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Criminal Defense FAQs

How do I post bond in Tennessee?

Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney

At the Knox County law firm of Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we help clients throughout East Tennessee who are facing all types of criminal charges. If you or a member of your family has been arrested and charged with a crime, you probably have a number of questions related to your case. The answers to those questions will largely depend on the nature of the criminal charges against you and the circumstances of your arrest. There are, however, a number of questions that our clients ask us that may apply to most criminal cases. Please keep in mind that the questions and answers listed on this page are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

Q. What happens after I am arrested?

A. You can only be arrested if the police have probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. Once are have been arrested, you will be taken to jail until you can be arraigned in general sessions court. You must be read your Miranda rights before the police or prosecutors can question you. You should always request to have an attorney present when speaking with the police or prosecutors. Within about three days, you will be arraigned. At your arraignment, you will be informed of the charges against you and given the chance to enter a plea. If you plead guilty, your case will move to sentencing. If you plead not guilty, the judge may set a bond amount or release you on your own recognizance.

Q. How do I post bond?

A. If the judge sets a monetary bail amount in your case, you will be required to pay the full amount or secure a bail bond. A bail bonding company will generally ask you pay 10 percent of the total amount in advance. Bond is designed to ensure that you show up for future court proceedings. If you do appear as ordered, your bond will be refunded to you or applied to any fines or fees. If you do not appear, you will be responsible to the bonding company for the remaining 90 percent.

If the judge decides that you are likely to appear as ordered, you may be released on your own recognizance with no bond, or with a signature bond for a set amount. If the judge orders a signature bond, and you fail to appear, you will be responsible for the full amount of the bond. In rare cases, the judge may order a property bond in which your ownership in real property is used as collateral.

Q. What is General Sessions Court?

A. General Sessions Court is a division of the Tennessee Court System in which your entire case could be heard or just the preliminary hearing. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can enter a plea in General Sessions Court, and you have the option of having your trial in General Sessions Court as well. If you are charged with a felony, your preliminary hearing may be held in General Sessions Court, but the judge may send the case to a grand jury for an indictment. If you are indicted based on the available evidence, your case will proceed to Criminal Court. In Criminal Court, proceedings are more formal than in General Sessions Court, as you are now on the way to a trial by jury.

Q. Will I go to jail?

A. If you are convicted of a criminal offense, you could face time in jail or prison. A Class C misdemeanor could result in up to 30 days in jail. A Class B misdemeanor could result in up to six months in jail. A Class A misdemeanor could result in up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. Some charges, like DUI, carry minimum jail sentences.

If you are facing felony charges, incarceration is even more likely, with sentences ranging from one year to life. The possible sentence will depend on the specific charges, as well as your prior criminal history and skill of your attorney.

Call a Tennessee Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have questions about your case, contact our office to get the answers. Call 865-281-1000 for a free, confidential consultation with Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, today. Our firm serves clients in Knox County, Union County, Anderson County, Blount County, Campbell County, and the surrounding areas.

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