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If you or a family member have recently been accused or charged with a criminal offense in your state, such as theft or DUI, you probably are concerned about what will happen in the near future. You likely are wondering who will be willing to listen to your side of the events, and you want to know what your rights are and how your job and family may be affected. Most importantly you want to know who you can turn to for help.
At the first opportunity, you should consult an experienced attorney. This will help you avoid making mistakes and can also help to ease the consequences that often come with criminal charges. Now is time for a free consultation with a Tennesseecriminal lawyer who has a proven track record in criminal cases just like the one you or a loved one may be facing. You have the right to remain silent and protect your interests, but the sooner you meet with a criminal attorney the better off you will be. Remember, just because a person is charged with a state offense does not mean that they will be found guilty. Hiring a good criminal lawyer can help protect you and your family and will provide you with information on the rights and options that you may have. Many attorneys will even offer free advice during the initial meeting so that you can decide the next steps you wish to take.
Are You Looking for an Experience Criminal Lawyer?
We have an experienced and professional team of criminal attorneys that are well-versed in many areas of crime from domestic violence to fraud to DUI. We have capable lawyers who specialize in areas of criminal defense like theft, aggravated assault, manslaughter, sexual offenses, weapons charges and much more.
The sooner you act the better. It doesn't matter if you are actually facing charges or you simply fear that there will be repercussions for an act in your past, the longer it takes to get legal counsel, the fewer options you will have. Our Tennessee criminal attorneys have the expertise to fully understand how state law works and they will be able to offer valuable advice to you during your first meeting.
Build Up a Strong Defense for a DUI Charge
One of the most common charges at the state level is a DUI. Though consequences of this action can vary, many times they will include a night in jail, alcohol education classes, heavy fines and even a suspended driver's license. A smart move is to find a Tennessee criminal attorney who has the expertise and knowledge in DUI cases like the one you may be facing. Our experienced lawyers can help to find out if you qualify as a first time offender, to explain the fines and other penalties that you could face, and how you can plan, together, the defense strategy. They will also help you to understand how this type of charge may affect other parts of your life like your auto insurance and even your job.
Good Lawyers are Focused on Specific Areas of Law
Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys concentrates on certain areas of the law. This helps them to gain thorough knowledge of their legal specialty and also helps them build up strong track records in specific types of cases. They will also have comprehensive information about particular state laws and know how they relate to your personal case. Our lawyers will use this background to formulate a solid defense strategy for your individual case. We help to match you with the perfect lawyer for your unique situation.
What to Expect From Your Criminal Lawyer
When you first meet with your criminal lawyer for a consultation you will need to discuss the facts of your case. Your attorney will be able to share their own expertise of the law and how it will relate to the charges being brought against you. You should always be as candid as you can be with your lawyer and be willing to ask them questions. Your attorney will make sure to keep your information confidential and will strive to represent your best interests. It is important for you to follow any advice that is given to you by your attorney and to understand that patience may be needed.
A Strong Reputation Will Count
Our lawyers belong to a variety of professional groups like the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. You will be able to track the success rate of our attorneys throughout their careers which can give you peace of mind. Our attorneys have been thoroughly screened in order to ensure they are providing top notch legal counsel.
You Can Trust Our Attorneys
The perfect criminal lawyer for you will be the one who is going to advocate for your best interests. They will be able to earn your trust, adhere to the highest ethical standards and provide you with that extra boost of confidence that is always needed in these situations.
Our lawyers will know the common methods of defense for you and will handle your case with the urgency and care that you need. Avoid mistakes early on in the criminal process by choosing an attorney quickly. It is important to have the trustworthy legal support that comes from professional counsel. Call one of our qualified attorneys today!
Are You Facing Criminal Charges in Tennessee?
Criminal charges often cause significant stress and concern. Some of these emotions arise as you consider the potential consequences of those charges, while other negative reactions are exacerbated by the lack of a true understanding of the charges and criminal laws as they exist in Tennessee. Therefore, it is very important to learn more about the criminal justice system and criminal laws from a local attorney who practices in Tennessee.
Every crime in Tennessee is either a felony or misdemeanor. The most obvious division between felonies and misdemeanors is the maximum term of imprisonment for each crime. While punishment for misdemeanors is limited to a maximum prison sentence of 11 months and 29 days, the most serious felonies can be punished by the death penalty. Very serious offenses such as murder and aggravated assault are classified as felonies, while less serious crimes such as simple possession of marijuana, are charged as misdemeanors.
One important thing to remember is that the same crime – such as theft – can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the degree of seriousness. For example, if an extremely valuable item is stolen, that theft is considered a felony, while shoplifting t-shirts is a misdemeanor theft.
To better understand felonies and misdemeanors in Tennessee, speak with a criminal defense attorney.
Locate the best Tennessee criminal defense lawyers here.
Five Common Crimes Charged in Tennessee
Every crime in Tennessee has a specific definition which is specifically addressed in a statute. Within this definition, a set of elements and circumstances specifically describe that criminal offense. It is important that a criminal defendant be familiar with the Tennessee criminal law and statute related to his or her specific charges.
