grant or deny the request. If Morgan were to deny a request, the requesting business would have the option to appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals. Source: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=7200 If you are stopped and charged with a DUI, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

First Ever Craft Beer Week in Mississippi

August 02, 2010

Raise Your Pints, a grassroots organization striving to get the beer laws relaxed in Mississippi, is proud to announce that Governor Haley Barbour will be announcing July 24-31 as the first ever craft beer week in the state.  The week culminated in the Top of the Hops Beer Festival on the 31st at the Jackson Convention Complex.  Take a further look at the article:

“This is part of what we've been working for” says Raise Your Pints President, Butch Bailey. “Our goal is to broaden the appreciation of craft beer for Mississippians and bring better beer to the state.”Raise Your Pints (RYP) is a grassroots, non-profit organization whose mission is to help bring the highest quality beers in the world to Mississippi. We are motivated by a desire to have the same variety of choice when purchasing beer that Mississippi citizens already enjoy when purchasing wine. Our vision is a Mississippi with a world class beer culture.

source: http://www.topofthehopsbeerfest.com/jackson/mississippi-craft-beer-week.php

If you enjoyed the Top of the Hops Beer Festival this past Saturday and were stopped by the cops, give our office a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Restaurant's Liquor License to be Revoked

July 20, 2010

Reuben's Fish House has been notified that their liquor license is being revoked.  The Columbus area restaurant was the scene of a man's alcohol induced death.  Take a further look at the article:

Mississippi Tax Commission spokesperson Katy Waterbury confirmed this morning official notice of intent to revoke the permit has been sent to Ruben's. An investigation into the May 31 death of John Caldwell, who died of acute alcohol poisoning at the restaurant on Moore's Creek Road, revealed Ruben's employees were in violation of selling alcohol to a customer who was visibly intoxicated, having a manager on the premises who was intoxicated and allowing the customer to have control of a liquor bottle. In Mississippi, restaurants and bars can only sell liquor by the glass.

Waterbury said any of the three violations are sufficient cause to revoke a liquor permit.

Ruben's owner Danny Blakeney, who was not available for comment this morning, has until Aug. 2 to appeal to the State Board of Tax Appeals or surrender the permit. The permit is valid until Aug. 2.

Source: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=6986

If you have been out enjoying your local watering hole and are pulled over on the way home, give our office a call and let our experienced legal team advise you of your rights.

Herbal Incense Now Used To Get High

July 13, 2010

Teens are now using an herbal incense to get high in place of marijuana.  The herbal incense is completely legal and that is what has law enforcement worried.  Take a further look at the article:

The incense is coated with a chemical compound that mimics THC, the ingredient that gives marijuana users a “high,” said Marshall Fisher, director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

“It's no more illegal to sell it than hamburgers or waffles,” Fisher said, “but it should be.”

Despite disclaimers that the product isn't intended for human consumption, those aware of its euphoric effects are buying it to get high, not to freshen the air, he said.

A federal drug-intelligence bulletin issued in April warns of side effects including panic attacks, heart palpitations, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting, agitation and dilated pupils.

The bulletin says some U.S. cities have seen an increase in hospitalizations associated with smoking incense.

Poison centers in 35 states have documented 352 cases of people sickened by synthetic marijuana, according to USA Today.

Advocates of herbal incense consider the concerns a knee-jerk reaction.

But narcotics officials agree on several concerns: It's not safe to drive under the influence of any mind-altering substance; and there's not enough information about how the products are made or the long-term side effects.

Source: http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/Herbal-Incense-Trend-Gets-Teens-Legally-High/1$53397

If you are pulled over and are under the influence of any substance which impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle you can be charged with DUI.  If you are charged with DUI Other Substance, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Holiday Patrol Reports Low Death Rate

July 07, 2010

This past fourth of July weekend, the Mississippi Highway Patrol reported a low death rate for the State.  There were only 3 fatalities and only 18 accidents with injuries. Take a further look at the article:

“There were no fatalities in our district, and only three reported statewide,” said Trooper Joe Miller of the Batesville District office of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. The district covers a 10-county area.

