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Rutherford County, TN: Criminal Law Alert

Every county in Tennessee has little quirks on how they handle certain issues. While all counties in Tennessee uphold the criminal laws for the State of Tennessee, the procedures in each one may vary. Here is a case study on the judicial diversion process in the General Sessions Criminal Court for Rutherford County.

If you are fortunate enough to settle your criminal charges for a plea of judicial diversion, there is another step you must take in order to clear your record. After your probation is complete, you must have your case set on the docket and then appear in court. The judge will ask you, under oath, if you have complied with the terms of your probation. The final question the court will ask is if you have had good and lawful conduct. You should do this immediately when your probation is complete. This court appearance and questioning does not happen in Davidson County, Williamson County, or the other counties in which I practice. In Robertson County Criminal Court, an appearance in court is required, but there is no questioning.

Here is the case study. Someone went on judicial diversion years ago and did not go to court. The individual just got new charges. Were they prevented from getting the old case expunged? I went to court with that person and explained to the Assistant District Attorney what happened. There was no objection. We appeared before the judge with the same explanation. The court asked if this individual had good and lawful conduct for the year following the plea, to which the answer was yes. The court granted the judicial diversion which allowed them to expunge that charge and have a clean record prior to handling the new charge.

I see cases all the time where someone does not take the final steps to expunge their record. If you have the opportunity to get your record expunged, do it as quickly as possible.