Category Archives: Controlled Substances

Welcome Back Ole Miss Students and Incoming Freshmen and Transfers

Haymans and Company, PLLC welcomes back current Ole Miss students and extends a first welcome to the incoming freshman class and transfer students. We know that you will enjoy your time at Ole Miss and in Oxford as much as we do. While we know that you will enjoy the Square celebrating Ole Miss victories or just pleasant fall weather, we ask that you do so in a safe and responsible manner. However, in the event you find yourself facing legal issues or criminal charges (which does happen from time to time), we want you to know that the attorneys and staff at Haymans and Company, LLC are here to assist you. We are prepared to represent you against a number of criminal charges, including: DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs) Simple Assault Aggravated Assault Minor in Possession Disorderly Conduct Drug Paraphernalia Burglary Destruction of Property Game and Fishing Violations Domestic Violence Malicious Mischief Drug Offenses Forgery Shoplifting Auto Theft Traffic Violations Firearm Charges Robbery

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Haymans Law Criminal Defense Attorneys

We understand facing criminal charges can be intimidating and highly stressful. Dealing with criminal charges on your own can be frustrating and usually leads to an outcome that is not best for you. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping people facing all types of criminal charges get fair treatment and the best outcome available to them.

Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, our attorneys understand the lifelong consequences that a criminal conviction can have. Including a negative impact on your ability to find employment, housing, and even obtain a secondary education.

Our attorneys have the staff and resources to handle all types of criminal matters from misdemeanors to felonies. We have the manpower, including our own investigators, to thoroughly research the facts surrounding your case and to find the weaknesses in the case being presented against you.

Of course, many criminal cases are handled outside the courtroom. At times reaching a resolution to your case prior to trial is your best option. If this is the most likely way to obtain a positive result in your case, the criminal defense attorneys at Haymans and Company, PLLC will use all available avenues and information in order to obtain a satisfactory plea. Our attorneys will be strong advocates for you during these negotiations.

Our attorneys are prepared to defend you against a wide variety of criminal charges, including:

DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs) Simple assault Aggravated assault Minor in possession Disorderly conduct Drug paraphernalia Burglary Destruction of property Game and fishing violations Domestic violence Malicious mischief Drug offenses Forgery Shoplifting Auto theft Traffic violations Firearm charges Robbery

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DUI the Initial Stop, Part 1

Being charged with a DUI in Mississippi is very serious and if convicted can have far reaching consequences. Accordingly, it is important to know what options and defenses are available to you as a defendant. In order to be found guilty of Driving Under the Influence the prosecution must prove that you were operating or in control of a motor vehicle and that you were under the influence while doing so. Also, the officer must have had a legal reason for pulling you over to begin with. Most people have heard the term “probable cause” and understand it to apply to a police officer making an arrest or a search of a person or place. However, a police officer need only have “reasonable suspicion” in order to legally pull over a driver suspected of being under the influence. While reasonable suspicion is a lower standard than probable cause, it still has to be more than just a “hunch” or a “feeling”, in fact, an officer must be able to give specific and articulable facts as to why he/she pulled you over. Without this, the entire stop may have been illegal and the charges against you may be dismissed.

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Constructive Possession

Many people wonder if they can be charged with “possession of a controlled substance” if they were merely a passenger in a vehicle where such items were found.  The short answer is yes you can be.  Even when you are a passenger in a vehicle and no illegal substances or items are found on you, you can still be charged with and convicted of possession under the theory of “constructive possession.”

In order for the prosecution to show that you were in “constructive possession” of the prohibited item they will attempt to show three (3) things: 1. That you were aware of the presence of, as well as the character of the prohibited item. Meaning that you knew drugs were present in the vehicle and that you knew that they were a controlled substance.  2. The prosecution must also prove that you exercised dominion or control over the substance.  A couple of ways the prosecution may go about proving this is by showing your fingerprints were on the prohibited substance or its container, or perhaps the vehicle in which they were found was in your name.  3. Lastly, the prosecution will attempt to show that you were in close proximity to the prohibited substance, close enough to exercise control over it.

