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Clarksville Tennessee Legal Blog

Defenses used to drunk driving in Tennessee

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Tennessee. If charged with such an offense, you could find yourself facing years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and even the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. You will need to put together a strong defense to such a charge so you can avoid these penalties, or be faced with lower ones.

One of the most common defenses used by a criminal defense attorney in a DUI case is the administration of the Breathalyzer test. The attorney could call into question whether or not the police officer was properly trained in administering the test, or if the person in question vomited or had indigestion when the test was given.

Looking at how a plea negotiation works

When you are faced with criminal charges in Tennessee you will want to do everything possible to fight those charges. Even if the charges are not the first ones you have faced, you need to build a defense that can potentially keep you out of jail or from paying hefty fines. One way to make this happen is to enter into a plea deal. Today, we will take a look at how a plea negotiation works.

Plea negotiations can occur at just about any stage of your criminal case. Deals can be reached as early as right after the suspect has been arrested. They can be reached before a prosecutor even has a chance to file the formal charges against the suspect. When a deal is reached this early in the case, it's likely because the suspect is a repeat offender and is facing extensive jail time.

Popular defenses to drug possession charges in Tennessee

Facing a drug possession charge or any other drug charge in Tennessee can be frightening. If you've never dealt with a drug charge before, you likely don't know where to start in your defense. You will have plenty of questions about the charge, how to fight it and what will come next when the case goes to court. Here are some popular defenses to drug possession charges in Tennessee.

A common defense to a drug possession charge is that the drugs belonged to someone else. This is a very difficult defense to prove in court. Many people will claim that the drugs found in their residence were left by someone else or that you had no idea they were in your vehicle.

Do you really understand your Miranda rights?

From Adam-12 back in the 60s to the latest episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, you've heard Miranda warnings given to suspects under arrest hundreds (if not thousands) of times. But many defendants fail to realize what these words actually mean in the strictest legal sense.

A Miranda warning contains the gist of the following: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you."

Reasons you may use reduce your spousal support obligations

As a divorced person paying spousal support, it can feel as though you simply cannot get ahead. If your spouse received a significant award, the constant drain on your income may make it nearly impossible to save money and pay off debt, let alone avoid incurring more debt. It is very common for those who carry a spousal support obligation to seek out bankruptcy to fix their financial woes. In some cases, this is appropriate, but not always. It is also possible that a you may have ways to reduce your support obligations without resorting to bankruptcy.

If a court sees compelling evidence that your financial or personal circumstances have changed significantly since receiving a support order, the court is generally willing to reconsider the order, or may dismiss the obligation altogether. Similarly, if if your ex-spouse's circumstances change significantly, he or she may no longer be entitled to the support, or at least to the full original award.

What are priority unsecured claims under Chapter 13?

When a debtor with sufficient ongoing income chooses to use Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he or she may receive significant financial relief without forfeiting personal property. However, in order to do so, the debtor must create a repayment plan that court approves to address some or all existing debts that the debtor carries.

It is important to note, however, that not all debts receive equal treatment under Chapter 13. Some debts may not see much repayment at all, while others, known as priority debts, are usually the primary focus of repayment. If you hope to use a Chapter 13 repayment plan, then you must assess your own finances for priority claims. These debts are more heavily protected than unsecured debts, such as consumer credit cards.

Can police search a water bottle legally?

Protecting your personal freedoms is a complicated task in the modern world, where many of the legal boundaries around personal rights and property are often shifting. When it comes to personal effects like a water bottle, you may face difficulty keeping a police officer from searching it if you are in public, but still have some legal options available if such an interaction with the police leads to criminal charges.

Police have fairly broad rights to search your personal items if you are in public and if they have any reason to suspect you of a crime. If, for instance, you exhibit behavior consistent with intoxication, a police officer may have probable cause to search you and your belongings without a warrant.

Jury selection in a personal injury case

The right to a trial involving a jury is one of the most important protections that individuals enjoy in America, but in reality, only a very small percentage of cases ever get to trial. Rather, the vast majority of cases resolve outside of court, especially civil cases that do not involve criminal charges. However, some personal injury cases or other civil disputes do go all the way to a trial by jury, requiring the judge assigned to the case, and usually the other parties, to go through the jury selection process before the matter can resolve fairly.

Jury selection is an important part of the trial process, where each side has the opportunity to select or dismiss potential jurors based on a number of factors. Some attorneys particularly enjoy this part of the process, seeing it as a dense sort of strategy game, where each party angles to select jurors they believe may favor their cause.

Protecting your parenting rights from interference

All parents who face the difficult task of sharing custody usually need time to adjust to the schedule and the realities of sharing parenting privileges and responsibilities. Initially, it is common for some parents to struggle to adhere to a court-ordered custody arrangement, and may take several months to get into a sustainable pattern.

During this period of adjustment, conflicts between parents are common, but it is wise to take a long-term view of the situation and focus on the best interests of the child rather than the behavior of another parent. If you face this difficult task, you may need to consciously choose to grant grace to you child's other parent and encourage the individual to do the same while you figure out how to make a life for your child both together and separately.

Court rules some DUI fees unconstitutional

The Tennessee court of appeals recently handed down a decision that may affect many DUI recipients. The ruling confirms that a state policy around funding for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is not only unfair, it is unconstitutional.

According to court documents, the state policy directs every DUI conviction within the state to include a $250 fee sent directly to the TBI. It does not take a nuanced understanding of the law to see how such a program could influence prosecutors and others unfairly, skewing the court process away from justice.

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