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Criminal Procedure Archives

When can the government seize property?

The notion that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty is one of the bedrock principles of American law. But it applies only in the sphere of criminal law, not civil law. The sad fact is that Tennessee law allows property to be taken from a criminal defendant or an innocent third-party, even if that person has not been convicted of a crime. It's called civil asset forfeiture.

Bail Bond Procedure in Springfield, Tennessee

The bail bond process in Springfield, Tennessee is unique compared with some of the other counties in the state. In Davidson County, Williamson County and several other counties in Middle Tennessee, the accused is taken before a judicial magistrate as soon as possible. The magistrate listens to some brief testimony of the arresting police officer to make an intial determination of whether probable cause exists. Once probable cause is determined, the magsistrate then sets a bail bond. All those arrested are entitled to a bail bond with the exception of a capital offense. Rule 5 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure requires any person arrested shall be taken without unnecessary delay before the nearest magistrate.

Should you accept a plea bargain?

If your criminal case is like many others, there may be elements of truth in the prosecutor's assertions. Though you may not have done everything the prosecutor says you did, there might be enough evidence to charge and possibly convict you. Faced with this reality, it can make sense to consider the possibility of a plea bargain.

Avoiding Arrest at Bonnaroo

Today marks the start of this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Taking place from June 8 through June 11, the festival attracts music lovers from Tennessee, across the nation, and around the world. Inevitably, a small number of attendees get arrested, mainly for drug and alcohol crimes. Many of those people could avoid arrest by taking some simple precautions.

Getting Out of Jail After Being Arrested

Unlike the game of Monopoly, when you have been charged with a serious crime in real life there is no "Get Out of Jail Free" card. In most cases however, it is possible to get out of jail either through the pre-trial release program or by posting a bond. The exceptions are cases involving capital murder, the federal crime of treason, a probation violation, or when there is a serious risk of flight or a threat to others.

What Happens at Your Arraignment ?

A arraignment  is the first step in Tennessee's criminal court process. The arraignment concept can be traced to the English criminal justice system. Back in the day when some folks could not read, one was called out to hear the criminal charges being accused. The charges were formerly read by the judge to let the accused know what crimes were being charged.

What Is Restorative Justice and Is It Right For Nashville?

There is a growing consensus among Nashville civic leaders for the city to initiate a restorative justice program. Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk has just come out in favor of such a program, joining Mayor Megan Barry and other officials who have previously expressed support. There is already a pilot program under development in Juvenile Court that is focusing on cases involving certain types of burglaries. But as with other proposed municipal initiatives, finding additional funding for the development and implementation of a full-scale program remains a problem.

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