Being a criminal defense lawyer in General Sessions Court in Tennessee requires a lawyer to think on their feet. General Sessions criminal court practice is still trial by ambush. The rules of discovery do not apply. A defense lawyer has no idea about the case other than the arrest warrant and his interview of the accused. You might not even know if there are other charges. Here is a real case that happened in Rutherford County, Tennessee.
Got hired last minute. Not much background information. The charge was simple possession. The search of the car was based on the inventory exception because he was arrested for a probation violation. Checked with the clerk to check out the status of the probation violation case. Missed the court date on the probation violation. While checking the status, a reckless driving popped up. Failure to appear. Capias issued. Went back to the drawing board. Pulled all the capias warrants and dealt with all three cases.
Being a great criminal defense attorney means you will be thrown a curveball and you better be ready to handle it. A case that started with two open capiases ended that day. Worked out a plea on all cases. Two capiases recalled. Reckless driving charge was dismissed. Probation reinstated. The simple possession charge was concurrent with the probation violation. A nightmare avoided. Arrest avoided. New bail bond avoided. It worked out because the clerks were very helpful in pulling the outstanding cases. A good prosecutor who knew the difference between a person who made a series of mistakes and a criminal. General Sessions courts can be rough and tumble, but today in Rutherford County General Sessions Court hard work was rewarded.
Here is the takeaway. Keep up with your court dates. Tell your lawyer about all your problems. Hire a criminal defense lawyer early.