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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone happiness, prosperity, and many blessings in 2012.

Remember that law enforcement is out in full force on holidays.
Drink responsibly and make sure to use a sober driver.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What To Do: When You Have a Run-In with Police

Especially during the holidays we see the presence of police increase, as well as arrests, and run-ins with law enforcement. This post serves to provide tips for interacting with police, understanding your rights, and what to do when faced with an arrest or possible arrest.

Your Rights in a Nutshell:

  • You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, you need to say soclearly, and out loud.
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car, or your home.
  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly & quietly leave.
  • You have the right to an attorney if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.

Tips to Follow:
  • Stay calm and be polite.
  • Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
  • Do not lie or give false documents.
  • Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
  • Remember the details of the encounter.
  • File a written complaint if you feel your rights have been violated.
  • Contact an Attorney immediately. I cannot stress this enough. Time is of the essence.

If Police Stop You For Questioning:

You should remain calm, and do not run from or try to evade the police. Do not argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or feel that the police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where police can see them. This is a safety precaution and also shows cooperation and respect of the police.

You should ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, you should calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why. You have the right to remain silentand cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud and make sure that it is clear and understood. Do not offer any excuses or reasons as to why you would like to exercise your right to remain silent. You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon. Do not physically resist, but know that you have the right to refuse consent for any further search.

If you do consent to search of any type, it can and will affect you later in court. It is in your best interests to refuse consent to any search without a warrant.

If Your Are Stopped In Your Car:

You should stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to show police your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. If an officer asks to look inside your car, you have the right to refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.

Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no you are not free to leave, you still have the right to remain silent.

If The Police Come To Your Home:

If the police come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have a warrant. You should immediately ask to see the warrant for inspection. Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas specified on the warrant and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent.

If you choose to speak to the officers, you should step outside and close the door behind you, not inviting them inside. Please remember, it is always in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent, ask for an attorney, and refuse consent to any search without a warrant.

If You Are Arrested:

Although it may be difficult in a confrontational type situation, remember how important it is to remain calm, polite, and as cooperative as possible. Your responses, demeanor, and actions will only help the police build a case against you, even if they never had one.

Never resist an arrest, even if you believe it is unfair. This could lead to more charges against you and more problems overall. Clearly tell the officers that you choose to exercise your right to remain silent, and ask for an attorney immediately. Do not offer any explanations or excuses. If you can't afford an attorney, you will be provided one. Do not say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions without your attorney present. You have the right to make a phone call. The police cannot listen if you call an attorney.

An arrest can happen unexpectedly, so prepare yourself and your family in case of an arrest.Memorize phone numbers of your family and your attorney. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication in the event of an unexpected arrest.

Remember, police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street. Never physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint. This will only add to the situation and provoke the officers. You should always remain calm and cooperative. Being in control of yourself and being respective of the police can only help your case.

Write down everything you remember, including officers' badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details. Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured you should immediately seek medical attention, and take photographs of your injuries. File a written complaint with the agency's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. It is imperative to contact an qualified and experienced attorney immediately so that you may receive legal advice and expertise catered to your specific situation.

*This information is not intended as legal advice. State laws may vary.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all peace, love, and joy this holiday season.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from all of us at Justin Jones Law!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Exciting News!

Exciting news, all!

We are approaching our one year law firm anniversary, and with that we are incredibly blessed to be expanding our law firm, both internally and externally. We are excited and pleased to announce that we have moved to a new, larger, more central location on Highway 51 in Ridgeland, MS. Thank you all for your support, and Justin Jones Law will continue to provide you with quality representation and genuine concern.

Visit our website for more information, or call us today to set up your free consultation. 601-499-5292

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Child Custody: How Does the Court Decide?

Child Custody: How Does the Court Decide?

All child custody cases bring about tremendous emotional turmoil for the parties involved and most people feel like they have to "win." However, no one wins in these cases and the number one concern should always be with the children and what is in their best interest. The best interest of the children is always the main concern of the court and an outcome that preserves this interest will allays prevail.

