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Chattanooga Criminal Defense Law Firm Blog

The holidays can make it all too easy to violate your probation

If you have faced criminal charges in the last few years and are currently on probation, you may have more reason than most to celebrate during the holiday season. After all, there may have been a time where you were at risk of losing your freedom. That tends to make people grateful for the life they're living.

Enjoying the holidays and celebrating with the people you love is a joyful experience. Don't let your excitement lead you to make decisions that will make this holiday season unforgettable for sad reasons for you and the people who love you.

How does a tragic accident become reckless homicide in Tennessee?

Accidents by their very nature are unpredictable occurrences. There may not have been anything an individual involved in an accident could have done to prevent it. An accident could involve something like your tires slipping on wet leaves despite you driving at lower speeds because of road conditions or someone losing their balance while walking up the stairs.

Many incidents that people classify as accidents were fully preventable if one or more of the people involved had made better choices. The role of personal responsibility and decision-making in an incident that proves fatal will influence whether Tennessee law enforcement officers and prosecutors consider it a true accident or an occurrence of reckless homicide.

Vehicular homicide often involves DUI allegations in Tennessee

Tennessee has somewhat broad vehicular homicide laws. If the state has any reason to believe that a driver had engaged in some kind of reckless behavior that led to a crash, they can bring vehicular homicide charges against that driver. There are specific provisions in the law for those racing on public roads and those driving dangerously in construction zones who kill a worker.

While vehicular homicide can be the result of distracted driving or drag racing, many times these charges result from someone getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Driving under the influence (DUI) is against the law in Tennessee.

Serious criminal accusations impact high-visibility careers

Serious criminal accusations can impact anyone's career in a negative manner. You could be a pizza delivery driver and lose your job because you wind up facing drug charges and that violates the company behavior policy. It may be harder for you to get a second job with something like that on your record.

However, the ramifications for those in high-visibility careers are often far worse. The public remembers. When someone gets accused, it instantly makes headlines. People still bring it up years later. It may make someone essentially unemployable. A conviction can end some careers entirely.

What could potentially constitute federal drug trafficking?

People who live in Tennessee likely expect that any criminal charges they face will be brought against them in the state of Tennessee. However, for certain criminal offenses, that will not be the case. Drug charges, in particular, can easily shift from state charges to federal charges, leaving the accused vulnerable to severe consequences.

Understanding when a drug charge could become a federal offense instead of a Tennessee crime can help you avoid making mistakes that could cost you your freedom. They can also help you develop a workable defense strategy for any pending criminal charges.

How common are eyewitness mistakes?

A man gets shot and killed at a house party in Tennessee. The police arrive, talk to witnesses, and then arrest you at your home. One of the witnesses claims that you came to the party, fired the fatal shots, and then fled from the scene.

For the police, this is enough to make an arrest and start an investigation. It may also influence a jury to convict you and put you behind bars for the rest of your life.

Is your alleged drug violation a state or federal crime?

When a Tennessee resident faces drug charges, the court proceedings will usually happen in Tennessee state court -- if the alleged crime happened within state lines. However, certain cases may fall outside the jurisdiction of Tennessee law and they must be litigated in federal court.

The federal law that governs drug charges is the federal Controlled Substances Act. This law has been in effect since the 1970s and it's the reason why we have "drug classifications" that rank drugs according to how "serious" and "dangerous" they are.

DUI manslaughter: Things you need to know

Driving after consuming alcohol may sound like no big deal, but it's important to understand the risk you're taking. As a result of impaired judgment, you're likely to find it more difficult to control your vehicle and make sound decisions.

A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol is a big deal, as it can lead to a fine, license suspension and even time in jail. It's also possible your DUI could be attached to more serious charges, such as if you caused an accident that resulted in another person's death.

Involuntary manslaughter has harsh penalties for offenders

There are many instances where people get hurt not as a result of intentional misconduct but because of an accident. When an accident occurs because of reckless conduct, it may be known as a reckless homicide. It may also be called involuntary manslaughter.

Involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide are common charges after DUI-related crashes that lead to deaths. Reckless homicide charges may be placed against anyone who kills another person as a result of their own reckless behaviors.

Prescription pain medication is Schedule II and illegal to sell

People end up with prescriptions for strong narcotic painkillers for a number of reasons. Maybe you had to have a surgery because of an ongoing medical issue. Perhaps you were sick with a condition that caused extreme pain. It's also possible that you broke a bone or suffered some other traumatic injury.

Regardless of why you have the medication, it is important to understand that while you do own it, you do not have the right to sell it or give it away to anyone else. If you no longer need your medication, you should take advantage of programs to safely dispose of them. Giving them or selling them to someone else is a violation of the law that could end up causing major issues.

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3417 Dayton Blvd
Chattanooga, TN 37415

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