Miller said for the three-day period that ended Monday at midnight, there were hundreds of citations including 373 for offenses such as speeding and careless/reckless driving; 230 nonmoving tickets for offenses such as no inspection stickers; 30 for driving under the influence; 13 seatbelt violations; five for child-restraint violations.

source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/jul/07/in-brief/

If you were stopped this holiday weekend and were arrested for DUI, give our office a call and let us advise you of your rights.

DUI Arrests Cause Classes to Swell

July 01, 2010

DUI arrests have risen from 22,511 in 2005 to 32,099 last year, creating the need for more money and class locations for the Mississippi Alcohol Safety and Education Program, commonly referred to as MASEP.  More and more people are being required to take the course after a DUI conviction causing the demand for more budget and more class locations.  Take a further look at the article:

The total budget for the program, which is required for all first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance, has grown to nearly $2 million.

“We feel like it does make a difference,” Henderson said of the program's effect on DUI offenders. “Hopefully, it does prevent them from doing it again.”

Participants meet once a week for four weeks. Each class is typically about three hours long.

It costs participants $150, on top of other fines related to their DUI convictions.

The classes use videos, group exercises and homework assignments to encourage DUI offenders to examine their life choices and think about whether alcohol or drugs are having negative effects on their lives.

Most of the instructors are in mental health fields or have some background in dealing with people with substance abuse problems. Each class also has an assistant instructor, usually a law enforcement officer.

Source: http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20100630/NEWS/6300355/Classes-swell-with-DUI-arrests

If you have been arrested for DUI, give our office a call and let our experienced legal team advise you of your rights.

Two Employees Charged with Alcohol Death of Patron

June 30, 2010

Two Employees of Reuben's Fish House have been arrested in the alcohol death of a patron.  John Caldwell of Columbus died of acute alcohol poisoning.  Take a further look at the article:

John Caldwell, 46, of Columbus died after participating in a drinking game with Cox, who was off-duty, in the Loft, Ruben's upstairs bar, Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said at the time of the incident.

Over the course of about an hour, the two men tried to out-drink each other before employees took them downstairs away from the bar to sleep it off, Merchant said. Cox regained consciousness and left, and Caldwell's body was found later in the night.

Agents are continuing their investigation with regard to any administrative charges that could be filed against the business' alcoholic beverage permit.

Source: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=6820

If you have been out enjoying yourself at the neighborhood bar or restaurant and are pulled over on the way home, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Grants Help Starkville PD with Specialized Enforcement

June 21, 2010

For the last five years, the Starkville Police Department has received grants to help fund specialized enforcement initiatives to curb drunk driving and increase seat belt use.  The SPD sees about $175,000 a year for these programs.  Take a further look at the article:

In addition to overtime pay for officers working the specialized enforcement initiatives beyond the regular patrol shifts, the grants have also purchased equipment and helped finance the salaries and benefits for two of the SPD's DUI officers, Word said.

The success the grant funds have made for the department have been reflected in its enforcement statistics, Word said.
“We've had the DUI and other grants for five years running, and we've seen marked increases in our statistics,” Word said. “Since we received a grant for seat belt enforcement a few years ago, we've increased our statistics by 500 percent.”

The Mississippi Office of Highway Safety recorded 884 vehicular crash fatalities in Mississippi in 2007, with 335 of those involving alcohol.
The number of fatalities dropped to 783 in 2008 with 298 being alcohol-related.
In 2009, the number of fatalities statewide dropped to 700, with 265 being alcohol-related.
“Having these grants to help with extra enforcement is helping us save lives,” Word said.

