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Clarence Guthrie’s Answers

5 total

  • What can I do about a judge who's forcing me to go to trial without an attorney?

    My organization is assisting a man in Clarksdale, MS who appears to be the victim of a corrupt court system. He's currently be charged with 2 misdemeanors in the city of Clarksdale municipal court. His original court date was 8/4/11, but the trial...

    Clarence’s Answer

    Mr. Bankhead is correct. Whether or not he receives the assistance of an attorney is within the discretion of the municipal court judge. As to your request for additional information: "He also needs to know what to do if, in fact, they do proceed with trial and he's convicted. Who does he file the appeal with?"

    Clarksdale, Mississippi is in Coahoma County. Coahoma County is one of 21 Mississippi counties that have a county court, and in accordance with Uniform Circuit and County Court Rule 12.02 his appeal must be filed there within 30 days of the judgment in municipal court.

    Because municipal courts in Mississippi are not "courts of record" (there is no court reporter and no transcript of the proceedings), he will be entitled to a trial "de novo" (a complete "do over" of his trial). At that point he can address the lawyer issue with the county court judge if he wants to.

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  • How long does DUI violation stay on my record?

    I got this DUI (approx 7 yrs ago) today I am trying to get into the job market and my background check continues to reflect this DUI. I have been dry and sober for 6 years and desperately need to get into the job market. Have my technical degree.

    Clarence’s Answer

    Unfortunately a DUI conviction in Mississippi stays on your "record" forever. The general misdemeanor expungement statute, Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-71, states that any person convicted of a misdemeanor, and who is a first offender, can ask the court to expunge all public records of the conviction. But the statute excludes convictions for traffic violations, and the Mississippi Attorney General has interpreted a DUI conviction to be a traffic violation within the meaning of that statute. 1986 WL 81985, (Miss.A.G.), October 16, 1986.

    An exception exists for persons under the age of 21, however. In rare cases a person under the age of 21 can have their DUI "nonadjudicated," and once the person completes the conditions imposed by the court then the charge can be expunged from their record. This can happen only once.

    The good news is that you have passed Mississippi's "enhancement period" of five years, in which a DUI first offense becomes a DUI second offense. But if you have been sober for six years you have nothing to worry about regarding getting another DUI. If asked by a potential employer, you will need to report the first DUI. But hopefully you will find an employer that will appreciate your skills and understand that everyone makes mistakes. Good luck in your job search.

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  • What should i do if my lawyer isnt really involved with my case???

    I filed a preg. discrimination charge with eeoc against my employer. My employer did not deny what they did and asked how much money i want an they want to settle out of court. So my lawyer told me what he THINKS i should go after. I feel that i c...

    Clarence’s Answer

    I think your best course of action at this point is to request an appointment with him in his office. Usually any breakdowns in communication are best resolved face-to-face.

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  • What does joint legal custody mean?

    my divorce papers state that i have the primary physical care, custody, and control of my children and that my ex husband will share joint legal custody of them what does this mean

    Clarence’s Answer

    Section 93-5-24 of the Mississippi Code Annotated states that "joint legal custody" means that you and your ex will both have decision-making rights, responsibility, and authority relating to your children's health, education, and welfare. Normally under joint legal custody you are required to cooperate with your ex in regards to making big decisions, to keep him informed of anything that might affect your children's health, education, and welfare, and to keep him informed of your whereabouts, etc.

    If you have further questions regarding your possible rights and obligations the best person to direct them to would be the person that drafted your divorce papers.

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  • What is the statute of limitations for an aggravated assault crime? Can I file a civil claim 9 years later?

    I was viciously stabbed in the face in 2001. The criminal served a measly 2 years for the crime. I signed up with the Victims of Crime Compensation program shortly after the criminal was sentenced. I have suffered nerve problems in my face as a ...

    Clarence’s Answer

    In Mississippi, the statute of limitations for most "intentional" torts, which would include aggravated assault and maiming, is one year. MIss. Code Ann. Section 15-1-35.

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