Call Us865-281-1000

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

Blount County Criminal Defense AttorneyKnoxville, Tennessee, is a beautiful city in the southern United States. Like many other states in the US, Tennessee has strict laws regarding driving under the influence (DUI). The consequences of drinking and driving can be severe and, in some cases, even deadly. You may be wondering if Knoxville has strict first-offense DUI laws, and the answer is yes!

Today, we will look closer at the laws in Knoxville surrounding first time DUI offenses and what you can expect to face if you are charged with one. For individuals who are facing charges related to drunk driving, it is essential to hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney to help fight charges and pursue a favorable case outcome. 

What to Expect if You Are Charged with Your First DUI

Tennessee takes first-time DUIs very seriously, with a conviction bringing down a cascade of legal penalties on those convicted. The minimum fine for a first-time DUI in Knoxville is $350 but can reach up to $1,500. The offender may also face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, with a required minimum sentence of at least 48 hours. The severity level of the consequences will largely depend on the blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest. If the BAC is above .20 percent, the offender may be required to spend seven days in jail instead of the minimum of 48 hours. 


Union County Drug LawyerTennessee is an excellent example of a state with very strong drug laws. The state has strict laws governing the possession of substances that the federal government has restricted. As a result, anyone found possessing these drugs can face severe legal consequences, often more severe than in other states in America. Tennessee’s drug laws prohibit the possession of several illicit substances, such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. The penalties for drug possession can be based on several factors, including the type of drug found in possession. 

Anyone facing drug-related crimes in Tennessee would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney right away to fight the charges and defend their rights. 

What to Know About Drug Penalties in Tennessee   

Firstly, according to the law, Schedule I drugs are classified as the most severe form of the drug because they can more easily lead to addiction and dependency and have no accepted medical use. As a result, in Tennessee, even possessing a small amount of a Schedule I drug can lead to grave consequences. Examples of Schedule I drugs include Heroin, PCP, LSD, Peyote, and more. Additionally, if you are arrested for selling a Schedule I drug such as cocaine, even as little as .5 grams, it is a Class B felony and can land you in prison for a minimum of eight years and as many as 30 years, with fines up to $100,000.


Blount County Criminal LawyerWhite-collar crimes are non-violent crimes committed, usually to illegally obtain money or property, by individuals in the course of their work, business, or personal life. However, white-collar crimes can become highly complex and have far-reaching consequences. Therefore, it is imperative to understand that if you are ever accused or charged with committing a white-collar offense, do not hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney, as your freedom may be at stake.

Typical Elements in White-Collar Crime Cases

Here are some common elements of white-collar crimes, including:

  • Financial gain – This is a common element of white-collar crimes. The perpetrator commits the crime to obtain money or property. For example, embezzlement involves stealing money or property from an employer or other organization. Meanwhile, insider trading involves using non-public information to profit in the stock market. 


Knoxville Criminal Defense LawyerPlea deals, also known as plea agreements, have become relatively common aspects of the criminal justice system. These agreements involve a negotiation between the prosecutor and the defense attorneys, often resulting in lighter prison sentences or reduced charges for the defendant. However, accepting a plea deal raises the question of whether the defendant is admitting guilt or simply making a strategic choice. Today, we will further discuss plea deals and their implications on the defendant’s admission of guilt. Remember, if you have been charged with a crime or are suspected of committing a crime, strongly consider hiring a criminal defense attorney, as your freedom may be at stake.

Types of Plea Agreements

This blog will discuss three primary forms of plea agreements used in the criminal justice system. These include:

  • Charge bargaining involves the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for the dismissal of more serious charges.


Anderson County Criminal Law AttorneyBeing charged with domestic violence can be a life-altering experience and not in a good way. It is crucial to understand the legal strategies that can be used to defend against these kinds of charges. Domestic violence charges can lead to severe consequences, including incarceration, loss of custody, and damage to your reputation. Today, we will be discussing essential legal defense strategies to consider if you have been charged with committing an act of domestic violence. In serious cases such as this, it is imperative to contact and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure you are able to adequately defend yourself against these charges. 

Consider These Defense Strategies

Firstly, it is essential to evaluate the evidence against you. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged criminal offense. It is the responsibility of the defense attorney to scrutinize the evidence and identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. For instance, the defense may argue that the accuser did not have any visible injuries or that the accuser’s statements are inconsistent. 

