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Recent Blog Posts

How Your Blood Alcohol Concentration Can Affect Your Body and Mind

 Posted on January 09,2023 in DUI/DWI/BUI

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.

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What You Need to Know If Your Child Has Been Charged With Shoplifting

 Posted on December 20,2022 in Criminal Defense

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.

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Can the Police Search My Car Without a Warrant?

 Posted on December 09,2022 in Criminal Defense

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.

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How to Handle a Traffic Stop: A Guide to Roadside Interactions with the Police  

 Posted on December 01,2022 in Traffic Violations

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.

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The Presumption of Innocence and Due Process

 Posted on November 16,2022 in Criminal Defense

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. 

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The Real Definition of Miranda Rights

 Posted on October 24,2022 in Criminal Defense

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.”

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What to Do if Your Partner Calls the Police for Domestic Violence

 Posted on October 14,2022 in Domestic Violence

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

  • Current or former dating partners

  • Current or former roommates

  • People related by blood or adoption

  • People currently or formerly related by marriage

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DUI Convictions and College Code of Conduct Violations

 Posted on September 27,2022 in DUI/DWI/BUI

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.

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What Are the Differences Between Federal and State Criminal Charges?

 Posted on September 13,2022 in Criminal Defense

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.

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What Is the Tennessee Hunter Protection Act?

 Posted on August 25,2022 in Criminal Defense

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.

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