Best Interest Factors:

Although the "best interest" standard can be hard to define in some situations, some factors are common in "best interest" analyses in most custody situations:

  • Wishes of the child (if old enough to capably express a reasonable preference)
  • Mental and physical health of the parents
  • Religion and/or cultural considerations
  • Need for continuation of stable home environment
  • Support and opportunity for interaction with members of extended family of either parent
  • Interaction and interrelationship with other members of household
  • Adjustment to school and community
  • Age and sex of child
  • Parental use of excessive discipline or emotional abuse
  • Evidence of parental drug, alcohol or sexual abuse.

Child custody has proven to be the most conflicted and serious aspect of any divorce or family law proceeding. When the judge considers custody issues, the resounding question is "What is the best interest of the child?"

Keep in mind that both parents have equal rights to the child, so a judge considers several factors in custody matters. Some of these include the health and sex of the child, the primary caregiver prior to the divorce, parenting skills and willingness to care for the child, the emotional ties between child and parent, and each parent's moral fitness.

Other examples of the considerations the court will consider include, the age of the child, a parent's employment that involves long absences from home, immoral conduct of a parent, and differences between the parents in financial position, religion, personal values, and lifestyles. While any of the foregoing may be a strong reason to base the custody decision, judges must look at the whole picture in determining what is in the best interest of the child.

Often times, child has a preference as to the particular parent hero she would like to reside with and a child age 12 or above may tell the judge his or her preference for custody if the court considers both parents fit. However, the Judge is not bound by the child's preference. The Court recognizes that a child may not know what is in his or her best interest and may be basing their decision on which household is more fun or less strict.

In a custody proceeding a judge awards both physical and legal custody. Physical custody is where the child actually lives. Legal custody gives a parent the decision-making authority concerning the child's health, education and welfare. The judge may grant either or both custody designations to both parents, one parent, or a third party.

If one parent receives physical and legal custody, the judge grants visitation rights to the other parent, unless it is not in the child's best interest. Typically, visitation will only be restricted or supervised in extreme cases or where the child has been subjected to abuse.

A third party receives custody only when the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child because of the parents' abandonment, immorality, mental problems, or other reasons harmful to the child. Grandparents receive no special consideration over other third parties in these cases, but they may petition the court for visitation rights in situations of divorce, termination of parental rights, or the death of one of the parents.

Once ruled, a judge is reluctant to change custodial rights because of the disruptive affect on the child. For the judge to consider a change, the non-custodial parent must prove a significant change in circumstances has had an adverse impact on the child.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, contact an experienced Mississippi family law attorney.


Divorce: What Are The Basics?

Divorce: What Are The Basic Steps?

Divorce laws will vary by state, but these are the basic steps and procedures one can expect to encounter in Mississippi:

First, you need to research local attorneys that specialize in divorce. Make sure you specifically research divorce attorneys and seek background information. Seeking counsel from an attorney that does not specialize in divorce or family law will prove to be detrimental. Once you have found a qualified Mississippi divorce attorney, you can expect you case to proceed in the following manner, keeping in mind that all cases are different and will never be exactly the same and produce the same outcome as one you have heard about from friends, family or TV.

1. You or your spouse must meet the 6 month residency requirements of the state of Mississippi, meaning you must have lived in Mississippi for at least 6 months.

2. You must have “grounds” (a legally acceptable reason) to end your marriage, in Mississippi there are 12 fault grounds . If you do not have grounds for divorce, then you can file what is called a "Joint Complaint". A Joint Complaint means you and your spouse agree that the two of you should be divorced, and is Mississippi's version of a "no fault" divorce. If the joint complaint route is taken, the court requires a 60 day "reflection period" before the divorce can be finalized.

3. Your attorney will advise you of the best way to proceed, prepare your case, and file the appropriate divorce papers with the court.

