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Clarksville Tennessee Legal Blog

Can a prosecutor choose to drop charges against a tourist?

There are numerous ways to protect your rights and fight for fair treatment when you're facing criminal charges as a tourist. Many tourists understand that the laws of each state are different, and that it is important to obtain state-specific legal counsel. However, they do not always understand how much flexibility a prosecutor has when it comes to reducing charges or dropping them altogether.

In many instances, building a legal defense against criminal charges is about undermining the work of the prosecution and identifying weaknesses in the evidence against you. However, depending on the nature of your charges, especially if they are relatively minor, it is sometimes possible to compel a prosecutor to exercise some personal judgement about a case.

Reassure children that they won't lose family during a divorce

A divorce is a frightening time for children. The life they've always known is being turn upside down. This can be very difficult for the children, especially little ones, to understand. One of the worries that they have is that they are going to lose their family members because of the divorce.

It is imperative that parents help children to understand that the divorce is only between the parents and that the children will still have their beloved family members there to support them. Consider these points when trying to navigate the new dynamics of extended family relationships.

Dealing with debt during divorce

When divorce is on the table, debts held between spouses can cause serious complications and drag out the process needlessly. Of course, debt is rarely an easy topic to approach in ideal circumstances, and dealing with debt while dissolving a marriage is understandably tense in most instances.

The debt that you and your spouse each carry may count as part of your marital property, meaning you must fairly divide these debts just as you must fairly divide your assets for a court to approve the divorce. Before you engage in a complicated negotiation over which party takes on which debts, consider all your options, including paying the debt off and leaving it behind with the marriage. Even if it eats into your assets, both you and your spouse may find that paying the debt off before divorcing creates an easier transition to single life, and allows both individuals to leave the debt and the marriage behind them, as well as frustrating creditors.

Chapter 13 may allow you to keep your property in bankruptcy

Those who research bankruptcy for any time at all soon realize that they may have more options than they originally thought, especially if they qualify to file under more than one chapter. For consumer debtors, the most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. These two versions of bankruptcy operate very differently and grant those who use them very different advantages and protections. Before you choose one over the other, it is important to understand the key differences between the two.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is probably what most people think of when they discuss bankruptcy or first consider using it. Under Chapter 7, which is the most widely available chapter, individuals must forfeit significant portions of their belongings and live within financial restrictions for a number of years in order to receive discharge of their debt. In contrast, Chapter 13 often allows debtors to keeps nearly all of their belongings, provided that they qualify.

Can I challenge breathalyzer test results in court?

When you receive a DUI based on breathalyzer results, you may feel like there is nothing you can do to fight the charges. This is normal, but it is never wise to give up immediately. Even if a breathalyzer test found that you were over the limit, you may have ways to challenge the validity of the test, or the conduct of the officer who arrested you.

If you fail to build a legal defense against these charges, then you automatically receive whatever the prosecution prepares, and may miss out on numerous opportunities to protect yourself. However you choose to proceed, you must build some sort of defense. To fail to defend yourself from these charges is needlessly costly.

School bus driver faces DUI charges

Drunk driving charges arose in a surprising place recently when a woman in Portland, Tennessee, was apprehended for allegedly driving under the influence while behind the wheel of a school bus full of young children. Police arrived after the driver herself called the police to say that she was not feeling well and needed help.

Reports indicate that when police arrived to the scene, the woman was vomiting outside the vehicle and showed other signs of intoxication. She at first told officers that a student struck her in the neck with a syringe, leading to her difficulties. The responding officers grew skeptical of the driver's account when they found no indications on the driver that she had in fact received any wound from a syringe.

Both partners must understand the terms of a prenuptial agreement

As you look forward to your upcoming marriage, it is important to make sure that you use all the tools available to prepare you for a long, fruitful life together. A prenuptial agreement is often an overlooked tool, one that couples may use to strengthen their relationship significantly and avoid many of the pressures that strain marriages.

Aside from any of its specific benefits, prenuptial agreement create an excellent opportunity for couples to learn about each other in ways they might not consider until they are well into the marriage and navigating around complicated interpersonal issues. This particularly true in the realm of personal finances.

What does the right to remain silent really mean?

When a police officer arrests a suspect, they recite a paragraph that includes a famous line: “you have the right to remain silent.” Why do they say that and how should the suspect respond?

This line is part of the Miranda rights, which protect people from self-incrimination. The police must read this warning to a suspect so that even if a person has very little knowledge of the law, they won’t have a disadvantage during the criminal defense process.

How does a misdemeanor differ from a felony?

Broadly speaking, criminal charges break down into the two basic categories of misdemeanors and felonies. For the most part, the public understands that felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, but many people do not actually understand the differences between the two.

A misdemeanor may be a relatively small offense or a moderately serious crime, but usually does not carry a sentence of more than one year of jail time. In the event that a misdemeanor does entail jail time at all, it is often served out in a county facility rather than a penitentiary. First-time offenders may even find ways to avoid most punishment altogether if the judge hearing the case sees fit to hand down a light sentence. In most cases, the sentencing standards for misdemeanors are relatively flexible and largely left to the preferences of the judge hearing the case.

Interlock devices used heavily in Tennessee

After a DUI conviction in Tennessee, it is very likely that driver must submit to placing an interlock device on their ignition. These devices require a driver to prove that they are below the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level to drive before the ignition will allow the vehicle to start. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) considers these devices invaluable, claiming that the devices save thousands of lives each year by keeping those who are too drunk to get behind the wheel.

It is fair to say that interlock devices reduce instances of repeat drunk driving. Official data suggests that they may even reduce the rate of repeat drunk driving by as much as 67 percent. Under current law, offenders who receive interlock devices must keep them installed for 365 days, with the last 120 days completely free of violations.

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