Felony charges in Tennessee can have a lasting impact on your reputation, livelihood, earnings, rights and yes, your freedom. Our Memphis Criminal Defense Attorneys have experience handling cases with over a combined 70 years of representing clients throughout Memphis, Jackson, Fayette, Tipton, Lauderdale, Hardeman and Haywood counties. We have represented numerous individuals from the beginning of a criminal charge, through trials and appeals, and we regularly appear in both State Courts (General Sessions, Criminal or Circuit) and Federal Courts. Felonies in Memphis and Shelby County often begin "downstairs" or General Sessions at 201 Poplar and some can be resolved at that level, or they may have to go "upstairs" to Criminal Court. Depending on the county where the criminal charges are brought, some jurisdictions have Circuit Court that have similar jurisdiction to Criminal Court in Shelby County. We are able to handle cases in all of those courts, including outside of Shelby County.
Felony charges that our Criminal Defense Attorneys have handled include, but are not limited to, Murder, Robbery, Theft, Sexual Assault, Drug Possession, Domestic Violence (Aggravated Assault), and Gun Charges among numerous others. We understand that life situations often may find you or your loved ones facing criminal charges. In those times, our Attorneys are there to work aggressively and collaboratively with you and your family to protect your valuable legal rights and preserve your liberty. There are different degrees of felonies and defenses that may apply to your case. In our nation and under our laws, you are "presumed innocent" and until you have contacted us, it is important that you understand your important constitutional rights, including your "right to remain silent" before speaking to the police or law enforcement. If your criminal charges are dismissed, or if you are found not guilty, you are entitled to have your charges "expunged" from your record. If you happened to be convicted of some offense, you may be eligible and can apply for probation or diversion (a type of probation allowing the charged to be cleared from your record upon successful completion) which in most instances allows you to avoid imprisonment. Contact us promptly if you are facing criminal charges or if you have a warrant for your arrest so that we can work to promptly begin protecting your rights.
In Tennessee, charges are classified as felonies or misdemeanors. Misdemeanor arrests take place usually in one of two forms: (1) Misdemeanor citations or custodial arrests. (Tennessee Code Annotated 40-7-118) Misdemeanors are the less serious of the two types of crimes and they can carry up to 11 months and 29 days in jail depending on the type of misdemeanor. You may be wondering if jail time is required in misdemeanors or whether can you get probation for misdemeanor crimes. The answer is yes, probation is available depending on the type of case and your record. Most misdemeanors also carry what's called "diversion" which is type of probation, which if completed successfully, will come off your criminal record thus avoiding the potential stigmas and damage to your reputation and ability to earn a living. On the other hand, the offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is not eligible for diversion in Tennessee which means it could remain on your record if convicted. Although not requiring as severe penalties or as much jail time as felonies, misdemeanors should be taken seriously and you should contact a Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney promptly to protect your valuable legal rights.
DUI Charges in Tennessee
DUI (or Driving Under the Influence Charges) can sometimes deal a frightening blow to a person charged with such an offense. Many individuals charged with DUI have never been charged previously with a crime making this very unfamiliar territory to navigate for them and their families. Our Criminal Defense Attorneys have hand handled numerous DUI cases and are familiar with the laws that apply to these cases. Most DUI first offenses in Tennessee carry a minimum of 48 hours incarceration, plus mandatory fines and other driving requirements such as a restricted driving license, if convicted of this offense. If there is an an accident involved, or if the level of alcohol content in the defendant's blood is a certain level (for example over .20), the offense potentially carries a higher level of punishment and incarceration. In addition, if the offense is a second offense or more, the punishment can increase from 45 days to even one year or more, depending on the nature of the conviction and the age of the prior DUI as well as a number of other factors.
It is important to contact your attorney promptly so that you can obtain level advice and avoid developing additional anxiety from not knowing your rights or having a plan to approach the DUI case. Every defense and every client's situation is unique which is why it is important to promptly exercise your rights to counsel and retain an attorney to defend your case. If you are in need of a DUI attorney in Shelby County, Fayette County, Hardeman County, Tipton County or Lauderdale County, please contact us for consultation.
Federal cases in Tennessee, particularly in Memphis and surrounding counties, are handled in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The types of cases handled in Federal Court usually consist of drug charges, gun charges, money laundering, robbery, and certain types of fraud cases (often called white collar cases). The federal system differs from the state system in many ways, primarily due to the sentencing laws and certain mandatory minimums that apply in federal court. Mandatory minimums apply if someone is convicted either through a guilty plea or at trial. In these types of cases, the current laws require that the judge sentence the person convicted to imprisonment, unless an exception applies. Because the federal laws are so unique, including the bond and detention hearing process, through the motion, trial and sentence phases, it is important to hire a federal attorney familiar with the differences that apply in federal court. Our law firm has decades of collective experience practicing in federal court and we are able to represent you if you are in need of a federal attorney. Contact us for a consultation if you wish to discuss additional details about your federal case.