4. If your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, then they will have the opportunity to file papers telling their side,which will be considered “contesting the divorce.” If contested, you may have a series of court appearances to sort out the issues. Also, if a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of their own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. (Your lawyer will be able to advise you on how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers before you can continue with the divorce).

5. If there is property, assets, a pension, debts, or anything else that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, then these issues may have to be dealt with during the divorce or else you may lose your chance to deal with these issues. The issues may be worked out during settlement negotiations, and incorporated into the divorce decree or in a series of court hearings during the divorce.

6. If there are any children born of the marriage, then child custody, child support and visitation will have to be determined as well.

Divorce and all of the issues that come along with it can be stressful and emotionally draining . If you or someone you know are dealing with divorce, you should seek the advice from a Mississippi attorney who practices family law, so that the burden and stress can be reduced.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Does Your Child Support Order Need To Be Modified?

Child support is commonly known as a court-ordered amount of
money that a non-custodial parent must pay to the other parent to compensate for a certain amount of a child’s expenses. There is no doubt that children are entitled to be supported by their parents in the same way they would have been had the parents not separated. However, the laws of Mississippi are specific regarding how child support obligations are determined and whether or not an increase or decrease in the amount is warranted. Therefore, a lawyer who specializes
in family law will be most helpful in assisting you in seeking a modification of child support.

It's important to know that parties cannot agree between
themselves to alter an existing child support order. Court orders on child
support can be modified only by subsequent court orders. Modifications to child support orders are generally granted where material, significant and unexpected changes in circumstances have occurred. These changes can be brought before the court in an attempt to increase or decrease the child support obligation. It is commonly argued that a change in circumstances has occurred where the paying parent's income has substantially increased. For example, if a parent receives a higher paying job, a substantial promotion, or an inheritance, he or she could be expected to pay a new and higher child support amount. However, this factor alone may not be enough for the court to increase the child support amount. In addition, changes in a child’s expenses, such as high medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance, might necessitate a modification of child support. Expenses related to childcare, summer camps or private schools might also be a basis for seeking higher support levels, especially if private schools or summer camps were part of the family’s lifestyle before the separation or divorce.

Changes in the parenting plan may necessitate a downward modification in child support. For example, if a child goes to live with the non-custodial parent on a long-term basis, the court may find justification in
terminating or significantly reducing the amount of child support. Also, a downward modification may be available if one parent experiences an involuntary loss of employment or becomes disabled. However, it should be noted that voluntarily quitting a job cannot be used to justify a reduction in child support. Similarly, temporary periods of unemployment for parents who are seasonally employed are generally not considered unexpected, especially if the nature of this employment was taken into consideration when the amount of child support was originally determined.
There are many other circumstances and situations that may
justify modification of a child support order. Therefore, it is best to seek
the assistance of a qualified lawyer if you need your current child support
order modified.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Law Call

Do you have questions about Child Custody or Divorce?
If you live in the Jackson, MS area be sure to watch and call in with your questions to Law Call on WLBT newschannel 3 at 6:30pm on Saturday, July 23, 2011.  I will be the featured attorney talking live and answering your questions.  The topic for the night will be Child Custody and Divorce.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you and answering your questions!  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Under Arrest? Tips to Follow

