The way domestic violence charges are handled in Nashville is different from any other county in Middle Tennessee. Let's discuss the court process:
- Once you are released from jail, you will be given a court date for a settlement date. It will be within a week or two of your arrest date and is usually set at 8:30 A.M. Don't worry. Nothing will happen that day, and no witnesses will be there. The judge will simply give you a court date to appear. If you hire a lawyer to appear for you, you don't even have to come.
- You will then be assigned a judge, and it will be one that hears mostly domestic violence cases. The assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute your case will also be one that handles mostly domestic violence cases. You face specialized judges and prosecutors in Nashville.
- The trial date will be set within four weeks. It is what we call a "rocket docket." There are four possible outcomes that could happen. First, should no witness show up, the case may be dismissed for failure to prosecute the case. Second, a plea bargain could be reached in the case. Third, you may have a bench trial, but the ADA must agree to this. Finally, you can have a preliminary hearing. The bottom line is, one can't predict what is going to happen due to all the different variables.
These three steps are the basic framework for what is going to happen if you are arrested for a domestic violence charge in Nashville, TN. The teaching lesson is always prepared for a hearing, have a theory of defense, don't count on a witness not showing up to court, and hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
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