Call Us865-281-1000

First Horizon Plaza
800 S. Gay Street, Suite 2000
Knoxville, TN 37929
Recent blog posts

Knoxville boating under the influence attorneyAs summer approaches, many Knox County residents are eager to make their vacation plans. Whether you are planning travels to new states or countries or are prepping for backyard barbecues with friends and family at home, there are many rules to remember to stay safe this summer — especially if you plan to go boating. A sunny boat day may be the perfect way to kick off summer for many Tennesseans, so reviewing the state laws for drinking and boating is essential. Just like driving a car, operating a boat comes with strict drinking laws to keep everyone safe for the summer.

Review of Drinking and Boating Laws

Drinking and boating laws are similar to drinking and driving laws. Although it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your car, it is legal to drink on a boat. Like driving, any individual operating the boat must remain within the legal alcohol limit, a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08 percent in Tennessee. Any BAC over the 0.08 percent threshold is over the legal limit and can be grounds for a BUI offense. Boaters in Tennessee give their implied consent to have their BAC tested.

Most BUI offenses are charged as a Class A misdemeanor, but the repercussions can vary depending on various factors. Aggravating factors, such as repeat offenses or other illicit drugs located on the boat can worsen a BUI sentence. A first offense can lead to $2,500 in fines, 11 months of jail time, and up to one year of a suspended boating license. A second offense may lead to a boating license suspension for two years. Any subsequent violations will lead to $5,000 in fines and extended boating license suspension. BUIs can also be charged as a federal offense by the Coast Guard.

...

Continue Reading...

Knoxville domestic violence defense lawyerDomestic violence is defined as a series of patterned, abusive behaviors against a partner or family member. These patterns can range from physical violence to emotional and mental abuse. In Tennessee, domestic violence and abuse include intentionally inflicting physical harm or pain or threatening to inflict harm on a spouse, partner, or family member. Understanding the differences between domestic violence and other violent charges can be confusing, and those accused of violent crimes may feel unsure about their next steps. Here are five frequently asked questions about handling a domestic violence accusation in Tennessee.

How Common is Domestic Violence in Tennessee?

According to a 2021 report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, there were 69,385 criminal offenses linked to or reported as domestic violence cases in the state in 2020. Between 2019 and 2020, domestic violence cases rose by approximately 2.6%. The report states that most domestic violence cases in Tennessee were between boyfriends and girlfriends.

What is the Difference Between Battery and Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence and battery charges include instances of an individual inflicting intentional physical harm on another person. However, the term battery is a broad account of various types of assault, while domestic violence includes violence that occurs within someone’s immediate domestic circle.

...

Continue Reading...

Knoxville Drug Defense AttorneyWhether you have been charged with possession of drugs for personal use or the intent to sell, a skilled criminal law attorney can determine what defense strategy may work for your situation. Although every case has a different set of circumstances, there are some common defenses that an attorney can use to defend their client against these charges, such as procedural errors or challenging evidence the prosecution wants to introduce to the court. The following are some of the most common defenses.

The Drugs Belong to Another Person

A common defense is that the drugs were not yours or that you had no idea they were in the car or house. Your attorney may be able to introduce evidence to cast reasonable doubt to the jury that the drugs were actually yours.

Crime Lab Analysis

Although a drug might look like meth, does not mean that it is meth. The prosecutor must be able to show that a seized substance is the drug it claims to be by sending it to a crime lab and having it tested. The analyst must then appear at the trial to testify and present their findings. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may be able to challenge those findings. One example would be evidence that there was an issue in the chain of custody, causing contamination.

...

Continue Reading...

Knox County criminal defense attorneyThe opioid epidemic is killing approximately 70,000 people each year in the United States. It is estimated that each year, there are more than 1.5 million people who struggle with addiction. For many who are addicted, once they cannot get legitimate prescription medications, they often turn to heroin. Every year, more than 50,000 people use heroin for the first time and every year, more than 14,000 people die from heroin overdoses.

While many states have passed laws that are more sympathetic for addicts who commit crimes, focusing more on treatment over punishment, that does not seem to be the case in Tennessee as lawmakers consider a bill that would require all health care providers to notify police of anyone they treat for a drug overdose.

SB 1891

According to wording in the bill, anyone who is “called to tender aid to persons” who are suffering a drug overdose would be required to report that overdose to either the police chief or sheriff of the area treatment was provided. In addition, the health care provider must also report that the individual who suffered the overdose to the District Attorney General’s Office.

...

Continue Reading...