When you have been arrested there are are some things you should do. For example, you should remain silent and only answer very basic questions, such as your name and address. You should always ask to speak with an attorney immediately, who can advise you of your rights. There are also many things you shouldn't do. You should never talk to anyone about the incident except your lawyer. What you do or don't do when you've been arrested can have a significant effect on the outcome of your case.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO: Once you have been placed under arrest, there are some beneficial things you can do to ensure your rights are not violated. Some of the things you should do include:
  • Remain silent - you do not have to answer any questions the police ask you and anything you say will be used against you in court
  • Be polite and respectful towards the police officer(s)
  • Remain calm
  • Contact your attorney or ask for one and don't say anything until they are present
  • Try to remember the badge numbers of any officers you are involved with, as well as their patrol car number(s)
  • Make sure that your attorney is present for any questioning
  • Make sure that your attorney is present for any lineups or testing (such as drawing a blood sample)
  • Let your attorney deal with the police and any prosecutors, especially if they offer you some kind of deal
  • If you are injured, be sure to take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible and get medical attention
  • Try to find witnesses and get their contact information (name, phone number)
THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO: There are also several things you should not do If you are arrested. The following are things that can have negative effects on the outcome of your case:
  • Do not say anything about the incident to the police.
  • Do not mouth off to the police or do anything to upset them even if they are being rude and confrontational towards you.
  • Do not attempt to run from the police-you will likely be caught and it will not look good in court and may result in further charges.
  • Do not say anything about the incident to anyone besides your lawyer (this includes cellmates if you are in jail).
  • Do not give the police permission to search anything.
  • Do not resist arrest , even if you are innocent, resisting arrest can lead to increased charges. In particular, do not touch the officers in any way.
  • Do not believe the things the police tell you in order to get you to talk -the police are allowed to lie to you and often times will tell you it will be easier on you if you just tell the truth. It will only make it easier for the police to prove their case.
  • If the police come to your home, do not let them in unless they have a warrant and do not go outside. It may be that they need an arrest warrant to arrest you in your home and if you go outside, you may be arrested without a warrant.
  • If the police arrest you outside your home, do not allow any officer to go into your home to get clothes, talk to your wife, etc. If you accept, the police will escort you into your home and begin to search it without a warrant. The same applies to your car.
DO YOU NEED A LAWYER? Yes. A qualified Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer can inform you of your rights and defenses and represent you in court. The above lists are suggestions of things you should do or not do in order to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced Mississippi Criminal Lawyer can help protect your rights as well

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Urgency of Retaining an Attorney After a DUI Arrest

The Importance of Retaining an Attorney Immediately After a DUI Arrest:

Regardless of the circumstances, you should always seek the assistance of an attorney immediately after any arrest.  Deadlines and timing are of utmost importance in legal matters and you may lose important legal rights if you do not retain an attorney immediately to advise you.  It is especially important that you retain an attorney immediately after being arrested for a DUI charge. The urgency and need for an experienced Mississippi DUI Attorney is even more acute if the driver has prior DUI convictions. 
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime, which could lead to severe consequences.  The impact of a DUI conviction on your criminal record is serious and may affect the rest of your life. There are harsh penalties in Mississippi for drivers who are convicted. A driver convicted of a DUI could face imprisonment, financial penalties, license suspension, job loss, and vehicle impoundment. You do not have to plead guilty and should contact an attorney to work to eliminate the charges or minimize the consequences in order to protect your future. 

It is imperative that you contact an experienced and reputable Mississipp DUI Attorney immediately after the arrest or it may be too late to implement a successful legal strategy. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finding A Qualified And Quality Attorney: The Basics

Finding an Attorney: The Basic Guidelines to Follow

When looking for the right family law attorney, it is crucial to look past the outward presentation to discover which lawyer will actually work towards your best interest. All family law issues bring to the forefront emotions and issues that are like no other. It is important to find an attorney that will be best equipped to handle and face the legal issues your case presents.

One piece of advice would be to research the attorneys in your area that concentrate in the area of law specific to your legal situation. For example, if you have a family law issue you would want o find an attorney that has experience or specializes in that area of law. In addition, find an attorney you feel comfortable talking to and understands your emotions. Take notice how each attorney responds to your questions and whether or not they display genuine concern about your circumstances. Do not be afraid to ask for a way to contact previous clients for information on past experiences with the lawyer. A lawyer that provides good customer service by promptly answering phone calls and emails is an ideal lawyer. Hiring an attorney simply because you know them or a friend used them is most often not a good idea. All attorneys are different and practice or specialize in different areas of the law. A lot of attorneys will take your case simply because they are getting paid, regardless of knowledge or experience in the specific area of the law that you require effective representation. Your attorney should always have your best interests at the forefront. Some red flags that may indicate you should seek more qualified and effective representation include: your attorney does not keep you updated on your case, is not prompt to return phone calls or emails, requests large or unreasonable retainer fees, requests more money without providing adequate explanation of the progression of your case, is reluctant to pursue the best outcome for you even if it means more work for them.

