Most Commonly Asked Legal Questions


So I have this partner, Merrida, who is the managing partner around here which is like a REALLY big deal. Anyway, he wants the lawyers to write a legal blog at least once a week. The idea being if we put key words in our blog like “personal injury”, “car accident”, “DUI” then when you, the potential client, Google something like “personal injury lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi” our firm will be on the top of the results list. (You see all those key words I just used?)

Well, I’ve blogged on just about every legal issue from car accidents, bogus bite mark evidence, to Joe Paterno and tort reform. I’ve explained how to beat a DUI and what to do if you get in a car accident.

So I was having a difficult time coming up with a blog topic this week and I’ve got Merrida constantly emailing me that “we need to blog”. So I did what any good lawyer does: I asked my legal assistants for help! I emailed each of them and asked them to tell me what the most common legal questions people ask when they call our office. At first, I got a smart alec response:

Caller: “Hey, do you have the phone number for so and so…..”
US: “Do we look like directory assistance!?”

Funny. But then they became more serious. For instance, the most common question people want to know in a criminal case is “how much will it cost to hire a lawyer?” That’s a very difficult question to answer. Each case is different. We have tried month long cases which involved hundreds of thousands of documents and we have tried DUI cases which take an hour and consist of a few pages of police reports. To our clients, each case is the most important things in their lives so we make it the most important thing in our lives.

Another commonly asked criminal question is “what is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?” Any crime which subjects a person to more than one year in jail is considered to be a felony. A misdemeanor is a crime which carries no more than one year in jail. Most misdemeanors can be “expunged” from your record which is a fancy way of saying they get removed. We have blogged about expungements before. Recently, the Mississippi legislature has allowed some felony convictions to be expunged. Merrida blogged about that topic and you can read about it here to see if you have a felony which can be expunged.

And yet another question my legal assistants get asked is what happens after I get arrested for a felony in state court. Typically, our clients bond out when they get arrested. However, if you remain in jail you will first have a preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the State will present evidence to show the judge (either a municipal or county court judge) that there is probable cause to believe you committed the crime with which you are charged. Once that is established, your case will be “bound over” to the grand jury. Merrida did an excellent job of explaining this process here in a past blog.

Finally, a lot of our callers want to know what it will cost to discuss their case with a real lawyer. The answer to that is it costs nothing. No hidden fees. Heck, we even have free parking. If you’re nice, we may even give you a cup of coffee or soda.

If you have a legal issue and you need competent counsel, please call the lawyers at Coxwell & Associates. I’ve been helping Mississippians for over 18 years and I’ll be glad to discuss your case with you.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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