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Possession of Paraphernalia Defined

When dealing with possession of paraphernalia, Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(d) states in pertinent part: (1) It is unlawful for a person who is not authorized by the State Board of Medical Licensure, State Board of Pharmacy, or other lawful authority to use, or to possess with intent to use, paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law. Any person who violates this subsection (d)(1) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be confined in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or both; however, no person shall be charged with a violation of this subsection when such person is also charged with the possession of thirty (30) grams or less of marijuana under subsection (c)(2)(A) of this section. (2) It is unlawful for any person to deliver, sell, possess with intent to deliver or sell, or manufacture with intent to deliver or sell, paraphernalia, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law. Except as provided in subsection (d)(3), a person who violates this subsection (d)(2) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be confined in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or both. (3) Any person eighteen (18) years of age or over who violates subsection (d)(2) of this section by delivering or selling paraphernalia to a person under eighteen (18) years of age who is at least three (3) years his junior is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be confined in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00), or both. (4) It is unlawful for any person to place in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publication any advertisement, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that the purpose of the advertisement, in whole or in part, is to promote the sale of objects designed or intended for use as paraphernalia. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be confined in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or both. (e) It shall be unlawful for any physician practicing medicine in this state to prescribe, dispense or administer any amphetamine or amphetamine-like anorectics and/or central nervous system stimulants classified in Schedule II, pursuant to Section 41-29-115, for the exclusive treatment of obesity, weight control or weight loss. Any person who violates this subsection, upon conviction, is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be confined for a period not to exceed six (6) months, or fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or both.

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Penalties for Possession of Paraphernalia

In Mississippi, possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor. If convicted of possession of paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, you could face up to six (6) months in a local jail and be required to pay a $500.00 fine. One thing to keep in mind is that the penalties for possession of paraphernalia, in many instances, are even greater than those for possession of marijuana.

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Possession of Paraphernalia a Broad Term

It is easily understood that being caught in possession of drugs such as marijuana and/or controlled substances is a crime which can carry severe legal consequences. What many do not realize is that being in possession of paraphernalia, even in the absence of drugs or controlled substances, is a crime. Paraphernalia is defined as anything used to “plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance….” As you can see, this is a broad definition leaving law enforcement with the authority to determine if they believe some of the items are being used for illegal purposes.

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From Minor to Major

In the event a driver is pulled over, even due to a minor traffic violation, this may give the officer the opportunity to discover more serious circumstances, such as a driver being under the influence. As is a fairly common occurrence, a driver is pulled over for a minor traffic violation but when the police officer comes to the driver’s window they smell marijuana or perhaps alcohol. At that point, the officer has the requisite probable cause to search the vehicle. Suddenly something as seemingly minor as rolling through a stop sign has evolved into something far more serious.

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From Careless Driving to Criminal Charges

Drivers often are confused or simply unaware of what types of actions give the police the right to make a traffic stop. Often the police claim “careless driving” as the reason for making a stop. “Careless driving” according to Mississippi law does give police a broad area in which to work when it comes to making a stop. According to Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-1213 careless driving is defined as driving “any vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corner, traffic and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances….” This definition can include swerving, rolling stops, or even crossing the fog line or hitting the rumble strips.  Being pulled over for even seemingly minor violations can land a driver in a much more serious situation if drugs and/or alcohol are discovered incident to the traffic stop.

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Breathalyzer Test Protocols

When a driver is suspected of “drunk driving” (DUI), and the police wish to employ the Intoxilyzer 8000 or to use the results of an Intoxilyzer 8000 test, certain protocols must be followed. One of the requirements for the Intoxilyzer 8000 test results to be admissible as evidence is a twenty-minute observation period being employed prior to the test being administered. This is a requirement under the Mississippi Department of Public Safety guidelines. This observation period is required in order to determine that the driver has not ingested anything prior to the collection of the breath sample.

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