You should never feel like your attorney is not on your side. By doing your homework researching & contacting the attorneys in your area, you will be able to make a more knowledgeable & confident decision that should lead to quality representation and a more pleasant experience.

Is A Joint Complaint For Divorce Right For You?

Is A Joint Complaint For Divorce Right For You?

You have made the decision that your marriage is irretrievably broken and you want out. You have explained to your spouse that you want a divorce and you are certain that the two of you can agree on the details. Although the joint complaint for divorce is often the cheapest, quickest and least painful, it is not the proper course of action for everyone. Many individuals seek consultation from attorneys and assure them that their spouse will sign the documents if they are presented to them. However, this is the number one cause for delay and frustration amidst the divorce proceeding. Once the individual that is presented with the divorce papers realizes that the process goes forward only if and when they sign, all of the sudden they have new demands or refuse to sign. It is at this point that a experienced divorce attorney would recognize the impasse and recommend and new approach. This is an all too common scenario and can usually be avoided from the outset. If there is anything that your spouse is arguing with you about or is disagreeing with you on regarding the divorce then a joint complaint may not be the best solution for you. Contact an experienced Mississippi Divorce attorney to answer your specific questions. You should employ a "shop around" tactic for hiring an attorney, which will be discussed in my next blog post. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Breaking News: "What's Around Town"

What's Around Town is a weekly publication in Madison, Ridgeland and Gluckstadt (MS).  It's free and you can pick one up at most of your favorite locations around town.  What's Around Town does weekly and monthly prizes that range from iPads, flatscreen tv's, more various luxury items and money!  All you have to do is pick up a copy and locate the character known as "What'O", who is hiding in advertisements (beware of phonies!).  Then, you can go to the What's Around Town facebook page and post where you found What'O on their wall and you will be registered to win one of the amazing prizes!

So, what's the breaking news?  Justin Jones Attorney at Law, PLLC can now be found in What's Around Town and we will also be participating and sponsoring give-aways.  Stay tuned for more announcements and keep looking for What'O...he might just be looking for some legal advice this week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Do You Know What To Do If You Are In A Car Wreck?

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident, follow these steps to help the situation as much as possible.

First, check yourself and your passengers for injuries then dial 911. The dispatcher will assist you and help you determine whether an ambulance is needed. Listen carefully to the instructions they give you and find a safe place to wait for help. Do your best to keep your composure. Of course, there will be a great deal of stress involved but refrain from engaging in confrontation with others. It's best to wait for the police to arrive before talking about what happened. Also, if you think the other driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, keep this observation to yourself and discuss the matter with the police.

The most important thing you can do is be sure to gather the following information from the other driver(s):
1. Name
2. Address
3. License Plate Number
4. Driver's License Number
5. Phone Number (Other Contact Information such as Email)
6. Insurance Company and any policy numbers

If you are able to do so, use the camera on your cell phone to take pictures of the scene, the position of the cars, the other vehicle's tag and any other important aspects of the wreck. It would be a good idea to write down the facts surrounding the accident, as you remember them, while they are fresh on your mind. You could use you cell phone to do this as well, send an email or text message from your phone to yourself or someone you trust (spouse, parent, a friend or lawyer).

Check to see if there are any witnesses to the accident and if there are, get their contact information. As you begin to speak to the police, answer their question truthfully but do not admit fault. Also, be sure to get the police officer's name and badge number. Request a copy of any report that the police prepare or any associated case number that is assigned.