Secondly, the defense may argue that the alleged conduct did not meet the legal definition of domestic violence. Domestic violence typically involves physical violence, emotional abuse, or threatening behavior between intimate partners or family members. If the defendant’s actions do not meet this definition, the charges may be dismissed. 


Union County Sexual Assault Defense AttorneySex crimes can be among the most severe and challenging criminal cases to defend against. In Tennessee, depending on the specific charge, a conviction can result in severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, sex offender registration, and other lifelong consequences. Therefore, in order to successfully defend against a sex crimes charge, it is essential to hire a criminal defense attorney and begin considering a variety of legal strategies you may be able to employ to defeat the charges. Today, we are going to discuss some of these legal strategies. 

Consider These Strategies When Facing a Sex Crimes Charge

Here are some potential legal strategies that may be used to defeat a sex crimes charge:

  • Challenge the evidence – The first strategy to consider is to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution. This could involve questioning the witnesses’ credibility or the physical evidence’s accuracy. It may also include challenging the validity of search warrants or other legal procedures to obtain evidence. 


Knox County DUI Defense LawyerEvery year, thousands of people are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). While many of these arrests are made following traffic stops initiated by police officers, some are based on anonymous tips from concerned members of the public. If you have been pulled over and arrested for DUI based on an anonymous tip, you may be wondering what your legal rights are in this situation. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can help you understand your options for protecting your best interests.

The Legality of Anonymous Tips and Traffic Stops

In short, yes – an anonymous tip can prompt a traffic stop. A concerned citizen can anonymously alert the authorities about a potential drunk driver, and the police are allowed to use this information as sufficient probable cause to pull over the vehicle in question. However, in order for an arrest to be made on suspicion of DUI or any other crime, the officer must personally observe evidence of criminal activity. This means that even if they receive an anonymous tip about a motorist swerving all over the road or driving erratically, an officer can only stop the motorist and begin looking for signs of impairment, such as slurred speech and sluggish motor skills.

The United States Supreme Court ruled definitively on this issue in its 2014 decision in Navarette v. California. The High Court determined that an anonymous tip of dangerous driving and a description of the vehicle in question were enough to give officers reasonable suspicion that the driver was impaired, thereby justifying the stop. However, this information alone is not enough to justify an arrest. Any subsequent arrest must be based on the officer’s observations and any field sobriety tests conducted at the scene. An anonymous tip alone is also not sufficient to justify a search warrant or a warrantless search of the vehicle in question.


Union County Drunk Driving LawyerAs a parent, you probably hope that your child makes good decisions. Unfortunately, many young people experiment with alcohol before they are old enough to do so legally. Teens and young adults in this situation may face consequences that include the suspension of their driver’s license, fines, and other penalties.

If you or your child are facing administrative consequences or criminal charges related to drinking and driving, contact an experienced underage DUI defense lawyer for help.

Consequences for Under-21 Drivers Who Have Been Drinking

You may already know that the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Tennessee is 0.08 percent. However, this limit only applies to drivers aged 21 or older. If a driver is under the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.02 percent. An underage driver found to have a BAC of more than 0.02 percent may be charged with the offense of “underage driving while impaired.” A charge for underage drinking is also possible. Charges for underage driving while impaired may also be filed if the underage driver is suspected to be under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant, regardless of the BAC test results.


Knox County Criminal Defense LawyerBeing pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving is never a fun experience. Typically, police officers ask a series of questions to drivers suspected of driving under the influence, including “Have you had anything to drink tonight?” Regardless of the answer, the officer may ask the subject to perform a series of field sobriety tests. These tests are intended to assess a person’s intoxication level. However, medical problems, injuries, and even obesity can prevent a person from completing field sobriety tests accurately.

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests are physical actions that a person suspected of driving under the influence may be asked to perform. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes a battery of three different tests as “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” or “SFSTs.” One requires the person to stand on one foot without falling over or putting the other foot down. Another requires the person to visually follow a moving object while the officer assesses the driver for signs of “horizontal gaze nystagmus,” an involuntary eye movement indicative of intoxication. The third test requires the driver to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line while counting steps, then to turn and walk back along the same line to the starting point.

In some cases, officers will deviate from the SFSTs and ask the drivers to recite the alphabet or count numbers backwards to assess their cognitive functioning. These types of tests have even lower degrees of reliability as evidence in DUI cases.


Blount County DUI LawyerAlcohol consumption is a common part of life for many people in the United States and throughout the world, used in everything from social gatherings to religious ceremonies. Responsible consumption is often relatively harmless, but excessive drinking can pose increasing risks for both drinkers and the people around them.

