A felony in Mississippi is a serious crime that is punishable by a term of one year or more in prison or by death. Mississippi law does not classify felony crimes into different classes. The Mississippi criminal statutes provide the possible penalties for each individual felony.
For information on misdemeanors, see Mississippi Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Felonies in Mississippi range from murder—the most serious felony crime in the state—to sexual battery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, robbery, and grand larceny. Some specific examples of felonies and the possible penalties are as follows:
- Capital murder – life in prison with or without parole or the death penalty.
- Murder – life in prison.
- Manslaughter – a fine not less than $500 or up to one year in jail, or both, or up to 20 years in prison.
- Sexual battery – up to 30 years in prison (if the offender is 21 years or older) or a fine up to $10,000, or both.
- Domestic Violence - up to six months in jail or a $500 fine, or both.
- Robbery – up to 15 years in prison.
- Computer fraud (damage or loss amount of $500 or more) – up to 5 years in prison or a fine up to $10,000, or both.
- Possession of 50 – 150 grams or 100 – 500 dosage units of a Class V substance (codeine and other less addictive drugs) – 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Criminal Statute of Limitations
Mississippi law requires that a criminal prosecution begin within a certain amount of time after a crime is committed or believed to have been committed. The criminal statute of limitations limits the length of time the state can wait before filing charges against a person. The length of time varies for different crimes and some, such as murder, have no time limit. For more information on the criminal statute of limitations in, see Criminal Statutes of Limitations in Mississippi.
The Value of Good Representation
A felony conviction becomes part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another felony, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case. Being a convicted felon can hurt you when you are looking for a job and applying to rent a house or apartment. Convicted felons can lose the right to vote, to carry firearms, and to obtain certain professional licenses.
An experienced attorney can determine whether you have any grounds for dismissal of the charges against you, explore plea options, or represent you at trial. Only someone familiar with the local criminal court system and cases like yours will know how good your chances are for a favorable outcome in court or at the negotiating table. A knowledgeable attorney will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.