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Ridgeland Legal Blog

How many kinds of DUI charges are there?

No matter what kind of drunk driving charges you are facing, it is always wise to fight them. These charges can carry hefty fines and heavy legal and social consequences that may follow you for years. Even in the event of very serious charges, you may have more options that you think to defend yourself, but you must take swift, decisive action as soon as you can.

Drunk driving charges range from relatively minor infraction charges to potentially life-destroying felony charges. If you receive an infraction, you are lucky, but there's no reason to simply accept it. An infraction does imply a violation, but it usually does not show up on your criminal record.

Legal separation offers couples an option to divorce

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce but are unsure about it, you may benefit from the use of a legal separation. Legal separations operate very similar to divorce, but do not actually terminate the marriage, giving spouses time and space to take stock of the relationship while operating within a structure similar to a divorce decree. In some cases, couples undergo legal separation and find that they do not actually want to divorce, while others use it as a more gentle on-ramp to dissolving the marriage.

Under a legal separation, you and your spouse remain legally married, but the court makes rulings about various domestic issues in the same way it would in a traditional divorce scenario. These things might include working out property division agreements between spouses, or issuing custody orders for how to raise a child while living legally separated.

Understanding Mississippi's marijuana laws

While some states have legalized the sale of medical and recreational marijuana, the law in Mississippi is still tough on marijuana sales. In fact, you could be facing the possibility of years in prison if you are accused of selling or trafficking marijuana in Mississippi.

In other words, the stakes are high, and anyone facing a marijuana charge will need to mount a strong criminal defense. With that in mind, here are some important things to understand about Mississippi's marijuana laws.

Young divorcing couples may not want to keep the house

When you begin wading into the tricky waters of divorce, finding a way to fairly divide marital assets can be tricky. This is especially true for couples without children who have few assets other than a house. If you have concerns about who will keep the house or whether to keep it at all, don't worry — there are solutions to all of these concerns, even if they are not what you might prefer.

The first thing you need to understand is whether the house is actually marital property. If one spouse bought the house before the marriage and did so with only his or her single income qualifying for the mortgage, then the house may not actually be marital property up for division. However, this is rarely the case for young couples.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

Most people have at least a vague understanding of prenuptial agreements, but many do not know that married couples can also create postnuptial agreements. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, with some key differences. In general, postnuptial agreements are less legally binding, but are still valuable for spouses who need to create boundaries or address significant changes in their finances.

Whereas prenuptial agreements must be created prior to marriage, postnuptial agreements occur once a couple is already married. Because the couple is already married, a postnuptial agreement has less legal authority, but that does not mean they are not useful.

Understanding physical and legal custody

When it comes to gaining or losing custody of a child you love, it is important to understand that "custody" is not a single monolithic thing, but rather a term that refers to a number of different types of custody arrangements that can vary greatly. Different types of custody imply different rights and privileges, and understanding the differences is key to creating a truly fair custody plan.

Physical custody and legal custody are two types of custody that are often confused for each other. While they are similar in some respects, they are distinctly different and should be well-understood. Physical custody refers to where a child lives, or where he or she livesas the majority of the time. In many cases, a parent who has physical custody also has legal custody of the child. It is also possible for two parents to both receive joint physical custody, but not always. Often, only one parent receives primary physical custody, while the other gets some version of the "weekends and holidays" plan.

No-fault divorce is not always a simple matter

Just because you want to get divorced doesn't mean it has to be a big messy affair. In fact, in some cases, you and your spouse can file for an uncontested divorce and resolve the matter fairly quickly and simply. Unfortunately, even the simplest of divorces is still a very complex process, so it is rarely wise to attempt to file for divorce without any professional guidance.

Some couples assume that they can just get the forms they need off the internet and handle their own divorce. While this is technically possible, it is not usually very wise. Unless you are familiar with the legal process of divorce, you may not properly account for some aspects, and could end up prolonging your marriage, or leaving one party with an unfair liability. This is especially true when it comes to property division.

What are my options if I refuse a breath test in Mississippi?

There tends to be a lot of misunderstanding about what happens when a person refuses a breath test after a DUI arrest in Mississippi. Make no mistake: Mississippi's "implied consent" law means that your license could be suspended for at least 90 days and up to a year if you refuse a Breathalyzer test.

Still, what are your options if you did refuse? Here are some things to understand.

Do you know when to take a plea bargain?

When it comes to defending against criminal charges, the outcomes are not always a total loss or complete dismissal of all charges. In many cases, the best outcome a person facing criminal charges can expect is some sort of plea bargain. A plea bargain is essentially a compromise by both the prosecution and the defense that lessens the charges, the penalties for the charges or both. However, just because a plea bargain is available does not mean that you should always take it. This is precisely why the quality of your representation is so very important.

The difference between an acceptable defense strategy and a good defense strategy often comes down to nuanced understanding of the probably outcome of your particular case as it pertains to the local legal system. Can you represent yourself in court? Yes, technically you can. Technically, you can also do all of your own plumbing repairs, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea if you don't have proper training and experience.

Mississippi authorities announce crackdown on opioid trafficking

The rise in opioid abuse in Mississippi has prompted a crackdown by law enforcement on the state and federal levels.

In fact, local, state and federal officials recently announced the arrests of individuals from multiple counties in an ongoing investigation into opioid trafficking in Mississippi. A range of charges have been brought, including trafficking of a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

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