Source: http://www.starkvilledailynews.com/content/view/238465/60/

If you have been involved in an accident and alcohol is suspsected, give our office a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Hiring a Good Defense Attorney

June 15, 2010

Here are a few tips when looking for a good defense attorney:

Shop Around – Lawyers use advertising and advertising works but do not be suckered into hiring an attorney just because they have flexible payment plans or a picture of them looking mean.  When looking for a good defense attorney ask your friends and family if they know someone.  If they do, go talk to that attorney.  Also, go talk to the attorney that you saw in the ad.  Bottom line is to go and talk to a few attorneys so you can make an educated decision.

Look for Specialists – No two cases are the same just as no two defense lawyers are the same.  Just because an attorney does criminal defense does not mean he may be the best for your type of criminal case.  Certain areas of criminal law are highly technical and general defense attorneys may not know all the ins and outs of a particular area like DUI.

Beware of Former Prosecutors – You may think that former prosecutors may be the best to get your case won because they used to be on the other side and know all the tricks the prosecution is going to use against you.  This may be the case for some former prosecutors, but you also have to remember that if they are former prosecutors, they became prosecutors for a reason.  They will also likely still have friendly relationships with the current prosecutors which may influence his defense for you.  Ultimately, how commited to criminal defense is a person going to be if they originally entered the field of law prosecuting people like yourself?

Don't Rely on Connections – Just because an attorney is friends with and hangs out with the judge, prosecutor or police officer does not mean they are just going to look the other way regarding your crime when your defense attorney asks.  A defense attorney having a good relationship with the judge, prosecutor or police officer helps with credibility, but they have a job to do and are not going to set that job aside just because their buddy asks them to.  Avoid lawyers that promise the moon because they hang out with the judge, prosecutor or police officer.  These lawyers are usually stretching the truth.

Make an educated decision when looking for a defense attorney.  After you hire one, then be a good client.  Good clients are honest with their attorney, no matter how embarassing, and good clients know that the legal system is slow and that just because you do not hear from your attorney, does not mean that he is not working on your case to the best of his ability.  Follow all these tips and you should find yourself with the best attorney for your particular case.

Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6123526/The-Truth-About-Hiring-a-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer

Prairie Wildlife Preserve Petitions for Resort Status

June 10, 2010

The Prairie Wildlife Preserve has petitioned for resort status which would allow them to serve alcohol in their lodge and dining area.  The Mississippi State Tax Commission will have the final say.  Take a further look at the article:

Several areas in Mississippi have resort status, including casinos, state parks and the Ross Barnett Reservoir. No package sales are allowed. Resort status only applies to by-the-drink sales of beer, wine and liquor.

Officials with the 500-acre preserve want to serve alcohol in the lodge and dining area.

Officials say alcohol sales will help attract more visitors to the preserve, which is looking to expand its land and outdoor offerings.

Officials say several hundred acres is already devoted to quail hunting, but thousands of acres will be open for bird-watching, hiking, fishing and canoeing.

Source: http://msbusiness.com/blog/2010/06/supervisors-petitioning-for-resort-status/

If you are out enjoying nature and are stopped for driving under the influence, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Low Accident Rate for Memorial Weekend

June 07, 2010

This past Memorial Day weekend was memorable for the high level of highway enforcement and the low level of accidents according to the Mississippi Highway Patrol.  There was only 1 fatality, statewide.  Take a further look at the article:

Across the district for the three-day period that started Friday and ended Monday at midnight, there were hundreds of citations: 392 enforcement tickets for offenses such as speeding and reckless driving; 20 for driving under the influence; 93 for seatbelt violations; and 12 for child-restraint violations. Miller said five accidents were reported; only one with injuries.

“This can be one of the deadliest weekends, so these low reports of injuries and fatalities are something we shoot for,” said Miller.

