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Home » Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer! » Tennessee Criminal Law: Frequently Asked Questions

Tennessee Criminal Law: Frequently Asked Questions

Tennessee Criminal Law FAQs

What’s the best way to approach a situation involving family or friends who have been placed under arrest?

The speediest, most assured way to help a loved one who has been arrested is to contact a criminal attorney immediately. A professional will know how to quickly identify charges and negotiate the most convenient means of the arrested person’s release – sometimes even without a bail bond! A payment of 10% to a bondsman is more than you think… don’t get stuck paying more than you should!

If the police ask to speak with me, what should I do?

Knowing when to accept a request for interview by legal entities is tricky, and the choices you make here will likely affect your life in the long haul. While authorities consider such interviews as an opportunity for you to share your perspective, oftentimes the time and place are such that the best decision is to say nothing. You won’t know how to navigate the legal intricacies of the legal system without a lawyer who knows the ropes – so don’t hurt your future when all you need is a little help.

What’s the standard process for a criminal attorney’s first interview with a client?

Your first consultation is always free of charge. We’ll use this time to review the particulars of your case, and to weigh the charges held against you. Furthermore, I’ll give you a general overview of the law processes you can expect for your case, as well as a walkthrough of what’s most likely to occur. Finally, I’ll give you a financial estimate for continued consultation beyond the first free meeting.

If I get pulled over, should I agree to blood tests or alcohol breath tests?

This is a common question, yet very difficult to answer because the results determine whether or not you should have agreed! There are several factors to consider when estimating the quantity of alcohol in your system – it’s a matter of how much you drank, but also your metabolic rate, age, and physical attributes. You could take a breath alcohol test, or BAT, and wind up with over .08 (the bar for determining intoxication) without realizing you even drank enough to register. However, such chemical testing devices are often inaccurate and prone to malfunction. A professional attorney can help you decide whether the method or materials used in your testing led to an inaccurate reading.

What are my “Miranda Rights?”

What you say during an arrest can always be turned against you in the process of a trial. Nevertheless, traffic violations – particularly DUI’s – do not rely heavily on transcriptions of the statements used upon arrest. Even though the Miranda rights are not typically read for traffic violations, you can still incriminate yourself! Watch your mouth, and hold off on accusations until you’ve discussed your situation with your attorney.

What should I do if the police pull me over while driving?

First off, don’t panic! A lot of traffic stops that could have ended smoothly would up getting messy just because the offending driver didn’t have a level head with the officer. Being polite and calm goes a long way. Don’t consent unreasonably – if an officer casually asks if he or she can search your car, then you have a right to say no. The Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. This relates to your house, you vehicle, and your person. Don’t doubt yourself when there’s no reason to, though! An experienced attorney trained in searches and seizures can sift through your concerns and get you on track towards the resolution you’re looking for.

What are the three ways to use bail bonds in Tennessee?

Excluding capital cases, Tennessee criminal law assures all citizens’ entitlement to well-reasoned bond. A bail bond is a “get out of jail card” with a price that varies from case to case. You can make bail by:

  1. Hiring a commercial bondsman. He or she will charge ten percent (10%) of the total bond, as well as a nominal fee when the bond is processed (usually around $25.00). A $1000.00 bail bond would cost about $125.00, with no refund.
  2. Buy the whole bail bond yourself. If you have the money, you can pay for the total amount on your own. The hidden benefit with this route is that your full payment will be refunded when your case closes.
  3. If it’s convenient or the bond is especially high, use property to make bail. The process is somewhat involved, but if you have friends or loved ones who are willing to part with property, a “property bond” can be made if the value of the property is at least one and one half times the bail bond’s total (Property Value > 1.5 x bond). Deeds of Trust are always requisites for such circumstances.

What is the cost of a criminal attorney?

Attorney fees will take into consideration several components of a particular criminal defense case – effort and time being two especially relevant factors. Besides this, any time constraints, complicated questions or issues, and practice-acquired skills necessary for a particular case will be considered. Attorneys can be expensive, and a good one isn’t always the priciest. However, if you’re financially incapable of paying for a criminal defense lawyer, a court-appointed legal representative will be assigned to you. Crimes that may be resolved with a jail sentencing are a big deal, and the Constitution stipulates that legal counsel in such trials must represent all citizens.

If the police talk to me – should I respond?

It’s a sad and difficult question to answer, because it really depends on you and the officer. There have been cases of people speaking freely and without harm to an officer, only to experience legal ramifications for expressing honesty. There’s no answer that applies to every situation. A slow and careful decision-making process is assuredly called for – and the most reliable method of securing this within a reasonable timeframe is with the advisement of a good criminal defense attorney.

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