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Recent Blog Posts

Can I Get an Expungement in Tennessee?

 Posted on October 27,2021 in Criminal Defense


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:

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Common Criminal Charges College Students Face

 Posted on October 18,2021 in Criminal Defense


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.

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Minors Could Face Criminal Charges in Latest TikTok Challenge

 Posted on September 21,2021 in Criminal Defense


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.

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Tennessee Residents Charged with COVID-19 Fraud

 Posted on September 08,2021 in Criminal Defense


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.

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Harsh Penalties for Drug Convictions in Tennessee

 Posted on August 26,2021 in Drug Crimes


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.

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All Licensed Beauty Professionals in TN are Required to Take Domestic Violence Training

 Posted on August 05,2021 in Domestic Violence


Knoxville criminal defense for those Accused of Domestic ViolenceThe statistics of domestic violence are alarming. It is estimated that one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence. In Tennessee, almost half of all crimes are domestic violence related. Tennessee also ranks in the top 10 states in the U.S. for women killed by men.

In an effort to help combat these numbers, Tennessee lawmakers have passed a new bill that will require all licensed beauty professionals in the state to undergo one hour of anti-domestic violence training.

HB 120/SB 216

Similar beauty professional domestic violence training laws have been enacted in a handful of states already. The relationship between a beauty professional and a client is often an intimate one, with clients having the comfort level of sharing personal information with the professional. In many domestic violence situations, the abuser has isolated the victim from their friends and family, yet still allows the victim to visit their hair salon, nail salon, barber, etc. That professional may be one of the only outside contacts the victim has.

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New Tennessee Criminal Laws That Took Effect July 1

 Posted on July 21,2021 in Criminal Defense


Knoxville criminal defense for 2021 laws changesJanuary 1 and July 1 are traditionally the dates that new laws go into effect in Tennessee and this year is no different. Tennessee lawmakers have been busy passing a wide array of new bills, many of them aimed at the criminal justice system. The following are some of the changes that everyone should be aware of, especially since they could affect what type of criminal charge and penalties an individual may be facing.

Constitutional Carry Law

One of the major changes is in Tennessee’s Constitutional Carry law. The new law means that residents who are 21 years of age or older will no longer have to apply for a permit or take safety courses in order to carry a handgun. The penalty for stealing a gun is harsher, however, since the crime will now be charged as a Class E felony. More details about this law can be found in a prior post our firm published, “Tennessee Passes New Permitless Gun Law.”

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Knoxville Officials Looking for Ways to Curb Juvenile Violence This Summer

 Posted on July 08,2021 in Criminal Defense


Knoxville criminal defense for Juvenile crimeGun violence has reached epidemic proportions around the country. Tragically, Knoxville has not been spared. So far this year, 22 victims have been shot to death. According to information released by the Knoxville Police Department, five of the victims were teenagers and, just as alarming, three of those accused of committing the murders are also teens.

Knoxville Community Involvement

Now that summer is here, the concern is that the violence will escalate since teens are out of school and have more time on their hands. This has led Knoxville officials to look for different ways to help minimize the violence and keep teens off the streets and out of trouble.

The city has partnered with 13 different community groups to employ teens from 12 to 21 years of age who have been identified as high risk for either perpetrating a violent crime or being a victim of one. High-risk youth are referred to as “opportunity youth.” Knoxville officials have awarded grants of between $3,000 to $20,000 to organizations that have developed programs that will introduce mentors to teens, teach them job skills, and provide activities that will keep them occupied.

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Tennessee’s Death By Distribution Law Can Mean a Second-Degree Murder Conviction

 Posted on June 28,2021 in Drug Crimes

know county defense lawyerOn April 20th of this year, two teenage brothers were found dead in their Roane County, TN home. According to law enforcement, the teens, aged 19- and 17-years old, had a variety of drugs on them and it was determined both died from a lethal dose of fentanyl in pill form. Last week, police arrested a Rockwood, Tennessee couple, charging them with two counts of second-degree murder in the brothers’ death. The couple has also been charged with reckless endangerment, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, money laundering, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony.

Death By Distribution

Tennessee, just like at least 20 other states in the country, has enacted a death by distribution/drug-induced homicide law. Under Tennessee’s death by distribution law, an individual can be charged with second-degree murder if they sell or give someone fentanyl or carfentanil either alone or in combination with any controlled substance (per the Tennessee Drug Control Act of 1989) and that person dies because of those drugs.

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New Tennessee BUI Law Means Harsher Penalties if Convicted

 Posted on June 07,2021 in DUI/DWI/BUI

knoxville bui lawyerThe “official” start of summer is just weeks away and Knox County residents are busy making their summer plans. Included in many people’s plans are boating and personal watercraft activities. However, there is often alcohol consumption involved in those activities, and that consumption can result in the day ending in a boating under the influence (BUI) charge. A new BUI law was recently signed into law by the governor that now aligns penalties for BUI with the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Tennessee.

State Offense

In Tennessee, just as in most states, the laws for drinking and operating a boat are similar to drinking and driving a vehicle. Any boat operator who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more is considered over the legal limit and can be charged with BUI.

If you are charged with a BUI in Tennessee, it will typically be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for conviction are:

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