phone

schedule your consultation865-281-1000

Recent Blog Posts

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.”

Continue Reading ››

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

    Continue Reading ››

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.

Continue Reading ››

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.

Continue Reading ››

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.

Continue Reading ››

Issues with First Step Act Leaves Thousands of Qualified Inmates Sitting in Prisons

 Posted on August 16,2022 in Criminal Defense

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

Continue Reading ››

Defending Against Federal DUI Charges

 Posted on July 26,2022 in Criminal Defense

Knoxville DUI defense lawyerWhen people talk about DUI charges and the potential consequences of a conviction, they are usually referencing state DUI charges. Every state, including Tennessee, has passed its own laws when it comes to the consequences of driving under the influence will be.

However, many people do not realize that if they are caught driving under the influence on federal property, they can be charged with a federal DUI and a conviction can have even direr consequences than state charges.

Federal Jurisdiction

There are a number of federally-owned locations where a driver can suddenly find themselves pulled over for driving under the influence. These include:

  • Airports
  • Buildings and parking lots owned by the federal government
  • Courthouses
  • Military bases and forts
  • National forests and parks

In Tennessee, one of the most common locations people are arrested for drunk driving are on lands that fall under the National Park Service (NPS), including the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Cherokee National Forest, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A day enjoying the beauty of nature can quickly turn into a legal nightmare if a visitor to one of these areas is accused of DUI.

Continue Reading ››

New Truth in Sentencing Law Now in Effect in Tennessee

 Posted on July 12,2022 in Criminal Defense

Knoxville criminal defense lawyerTypically, twice a year, any new laws that the Tennessee legislators have passed go into effect – on January 1st and July 1st. This July is no different. One of the most significant new criminal justice system laws that went into effect was the Truth in Sentencing (HB 2656) law that passed that addresses violent crime convictions.

Full Sentence

Many convicted defendants who receive incarceration as part of their sentence are often able to earn reduced time off for good behavior while in prison. The average prisoner can earn up to 54 days off for each year they are in prison. However, that all changes for anyone convicted of a violent crime in Tennessee. The Truth in Sentencing law is just that – such a defendant will now have to serve 100 percent of their sentence with no opportunity for earning reduced time.

The law identifies the following violent crimes where the defendant must serve their entire sentence:

Continue Reading ››

What Constitutes Stalking in Tennessee?

 Posted on June 17,2022 in Domestic Violence

Knoxville criminal defense lawyerAllegations of stalking can lead to serious legal consequences. Since many stalking allegation cases involve two parties that are known to each other or have had a close past relationship, understanding the definition of stalking can feel challenging. Sometimes, stalking can occur with no malice, including checking up on someone you are worried about or was a past romantic partner. Other times, stalking and harassment can be made as a direct threat to another person's wellbeing. Understanding how the Tennessee government defines and charges stalking can provide insight into the type of behaviors that are unacceptable in a court of law.

How Tennessee Defines Stalking 

Each state's statutes differ and can define crimes differently. Tennessee has strict stalking and harassment laws. According to the Tennessee statute on stalking, there are three categories of stalking allegations — stalking, aggravated stalking, and especially aggravated stalking. 

Continue Reading ››

Defending Against Criminal Charges as a College Student

 Posted on June 10,2022 in Criminal Defense

Knoxville college student criminal defense lawyerThe most important thing to focus on during your college education is ensuring excellent grades and taking the time to learn about a future career. Unfortunately, college can also lead to trouble as students experiment, party, and explore newfound freedom. Spending countless hours in the library and studying with friends can quickly feel like a waste if a college student finds themselves with a criminal charge during college. Although criminal records are serious, there are various ways to navigate the future with the help of a skilled attorney

Common Charges for College Students

If you are a college student that has been charged with a criminal offense, you may feel isolated, embarrassed, or alone. However, it is not uncommon for young adults to find legal trouble during college.

Typical charges on college campuses include:

Continue Reading ››

Back to Top