Familiarity with relevant statutes cannot tell you how its definitions and elements will be applied to your specific case or suggest the best defense for your situation. Only a Tennessee criminal defense attorney can do that. So, if you have questions about any criminal charges against you or want to know whether specific actions are considered a crime, contact a qualified attorney through Criminal Lawyer.
A person may commit theft in Tennessee in one of two ways. The first is by exercising control over the property of another person, and the second is by simply taking the property. While these two actions might seem similar, according to the laws of Tennessee, they apply to separate circumstances. For instance, the exercise of control might be applied to the selling of corporate stock that belongs to another person, while taking could be removing a wallet from a purse that belongs to your neighbor.
In either instance, an additional element is necessary to consider the act a theft under Tennessee theft laws. The actor must obtain the property or exercise control of the property with the intent to deprive the original owner of it. This means the taker intended to keep the property.
In Tennessee, theft charges can be brought in various degrees based on the fair market value of the property stolen. The more valuable the stolen property, the more severe the punishment will be. For example, the least serious theft charges are considered misdemeanor offenses. Specifically, these Class A misdemeanors, which only apply to theft of property valued at less than $500, will be punished by a maximum of 11 months and 29 days in jail.
All other thefts are charged as felonies of various degrees. The least serious felony charge is brought for theft of property valued between $500 and $1,000. This is a Class E felony, and it has a maximum sentence of six years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of one year.
If the stolen property is valued between $1,000 and $10,000, the theft is considered a Class D felony. Conviction will result in punishment by a minimum of two years and a maximum of 12 years in prison. A Class C felony pertains to theft of property valued between $10,000 and $60,000. This is a serious theft offense, and it is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years. However, the mandatory minimum prison sentence for a Class C felony is three years.
Lastly, the most grave theft charges are brought when the stolen property is worth more than $60,000. This is a Class B felony, and it can be punished by up to 30 years in prison. In fact, for a Class B felony, Tennessee law requires a minimum sentence of eight years.
Find an experienced theft defense lawyer in Tennessee.
Domestic violence is a major concern in Tennessee. Each year, a significant number of police reports and complaints of domestic abuse are filed in the state. To combat the issue – and to take a forceful, proactive approach against domestic violence – Tennessee is one of several states that considers domestic violence a separate and stand-alone criminal offense. This specific offense, under Tennessee domestic violence law, is referred to as domestic assault.
The Tennessee domestic assault statute makes it a crime to intentionally or recklessly injure a family member or to threaten a family member with physical injury. This definition is substantially similar to other Tennessee assault laws, except that it requires the victim of domestic assault to fall within certain specific categories. These categories enumerate those individuals who are considered family members for the purpose of designating an offense as a domestic assault.
Domestic assault in Tennessee is said to have occurred when the assault was directed against the following victims:
- A current or former spouse
- Any individual residing or living with the defendant
- Boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or sexual partner
- Any individual related by blood or adoption
- Any individual currently or formerly related to the defendant by marriage
- Children of the defendant or children of the current or former spouse of the defendant
Just as any other assault that occurs in Tennessee is punishable based on how the assault was carried out and the degree of harm to the victim, domestic violence in Tennessee is similarly punished. Most domestic assaults are charged as Class A misdemeanors, which result in a maximum punishment of 11 months and 29 days in jail. However, based on the Tennessee aggravated assault statute, a defendant could be charged with a heightened offense under specific circumstances.
Charges of aggravated domestic assault in Tennessee are appropriate when serious bodily injury is intentionally or knowingly caused to the victim or when the actor uses a deadly weapon to intentionally or knowingly commit a domestic assault. This assault is a Class D felony, which allows for a substantial sentence of up to 12 years in prison.
Find a defense attorney experienced with TN domestic violence laws.
In Tennessee, operation of a motor vehicle by a driver whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures above the legal limit is called driving under the influence (DUI) and Tennessee driving laws contain two separate charges for DUI. The first pertains to any time an individual operates a vehicle while his or her BAC measures 0.08% or higher. Because DUI is a statutory offense, an individual need not have any intent to do harm – or even commit a crime – to be guilty of DUI. Simply being behind the wheel with a BAC that measures above the legal limit is enough.
Additionally, Tennessee reserves the right to impose a more substantial punishment on individuals whose BAC is 0.2% or higher. In other states, this similar, heightened offense is called aggravated DUI, and the state of Tennessee applies this heightened punishment for an elevated BAC to show that the state takes this crime very seriously. In fact, Tennessee even has a mandatory minimum for first-time DUI offenders.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, you will serve a mandatory sentence of 48 hours in jail; however, if your BAC is above 0.2%, this mandatory minimum will be extended to seven days. And those are just the minimum sentences. First-time DUI offenders can be punished by a maximum of 11 months and 29 days in jail.