Once you have returned home, be sure to contact your insurance company to report a claim. It is also necessary, at this time, to see a doctor. Often times, it is difficult to determine whether your injuries are normal bumps, bruises and stiffness from the the wreck or an injury that is more serious and will only get worse. It's best to go see your doctor and let them know all of the pains and discomforts you are experiencing.

Don't forget to contact your attorney. The insurance company will be contacting you and may try to pressure you to sign documents that may restrict your rights. An experienced Mississippi Attorney can guide you through the process and make sure you are compensated sufficiently.

Friday, February 25, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's-Day 10

Here is our tenth and final tip in the "Ten DUI Tips in Ten Days" series. I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading and feels more informed and confident. Keep checking back because we will be doing interesting series like this often. With that being said, here's DUI Tip 10...

10. Do Not Wait to Hire a DUI Attorney. The Sooner the Better.

The government has a lot of experienced people working on its side to convict you of Mississippi DUI and put you in jail. Mississippi police and prosecutors are experts in putting people in jail and using what you say against you at a later date. You shouldn’t be going through this process alone. You need to even the playing field. You need to give yourself a shot to beat your Mississippi DUI outright. To do that, you need to have a good Mississippi DUI attorney on your side.

If you get in trouble with the law, don’t wait to hire a criminal lawyer. Waiting is not going to make the problem go away. Waiting is not going to lower your punishment. Waiting is only going to make it harder for your attorney to get you the results you deserve. If you get in a sticky situation and get a Mississippi DUI, get in touch with a DUI attorney today.

This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's-Day 9

9. Driver’s License Revoked? You may have an option. . .

There is the option to appeal the driver’s license suspension and have your driving privileges reinstated. If at the appeal you can show that: (1) your stop was improper; (2) the arrest was without probable cause; (3) the implied consent rules weren’t properly given; or (4) the other breath test procedures weren’t followed or there was something wrong with the machine, you may be able to get your revocation dismissed and you get your license back.

To retain this appeal right, however, you must file a notice of appeal within a specified number of days of your breath test results. Until you get your hearing and a decision is made, your license remains valid. If you have been arrested for Mississippi DUI, you should seek advice from a Mississippi DUI Attorney quickly.

This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's-Day 8

8. A DUI is Not the End of the World...

But by following Tips 1 Through 7, getting rid of a DUI may be a lot easier.

The goal of this blog series and tips 1 through 7 is not to get the police to let you go. If they are investigating you for Mississippi DUI, you should probably just throw that chance out the window because, most likely, they are going to arrest you for DUI and at least give you a breathalyzer. What rules 1 through 7 are designed to do is inform you of your rights, limit the evidence the police and prosecutor have and give you the best chance at trial to be found not guilty.
Keep that in mind when in the middle of everything with the police. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and coming out of the gates hot (by making a bunch of statements and trying to talk your way out) can really hurt you when you are trying to reach the finish line.
This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Monday, February 21, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's-Day 7

Thank you all for continuing to read. Hopefully, these tips have been informative. Here's number 7:

