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Knoxville criminal defense attorneyYou may have heard that crime drops significantly during the Super Bowl, and other major sporting and entertainment events. Perhaps someone even brought this oft-repeated rumor up at your Super Bowl party the other day. The idea is that everyone is busy watching the big game instead of committing crimes. There is some truth to this, according to a study at Berkeley - but it may be misleading. If you wind up charged with a crime after your Super bowl celebration, it is important to reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are able. Your charges could haunt you long after the football festivities have been forgotten about. 

How Do Crime Patterns Change on Super Bowl Sunday?

A study conducted by doctoral students at Berkeley Law’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy program found that it is indeed true that crime drops during the Super Bowl by as much as 25%. However, this drop is only seen during the game itself - as in, while the event is actively being televised. The idea that fewer people are out committing crimes because they are occupied watching the game (and commercials) may hold some weight. 

However, this drop in crime during the game does not exactly mean that there is less crime overall on Super Bowl Sunday. Crimes related to drugs and prostitution tend to spike in the hours before the game. Quite a few people elect to consume illicit substances before watching the game. Another common crime just before the game involves the purchase of alcohol for or by minors, who may want to enjoy some beer during the big game. 

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Knox County criminal defense attorneyEveryone makes mistakes. Sadly, a single split-second mistake can have consequences that impact the rest of your life if you end up with a criminal record. Even one conviction can limit your future prospects, including educational and career opportunities. Fortunately, in Tennessee there is a way for certain offenders to avoid having a conviction on their record through judicial diversion. Eligible defendants may be able to have their charges dismissed after completing a period of probation or meeting other conditions. If you are facing any criminal charge, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney immediately. 

How Does Judicial Diversion Work?

To receive a judicial diversion, you must first plead guilty to your charges. Rather than sentencing you, the court “diverts” the charge for a specified amount of time. During that time, you will be required to follow certain conditions set by the court. Conditions may include things like submitting to drug testing, completing a class, and avoiding new charges. The conditions set will vary somewhat depending on your charges and the circumstances of your case. 

After you successfully complete the diversion period, you can return to court and ask the judge to enter an Order of Expungement, erasing the charges from your criminal record. 

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Tennessee Marijuana Laws

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Campbell County Criminal Defense AttorneyIn July 2020, Virginia became the 16th state in the country to legalize medical marijuana. In April of this year, Virginia lawmakers passed another bill that legalized simple possession of marijuana and limited home growth. That law just went into effect on July 1.

But here in Tennessee, marijuana use--whether recreational or medical-- is still completely banned. Given the changes in Virginia’s law, many law enforcement agencies that border Virginia say they will be on the lookout for an increase in black market activity and an increase in driving under the influence of marijuana, as well as any transporting the drug across state lines.

Tennessee Marijuana Penalties

Tennessee is one of only 14 states that has not yet authorized medical marijuana, despite polls that show more than 80 percent of residents support the measure. The state is also one of only a handful where a conviction for simple possession of pot will result in jail time.

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Jacksboro BUI defense lawyerThere is no better place to spend summer than in the state of Tennessee, especially with the abundance of beautiful lakes and state parks Campbell County has to offer. Both residents and visitors to the area have plenty of places to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and other water activities. Unfortunately, along with those activities often comes the consumption of alcohol. If you are planning on doing any kind of boating, it is important to be aware of the state’s new boating under the influence (BUI) law that recently went into effect.

Boating Under the Influence Law in Tennessee

In Tennessee, if a boat operator has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, that operator is considered over the legal limit, the same BAC applied to someone driving a vehicle. While it has always been illegal to operate a boat while under the influence in Tennessee, the penalties for conviction were not as harsh as those for driving under the influence (DUI). But the new law changes that. In fact, the law, which went into effect July 1, mirrors the state’s drunk driving laws.

Under the prior law, penalties were discretionary, meaning the sentencing judge had latitude. With the new law, all penalties are mandatory:

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tennessee drunk driving defense lawyerMost people would agree that one of the most serious crimes you could be charged with is killing or seriously injuring another human being. When this happens as a result of driving a vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face consequences not only for DUI, but also for injuring another person. In Tennessee, injuring another person while driving under the influence (DUI) is referred to as vehicular assault, while killing another person as a result of DUI is referred to as vehicular homicide. Both offenses are extremely serious and can result in harsh consequences upon conviction.

What is Vehicular Assault?

According to Tennessee law, vehicular assault occurs when a person is driving while under the influence and imposes serious bodily injury upon another person. Vehicular assault is charged as a Class D felony and carries a potential sentence of two to 12 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. The severity of certain aspects of the penalties for vehicular assault depends on the number of DUI-related offenses you have had. For example, a person who has never faced any type of DUI offense would face a minimum of 48 hours in jail before any other sentence began, in addition to a one-year driver’s license suspension.

Understanding Vehicular Homicide

You do not necessarily have to be intoxicated to have committed vehicular homicide. There are a variety of actions that could be included under the vehicular homicide statute. Tennessee law states that vehicular homicide occurs when a person recklessly kills another person while operating a vehicle if their conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury, their behavior was a result of driving under the influence, if a person was drag racing or if they were in a construction zone and the victim was a highway worker or construction worker.

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