The West Point Police Department is hosting a forum for a representative from the district attorney’s office to meet with local business owners and discuss a new law which lessens property crimes at 6 p.m. July 15 in the courtroom at the West Point Police Department.
Mississippi legislature passed House Bill 585 in March, and it will take effect July 1. The bill was intended to avert prison population growth, according to a statement from Gov. Phil Bryant’s office, but it will also change the definition of misdemeanor and felony charges.
In a statement released to media, West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said the changes the bill makes are significant and will directly affect business owners who are victimized in the future.
“The most significant change is that the victim will have to suffer a $1,000 loss in order for the offense to constitute a felony,” Brinkley said. “This will definitely hit our businesses in the pocket.”
The DA representative will brief business owners on changes to property crimes, shoplifting, forgery and grand larceny, as well as some drug offenses, according to Brinkley.
Assistant District Attorney Katie Moulds said in a previous interview that she felt the bill would lead to upset crime victims in West Point and Clay County. She said thefts in amounts less than $1,000 will lead to probation for the offenders instead of jail time, once the law takes effect.
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