The Municipal Court of the City of Biloxi has jurisdiction over all traffic offenses and misdemeanor criminal violations that occur within the city limits of the City of Biloxi.
If you are unsure of the location of the traffic charge or misdemeanor arrest, review your ticket or bond release information for the proper venue.
This court does not have jurisdiction of felony cases or juvenile criminal arrests but does have jurisdiction of juveniles charged with traffic offenses (including DUI), liquor law violations, tobacco violations, and those juveniles who have been certified as adults or previously arrested as an adult.
No shorts, cell phones, food, drinks or gum are allowed in the courtroom.
The first appearance in Municipal Court is called an arraignment. At this time you will be called upon to enter a plea (or answer) to the charge preferred against you.
You may plead guilty indicating that you admit you committed the offense and wish to waive your right to a trial; no contest indicating that you do not admit the charge but do NOT wish to contest the charge; or not guilty indicating to the court that you wish to contest the charge and are exercising your right to a trial.
Should you plead guilty or no contest the case will proceed immediately to the sentencing phase.
You are still permitted to appeal your case to County Court should you so desire. Should you plead not guilty you will receive a trial date at some point in the near future.
Arraignments are always on Mondays. Your ticket or bond will indicate the time of day: anyone actually arrested and released on bond is scheduled for the 9 a.m. docket and anyone issued a ticket and released on scene is scheduled for the 1 p.m. docket. Failure to appear for arraignment will result in a warrant for your immediate arrest.
Trials are held on either Wednesday or Thursday. In municipal courts in this state, trials are by judge only. You may be represented by an attorney authorized to practice in this state or you may represent yourself.
If you choose to represent yourself, you must conform to all rules of court including rules of evidence. No court may lessen this requirement simply because you are not legally trained. In a trial you are also entitled to certain rights, including:
- Right to a copy of the affidavit.
- Right to hear all testimony against you.
- Right to cross examine witnesses against you.
- Right to testify on your own behalf.
- Right to decline to testify without any inference drawn against you.
- Right to call witnesses on your own behalf. Should you need to subpoena witnesses the clerk will do so if you provide a list of the witnesses and their addresses at least 10 days prior to trial.
Should you fail to appear for trial these rights are waived and the case may be tried without you. If you are found guilty, a warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest.
Payment of traffic tickets prior to court date
Mississippi law allows you to prepay a traffic ticket prior to the court date. The back of your ticket has more information about doing so.
Should you prepay there is no need to report to court. This is allowable only for tickets given at the scene without a formal arrest.
Some traffic violations require a formal arrest and booking and attendance at arraignment is mandatory.
Payment of fines
Fines are due in full on the day of assessment. This will be either the day you plead guilty or the day you may be found guilty. There is never a fine when you are found not guilty.
Tickets must be paid in full so the outcome can be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety.
Larger misdemeanor fines may be paid according to a payment plan but only after an initial payment is made. Depending on the total fine the initial payment is $50 or $100 and is due on the date of assessment.
Remember that release on a payment plan is a privilege afforded by the Court and a violation of the payment order will result in your immediate arrest.
Mississippi law allows the Court to send an offender to driving school under certain conditions school to keep the offense off your driving record.
If you have not had a moving violation in the past three years you should be eligible for what is called non-adjudication.
This provides that the violation is not subject to public view and is allowed under the following conditions: (1) that you possess a valid Mississippi license; (2) that you have had no conviction for a moving violation in this state or any other state within the last three years; (3) that you pay the applicable fine; (4) that you pay an additional service fee of $10; and (5) that you attend a four-hour traffic safety violator course approved by the court