Criminal Defense Lawyers in Tennessee
Tennessee is home to a number of attractions such as the Civil Rights Museum, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Mount LeConte. It is also home to the University of Tennessee, the University of Memphis and Middle Tennessee State. Finally, it is home to a number of professional sports teams such as the Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators and Memphis Grizzlies. While there is a lot to see and do in the state, it’s important to be on your best behavior to minimize your risk of seeing the inside of a Tennessee jail.
What to Know If You’re Taken Into Custody
If you are taken into custody, the first thing authorities are required to do is to read your Miranda rights. First, you have the right to remain silent with the understanding that anything that you say or do can be used against you while your case is ongoing. Next, you have the right to have a Tennessee criminal defense attorney by your side throughout the legal process.
After being read your rights, you may be taken to jail for processing and to hear the charges against you. Alternatively, you may be issued an appearance ticket that may escalate to a warrant for your arrest if you don’t show up in court as ordered. There is also a chance that you will be released from custody without being charged, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be charged with a crime at a later date.
The Importance of Hiring a Tennessee Criminal Defense Attorney
The primary reason why you want to hire an attorney as quickly as possible is because the authorities have leeway to get defendants to say or do things to incriminate themselves. For example, you may be told that you have to consent to a search of your car or that failing to hand over your phone will only lead to more criminal charges.
The truth is that you typically don’t have to do anything unless authorities have a warrant compelling you to take certain actions. Furthermore, anything that you say will likely increase your risk of going to jail or of being charged with a crime at a later date.
If you did make statements prior to hiring counsel, your attorney may attempt to have them suppressed. Your representative may also seek to have any documents or paraphernalia seized during an improper search ruled inadmissible at trial. In the event that these efforts fail, an attorney may highlight the fact that statements or other evidence were improperly obtained in an effort to taint the state’s case against you.
Having an attorney may also be ideal if your case is highlighted in the media for any reason. Your counselor will be able to make statements on your behalf, handle requests for interviews and otherwise ensure that your voice is being heard without having to say anything.
Finally, a legal representative may be able to take steps to clear your name or negotiate a plea deal before a trial begins. This may be done by submitting photos or videos clearly showing that you were elsewhere when a crime occurred. Witness statements or police reports may also be used in an effort to show that the case against you is circumstantial at best.
The Types of Cases We Handle
If you are charged with almost any type of criminal offense in Tennessee, our firm will likely be able to help protect your rights. Offenses that are often handled at the state level include drug possession, assault and battery and sexual crimes. Traffic crimes such as drunk driving or reckless driving are also typically handled at the state level. Let’s take a closer look at these offenses and what prosecutors need to do to earn a conviction.
State law prohibits anyone from being in possession of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, or LSD. In limited circumstances, you can be in possession of small quantities of CBD assuming that you are using it for medical purposes and have a prescription for it. Otherwise, the possession and use of marijuana is also banned. If controlled substances are found on your person, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how much is uncovered. It’s also possible that you’ll face distribution or trafficking charges based on what authorities find.
Assault and Battery
Assault occurs when you intentionally create the apprehension of imminent harm in someone else. Battery occurs when you knowingly touch someone without their consent and in a harmful or offensive way. You may be charged with sexual assault or battery if you threaten to engage in or actually engage in intercourse or other sexual acts without the victim’s consent.
Drunk or Reckless Driving
Individuals over the age of 21 cannot be in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above .08%. Commercial drivers generally cannot operate a vehicle with a BAC of .04% or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 cannot operate a motor vehicle with a BAC at 0.02% or above. It’s worth noting that you can still be charged with DUI regardless of your BAC if an officer believes that you are showing other signs of impairment.
Reckless driving occurs when you take actions that endanger the lives or property of other people on the road. For instance, driving at speeds too fast for existing road conditions may be considered reckless. The same may be true if you drive while under the influence of illicit or prescription drugs.
A misdemeanor impaired or reckless driving charge may be upgraded to a felony if there are aggravating factors. Aggravating factors may include a BAC over .15%, the presence of children in your vehicle, or a history of drunk driving convictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you tell me more about your attorneys?
Many of our attorneys have spent time either as federal prosecutors or as members of federal agencies prior to joining The Criminal Defense Firm. This means that they have a good understanding of what the government may be thinking when pursuing criminal charges or when a prosecutor makes certain decisions at trial. Our attorneys also understand the importance of being aggressive with authorities in an effort to gain control over the case and maintain maximum leverage to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
What might a favorable outcome in my case look like?
Depending on the strength of the case against you, a favorable outcome may mean that charges are dropped prior to trial or that you are acquitted by a jury. It’s also possible that a favorable outcome means avoiding jail or prison time or that you serve several months in jail as opposed to several years in prison. While our goal is to have charges dropped or to earn a full acquittal in each case, that isn’t always possible. We may be able to provide more insight into the various ways that your case might go during an initial consultation.
What happens during the initial consultation?
During the initial consultation, we will listen to your story and determine whether we are in position to help defend your interests. The consultation is free, takes about 15 minutes, and does not come with any obligation to retain our services. After the consultation is over, we will likely send over a proposed contract that specifies your rights and responsibilities as a client. If you agree to the proposal, an attorney will be assigned to your case and an in-person meeting will be scheduled.
How will my attorney defend against a criminal charge?
There are a number of steps that your attorney may take to defend against a criminal charge. For example, if you are accused of drunk driving, it may be possible to challenge the results of a chemical BAC test. It may also be possible to assert that you were slurring your words because of a medical issue. Other defense strategies may include asserting that you were elsewhere when a crime occurred or that you took action to protect yourself, your family, or your property.
What happens if I'm found guilty of a criminal offense?
If you are convicted of a criminal offense, you have the right to appeal that decision to an appellate court. If necessary, you may be allowed to appeal the matter to the Supreme Court.
Contact The Criminal Defense Firm Today for Legal Representation in Tennessee
If you are in need of a Tennessee criminal defense attorney, call our nationwide intake number at 866-603-4540 to learn more about our firm and how we can help, or contact us through our contact form. A live chat feature may also be available through our website during normal business hours.