Being arrested on suspicion of committing a crime in Columbia, Tennessee isn’t uncommon. While that’s the case, you must seek legal protection by hiring the services of a professional Columbia criminal defense attorney. A criminal arrest is a serious matter that could result in you being jailed or other life-changing penalties if you’re convicted. If you have been arrested and are being charged for committing a crime of any kind, having a skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyer is essential.
At Nash Law PLLC, we offer professional and dependable representation for clients arrested for or accused of committing crimes in Columbia, Tennessee. Our attorneys are experienced professionals with decades of experience defending people who’ve been charged with committing criminal offenses of all kinds. Our attorneys have practiced in law courts all across Tennessee and are conversant with the behaviors and actions of local law enforcement and judges.
For expert legal representation in Columbia, get in touch with us at Nash Law, PLLC, today for a chance to have your case reviewed by a professional Columbia criminal defense lawyer. Call 615-544-6096 now to schedule a free case review.
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What Are Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant in Tennessee?
If you’re facing criminal charges in Tennessee, then it’s worth noting that you have several rights that have to be honored throughout the process. In the United States, we have the Bill of Rights: a vital component of the U.S. Constitution that was drafted to offer criminal procedural guarantees or assurances through the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments. These amendments play a crucial role in criminal justice systems in the country and the absence of one of these guarantees/assurances denies a defendant or suspect the due process of the law under the 14th Amendment.
The amendments that protect your rights as a criminal defendant in Tennessee are:
- The Fourth Amendment
This amendment protects you against any unreasonable seizures and searches and also requires that warrants must be supported by probable cause and judicially sanctioned.
- The Fifth Amendment
This amendment protects you against abuse of government authority during legal procedures. The amendment protects suspects of a criminal offense from being forced to implicate themselves. If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, you reserve the right to “Plead the Fifth” and refuse to answer any questions being asked. Always keep in mind that anything you say could be self-incriminating evidence of illegal acts that are punishable by forfeiture, fines, or penalties.
- The Sixth Amendment
This amendment allows an accused person the right to seek legal counsel for their defense. The clause that covers assistance of counsel includes five discrete rights: the right to a court-appointed counsel, the right to a counsel of your choosing, the right to represent yourself (pro se), the effective assistance of counsel, and the right to squabble-free counsel.
- The Eighth Amendment
This amendment defines the provisions for unusual and cruel punishment. Its main purpose is to ensure that the federal government does not impose excessive fines, excessive bails, or unusual and cruel punishment.
- The Miranda Warning
Also known as Miranda Rights, the Miranda warning is a warning given or statement read by law enforcers in America to criminal suspects that declare their right to remain silent and right to counsel.
What’s a Misdemeanor vs. a Felony in Tennessee?
Misdemeanors are generally considered “minor” crimes as compared to felonies. These are crimes that cause less physical damage, are less violent, and the sentences aren’t that severe.
The main difference between felonies and misdemeanors is that felonies typically result in the defendant being sentenced to over one year in prison while misdemeanors only lead to the defendant spending less than one year in jail.
It’s worth noting that while both felonies and misdemeanors will appear on your record, felony-related convictions could lead to you losing certain rights like the right to vote, the right to run for/hold any public office, and the right to bear any arms.
Should I Consult a Columbia Criminal Defense Attorney Before Speaking to the Police?
As a criminal suspect, you reserve the right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions; it doesn’t matter whether the law enforcer arresting you read you your rights or not. Why is it important? Well, simply because it’s an attorney’s job to defend your rights; and they do this by either counseling you and/or representing your interests before the court.
Once you declare that you’d like to talk to an attorney first, the person questioning you should stop right away. If they continue asking questions, you still reserve the right to stay quiet. Having a lawyer by your side could help minimize your chances of saying things during questioning that could end up incriminating you.
If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of committing a criminal offense, kindly request to have a lawyer present and give us a call for the best legal counsel and representation in Columbia, Tennessee.
What’s the Habitual Offender Law?
