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Clarksville Tennessee Legal Blog

Plea bargain or trial?

Depending on the nature of your criminal charges, you may face a number of different judgment scenarios, if you cannot compel the court to drop the charges. In very broad strokes, you may resolve your charges in four basic ways — through trial by jury, trial by judge, plea bargain or by defeating the charges altogether.

Very few cases make it to a courtroom at all in the criminal justice system. The volume of charges handed out in a given jurisdiction, even in an area as moderately sized as Clarksville, is usually too great for a judge or jury to hear every single set of charges brought against an individual. This means that many times, a prosecutor will offer the defendant a plea bargain. Such a deal offers a reduced punishment in exchange for a guilty plea. Accepting a plea bargain is usually not the best option, but it may be the best option available. Be sure that you have all the legal counsel you need to protect your rights through a plea bargain.

When does a cop have to read you your rights?

Question: There have been several burglaries in our neighborhood lately. The cops called and asked my son to come down to the station for a talk. He’s innocent, so he agreed. Now they have charged him with the crimes. They never read him his rights so he would know not talk. Don’t they have to?

Answer: What you are referring to is the requirement that a suspect be read his Miranda rights. Miranda rights come out of a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case called Miranda v Arizona. The case did not create the rights set forth in the Miranda warning—those are guaranteed under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Hendersonville alderman pleads guilty to DUI, requests compassion

A woman in Hendersonville recently took an unconventional approach to facing the consequences of a DUI charge by pleading guilty and asking for compassion. The woman, who serves as an alderman for Hendersonville, made a public apology to the community and asked for the community to forgive her and made the case for herself that all people make mistakes and deserve a second chance.

The woman received a conviction for her DUI charges, and was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days of jail time. However, the court agreed to suspend nearly all of her sentence, and she only ultimately served 48 hours behind bars.

Is sharing prescription drugs illegal?

These days, many of our lives depend heavily on certain medications that we take regularly to keep us functional. Depending on the nature of our physical health, a person may take a number of prescription medications to help them deal with various issues. So, what legal issues surround prescription medications?

A number of issues arise when we talk about prescription medications, but one of the most important things to understand is the privileges associated with a prescription, and how to avoid abusing that privilege. When a doctor writes a prescription, this means that he or she is giving the person named that prescription the legal authority to buy a drug that the person otherwise does not have the legal authority to buy. The prescription applies to the person named in it, and that person only.

Heroin charges in Tennessee are a serious matter

It should come as no surprise that Tennessee maintains fairly harsh drug sentencing laws — but you may be surprised to learn just how severe those consequences can be when it comes to hard drugs. Heroin carries nearly unbelievable penalties that may seem more appropriate for repeat violent criminal than an individual carrying or selling heroin.

Part of the issue here is that heroin is a Schedule I drug, meaning it is criminalized at both the state and federal level. If you face drug charges related to heroin, you should use every tool you have to fight these charges. If the judge hearing your case chooses to throw the book at you unimpeded, you may lose years of your life behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines, all for a foolish mistake.

Former coach sees charges dropped

From time to time, many of us let our emotions get out of hand and act out in a way that does not properly represent who we are or an organization we work within. However, irresponsible behavior does not always justify criminal charges. Recently, prosecutors chose to drop charges against a former defensive line coach for East Tennessee State. The coach faced charges surrounding an incident that took place in a hotel lobby in Chattanooga.

The charges were dropped after the primary victim in the incident expressed that he did not want to press charges. According to police records, the coach had become belligerent to the clerk at the desk of a hotel, making verbal statements that he would possibly get violent if his keycard continued to not work.

Advantages of Chapter 13

Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that many individuals can use to relieve themselves of debt and get their financial lives back on track. While bankruptcy comes with some penalties, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers those with dependable income the opportunity to take control of their debt without forfeiting much or any of their property.

In very general terms, Chapter 13 allows debtors to repay their debts according to a structured repayment plan that a court approves. Under this plan, the debtor receives immediate relief from collections and continues to enjoy this protection until the repayment plan finishes and the discharge is complete.

Labor Day season means strict drunk driving enforcement

Labor Day marks the tentpole of a period of time when drunk driving accidents increase significantly throughout Tennessee, and many law enforcement agencies and safety advocacy groups are cooperating together to combat drunk driving injuries and accidents. As a result, law enforcement here in Clarksville will be observing zero-tolerance toward drivers found driving while intoxicated.

If you are celebrating this long weekend and beyond, it is important to remember how many options you have other than driving after drinking. Public transportation, like the Clarksville Transit System, can help you get from place to place without endangering yourself or other drivers. If you cannot use public transportation, you can assign a designated driver to help yourself and your whole party safe.

Grounds for divorce in Tennessee

Divorce is always difficult, whether a contested process requiring mediation or a smooth, amicable arrangement. Although there are some simplified procedures, Tennessee law contains several details that can affect how and why a divorce is granted by the court.

A court must first be convinced that it has the jurisdiction to act to dissolve a marriage. It will not act or nullify a ruling if it discovers otherwise.

Know your rights—your Miranda Rights—aren’t like the movies

Your son is getting ready to head to college. With college comes adventure. There will be lots of learning and a little fun. As he gets ready to start this new journey, the two of you may want to give this whole Miranda rights thing another look.

Is what the two of you have seen in the movies really how it goes? Probably not.

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