7. To Take a Breathalyzer or Not, That is the Question. . .

If you are arrested for a Mississippi DUI, once you get to the police station the police will try to sit you down and ask you a bunch of questions. Again, do not answer these questions. Just tell them you would like to remain silent. This is important because the questions start out very innocently asking for your personal information and eventually ask about your arrest, the amount of alcohol you have consumed, and similar questions that elicit information that will be used against you later. This is where you want to request to speak to an attorney. They may or may not let you do so at this time. If they don’t, sit tight because in a short amount of time they will have to give you access to an attorney.
After the police ask you those questions, they will then ask you to take the the breathalyzer test. Before giving you the breathalyzer, however, the police have to run you through a laundry list of checklists and procedures they are required to do under the law. Once they are done with these checklists, they are going to ask you whether or not you want to take the breathalyzer (remembering that if you refuse you face some harsher penalties, including a longer driver’s license suspension for violation of Mississippi’s Implied Consent Law). At this point, you only need to say one thing “I’d like to exercise my right to speak with a lawyer.” When you do this they have to let you speak with an attorney, which does a couple of things: first, it buys you a little more time before you have to take the breathalyzer; second, it allows you to speak with a legal professional about your options – whether or not you should take the breathalyzer; and third, it gives you an eyewitness other than the police that can speak to your level of sobriety, including whether or not your speech is slurred, your ability to comprehend the situation and speak coherently. Take advantage of this opportunity and demand to speak with an attorney.
Whether or not to take the breath test is a tough decision that will depend largely on the facts of your case, your specific personal situation, and your options once your license is suspended. Deciding whether or not to take the breathalyzer should not be made without speaking with a Mississippi DUI lawyer. Make sure you get to talk to someone before you make a decision.
This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's- Day 6

Welcome back to 10 DUI tips in 10 days!  Here's tip number 6:

6. If arrested for Mississippi DUI, do not answer any questions and ask to speak with a lawyer. . .

The tip today is in the event you are actually placed under arrest.  You may recall that the tip from Day 1 was similar and addressed speaking as little as possible during the police officer's initial investigation, but today's tip goes further and reminds you to always ask to speak with an attorney.  Being placed under arrested and subjected to police interrogation triggers your right to counsel

It is beause of this right that you have to be aware of what is going on; the moment you are arrested or feel you do not have the opportunity to leave freely, demand to speak with a Mississippi Attorney and do not talk until you get one.  In many cases, the police will put you on the phone with a public defender.  This is perfectly fine, you just need someone that can give you some advice on what to do right then and there to keep a bad situation from getting worse.

Don't be afraid to assert your rights.  The police must honor this request.

The article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice.  It is for informational purposes only.   Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.   

Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's- Day 5

It's day 5 of the series and I would like to thank everyone who has been reading. Today's tip is as follows:

5. You Cannot Talk Your Way Out of a DUI. . .

If you haven't already understood from the first 4 tips, this should drive it home, you cannot talk your way out of a DUI. If someone you know has a story of where they talked themselves out of a DUI, odds are it had nothing to do with what they said, but rather revolved around the fact that the police officers did not believe the had enough evidence to arrest for DUI. Think of it this way, if a police officer is questoning you, he isn't asking questions to try and determine if he should let you go free, he is most likely looking for evidence to arrest you. Fore example, you never see a police report that discloses the things a suspect did right in a field sobriety test, you only see the things they did wrong. Why is that? Because they are trying to put you in jail. The point is, if you have something to say, speak with a Mississippi DUI Attorney. They can tell you whether or not you should say it and how you should say it so it will not be used against you later.

This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisons about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Friday, February 18, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's-Day 4

Hopefully, everyone is enjoying reading these tips and finding them to be informative. Today’s tip is:
4. Never Take a Portable Breath Test. . .

If you want to know why you should refuse a request for portable breath test (PBT), see tip number 3. The same reasons for declining to participate in field sobriety tests apply to PBT’s. The only added reason you want to refuse a PBT test is because they are terribly inaccurate and unreliable; even more so than the actual breathalyzer test that is conducted at the police station. The police officer wants to use the PBT to try and detect the presence of alcohol on your breath, which would give the officer a reason to continue the investigation. You have the right to decline to take the PBT. The prosecutor will be able to use a PBT refusal against you in court, but there are no other penalties associated with it (just like field sobriety tests).
If asked to take a portable breath test, like field sobriety tests, just say “No, my attorney told me not to take portable breath tests.”
This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Missisippi DUI's- Day 3

Welcome back to everyone that has been reading and for all of you who are just joining, today is Day 3 of our DUI series. If you missed the first two days, you can read them here and here. Today's tip concerns Field Sobriety Tests and is as folows:

3. Never Take Field Sobriety Tests. . .

There are a few things that make field sobriety tests problematic. First, they aren't very reliable, especially when conducted in the field, and second they don't actually provide information on your ability to drive a vehicle. Basically, field sobriety tests put you through a number of tests, all of which, divide your attention between at least two tasks and try to determine whether you can perform bothr tasks the same way sober people perform them. However, there is a major problem because studies have shown that field sobriety tests, even conducted in a perfect environment, only demonstrate impairment a small percentage of the time.

