Will I be charged with Mississippi DUI?
Recently on our DUI forum we had a user ask how long the state of Mississippi had to file a charge against them if they were arrested for a misdemeanor Mississippi DUI.
What is a Mississippi DUI misdemeanor?
If is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher. If you are arrested for a Mississippi DUI you can be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted you could face jail time, probation, counseling, and fines and penalties. The common penalties for a first time Mississippi DUI conviction is up to 6 months in jail, license suspension for 90 to 180 days and payment of Mississippi DUI fines and DUI fees up to $1,000.
Statute of Limitations for filing a Charge against a driver for a Mississippi DUI
According to Mississippi laws the statute of limitations for most misdemeanor crimes is two years (Miss. Code Ann. § 99-1-5). This means the state has two years from the date the act was allegedly committed to bring Mississippi DUI charges against you. How do you know if the DUI case has been “commenced”? A Mississippi DUI arrest has been made, a warrant has been issued, or an indictment or an affidavit has been issued.
Keep in mind, although the first step in prosecution is for the police to file their police report at the time of the arrest it can take weeks or months for the actual charges to be filed by the state of Mississippi.
When are the charges dropped or dismissed for a Mississippi DUI?
The rate of dismissal or dropped charges for DUI varies widely by state. Some states have a conviction rate as high as 95%, while others are as low as 63%. In a recent report Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) identified five counties in Mississippi, each in the northern and southern portions of the state, that appear to have very low DUI dismissal rates. These counties are: (in Northern Mississippi) Clay County, Cohoma County, Holmes County, Marshall County and Sunflower County, and (in Southern Mississippi) Amite County, Jones County, Lawrence County, Marion County and Yazoo County.
Common reasons for a dismissal include the state failing to prove probable cause, which means the officer did not have a reason to stop your car in the first place, officers failing to appear at the hearing or the hearing was held too long after the arrest and an extension was not filed.
Other cases are dismissed after a lawyer is hired and the veracity of the field sobriety test, blood test or breathalyzer evidence is in question. Keep in mind, hiring a lawyer to defend your Mississippi DUI can help you develop a case and may allow you to prove that the burden of proof that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is insufficient to convict you of DUI.
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