What Happens at the Arraignment and the Preliminary Hearing?

Criminal cases generally require that the defendant be arraigned after he/she is arrested. Defendants usually have the right to a preliminary hearing after they are arraigned. It is critical that defendants have legal counsel at both the arraignment and the preliminary hearing. Experienced defense lawyers can explain what happens at each court proceeding and explain…

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What Outcomes Are Possible Once Your Case Is Scheduled for Trial?

Trials are risky. The judge in your case can affect the outcome. Juries can be fickle. Sometimes, one or a few jurors can dominate other jurors and persuade other jurors to reach an unjust verdict. While defendants are presumed innocent in criminal cases, juries often find police officers the most credible witnesses. In effect, at…

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When to Consider a Plea Bargain

The ideal for every criminal defendant is to have the criminal charges dismissed before trial. While a jury may acquit you, jury trials carry serious risks. For starters, the jury pool in Tennessee is drawn from registered voters. Voters in this state typically are conservative and often believe a police officer over a person charged…

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What Is the Chain of Custody of Evidence?

In criminal cases, when the government seizes any evidence, the government must show that it properly stored the evidence. Properly storing evidence means that there was no opportunity to tamper with the evidence. Chain of custody refers to the methods the prosecution uses to preserve the evidence. In particular, the chain of custody refers to…

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Grand Juries: How They Work

In American law, there are two types of juries: grand juries and petit juries. A petit jury decides guilt or innocence after a criminal trial (or the money damages in a civil trial). For some criminal matters, however, there is a grand jury. Generally, but not always, a person is arrested, is arraigned, has a…

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Four Myths About Lawsuits Debunked

Television shows and movies about the law and attorneys often take liberties about how the legal process works. Trials happen quickly, verdicts are returned after a commercial break, and in TV and movie land, justice comes easily. Dramatizations and the media don’t focus on the small details that make up most of civil or criminal…

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What Are the Penalties for Assault?

Tennessee state law defines two types of assault: simple and aggravated. Individuals accused of assault crimes may face misdemeanors or felony charges based on the severity of the offense and the particular acts and circumstances allegedly done. Penalties associated with these crimes can range, including significant fines and prison time. Simple assault in Tennessee According…

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Is “Verbal Assault” Illegal?

In a workplace environment, “verbal assault,” or simply just saying mean or unkind remarks, may be grounds for disciplinary actions or a harassment lawsuit, but the same is not necessarily true when it comes to criminal charges. There is no such crime as “verbal assault.” However, physical assault is a crime.  Threatening physical harm or…

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Common Issues in Many Criminal Cases

We believe that no innocent person should be convicted or forced to plead to charges when he or she is innocent, or the State or federal government tries to punish a person too harshly. We believe that too many innocent men and women are jailed and that too often, the punishment does not fit the…

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