Mississippi's Statute of Limitations on Public Intoxication

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In Mississippi, the definition of public intoxication is broad---being in a public place with any detectable level of alcohol, even its scent, is a crime. In Mississippi, and in other states, there is a statute of limitations before which charges must be filed.

Statue of Limitations on Mississippi Public Intoxication Charges

All criminal charges, with the exception of the most serious---murder, kidnapping, arson rape, other sexual offenses and major property crimes---have a two-year statute of limitations in the state of Mississippi. This means that if prosecutors have not begun their proceedings against you for public intoxication within two calendar years of your arrest, they can never file charges.

The Exception to Mississippi's Statute of Limitations

One major exception to the Mississippi statute of limitations involves fleeing the state or jurisdiction for the purpose of avoiding charges. The state's criminal code says that anyone who flees, hides or otherwise absents himself in order to try and wait out the statute of limitations can still be prosecuted, and the law suggests that charges could be filed at any point in such an instance.

What to Expect if Charges are Filed in Time

The penalty for public intoxication is one of the lightest in Mississippi criminal law. You face up to a $100 fine and 30 days in the county jail, though jail time beyond your initial arrest is rare.