If you are the lucky recipient of a speeding ticket, or if you get charged with a misdemeanor in a city in MS, here are the basics of what you can expect. First, with most traffic violations you can usually just pay the fine and be done with it. However, you have the absolute right to fight the ticket. You can represent yourself or hire an attorney.
If you choose to contest the ticket, you will probably have to go to an initial, call date. This is sometimes referred to as an arraignment. You will be able to let the court know that you want to plead “not guilty” and they will set you for a separate, trial date. At the trial, the city prosecutor will present the evidence to the judge. Most likely it will only be the testimony of the officer who issued the ticket. You will then have a chance to cross examine the officer.
Next, you will be able to present your evidence to the judge. The prosecutor will then have the chance to cross examine you. Finally, the judge will issue a ruling of guilty, or not guilty.
Regardless of which route you take, be super careful not to miss any of your appearance dates.
If you miss a court date, the court will charge you with contempt, a warrant for your arrest will be issued, you will be arrested, and will have to face the additional charge of contempt. A contempt charge in MS carries up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. So be careful!
Happy New Year!