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Nashville DUI/DWI Law Blog

Defending yourself from intruders and a lawsuit

If you are like many Tennessee citizens, you either have a gun in your home or know someone who does. Most people believe that they have the right to protect themselves, their family and their property from intruders. At the Law Office of Rob McKinney, we often represent clients who must defend themselves from being sued by acting in self-defense.

Americans are taking a more proactive stance in personal protection than they have done in the recent past. The Nashville Ledger reports that as of June 2, 2017, almost 600,000 residents had a handgun carry permit. Tennessee is one of 32 “stand your ground states,” and in theory, this means retreat is not needed before using force to defend yourself. This statute includes situations where force is used and also when it is threatened. While it seems straightforward, the law is open to interpretation and can be difficult to apply.

Have you been accused of social engineering fraud?

Identity theft is an ongoing problem for Americans, and the methods used to capture identity information are becoming increasingly creative. Findings from the 2017 Identity Fraud Study put together by Javelin Strategy & Research reveal that in 2016, $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million consumers in the U.S. The statistics showed that someone was a victim of identity fraud every two seconds that year. As such, facing even a false accusation of identity fraud has the potential for serious consequences.

People are often afraid of their credit card information being stolen, but credit card fraud actually occurs less often than a malware attack on the computer, for example. Identity fraud is also alive and well through cyberattacks on sites such as Amazon, PayPal and eBay. Another type of identity fraud that is gaining momentum is social engineering.

Should the plea bargaining process be changed?

If you face criminal charges in Tennessee, you likely know that a plea bargain is one of your options. Depending on your situation and the facts of your case, a plea bargain may be advantageous. On the other hand, plea bargains contain inherent disadvantages. Perhaps the biggest is that, despite the fact that a jury trial always constitutes a risk, you give up your constitutional right to a trial by a jury of your peers when you accept a plea bargain. In addition, you must plead guilty to a crime in open court. This voluntary guilty plea makes it very difficult for you to prevail in any kind of an appeal.

Today, as reported by The Atlantic, many legal scholars question the plea bargaining system and call for reforms if not downright prohibition. Some suggest far more oversight to the plea bargaining process than currently exists. Others take a morality approach, i.e., that the U.S. criminal justice system should be about justice, not merely expediency.

What are the 5 types of Tennessee drug crimes?

Tennessee takes drug crimes seriously. Should prosecutors convict you any type of drug crime, you could face very serious consequences, including a substantial jail or prison sentence and/or a large fine.

The Discovery Place explains that Tennessee has five separate types of drug crimes as follows:

  1. Simple possession, casual exchange
  2. Possession with intent
  3. Sale of a controlled substance
  4. Drug trafficking and conspiracy
  5. Drug manufacturing

Binge drinking, a DUI and the effect on your future

You may be attending Vanderbilt, Fisk or one of the other fine universities or colleges in Tennessee. Like many other college students you may  also engage in binge drinking. If you drink and drive - and many binge drinkers see no problem with getting behind the wheel - you risk being charged with DUI. What happens to your future plans if you are convicted?

Crime rates down on Tennessee college campuses

Here at the Law Office of Rob McKinney, we know that a Tennessee conviction for DUI, drugs or other crime can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. That is especially true if you are a college student. Your conviction could follow you “forever,” making it difficult for you to work in the field of your choice.

The good news, as reported by Knox News, is that the overall crime rate on Tennessee’s college campuses decreased by 2.8 percent last year. The bad news is that DUI incidents increased by over 60 percent, although the 78 reported cases still represent less than 2 percent of overall campus crimes. All information comes from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s annual Crime on Campus report.

Why courtroom etiquette is important

As you get ready to go to your Tennessee court hearing, you will likely feel nervous and apprehensive. Probably the last thing on your mind is your clothing, your shoes, your haircut and other aspects of your personal grooming. It may therefore surprise you to learn that these things can influence the outcome of your case. 

Admittedly, going to court is definitely not a social situation. Nevertheless, you should be aware that courts have etiquette rules that cover such things as the following:

  • Your mode of dress
  • Your manner of speech
  • Your cellphone
  • The contents of your pockets or purse

Will you be ordered to have an ignition interlock device?

If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, you are likely to face a number of penalties, including license suspension and the possibility of having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in any vehicle you drive.

The state of Tennessee has chosen to require the ignition interlock device because research indicates it acts as a deterrent against further arrests. In fact, studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of those using IIDs do not face subsequent drunk driving charges.

How a felony conviction can negatively impact your life

At the Law Office of Rob McKinney in Tennessee, we know the many negative impacts a felony conviction can have on your life. We therefore thought we should give you an overview of what life can be like for a convicted felon before you make an unwise decision that could consign you to living such a life.

As HelpForFelons.com explains, a felony record negatively impacts virtually every aspect of your life, including the following:

  • Where you can live
  • Where you can work
  • Where you can travel
  • Who you can choose as your friends
  • If and to what extent you can exercise your constitutional right to vote

Understanding Tennessee's theft laws

Theft is a term that can widely describe various crimes of stealing property without permission. Because the word theft has a broad legal meaning that encompasses various degrees of offenses, it is important to know the exact definitions and punishments for each type of theft in Tennessee.

Tennessee theft laws say it is illegal to take property without consent. But the laws go into great detail in terms of classification and penalties. Tennessee statutes classify theft crimes according to the value of the property in question. Here are the different levels of theft and their corresponding punishments.

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