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Anderson County criminal defense attorney juvenile crime

Finding out that your child has broken the law and is facing criminal charges for his or her mistake is a difficult pill for parents to swallow. You are likely feeling a combination of emotions—anger and disappointment in your child, concern for his or her future, as well as confusion regarding how the Tennessee court system works for minors. If your child is facing juvenile charges and this is your first time dealing with the Tennessee court system, you may be bursting with questions about how the legal process will work and where your child will end up afterward. It is always advisable to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the juvenile court system before taking any further action, but we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to inform you about the process moving forward.

  1. Is a juvenile hearing just like an adult trial? The short answer to this question is no. While the legal process will still occur in a courtroom in front of a judge and both juveniles and adults have the right to an attorney, juveniles have certain rights that adult offenders do not. For instance, juveniles have a level of confidentiality to their records that adults are not given. Alternatively, juveniles are not allowed a jury trial or the opportunity for bail. 

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Knox County criminal defense attorney DUI

Universities and colleges have always been known for their parties and easy access to alcohol. Aside from the higher education that these academic institutions provide students, they also present many young adults with their first opportunity to live away from home. This opportunity of growth is important for those on the verge of adulthood, but it can also lead many students down the wrong path. Despite what movies or TV shows may show, the legal drinking age restriction of 21 still applies to college students. However, easy access to alcohol leads many students to believe that they are invincible. The following alcohol-related offenses are common on Tennessee college campuses, leaving many students with criminal charges on their record and in many cases, additional consequences from the university.

Possession and Consumption

With house parties on every street corner and tailgates occurring on a weekly basis, college students have numerous opportunities to get their hands on alcohol and drink it without their parents’ watchful eyes. Just a few drinks in and students can quickly forget about campus police that patrol the streets looking for intoxicated, underage students. Possession and consumption of alcohol are both illegal for those under the age of 21. So, if a student is found walking around campus, sober, carrying a pack of beer, he or she can still face criminal charges. Those students who are found drinking underage in Tennessee can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, carrying 11 months of jail time, community service, fees, and having their driver’s license revoked. 

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Knox County criminal defense attorney fraud

Everyone has had the experience of pretending to be something or someone they are not. This is a common occurrence when young adults try new looks or hobbies as they begin to discover who they are as they mature. Trying something new may not be considered a crime, but when this new self-representation becomes deceptive, things can get more complicated. This is especially true with companies who take advantage of curious consumers’ ignorance toward their company or the money they are handing over. These corporations can also use these deceptive tactics to gain a mass of followers willing to work alongside them. Maybe you are a victim of fraud or did not realize that what you were participating in is considered a white-collar crime in Tennessee. Whether you started the fraudulent activity or were tricked into being a participant, you should seek the help of a reputable criminal defense lawyer.

Types of Fraud

There are a number of different types of fraud, all of which prey on the ignorance of consumers. If you are found guilty as a participant of the following practices, you may face serious criminal accusations under Tennessee and federal laws:

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Union County traffic ticket defense attorney

Seeing the red and blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror is never a good feeling. Maybe you did not realize how fast you were going, forgot to use your turn signal, or went through a red light thinking you could make it in time. Regardless, getting pulled over and receiving a traffic violation can be a blow to your ego and your wallet. Tennessee legislatures have been reviewing traffic ticketing policies and presented two bills that address the topic. Although neither is set in stone, your ability to be ticketed and how the violations are recognized may change upon the approval of the following two bills.

Meeting Quotas

You have likely heard the rumors to avoid speeding tickets toward the end of the month since this is typically when police officers hand out the most tickets to meet their monthly quotas. The Tennessee General Assembly is working hard to put an end to ticketing sprees that come up just so cops can fill their ticketing quotas. Technically, Tennessee already prohibits ticketing quotas per legislature from 2010. However, this law does not present any penalties for doing so and some argue that the lack of punishment renders the law useless. In order to address the lack of consequences, SB2458 would create mandatory fines for any police departments that implement a quota system for traffic ticketing. While this bill may not keep you from getting a ticket if you are found driving recklessly, it may reduce the number of unnecessary and inaccurate traffic tickets being delved out to meet a monthly allotment.

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Blount County federal charges defense attorney

Since 1916, the National Park Service has worked to preserve land spanning the United States from destruction. In order to do so, strict regulations have been put into place to protect the wildlife that lives in these parks and preserve the land so that it exists for generations to come. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park houses over 522,000 acres of land that lies between North Carolina and Tennessee. With more than 11.3 million recreational visits in 2016, it is no wonder why specific rules are put in place to keep this land protected. Since the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is federally owned, those who violate these laws can be prosecuted at the federal level and face federal criminal charges and penalties. This level of crime can lead to severe legal consequences, making it crucial to understand the laws before stepping foot on the grounds.

