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What if I Am Visiting From Another State and Am Arrested in Tennessee?

 Posted on December 28,2021 in Criminal Defense

Knox County criminal defense atTennessee can be quite a lovely state to visit around the holidays. Whether you are returning home to visit your family or vacationing with friends, your plans almost certainly do not include being arrested. However, situations have a way of getting out of control during what can be a stressful time of year, and visitors to our state do occasionally end up visiting our jails. If this has happened to you, it is of the utmost importance that you do not leave the state without having retained counsel to address the charges. Failure to handle your case in Tennessee can result in a warrant being issued that could get you arrested back home as well

How Does Being From Out of State Affect Bond?

Before you can even think about returning home, you will need to get yourself released from jail. This may be a little more difficult for an out-of-state visitor than for a Tennessee resident. The purpose of bond is to guarantee that a defendant will show up to answer for his charges. The idea is that you pay money to the court, and get most of it back when your case concludes. Courts may fear that if they release an out-of-state visitor without a substantial bond, they are likely to return to their home state and never come back. This can result in substantially higher bonds

Typically, people out on bond cannot leave the state. With the assistance of an attorney and perhaps a bondsman, you may be able to return home while your case is pending. Always speak with an attorney before leaving Tennessee.

What if I Go Home and Ignore the Charges?

This is not a good idea. A bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. The police in your home state will be able to see the warrant next time you have contact with them, such as during a traffic stop. You may be arrested and sent right back to Tennessee, where bonding out again may be extremely difficult if not impossible

You could also be charged with a Class E felony for failing to appear in court. If you were only facing misdemeanor charges to begin with, then you are likely to create much bigger problems for yourself by not answering the original charge

Will I Need to Come to Court in Tennessee? 

The courts recognize that frequent travel can create substantial hardship. For those who are charged with misdemeanors, the court will generally allow you to be represented by a local attorney so that you do not have to keep appearing in person. Your attorney can effectively stand in for you during most proceedings, although you may have to return to serve any jail time. Those charged with felonies, however, should expect to have to appear more often

Contact an Anderson County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested while visiting Tennessee, make sure to speak with an Oak Ridge criminal defense lawyer before you leave the state. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney will strive to address your charges with minimal disruption to your life. Call us at 865-281-1000 for a free consultation


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