Those who drink alcohol have a legal responsibility to refrain from driving while inebriated. In Tennessee, the legal limit for driving a private vehicle is a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. If you are found to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher, you can face legal consequences in the form of charges for driving under the influence (DUI). However, alcohol can begin to affect one’s body even at BAC levels below 0.08, and the effects increase at higher concentrations. If you drink alcohol, you should familiarize yourself with these different stages.

Physiological Effects of Different BAC Levels

Every person handles alcohol differently, which means that one person with a certain BAC might feel different effects than another person with the same BAC. An individual’s metabolism, size, body weight, genetic and acquired tolerance, and many other factors could affect how your body processes alcohol.


Knoxville, TN juvenile criminal defense lawyerYour teen told you they were out with friends—perhaps friends that you have met dozens of times and you know their parents. Then, you get a phone call. At first, you think it is a joke or a prank, but the realization sets in that your child has been arrested for shoplifting. The authorities are letting you take them home for now. What does that mean? The questions begin spinning through your mind, from how you will handle the situation as a parent to how this affects college options and the future. The good news is that you are not alone; we are here to help.

Why Was My Child Released to Me?

Many juvenile shoplifting situations do not result in the young person being taken to jail. Instead, the police will often release the suspect to the custody of his or her parents after taking a report from the management at the store where the incident allegedly occurred. In the days and weeks that follow, you will receive further information about the case in the mail, including the dates and times of required court appearances. Your child must show up for these, and it is your responsibility to ensure that they do so.  Failure to appear will result in a warrant being put out for your child’s arrest and potentially other charges. You can assist your child by watching the mailbox and following up with the court.

What Else Can I Do to Help My Child?

It is common for parents to fluctuate between wanting to hold their children accountable for their bad decisions and wanting to protect them from the criminal consequences. A few helpful tips for parents wanting to achieve the best possible outcome in this awkward situation include:


Knoxville, TN criminal defense lawyerIt is important for every American to understand their rights and responsibilities under state and federal law. One of the most important rights we have is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Many criminal charges result from police searches. If you or a loved one are facing charges for drug possession or any other criminal offense after a vehicle search, contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer for help.

Know the Law Regarding Vehicle Searches

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unjustified searches of personal property. However, it can be hard to know when a search is justified. The law also applies differently to vehicles than it does to homes or other types of personal property. Police usually need a search warrant to search your home, but vehicles are exempt from the search warrant requirement.

Generally, police have the right to search your car, truck, van, or other vehicle under the following circumstances:


Knoxville, TN traffic violation lawyerPolice interactions can make people incredibly nervous – even if they have done nothing wrong. This could be because of the many instances of police brutality and similar accounts that many have watched on the news or for more personal reasons. However, interacting with the police does not have to be a stressful ordeal. If you are ever stopped by police, it is important that you treat the officers with respect while simultaneously protecting your own rights. You should know how to safely interact with police and what to do if you have been arrested and accused of a crime.  

Do Not Give Police Officers a Reason to Be on the Defensive  

Police officers risk their lives every day in the course of their duties. Many officers have had co-workers or friends who have been injured or even killed while performing routine responsibilities such as traffic stops. One way you can make your police interaction less stressful for all parties involved is by following certain procedures designed to keep you and the officer safe.

If you are pulled over by police, make sure you: 


Knoxville, TN criminal defense lawyerThe principle of “innocent until proven guilty” is a cornerstone of the American justice system. This principle holds that all criminal defendants are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law. This presumption of innocence is protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The right to due process is also guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. This means that all individuals have the right to a fair trial, with all of the protections afforded to them by the Constitution.

The Basics of the Presumption of Innocence

The principle of innocent until proven guilty is important because it protects the rights of all individuals. This principle ensures that all individuals are treated fairly and that they have the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. This right is essential to ensuring that innocent people are not convicted of crimes they did not commit. In our criminal system, a defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt—a fairly high burden of proof. The presumption of innocence is also important because it helps to ensure that innocent people are not unfairly punished. 

The Importance of Due Process

The right to due process is also important because it helps to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly. This right guarantees that all individuals have the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. This right is essential to ensuring that innocent people are not convicted of crimes they did not commit.