Knoxville DUI defense lawyerOne of the most common pieces of evidence used by prosecutors in DUI cases is the result of the defendant’s breathalyzer test. However, a skilled Knox County defense attorney knows that it is not uncommon for breathalyzers to give false readings. While breathalyzer testing is more accurate than other subjective field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests can still be incorrect or inaccurate.

Breathalyzer Testing

When you are pulled over and the police officer has probable cause that you have been drinking, the officer can administer a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer test is a chemical test that assesses how much alcohol vapor is on the breath of the individual taking the test. This data generally correlates to an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.

Tennessee is an implied consent state, meaning that by accepting a driver’s license that grants them the right to operate a vehicle, a driver automatically consents to be subjected to chemical testing when suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Individuals do have a right to refuse a breathalyzer test, but there are steep consequences for refusal.

...

Continue Reading...

Knoxville criminal defense attorneysUnder Tennessee law, the majority of people charged with criminal offenses have the constitutional right to be released on bond while their case works its way through the criminal justice system. There are a few exceptions to this law, such as a case where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty or if the person was a fugitive.

The problem under the current system, however, is that there are many defendants who are unable to come up with the bond amount and end up sitting in jail until their case is resolved one way or another. Tennessee lawmakers are considering changes to the current bond system and have introduced three different bills.

Disparities in the Bond System

As of January 31, 2022, there were 24,264 people being held in Tennessee jails. According to the state’s Department of Corrections, 59 percent of those inmates were being held pre-trial. Critics say the bond system goes against the state’s constitution, which they say promises bail for everyone except those who have been charged with capital offenses.

...

Continue Reading...

How Can I Get Out of a DUI in Knoxville?

Posted on in DUI/DWI/BUI

Knox County DUI defense attorneyDrunk driving is punishable by significant penalties. Even a first-time conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) results in a 48-hour mandatory jail sentence, heavy fines, and a one-year license suspension. Second and subsequent DUI convictions are punished even more harshly.

If you or a loved one were charged with drunk driving, contact a DUI defense lawyer for help. Your attorney can evaluate the circumstances of the alleged offense, help you gather evidence, and explore your legal options. Your attorney can also represent you in any legal proceedings resulting from the charges.

Defense Strategies for DUI Charges in Tennessee

Fortunately, being charged with a criminal offense like drunk driving does not mean that the defendant will automatically face penalties for the alleged offense. All criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty. In a DUI case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was driving while intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled lawyer may cast doubt on a DUI defendant’s guilt by questioning the validity of the evidence against the defendant.

...

Continue Reading...

Knoxville marijuana possession lawyerOn January 25, 2022, the “Free All Cannabis for Tennesseans Act” was introduced and assigned to the Criminal Justice Subcommittee for consideration. This could be a game changer for legal medical and recreational cannabis. With 37 states across the country currently having some form of medical cannabis program, Tennessee can soon become number 38. The bill would overhaul current laws making both medical and recreational marijuana legal. Local governments would not be able to override proposed laws, but they could vote to ban the sale within their jurisdictions by a two-thirds vote. Several benefits for consumers could be available in the near future, but familiarizing yourself with all the rules and regulations is key. Until that time, it is important to remember that possession of cannabis is still illegal.

What Happens if You Are Caught With Cannabis in Your Possession?

A conviction on a first offense for marijuana possession under Tennessee law incurs fines of $250.00 for a half-ounce of marijuana or less. Possession will have mandatory fines and up to one year in jail if convicted. Maximum fines can reach up to $2,500. Penalties for possession with intent to distribute starts at $5,000 and will increase with the amount of marijuana found on hand. This is considered a serious offense and is handled as a Class E misdemeanor. Cultivation of 10 plants or less can land someone in prison for up to six years. Larger quantities can increase the time up to 60 years.

Over the last few years, many states around the country have legalized or decriminalized cannabis, making the drug easier to obtain than perhaps ever before. However, you should definitely think twice about bringing marijuana purchased legally in other states into the state of Tennessee, as the penalties for possession can be serious.

...

Continue Reading...

shutterstock_13686835.jpgIf you have ever seen red and blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror, then you are already familiar with the fear and nervousness that being pulled over on the road can invoke. It is never fun to realize that you are being pulled over by the police. 

If you know that you had been drinking prior to getting in the car and driving on the road, then you probably have a sinking feeling in your stomach that you are being pulled over under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated

Even so, do you have to tell the police that there is alcohol in your system? And must you participate in a field sobriety test simply because you are asked to step out of your vehicle and consent to the testing? The answers to these questions are important to know in case you find yourself in a situation where you are asked to take the field sobriety test in Tennessee. 

...

Continue Reading...

