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Were you the victim of police brutality?

If you experienced excessive force by a police officer while being under arrest in Tennessee, you may be the victim of police brutality. While many law enforcement officers treat their jobs with respect, and they follow the guidelines outlined by local, state and federal laws, some overstep the boundaries and treat the suspect wrong. If this occurs, a good attorney may be able to use it to your benefit in your case.

Do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in Tennessee ?

You have three choices of representation if you are facing criminal charges in Tennessee. First, you can represent yourself. You will be facing a prosecutor who knows Tennessee criminal law, procedure and the rules of evidence. The prosecutor will also have experience before with the judge. Second, you can ask for the court to appoint a criminal defense attorney to represent you. It could be a private lawyer who accepts appointments from the court or a public defender. You will have no choice in who represents you and no knowledge of their skill level or experience. You will also have to meet income guidelines. Third, you can select and hire a criminal defense attorney based on what you want in a lawyer and what is important to you, such as experience, trial practice, and knowledge of criminal law. Maybe a divorce lawyer that dabbles in defending those accused of a crime is who you want.

Can you revoke a plea bargain?

Should the prosecutor in your Tennessee federal white-collar crime case offer you a favorable plea bargain, it may be in your best interests to accept it. Why? Because as Forbes recently reported, nearly 90 percent of federal defendants do, in fact, opt for a plea agreement instead of going to trial.

You may be wrongfully identified

Not everyone who is convicted of a crime is guilty. There are numerous incidents where people are wrongfully chosen out of an eyewitness identification lineup, and as a result, are convicted of a crime they did not commit. Failures in the eyewitness lineup process are partially to blame for this horrendous error, as well as limitations of the human memory and a jury’s inclination to favor an eyewitness.

What happens at a preliminary hearing?

If you face criminal charges in Tennessee, you likely will enter a not guilty plea at your arraignment. The next major step in your prosecution will be your preliminary hearing. As FindLaw explains, a preliminary hearing is not a trial. Instead, it is a hearing to determine if the prosecutor has sufficient evidence against you for your case to proceed to trial.

What qualifies as entrapment?

Everyone in Tennessee and elsewhere knows about undercover police officers. Whether they are posed in a high-risk area to step in at the first sign of an assault or driving in an unmarked police car to find drunk drivers, the purpose of undercover officers is to catch wrongdoing without it being obvious there is a law enforcement presence. However, as you may not be aware, there is a difference between undercover officers stepping in after a crime has been committed and actively encouraging someone to commit a crime. When the latter occurs, it may be a case of entrapment.

Understanding Tennessee’s criminal record expungement process

As a Tennessee resident with a criminal record, you may find that having a record hinders your ability to do any number of different things. Depending on the details of your criminal case, you may find that it prevents you from finding a job or housing, for example, but there may be certain steps you can take to eliminate the damage your criminal record causes. At the Law Office of Rob McKinney, we understand what types of criminal cases are typically eligible for expungement, and we have helped many clients navigate the process and minimize the impact their criminal records have on their lives.

Understanding Tennessee’s Fresh Start Act

At the Law Office of Rob McKinney in Tennessee, we know how difficult it can be for someone with a criminal record to obtain employment. If you are such a person, you will be glad to know that the Tennessee Legislature passed the Fresh Start Act in September of this year that should make it substantially easier for you to find a decent job.

Understanding bribery in Tennessee

People who face a traffic ticket or a possible arrest by a Tennessee police officer may feel angry, scared or even desperate to get out of the situation. However, it is best to do as the officer says so you do not cause additional problems for yourself. Unfortunately, some Tennesseans believe flashing a few dollar bills will dissuade an officer from writing a ticket. This act, known as bribery, can do great damage to your criminal defense and add more jail time and fines.

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 containherent 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.


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