Source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/jun/02/m2top/

If you have been in an accident and alcohol is suspected, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Boat Collision Leaves 2 Dead

June 01, 2010

A Kemper County man was heading towards a sandbar where his father and friend were parked but failed to slow down colliding and killing the two men.  Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries suspects alcohol or drugs may have been involved.  Take a further look at the article:

This will make the eighth boating related fatality in Mississippi so far this year. ”By the time the sun beats on your for six or seven hours fatigue sets in and your reflexes are slow.  You combine that with alcohol or any kind of drug and you got a recipe for disaster,” said Walker.

Brad Hardy faces numerous charges pending the outcome of toxicology testing.  Walker said the three boats involved in the collision have been collected for evidence.  Accident reconstruction could start as early as Tuesday.

Source: http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=12571278

It is possible to receive a charge of Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in the State of Mississippi.  If you have been boating and are stopped and alcohol is suspected, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Tips for Hiring a DUI Attorney

April 28, 2010

Hiring a lawyer to fight your DUI charge in Mississippi is a decision that should not be taken lightly.  Driving under the influence (DUI) is a complex and complicated criminal allegation with severe consequences if the charge results in a conviction in court.

Here at my law office, we are dedicated to helping those accused of DUI.  Myself, and my associates Lance Mixon and Kevin Stewart, fight for our clients.  Together with our diverse and able staff, we take each case using a “team effort” approach.  When you hire one of our outstanding attorneys, you are not hiring just one person.  You are hiring a team of people who are behind you 100%.

A DUI charge in Mississippi cannot be reduced to a less serious or “lesser-included” offense, such as careless driving or reckless driving.  Further, if a DUI charge ultimately results in a conviction in our state, it can NEVER be expunged from your criminal record.  In other words, it is a lifetime conviction that you will have to live with and possibly report on college and graduate school applications, and job applications, just to name a few.

You really have two options when facing a DUI charge:  (1) plead guilty, or (2) fight the case!  Please don't make the tragic mistake of believing that any lawyer can effectively handle your DUI case.  Take a look at the American Bar Association's (ABA) ”Standing Committee on Specialization” web page:  http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/specialization/source.html#dui.  The ABA is the largest bar association in the world.  The ABA accredits the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) as one of the few private organizations on its list.  The key word is SPECIALIZATION!  Would you visit a foot doctor if you were having chest pains?

Each attorney at our law office is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, and each is heavily involved its activities.  Vic's reputation speaks for itself.  For more on Lance, see this.  For more on Kevin, go here.

Finally, I encourage you to read these two pages within our site:

(1)  “DUI Myths,” and

(2) “10 Tips on Hiring a Mississippi DUI Lawyer.”

Calhoun County Man Convicted for DUI Death

April 26, 2010

A Calhoun County man is facing 33 years in prison for the DUI related death of a Dutch cyclist.  Wendell Blount was under the influence of morphine when he struck and killed Esther Hageman.  Take a further look at the article:

The vacationing journalist was hit by Blount's SUV on the Natchez Trace near Houston, Miss., on April 22, 2009.

Blount testified that he had seen a cyclist in the distance, but was checking his vehicle's mirrors when he hit Hageman from behind.

The case was in federal court because the Trace is federal property.

Source: http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20100424/NEWS/100424018

If you are involved in an accident and alcohol is suspected, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

State Agents Raid Illegal Still

April 23, 2010

State agents raided an illegal still in McCool, MS, arresting one and seizing marijuana and whiskey.  James E. Patterson, 55, was charged with making moonshine and growing marijuana.  Take a further look at the article:

The Mississippi Alcohol Beverage Control served a warrant on Tuesday, where they discovered 45 gallons of whiskey in clear plastic jugs, a three-barrel still covered in insulation and a half-pound of processed marijuana in clear plastic bags inside some sheds.

The Clarion-Ledger reported authorities also found a 75-gallon stainless steel condenser and 150-gallon stainless steel still painted in a camouflage design and 31 marijuana plants.

