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Recent Blog Posts

New Tennessee Law Could Force Former Sex Offenders Out of Their Homes

 Posted on September 23,2019 in Criminal Defense

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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What Goes on My Record When I Get Pulled Over in Tennessee?

 Posted on September 09,2019 in Traffic Violations

Anderson County traffic ticket defense lawyer

As a driver, seeing red and blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror is never a good feeling. The officer comes to your window, tells you what you did wrong, and usually writes you an expensive ticket. This can create a dent in your bank account and cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket. What many do not realize is that paying the ticket does not make the violation disappear. Like many other states, Tennessee utilizes a “point system” to track driving violations and keep drivers in check

What Is the “Point System?”

As indicated by the name, the point system adds penalty points to a person’s driver’s license and record with every violation. These points accumulate over time and can lead to bigger consequences than a high-dollar ticket. The value of demerit points is dependent upon the severity of the violation. More serious violations will result in more points and thus, harsher legal consequences. Drivers who accumulate 12 or more points in a single year will have their license suspended for 6 to 12 months. In other words, there is a chance that those who regularly do not follow the rules of the road could lose their driving privileges

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What Is the Difference Between Burglary and Robbery in Tennessee?

 Posted on August 16,2019 in Criminal Defense

Union County theft charges defense lawyer

When someone thinks of theft, he or she might imagine someone taking an item off a shelf or an individual breaking into a home to take another person’s belongings. Both are forms of theft; however, this crime and the charges associated with it include more than just these two descriptions. All crimes involving theft are known as property crimes and the two that often get confused are burglary and robbery. While they may look synonymous on television, the two offenses are defined differently by Tennessee legislation.

What Is Burglary?

All criminal offenses have classifications that must be met in order to be charged with that particular offense and burglary is no exception. Acts that include the following criteria are classified as burglary in Tennessee:

  • Unlawful and Forcible Entry: If one does not have express permission to enter a building or residence, it is considered unlawful. Forcible entry does not have to be as dramatic as it sounds. The only forms of entry not considered “forcible” are walking through an open door or climbing through an open window. Even if an individual turns a door handle or moves a window screen to enter, he or she has “committed” forcible entry.

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What Are Tennessee’s New Concealed Carry Laws?

 Posted on August 06,2019 in Criminal Defense

Blount County gun charges defense attorney

Like many other states, Tennessee has made changes to its gun laws--more specifically, its concealed carry law. What sets Tennessee apart from many other states is that rather than tightening its legislation regarding concealed carry, Tennessee is fighting to protect its residents’ Second Amendment rights. Recent legislation has changed the state’s previous rules regarding concealed carry. Changes to gun laws can cause confusion or misunderstanding for Tennessee residents, resulting in potential weapons charges that have serious consequences.

What Are the General Firearm Laws in Tennessee?

Tennessee is known as a “shall issue” state when it comes to concealed weapons permits. In other words, if an applicant has the basic requirements set by the state law, the issuing authority is compelled to issue a permit. Tennessee is not alone: 41 other states have followed suit. Purchasing a handgun from a private individual does not require a permit, a background check, or a firearms registration. If a gun is not loaded, and the ammunition is not immediately nearby, open carry is legal with or without a permit. However, the state prohibits the possession of a firearm “with the intent to go armed,” and an individual must be at least 18 years old to do so. Of course, there are certain locations where carrying a firearm is off-limits, such as schools and government buildings.

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What Is the Asset Forfeiture Process in Tennessee?

 Posted on July 15,2019 in Asset Forfeiture

Union County asset seizure attorney

If someone commits a crime and is convicted of that crime, he or she will face legal consequences. Depending on the severity of the offense, the penalties can consist of large fines or prison time. Law enforcement also utilizes another consequence known as property seizure or asset forfeiture. Property or assets can include vehicles, money, real estate property, and other miscellaneous items. There are various situations that warrant asset forfeiture, and the process is more complicated than simply taking an item from someone.

Why Is Property Seized?

The purpose of property seizure is to take away assets that were obtained through illegal means. This allows law enforcement to remove the proceeds of alleged criminals’ unlawful enterprises, and the seized assets are often used to help fund law enforcement’s future efforts. According to Tennessee legislation, property can be seized if someone is suspected of possessing narcotics (prescription or illegal). Vehicles may also be seized if someone is charged with various driving offenses, including driving on a license that has been revoked for driving under the influence (DUI) and for a second or subsequent DUI offense that occurred within a five-year period

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What Types of Criminal Charges Do College Students Commonly Face?