Knox County federal crimes attorneyNational parks across the United States offer expansive stretches of land full of wildlife and beauty galore. As inviting as national parks are, you are not welcome to enter a park without understanding and adhering to the rules and regulations of the park. 

For instance, in the Tennessee-based parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there are certain laws that you must abide by in order to explore all that the park has to offer. If you fail to uphold the legal expectations while in the park, you can run the risk of being charged with a federal crime

But what is a federal crime? And what are the laws you must respect when enjoying your time at Great Smoky Mountains National Park? 

...

Continue Reading...

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.

...

Continue Reading...

Knoxville Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen you own a business, there are a myriad of issues and responsibilities you need to keep abreast of in order to be successful. According to federal and state laws, that also includes making sure that no criminal activity is taking place at your business. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges being brought against you. This is what recently happened to one nightclub owner and two of his managers when they were all convicted by a federal jury of managing drug premises, conspiracy to manage drug premises, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. 

Details of the Convictions

According to federal prosecutors, the owner ran several popular nightclubs. Prosecutors alleged in their case that one reason for that popularity was that the defendant allowed drug dealers to sell cocaine in the bathrooms of the clubs, resulting in an increase in the clubs’ revenue of between $9 to $12 million. The jury was told that because the owner knew what was going on but continued to allow it because he was profiting by the increased business at his clubs, he was guilty of managing drug premises, along with the other charges. The jury agreed.

Part of the evidence federal prosecutors presented in the case included 17 controlled drug buys at several of the clubs of informants – who were all under the supervision of the FBI – purchasing bags of cocaine from drug dealers who were selling the drugs out of club bathrooms.

...

Continue Reading...

Knox County criminal defense attorneyThere are two clauses in the U.S. Constitution that specifically prohibits governments from retroactively changing punishments for a crime that was previously committed. This clause also bars a government from changing the rules of evidence in a case or punishing conduct that was legal at the time it was committed. These laws are referred to as Ex Post Facto and according to a recent ruling by a federal judge, the state of Tennessee is in violation of this clause for how they have continued to enforce retroactive punishments against sex offenders, including some whose crimes took place decades before the Tennessee sex offender registry law went into effect.  

Federal Lawsuit

In her recent ruling, the judge ordered the removal of eight different men from the state’s sex offender registry list, as well as ordering the state to stop imposing restrictions on what these men can and cannot do, accusing the state of “flouting the Constitution’s guarantees.”

The state’s lawyers argued that the eight men should be kept on the registry in order to prevent future offenses and for the protection of the public. However, in her ruling, the judge pointed out that the state failed to provide any evidence that any of the men posed a threat to the public.

...

Continue Reading...

Knoxville assault charges defense lawyerIn today’s society, there are all kinds of incidents that can end up escalating into violent confrontations. When this happens, law enforcement may treat at least one of the parties involved as the aggressor. Police do not always arrest the right person in these situations, and they may fail to further investigate the circumstances of the incident.

There are different levels of assault a person can be charged with in Tennessee, with each level carrying different penalties if a person is convicted. If you have been charged with assault, a Union County defense attorney can help.

Simple Assault

Under Tennessee law, a person commits simple assault if any of the following factors exist:

...

Continue Reading...


Knoxville criminal defense for ExpungementIn Tennessee, just like in every other state in the country, the legal drinking age is 21. While it is against the law for anyone under 21 to consume or possess alcohol, the reality is that many do. This is especially true when it comes to college and social life. However, the criminal justice system takes underage drinking seriously and anyone under 21 who is caught with alcohol, especially in drinking and driving situations, faces especially harsh penalties.

Legal BAC in Tennessee

Under Tennessee law, anyone who is 21 years of age or older who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent is considered legally drunk. However, for anyone under the age of 21, the legal limit is much lower and DUI charges may apply if a person has a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher.

Penalties for Underage DUI

While the penalties for underage DUI may not be as harsh as adult DUI penalties, they still leave a permanent mark on the individual’s criminal record. For drivers who are under 18, the matter is deemed a delinquent act. If the driver is between 18 to 20, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor. Penalties for both categories are the same:

...

Continue Reading...


Knoxville criminal defense for ExpungementArrest reports in Tennessee have a new line item that has been added to them. This information lets a person who has been arrested know that in some cases, the charges they face can be expunged from public records. An expungement basically erases all public records of an arrest. Under some circumstances, one may even be granted to expunge any records of a conviction. To find out if you could qualify for an expungement, consider speaking with a Knoxville defense attorney.

Notification of Expungement Possibility

The new information was added to arrest reports as of July 1st under a new law. Many defendants are unaware that they may be able to have their arrests expunged if they meet certain criteria.

Under Tennessee law, in order to petition for an expungement, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include:

...