Because of the inaccuracy and unreliabilty of these tests, it would be a good idea to refuse to take any field sobriety tests. However, it must be noted that there are good things and bad things about refusing field sobriety tests. The good things are, first, the police will not have any evidence of you failing field sobriety tests, and second, there are no real reprecussions to refusing tot take the tests (no loss of license like if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test). The bad thing is, the prosecution may argue that you refused to take the field sobriety tests because you thought you were too intoxicated to pass them. Therefore, it would be a good idea to refuse the field sobriety tests with the statement "my attorney told me not to take field sobriety tests." This would take the focus off of your refusal, and it is more than reasonable for people to follow thier attorney's advice.

In the end, just say no to field sobriety tests. Taking them will not help you (kind of like talking won't), so it is best just otleave them be.

Check back tomorrow for another free tip.

This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal adivce. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's-Day 2

2. Asserting Your Rights Will Not Be Well Taken...

Today is Day 2 of our 10 day DUI series. If you read yesterday’s tip and put it into practice, you are going to quickly see that the police are not used to people exercising their rights and do not typically respond kindly. You should be prepared for this, and remain strong despite what may in the end amount to verbal harassment and threats. Always remember that you want to be cooperative to simple requests that ensure the officer’s safety, such as putting your hands behind your back, but at the same time you do not have to talk to them or perform any tests. In addition, if the pressure becomes too much simply ask to speak with an attorney, right then and there. This may not always get the police to stop their actions, but when you finally do speak with a Mississippi DUI lawyer, they will know how to address the police officer’s behavior. The take away lesson for today is: be ready for the police to react to your silence in a negative way and remember that no matter what they say, you are well within your rights to remain silent.

Don’t forget to check The Legal Perspective tomorrow for another free, helpful hint.

This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Mississippi DUI's-Day 1

Today’s post is the beginning of a 10 day series that will offer one informative Mississippi DUI tip each day. Be sure to check The Legal Perspective each day for new information regarding Mississippi DUI’s. This first tip of this series is:

1.Watch your mouth

One of the oldest police tricks in the book is to get you talking with the goal of building a case against you. Ultimately, they will do anything they can to get you talking – be your friend, be your enemy, ask you random questions. Often times, the police officer doesn’t even care what you are talking about, just that your mouth is opening and words are coming out. The reason they are doing this is obvious: the police officer knows that anything you say can be written down and used against you later. Also, they know the more you talk the more likely you are to say something that is damaging to you and helpful to them.

To debunk a common misconception- you do not have to talk to police officers when they pull you over. The silent treatment is well within your Constitutional rights. All you have to do is provide your driver’s license, insurance information, and registration information, nothing more. You don’t have to tell the officer where you’ve been or where you are going. You don’t have to tell him what your favorite color is and you don’t have to, and never should, tell an officer if you have been drinking. Why? Because he will use that answer against you later – to help bolster his claim that you were driving under the influence.

So, what should you say if you get pulled over by the police and they start asking you about how much you’ve had to drink? Simple. You just say “my attorney told me to never answer that question.” Period. Then you just be quiet and wait to see what happens. Of course, the result may be a trip to the station, but at least you have preserved your rights. No matter what happens, you have the right to remain silent and refrain from incriminating yourself in criminal acts – and the police can’t use that silence against you.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for a new tip.

This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. Before making decisions about Mississippi DUI you should consult a Mississippi DUI Attorney.