Subsequent offenses subject defendants to progressively harsher punishments and greater administrative penalties, such as permanent loss of driving privileges within the state of Tennessee. Conviction of a second offense means a minimum 45 days in jail, with a maximum of 11 months and 29 days. A third conviction will subject the offender to at least 120 days in jail, and the sentence could be as long as 11 months and 29 days. Finally, a fourth or subsequent offense rises to the level of a felony offense, for which conviction will result in a minimum sentence of one year in jail.
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Many states make it a criminal offense to harass another person. This harassment can take many forms and, often, all forms of harassment fall under a single, consolidated offense. In Tennessee, this offense is called stalking, and the crime has three separate degrees of severity which are referred to as: stalking, aggravated stalking, and especially aggravated stalking.
Stalking is defined as an intentional course of conduct which may include harassment or other non-consensual contact with the victim which causes the victim to suffer emotional distress or fear. According to this definition, stalking is not applicable to one single act, but must be comprised of two or more non-continuous actions. Tennessee stalking laws state that these non-continuous actions include:
- Following the victim
- Confronting the victim in a public or private place
- Going to the residence or place of employment of the victim
- Trespassing on the property of the victim
- Multiple phone calls
- Sending letters or emails to the victim
- Giving the victim items or objects
All of these actions establish a pattern of behavior which is necessary for the bringing of stalking charges. Stalking is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee. This means conviction will result in a maximum punishment of 11 months and 29 days in jail.
Both aggravated stalking and especially aggravated stalking are heightened offenses that arise only in specific circumstances. Aggravated stalking is a Class E felony, and it requires a prison sentence of between one and six years. Aggravated stalking is said to occur under these circumstances:
- Use of a deadly weapon during actions that comprise stalking
- Stalking a victim under the age of 18, by a defendant who is at least five years older than the victim
- A subsequent conviction for stalking within seven years of a first offense
- Making credible threats against close family members of the victim
Lastly, especially aggravated stalking is charged as a Class C felony, and conviction results in a required punishment between three and 15 years. Charges of especially aggravated stalking are applicable in only two circumstances which occur when:
- The defendant has been previously charged for aggravated stalking of the same victim
- The defendant commits aggravated stalking and, in the course of such behavior, causes serious bodily injury to the victim or a close family member of the victim
The seriousness of all stalking charges and the unique aspects of this Tennessee crime necessitates seeking the counsel of an attorney who has experience in defending clients against stalking charges.
Find a stalking defense lawyer in Tennessee.
Homicides are among the most serious crimes in Tennessee, and various statutes criminalize the killing of another human being and separate these crimes based on factors such as intent, whether the accused person acted with premeditation, or whether the individual acted out of sudden passion or rage. The four offenses that fall under criminal homicide laws in Tennessee are: murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter.
Specific types of offenses relate to the method or means by which the homicide was committed – such as vehicular homicide. Finally, certain specific types of criminal homicides are charged separately due to the identity of the victim, such as in cases of fetal homicide.
Even so, only two crimes fall into the category of murder in Tennessee. Murder in the first degree is charged for the most serious and heinous murders in the state. This offense is seen as one which is egregious enough to warrant capital punishment – which is still legal in the state of Tennessee. Criminal homicide is charged as murder in the first degree when:
- It is the premeditated and intentional killing of the victim
- It is a killing that occurs during the commission of a separate felony
- Killing is accomplished by the use of a destructive device or bomb
As stated, in Tennessee, the potential punishment for murder in the first degree can be the death penalty; however, if the prosecutor chooses not to seek this grave punishment, then the minimal sentence is life in prison.
Criminal homicide is considered murder in the second degree when the defendant knowingly kills the victim or the death of the victim resulted from the distribution of a controlled substance found on Schedule I or II of the specific schedule for drugs and other controlled substances set forth in Tennessee law.
In this second instance, evidence must be present that the Schedule I or II drug – such as heroin – was the proximate cause of the death of the victim. This means it must be proved that use of the drugs was a substantial cause of the death of the individual and that, absent use of the drugs, the victim would not have died.
Second-degree murder is a Class A felony. It is the most serious type in Tennessee, and it is punishable by a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Find a Tennessee felony lawyer who is experienced in murder defense.
The Tennessee criminal lawyers featured by Criminal Lawyer are prepared to defend a variety of crimes in Tennessee. Our experience is not limited to the most common crimes in the state, and extends to defense of federal crimes and appellate level defense. Whether you are seeking a lawyer to defend you against such serious charges as murder or a less severe misdemeanor charge, such as possession of a controlled substance, we can help.
Importance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
In Tennessee, as in all states, individual attorneys are not experienced or competent in every area of law. Some lawyers choose to focus on bankruptcy, while others are skilled in real estate. The legal principles involved in each of these practice areas are specific and unique. That is why you need a Tennessee criminal attorney to work with you in building a strong defense.
Only a criminal defense attorney who possesses prior experience and a comprehensive understanding of Tennessee criminal laws will be competent to provide the robust and strategic defense you need. Irrespective of the criminal charges against you, experience is one of the most important qualities to seek when choosing your legal counselor.
Not certain where to find a high quality, trustworthy defense attorney? Turn to Criminal Lawyer.
[Disclaimer – this is not legal advice.]
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