Park Land Is Not Open Land

One of the benefits of the national parks is being able to see wildlife up close and personal. However, not all land in the national parks is open all year round and there are distance regulations put in place to protect the animals. It is strictly forbidden to approach any wildlife within 50 yards or within any distance that disturbs/displaces the wildlife. It is also prohibited to feed the wildlife. Designated fields within the park are closed in May and June as well as in September and October as these are elk calving and breeding seasons. It is a good idea to map your route and do your research before entering the park to be sure that you are complying with the park’s rules.

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Blount County reckless homicide defense attorney

As in every state across the country, murder is considered one of the most serious crimes that a person can commit in Tennessee. When people hear the term murder, they often imagine one person killing the other out of spite or in a violent manner. While this can be the case, there are many other ways that someone can kill another – and the law recognizes this. Tennessee legislation identifies six distinct forms of homicide to show that not all crimes are equal, and neither are their consequences. If you are facing any type of homicide charge, a skilled criminal defense attorney can use these various classifications to your advantage to determine how charges may be reduced or even dismissed altogether. Understanding the various charges is a good first step in formulating a strong defense strategy.

Homicide Classifications in Tennessee

  1. First-Degree Murder: This form of murder refers to the premeditated and intentional killing of another person. In other words, someone must have thought about killing the individual and intentionally done so to have committed first-degree murder. This is the most serious charge that one can receive, resulting in the death penalty or life imprisonment with or without parole.

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Blount County murder charges defense attorney

Most states have laws that exempt those who injure or kill someone from prosecution if they did so in self-defense. Tennessee is one of these states, and it is important for all of the state's residents to know the details of these laws in case they ever fear for their own safety. For anyone facing charges of murder, it is important to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney who has a detailed understanding of the applicable laws regarding self-defense. 

Standing Your Ground in Tennessee

“Stand your ground” laws are some of the most common forms of self-defense legislation implemented throughout the United States. Under these laws, individuals are allowed to use deadly force for self-defense if they fear that they are in imminent danger of serious injury or death by another person. Some state laws include a "duty to retreat," in which a person is required to attempt to retreat or run away from an alleged attacker before they are allowed to resort to deadly force in their own defense. However, Tennessee is not one of these states. In Tennessee, if someone enters your home, property, motor vehicle, or a hotel room that you are occupying, you are legally allowed to defend yourself, and you do not need to attempt to retreat before doing so. Experiencing “imminent fear” is one of the only requirements for using deadly force under the state's “stand your ground” law.

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Anderson County drug crimes defense attorney

Drug charges are very common throughout the United States, and Tennessee is no exception. With 80 percent of Tennessee crimes being related to drugs, the state takes drug charges seriously for all offenders. Like all other crimes, those involving drugs are measured on a scale depending on the situation. In other words, some drugs and actions lead to harsher consequences than others. The public may be warned against drug use; however, the legal consequences for controlled substances are not always explained well. This can leave many people unprepared when facing drug charges.

Tennessee Drug Schedules

Controlled substances, also known as drugs, have different levels of effects, making some more dangerous than others. The government analyzes these “danger levels” and creates a hierarchy of charges. This list of controlled substances and their consequences are known as "drug schedules." The federal government classifies all controlled substances into categories to create general drug schedules; however, states often adjust these schedules. Tennessee has seven schedules that rank these substances, with the most serious drugs in the first schedule:

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Union County sex crimes defense attorney

It is no secret that sex offenders can lose many rights if convicted of a crime. This is especially true of those who have been found guilty of a sex crime against a minor. While all offenses are recorded and become part of the public domain, sex offenders have a separate “registry” that is easily accessible and can ruin the offender’s future in many ways. Recent Tennessee legislation is making the legal consequences for sex offenders even harsher, possibly kicking them out of their own homes.

What Is the New Law?

This past May, Senate Bill 425 went into effect after Tennessee state senator Joey Hensley introduced the bill. Among other things, the law banishes those convicted of a sex offense against a minor (under the age of 12) from their home if they have a child living there. This was signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on May 10. Those who fall under the qualifications were notified that they had until July 1 to move out of their home, or they could face possible arrest or prosecution. This law was created to mirror similar legislation in Alabama.

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