The habitual offender law is a law that allows judges to impose much stiffer sentences on repeat offenders. A habitual offender status is generally only given to repeat felony offenders, i.e., people who committed numerous misdemeanors or three or more felonies. The penalties that apply to the crimes committed by people labeled as habitual offenders increase considerably while the crimes they commit get ranked as serious criminal offenses. The time served on their sentence increases too with minimal chances for a sentence reduction for good behavior, etc.
How Can a Columbia Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
The web of federal, state, and municipal laws that govern activity in Columbia is quite complicated since many factors can either aggravate or mitigate the case filed against you. Facing the complexities of our legal system by yourself isn’t only potentially overwhelming, but also quite risky since you’re less likely to know the laws that govern your case. Criminal defense attorneys are intermediaries that will help you interpret the law while helping the court understand your case. You’ve better chances of getting a fair ruling with an attorney by your side than without one.
What’s the Cost of Legal Representation?
Well, it depends on what you are being charged with. At Nash Law, PLLC, we set our rates based on the type/kind of crime you are being charged with and how complex your case will end up being. For a better idea of how much you will pay to receive legal representation in Columbia, get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation and have your case reviewed by our experienced criminal defense attorneys.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Private Attorney Representing You Over a Court-Appointed One?
Public defenders are governmental employees appointed for criminal defendants who can’t afford to hire a private attorney. These attorneys typically are handling several lawsuits at a go ranging from big cases like felony murder cases to misdemeanors.
In most situations, public defenders find themselves handling multiple cases at once, something that can prove detrimental for you as a criminal defendant. That’s because it’s hard for a public attorney, unlike a private one, to offer your case the specialized attention it needs.
And while you’ll have to pay for the services of a private attorney, you still have no guarantee that your attorney will win the case for you. Nevertheless, working with a private Columbia criminal defense lawyer can be more beneficial to you since the person you hire will do their best to make sure that you receive a favorable ruling by the end of your criminal case proceedings.
Can I Represent Myself?
Every citizen in the United States reserves the right to represent themselves in a court of law in a civil case. This is what the courts refer to as “pro se.” In instances where a defendant opts to represent themselves, the court holds them to the same standard as they would an attorney.
While some cases are straightforward and relatively simple, most cases tend to be difficult and complex. As a criminal defendant, you must consider the specific issues and complexities involved in your case and what’s at stake when deciding whether or not you should continue pursuing the case without an attorney. If, as your case proceeds, it becomes apparent that representing yourself is harder than you thought, you still have the option to hire the services of an attorney and have them represent you.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
Plea bargains are agreements in criminal law proceedings where a prosecutor offers the defendant concession in exchange for a nolo contendere or a plea of guilt. However, before pleading guilty to criminal charges, it’s crucial that you first understand what evidence the state or prosecution has against you.
Apart from that, you also need to consider conducting personal investigations and ensure that you collect evidence that favors your defense. Plea deals are often a more attractive alternative than going to trial in instances where the evidence is irrefutable, and a conviction is certain. However, the decision to either take a plea bargain or take a case to trial ultimately falls on the defendant’s shoulder.
Appealing a Conviction in Tennessee
After it’s already been determined that you are guilty of committing a crime and have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison, you may still be eligible to appeal the decision. To do this, all you have to do is to file an appeal with the Criminal Appeals Court. During an appeal, defendants are given the chance to prove the ruling was wrong and why they believe the sentencing wasn’t fair.
A lawyer from the Office of the Attorney General then files their brief with a response. The matter is then reviewed by the Criminal Appeals Court, which then issues their opinion on the matter. From this point onward, either side can request to have the matter heard by Tennessee’s Supreme Court. However, in the event the Supreme Court turns down the request, then the decision reached by the Criminal Appeals Court stands.
Get in Touch for Aggressive Representation in Your Criminal Case
If you’re being charged with a criminal offense, what you need is a knowledgeable and seasoned Columbia criminal defense attorney by your side counseling and representing your interests in court. At Nash Law, PLLC, we fight for the rights of people like you who are facing criminal charges and are ready to fight hard and aggressively to ensure that your rights are not infringed and that your case is either dropped or that you get lower sentencing.
If you’re currently facing criminal charges in Columbia, Tennessee, please call 615-544-6096 to speak to a criminal defense attorney for a free case review. Get in touch with us now for assistance.