MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972
As Amended

SEC. 63-9-11. Criminal liability;  first time violators.

(1) It is a misdemeanor for any person to violate any of the provisions of
Chapter 3, 5, or 7 of this title, unless such violation is by such chapters
or other law of this state declared to be a felony.

(2) Every person convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of any of the
provisions of such chapters for which another penalty is not provided shall
for first conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not more than One
Hundred Dollars ($100.00) or by imprisonment for not more than ten (10)
days;  for a second such conviction within one (1) year thereafter such
person shall be punished by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Dollars
($200.00) or by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) days or by both
such fine and imprisonment;  upon a third or subsequent conviction within
one (1) year after the first conviction such person shall be punished by a
fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment for
not more than six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(3)(a) Whenever a person not covered under Section 63-1-55 is charged with
a misdemeanor violation of any of the provisions of Chapter 3, 5 or 7 of
this title, the person shall be eligible to participate in not less than
four (4) hours of a traffic safety violator course and thereby have no
record of the violation on the person's driving record if the person meets
all the following conditions:

(i) The defendant has a valid Mississippi driver's license or permit.
(ii) The defendant has not had a conviction of a violation under Chapter 3,
5 or 7 of this title within three (3) years before the current offense;  any
conviction entered before October 1, 2002, does not constitute a prior
offense for the purposes of this subsection (3).
(iii) The defendant's public and nonpublic driving record as maintained by
the Department of Public Safety does not indicate successful completion of a
traffic safety violator course under this section in the three-year period
before the offense.
(iv) The defendant files an affidavit with the court stating that this is
the defendant's first conviction in more than three (3) years or since
October 1, 2002, whichever is the lesser period of time;  the defendant is
not in the process of taking a course under this section;  and the defendant
has not completed a course under this section that is not yet reflected on
the defendant's public or nonpublic driving record.
*30898 (v) The offense charged is for a misdemeanor offense under Chapter
3, 5 or 7 of this title.
(vi) The defendant pays the applicable fine, costs and any assessments
required by law to be paid upon conviction of such an offense.
(vii) The defendant pays to the court an additional fee of Ten Dollars
($10.00) to elect to proceed under the provisions of this subsection (3).
(b)(i) 1. An eligible defendant may enter a plea of nolo contendere or
guilty in person or in writing and present to the court, in person or by
mail postmarked on or before the appearance date on the citation, an oral or
written request to participate in a course under this subsection (3).
2. The court shall withhold acceptance of the plea and defer sentencing in
order to allow the eligible defendant ninety (90) days to successfully
complete not less than four (4) hours of a court-approved traffic safety
violator course at the cost of the defendant.  Upon proof of successful
completion entered with the court, the court shall dismiss the prosecution
and direct that the case be closed.  The only record maintained thereafter
shall be the nonpublic record required under Section 63-9-17 solely for use
by the courts in determining eligibility under this subsection (3).
(ii) If a person pleads not guilty to a misdemeanor offense under any of
the provisions of Chapter 3, 5 or 7 of this title but is convicted, and the
person meets all the requirements under paragraph (a) of this subsection,
upon request of the defendant the court shall suspend the sentence for such
offense to allow the defendant forty-five (45) days to successfully complete
not less than four (4) hours of a court-approved traffic safety violator
course at his own cost.  Upon successful completion by the defendant of the
course, the court shall set the conviction aside, dismiss the prosecution
and direct that the case be closed.  The court on its own motion shall
expunge the record of the conviction, and the only record maintained
thereafter shall be the nonpublic record required under Section 63-9-17
solely for use by the courts in determining an offender's eligibility under
this subsection (3).
(c) An out-of-state resident shall be allowed to complete a substantially
similar program in his home state, province or country provided the
requirements of this subsection (3) are met, except that the necessary valid
driver's license or permit shall be one issued by the home jurisdiction.
*30899 (d) A court shall not approve a traffic safety violator course
under this subsection (3) that does not supply at least four (4) hours of
instruction, an instructor's manual setting forth an appropriate curriculum,
student workbooks, some scientifically verifiable analysis of the
effectiveness of the curriculum and provide minimum qualifications for
instructors.
(e) A court shall inform a defendant making inquiry or entering a personal
appearance of the provisions of this subsection (3).
(f) The Department of Public Safety shall cause notice of the provisions of
this subsection (3) to be available on its official website.
(g) Failure of a defendant to elect to come under the provisions of this
subsection (3) for whatever reason, in and of itself, shall not invalidate a
conviction.
(h) No employee of the sentencing court shall personally benefit from a
defendant's attendance of a traffic safety violator course.  Violation of
this prohibition shall result in termination of employment.
(i) The additional fee of Ten Dollars ($10.00) imposed under this
subsection (3) shall be forwarded by the court clerk to the State Treasurer
for deposit into a special fund created in the State Treasury.  Monies in
the special fund may be expended by the Department of Public Safety, upon
legislative appropriation, to defray the costs incurred by the department in
maintaining the nonpublic record of persons who are eligible for
participation under the provisions of this subsection (3).
(j) This subsection (3) shall stand repealed after December 31, 2004.
 

SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8275; Laws, 1938, ch. 200.