Knox County criminal defense lawyerMost people are familiar with the Miranda warning based on what they see on television shows and movies – a person is arrested and police must read them their Miranda rights or else the court will dismiss those charges, often with a lecture by the judge for not “doing their job correctly.” But that is not how real life works. The following is a brief overview of how the Miranda warning actually applies. For more detailed information about your particular case, contact Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney.

What Is the Miranda Warning and Miranda Rights?

The Miranda warning and Miranda rights were the result of a 1966 United States Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona. In this case, the court ruled that police are required to inform a person who is in custody of their rights when they are being questioned by a law enforcement officer. This is referred to as a “custodial interrogation.”

These rights include:


Knox County domestic violence defense lawyerOctober is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There is no doubt that domestic violence is a serious issue, including here in Tennessee. In 2020, there were almost 70,000 domestic violence reports made to law enforcement. Penalties for convictions are harsh. A first-offense domestic violence conviction can result in up to 12 months in jail.

Tennessee Domestic Violence Laws

In Tennessee, a crime is labeled as a domestic violence crime if the parties fit into any of the following categories:

  • Current or former spouses


Knoxville DUI defense attorneyFor most young adults, college is an exciting time, the first real steps of adulthood. Not only are the class schedules different from what students were used to during high school, but for many, living on campus or in off-campus housing is the first time they are living away from their parents.

But having all this freedom – along with the new challenges college students face – can sometimes lead to bad choices, like drinking or using cannabis products. This can lead to charges of DUI if a student makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel of a car while they are under the influence.

Tennessee Laws

Under Tennessee law, if a person is convicted of DUI, even a first offense can result in mandatory jail time, up to 12 months, depending on the circumstances of the crime. If the driver is under the legal drinking age of 21, there could be additional criminal charges resulting in even harsher penalties if convicted.


Knoxville criminal defense lawyerEvery state has its own criminal justice system. The federal government also has its own criminal justice system. Depending on the circumstances, the defendant will face either state or federal prosecution, however, in some cases, they may be facing charges in both systems.

Federal vs. State Charges

Typically, the length of time it takes for a federal case to conclude takes longer than it does for state prosecutors to bring their cases to trial or other conclusions. It is not uncommon for federal prosecutors to request delays, resulting in the defendant being in limbo and unable to move forward with their life because of these serious criminal charges hanging over their head.

Another benefit that federal prosecutors have over state prosecutors is that they often have more staff and other resources to put into their cases compared to their state counterparts. Local prosecutors are often working within limited budgets and are often juggling multiple cases at a time.


Knox County criminal defense lawyerThere are certain topics and activities that people are very passionate about. One of those topics is hunting. While hunting is a tradition in Tennessee and many other states, there are also many people who have become animal-rights activists who engage in activities to stop hunting. Unfortunately, one activity that some activists take is harassing hunters and trying to disrupt their hunts. According to state officials, these incidents are occurring on a more frequent basis, but those people who do engage in these activities should be aware that doing so can lead to criminal charges.

Hunter Harassment Law

Tennessee lawmakers passed the Hunter Protection Act in 1995, forbidding individuals to interfere with anyone who is engaged in the lawful taking of a game animal by another party or parties. This also includes the forbidden use of lights, drones, or any type of noisemakers in an attempt to disrupt someone who hunting in compliance with the law.

If someone does any of the following, they can be charged with a crime:


Knoxville criminal defense attorneyIn 2018, the federal government passed the First Step Act into law. Under the law, eligible inmates would be able to obtain an early release if they were deemed a low or minimum risk of reoffending. The goal of the law was to reduce recidivism rates, address racial disparities (particularly with drug offenses), and ease the federal prison population. But four years later, the law seems to be stalled as thousands of prisoners who should have been released are still locked up.

The First Step Act

In addition to the early release provision, there were a number of other changes included in the First Step Act:

  • Allowed more flexibility for courts when facing mandatory minimum offenses
  • Allowed inmates to be placed in facilities as close to their homes (within 500 miles) to their homes when possible
  • Increased education and job training programs
  • Provided more options for home confinement and halfway house program options
  • Expanded rights for female prisoners

It has been the early release provision that has been the most difficult to implement. Under the law, the prison bureau uses a risk assessment tool to determine an inmate's risk of reoffending. They must have a low risk and must not have been convicted for sex offenses, human trafficking, terrorism, or other violent crimes. An inmate who meets that standard must also be eligible for home confinement, a halfway house, or another type of pre-release custody.

certificate lead counsel ncdd ncdd Elite Lawyer ncdd
Back to Top