Source: http://www.wapt.com/news/23230450/detail.html

If you have been out partaking in some moonshine, decide to drive, and are pulled over, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Teens Encouraged To Stay Away From Alcohol

April 21, 2010

Hinds County, in the wake of prom and just before graduation, is sending out a strong message encouraging teens to stay away from alcohol.  The message mainly focuses on showing teens that it is possible to have fun without alcohol.  Take a further look at the article:

“The message is clear. Young people can have fun without alcohol and the way that happens is it starts with young people and it starts with the adults in their lives. We hope that they share the message and they do more than share it, they set the example,” said Velesha Williams, director of the Mississippi Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition of Hinds County or MUDPC.

The organization held an underage drinking prevention rally in Smith Park in downtown Jackson Tuesday morning.

Dozens of Hinds County high schoolers watched performers and listened to speakers. One teen was even handcuffed as part of a demonstration about what can happen if you're caught on the wrong side of the law.

Ultimately, teens said the rally made an impact.

“It gives us the opportunity to just think about the dangers and harms it can cause us,” said Mark Jameson, a senior at Raymond High School. ”Because we have so far to go. We're only 17, 16, 15, and we have our whole life ahead of us.”

Source: http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=12342149

People underage have to be more conscious about the dangers of drinking and driving because the legal limit for people under that age of 21 is 0.02 instead of 0.08 for adults.  If you are underage and are pulled over for drinking and driving, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Hiring a Good Defense Attorney

April 19, 2010

Here are a few tips when looking for a good defense attorney:

Shop Around – Lawyers use advertising and advertising works but do not be suckered into hiring an attorney just because they have flexible payment plans or a picture of them looking mean.  When looking for a good defense attorney ask your friends and family if they know someone.  If they do, go talk to that attorney.  Also, go talk to the attorney that you saw in the ad.  Bottom line is to go and talk to a few attorneys so you can make an educated decision.

Look for Specialists – No two cases are the same just as no two defense lawyers are the same.  Just because an attorney does criminal defense does not mean he may be the best for your type of criminal case.  Certain areas of criminal law are highly technical and general defense attorneys may not know all the ins and outs of a particular area like DUI.

Beware of Former Prosecutors – You may think that former prosecutors may be the best to get your case won because they used to be on the other side and know all the tricks the prosecution is going to use against you.  This may be the case for some former prosecutors, but you also have to remember that if they are former prosecutors, they became prosecutors for a reason.  They will also likely still have friendly relationships with the current prosecutors which may influence his defense for you.  Ultimately, how commited to criminal defense is a person going to be if they originally entered the field of law prosecuting people like yourself?

Don't Rely on Connections – Just because an attorney is friends with and hangs out with the judge, prosecutor or police officer does not mean they are just going to look the other way regarding your crime when your defense attorney asks.  A defense attorney having a good relationship with the judge, prosecutor or police officer helps with credibility, but they have a job to do and are not going to set that job aside just because their buddy asks them to.  Avoid lawyers that promise the moon because they hang out with the judge, prosecutor or police officer.  These lawyers are usually stretching the truth.

Make an educated decision when looking for a defense attorney.  After you hire one, then be a good client.  Good clients are honest with their attorney, no matter how embarassing, and good clients know that the legal system is slow and that just because you do not hear from your attorney, does not mean that he is not working on your case to the best of his ability.  Follow all these tips and you should find yourself with the best attorney for your particular case.

Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6123526/The-Truth-About-Hiring-a-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer

New Albany Ordinance Allowing Beer Sales Goes Into Effect

April 16, 2010

An ordinance to allow the sale of beer and light wines went into effect this passed Monday in New Albany.  The businesses that have applied for the permit to sell still have not received their permits though.  Take a further look at the article:

According to Mississippi State Tax Commission representative Kathy Waterbury, the department has issued four permits to retail stores and one to a wholesaler so far, with two more retail and two more wholesaler permits pending.  She went on to say that, because of legality issues, the state agency is not allowed to release the names of those businesses.