 Posted on July 09,2019 in Criminal Defense

Anderson County college crime defense lawyer

With over 75 four-year colleges and universities in the state, Tennessee has thousands of college students. It is very common for students to test their limits, since they are experiencing their first taste of freedom from the rules and discipline of their parents. Crimes committed while in college can be accidental if students are not from the state in which their university is located and are unfamiliar with the state’s laws. For instance, a young adult from Colorado who smokes marijuana may not realize that all forms of cannabis intake are illegal in Tennessee. Students can avoid accidentally making a costly mistake by familiarizing themselves with the laws of the state in which their college is located.

Criminal Charges for College Students

There are some crimes that college students tend to be accused of, no matter the state in which their school is located. Some common crimes that college students may be charged with include:

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What is Tennessee’s Legal Stance on Marijuana?

 Posted on June 25,2019 in Drug Crimes

Knoxville, TN drug crimes defense attorney

Laws regarding cannabis, or marijuana, have changed dramatically from state to state. States like Colorado were at the forefront of legalizing medical and recreational marijuana usage, whereas some states consider all forms of this drug’s use illegal. Tennessee lawmakers received a proposal in April of 2019 that formulated a plan to legalize and regulate medical marijuana in that state.

The bill, known as the Tennessee Agricultural Medicine Act, would have allowed for the issuing of licenses to medical marijuana businesses and registration cards to patients. A medical diagnosis would have been required for patients to purchase the drug, and these patients would have been added to a registry that is accessible by law enforcement officers. Not all forms of marijuana would have been legal to Tennessee residents. Patients would have been allowed to consume the drug in an edible form or through “vaping;” however, smoking marijuana would have remained illegal. Despite many other states’ legalization of cannabis, the Tennessee bill did not have enough support to pass and is being delayed until 2020.

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What Is Considered “Stalking” in Tennessee?

 Posted on June 11,2019 in Criminal Defense

Knoxville stalking charges defense lawyer

Stalking has taken on a variety of forms, especially with the emergence of social media. Stalking used to be just physical, but now it can take on digital forms as well. While you may have seen versions of stalking on television and in the movies, these are usually not an accurate depiction of the reality of stalking. The act of stalking can be as dramatic as the TV shows, but it is typically more reserved and secretive. The state of Tennessee describes three levels of stalking to omit any discrepancies that may exist.

Definition of Stalking

According to Tennessee law, stalking is defined as “a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continued harassment of another individual that would cause and actually did cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.” This definition is long and detailed to recognize all possible offenses. The act is a Class A misdemeanor for first-time offenders but becomes a Class E felony if the stalker is registered as a sexual offender at the time of the incident. Class A misdemeanors may require less than a year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500. Class E felonies can result in one to six years in prison in addition to a fine of up to $3,000.

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What to Do When Facing Charges of Identity Theft

 Posted on May 31,2019 in White Collar Crimes

Knoxville identity theft defense lawyer

Identity theft continues to be an issue for many people even with security measures in place. This kind of theft can range from a few fraudulent charges on a stolen credit card or a total theft of identity by pretending to be someone who they are not. There are two different types of identity theft, financial and criminal. Both, obviously, are illegal, and a perpetrator can end up facing criminal charges. If you are charged with any type of identity theft, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable attorney to understand your options for defense.  

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when a person gains access to someone else’s financial information and uses credit card, bank account, and/or personal identification numbers to make purchases. The records could be stolen through a variety of means, such as hacking into a financial institution’s computer system, using a device called a skimmer at a gas pump, or digging through a person’s trash to find statements and other personal information. Many credit card companies and banks have fraud alerts that may catch unusual activity on their customers’ accounts.

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What are the Punishments for Drugged Driving in Tennessee?

 Posted on May 21,2019 in DUI/DWI/BUI

Knox County DUI lawyer

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can result in serious consequences, but so can driving while impaired by marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, or other narcotics. In Tennessee, anyone who drives a motor vehicle has automatically given legal consent to be tested for drugs, alcohol, or both. Drivers always have the option to refuse a test, but that will be treated in much the same way as if the driver had submitted to the test and failed

DUI is taken very seriously by law enforcement and the courts of Tennessee. If you stand accused of drugged driving, it is essential you enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for you.

What Are the Penalties for DUI?

  • For a first offense DUI, a convicted driver will be fined $350-$1,500 and face a license suspension of up to one year.
  • For a second offense DUI within 10 years of the first, a convicted driver will be fined $600-$3,500 and face a license suspension up to two years and jail time of 45 days to 11 months and 29 days.

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