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Chattanooga Criminal Defense Law Firm Blog

Vehicular homicide: Proving you weren't reckless helps your case

Involuntary manslaughter charges are hard to bear, because not only did you not intend to harm someone, but you're also facing penalties for doing so. You live with the guilt of your actions already, but the courts want to see you pay with your freedoms.

If you're accused of involuntary manslaughter after being involved in a drunk driving crash or other situation, it's important to defend yourself. Your attorney can help you reduce the charges or reduce the penalties you face.

Violating your probation, even on accident, can result in jail

You were charged with a serious crime. After you entered a guilty plea or got convicted, you were fortunate enough to receive probation in lieu of prison time. While knowing you have a criminal record can be sobering and humbling, you likely feel fortunate that you've received a second chance. You want to follow the terms of your probation and move on with your life. Unfortunately, something goes awry.

Probation violations can vary. Perhaps you tried to break up a fight in your neighborhood or on your way home from work. You were being a good neighbor, but you still ended up in trouble when police came. Maybe you had no idea that your roommate was doing drugs until he got arrested, and you ended up getting accused of violating your probation by living with him. It's possible you just bumped into an old friend, who has a felony record. Whatever happened, you need to be proactive in your approach or a simple misunderstanding could cost you your freedom.

Facing criminal charges for an alleged DUI and fatal crash?

A lot of factors can contribute to a serious motor vehicle accident. Both drivers may have made mistakes on the road. There could be weather issues or even medical conditions that contribute to a crash. While they are tragic, fatal crashes happen every day around the country and here in Tennessee. Sometimes, drivers also face driving under the influence (DUI) charges in addition to charges stemming from damages and injuries caused in the accident. If there was a fatality and you are also charged with a DUI, you could be facing very steep penalties for the accident.

There are a number of things that could contribute to false charges of a DUI after a crash. Perhaps you sustained a head injury that caused symptoms similar to intoxication. Slurred speech and problems with balance can result from head trauma. Similarly, other medical conditions, like undiagnosed diabetes, could result in symptoms that look a lot like alcohol intoxication. If you or someone you love has been involved in a fatal car crash that allegedly involved alcohol, you need to speak with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

A probation violation is no minor offense

Very often, a criminal conviction comes with probation. Sometimes, the court orders probation in the place of jail time and in other cases it follows a jail sentence. Probation terms can be very strict and even minor violations can result in severe consequences. Punishments usually depend on how serious the violation is and if you have previously committed other violations.

If you have violated your probation, it is important to remember that you have the right to legal representation in order to defend yourself against the charges. Before you end up with court ordered jail time, fines, or a longer probation period, speak with a criminal defense attorney in the Chattanooga area. Read further for more information on probation violations.

The innocent waiting on death row

The death penalty, which typically involves lethal injection and is still legal in Tennessee, is used only for the most serious crimes. When a jury convicts someone and asks for the death penalty, that jury is saying not only that the person did commit the crime but that rehabilitation in prison is not possible. The inmate then goes to death row and may spend years waiting for the sentence to be carried out.

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like for an innocent person to sit on death row? Have you considered the nightmare of hearing the conviction announced when you know you didn't do anything wrong and don't deserve the charges - but now the state is going to put you to death based on errors made in court?

What are the federal penalties for marijuana charges?

Even though many states are making allowances for marijuana on a state level, this is still a drug that is illegal on a federal level. This means that it is possible to face federal charges if you are caught with marijuana. If you are facing that situation, you are looking at time away from your family members. You might end up in prison or with considerable fines. This can affect your life, but it will also affect your family members. Think about these points if you are staring down federal drug charges.

Tennessee and medical marijuana: What's the current situation?

Numerous patients suffering from a vast array of disease conditions are benefiting from medical marijuana treatments throughout the United States. However, medical marijuana is still - for all intents and purposes - illegal in the state of Tennessee, which means that patients in our state who could benefit from the drug cannot legally gain access to it. This has driven some patients to break the law in their desperate quest for relief.

What to do if you are wrongfully accused of a crime

Being wrongfully accused of a crime is an extremely jarring and frightening thing to go through. The repercussions can be severe, leading to embarrassment, mental distress, and possibly a criminal conviction which could lead to jail time and other penalties.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you or someone close to you has been wrongfully accused of a crime:

Study: One big reason why a criminal arrest can haunt you forever

In today's 21st century world, a criminal conviction can have a drastic effect on a person long after the indiscretion occurred-and much more so than in years past.

Even someone who was arrested whose charges were later dropped, or one who was not even convicted of a crime at all, can face stigma years after the incident.

According to a recent study-there is a big reason why people today than ever before are perpetually haunted by their past.

Things to know about 'jurisdiction' if you are charged with a crime

For those accused of a crime, one of the first questions that often comes to mind is the potential penalty. You may have heard that state crimes and federal crimes come with different sentences, the latter usually being the harsher. But who decides whether the accused should face state or federal charges? Can the crime be either -- or both? The answer depends on a number of factors.

The federal court system handles criminal cases that allege a violation of federal law, while the state handles allegations of state law violations. If you are unsure which court is hearing your case, ask your criminal defense attorney before doing anything else. If you don't have an attorney yet, call the clerk of the court where you or your loved one has been ordered to appear and ask if it is a state or federal court.

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