Still other local stores continue to debate the issue or have decided not to sell beer or light wine.

According to an employee at the Chevron Short Stop at 114 Hwy 15 North, the store owners are not sure if they will sell beer or not and plan to wait a few weeks before making that decision.

Store owners at such businesses as Piggly Wiggly and and Tony's Quick Stop have stated that they will not sell beer or light wine at their locations.

Of the stores that are planning to sell, none to date have received their permits.  Some store owners said they had heard that the permits would not arrive until April 15 or that the city had pushed back the date for the ordinance to go into effect.

According to New Albany Mayor Tim Kent, the city ordinance did take effect Monday.

“As far as we're concerned, the stores could have started selling beer today, if they had their permits,” Kent said.

“If they haven't received their permits, they should check their mail,” Waterbury said.  “Our agency did not push back the date.  The permits go into effect as soon as the businesses receive them.”

Source: http://www.lcni5.com/cgi-bin/c2.cgi?095+article+News+20100415170751095095004

If you are in the New Albany area and are enjoying the new access to beer and light wine and are pulled over, give our office a call and let our experienced legal team advise you of your rights.

County Attorneys Named in Lawsuit

April 14, 2010

Prosecutors in Hinds and Rankin counties Justice Courts are accused of concealing information that could prove defendants innocent of alleged crimes.  A lawsuit was filed this April seeking an injunction against Hinds County Prosecutor Sherri Flowers and Rankin County Prosecutor Richard Wilson.  Take a further look at the article:

“The suppression of evidence favorable to persons accused of crimes is intentional on the part of the defendants,” the lawsuit says.  “The defendants have been repeatedly warned and placed on notice that the United States Constitution requires that such evidence not be hidden or suppressed.

Despite these warnings, the defendants have asserted that they simply do not have time to comply with these constitutional requirements.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of James Christopher Milone and Jimmy Lee Robinson involving Hinds County's Justice Court and on behalf of Charles Lucroy against Rankin County's Justice Court.

Source: www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20104110355

If you are facing criminal charges, give our experienced legal team a call and let us advise you of your rights.

Tips for Hiring a DUI Attorney

April 12, 2010

Hiring a lawyer to fight your DUI charge in Mississippi is a decision that should not be taken lightly.  Driving under the influence (DUI) is a complex and complicated criminal allegation with severe consequences if the charge results in a conviction in court.

Here at my law office, we are dedicated to helping those accused of DUI.  Myself, and my associates Lance Mixon and Kevin Stewart, fight for our clients.  Together with our diverse and able staff, we take each case using a “team effort” approach.  When you hire one of our outstanding attorneys, you are not hiring just one person.  You are hiring a team of people who are behind you 100%.

A DUI charge in Mississippi cannot be reduced to a less serious or “lesser-included” offense, such as careless driving or reckless driving.  Further, if a DUI charge ultimately results in a conviction in our state, it can NEVER be expunged from your criminal record.  In other words, it is a lifetime conviction that you will have to live with and possibly report on college and graduate school applications, and job applications, just to name a few.

You really have two options when facing a DUI charge:  (1) plead guilty, or (2) fight the case!  Please don't make the tragic mistake of believing that any lawyer can effectively handle your DUI case.  Take a look at the American Bar Association's (ABA) ”Standing Committee on Specialization” web page:  http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/specialization/source.html#dui.  The ABA is the largest bar association in the world.  The ABA accredits the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) as one of the few private organizations on its list.  The key word is SPECIALIZATION!  Would you visit a foot doctor if you were having chest pains?

Each attorney at our law office is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, and each is heavily involved its activities.  Vic's reputation speaks for itself.  For more on Lance, see this.  For more on Kevin, go here.

Finally, I encourage you to read these two pages within our site:

(1)  “DUI Myths,” and

(2) “10 Tips on Hiring a Mississippi DUI Lawyer.”

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