Continue Reading...


Knoxville criminal defense for College ArrestsAutumn is now in full force in Tennessee and that means lots of fun and exciting events for students at the University of Tennessee. Rush week, Halloween parties, football games, Homecoming, and Thanksgiving all provide opportunities to get together with friends and enjoy downtime from the rigors of studying and exams. Unfortunately, those fun times can also provide situations where a college student finds themselves in legal trouble, facing arrest and criminal charges.  

While there are a wide variety of different charges that a person may be arrested for, there are certain criminal charges that seem to be common ones among college students. If your young adult child has been charged with any of the following crimes, it is important to contact a Knox County defense attorney for legal assistance.

Underage Drinking

Drinking and college seem to go together, but the National Minimum Drinking Age Act set the legal drinking age at 21 years of age. Despite that law, many students under 21 do partake in activities that involve drinking. Binge drinking is a serious and common problem, with about 600,000 college students suffering injuries due to heavy drinking each year.

...

Continue Reading...


Knoxville criminal defense for Social Media CrimesSocial media is known for its viral challenges. Some have been for a good cause – such as the Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago that generated about $15 million for The ALS Association – while others can be dangerous. Some of the more dangerous social media challenges over the past several years include the Tide pod challenge (where people ate the toxic detergent), the fire challenge (where people were doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire), and the sunburn tattoo challenge (place a stencil to cover a small portion of skin and then sit in the sun for hours). However, the latest social media challenge that has gone viral can result in minors facing criminal charges.

The Devious Licks Challenge

The devious licks challenge is the latest trend to go viral, thanks to the social media platform Tiktok. The challenge – also referred to as dastardly licks or diabolical licks – involves students damaging or stealing items from their schools and then posting videos of the act on Tiktok. In teen slang, the word “lick” in the challenge means a successful type of theft which provides the actor with an impressive payday.

The challenge is being taken up by middle school, high school, and even college students across the country who commit the vandalism, most commonly to school restrooms. Videos of missing soap dispensers, smashed floor tiles, and stolen urinals are showing up all over TikTok. Although the company is doing its best to quickly take down the posts, many of the videos are also shared on other social media sites. Many schools have been forced to keep student restrooms locked for most of the school day to help prevent destruction.

...

Continue Reading...


Knoxville criminal defense for fraud chargesIn an attempt to help alleviate the financial hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to many businesses, the federal government established multiple programs that provided financial assistance, including the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Unfortunately, while these programs did help prevent hundreds of thousands of companies from going out of business, they also created multiple opportunities for fraudulent claims. The U.S. Department of Justice is aggressively investigating and prosecuting these cases, as two Tennessee residents recently discovered.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Tennessee Announcements

In August, the DOJ’s Eastern District of Tennessee announced two separate cases of fraud connected to pandemic relief programs.

In one case, a Knoxville, TN woman pled guilty to one count of executing a wire fraud scheme. According to the announcement by the DOJ, the woman had applied for 10 loans, totaling $547,286 through the PPP and EIDL programs. These applications were submitted under companies that either did not exist or did not qualify for the loans. The woman submitted false records regarding the revenue the companies generated, the amount of employees she had, and the amount of payroll expenses the company had. She is scheduled to be sentenced in January 2022 and faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, supervised release of up to three years, and a fine of up to $250,000. The woman has agreed to pay restitution of $471,621.

...

Continue Reading...


Knoxville criminal defense for drug crimesAccording to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), approximately 80 percent of crimes in Tennessee are in some way connected to drugs. Tennessee has some of the harshest penalties for drug crimes in the country. Even a charge like simple possession can result in jail time if you are convicted. Anyone who has been charged with a drug offense should contact a Knoxville defense attorney for help in defending against the charges.

Serious Drug Issues

The TBI also estimates that at any given time, there are 800 or more methamphetamine labs in operation in the state. Although the use of methamphetamine has decreased, the use of heroin has spiked again. Even more alarming is that the heroin being sold in Tennessee is often laced with fentanyl, a dangerous and powerful synthetic opioid that is supposed to only be prescribed to patients dealing with severe pain. Pure fentanyl is so powerful and so dangerous that it can kill a person if even just a small amount is absorbed through the skin.

Prescription drug use is also a criminal issue in the state. Tennessee ranks third in the U.S. for prescription drug abuse. In recent studies, more than 70 percent of participants admitted to using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons that they obtained from a family member or friend. People who become addicted to these drugs often find themselves facing some kind of criminal charges for drug-related crimes, often convicted and sentenced to jail.

...

Continue Reading...

certificate lead counsel ncdd ncdd Elite Lawyer ncdd
Back to Top