An arrest and its aftermath, regardless of the circumstances, may be the most terrifying and overwhelming ordeal of your life. There are several reasons you may be arrested and charged with a crime, including false accusations, mistaken identity, poor judgment, lack of restraint, ignorance, or feeling that one had no other option but to commit specific actions. Whichever circumstances led to your criminal charge, being charged with a crime – from violent felonies to misdemeanors – can be devastating to you and your family.
When you or a family member you love is facing criminal charges, you want to know that you have an experienced Franklin criminal defense attorney in your corner. We understand. The outcome of a case in Tennessee involving criminal charges can have serious consequences affecting your self-esteem, reputation, employment, and family relationships. In addition to facing severe fines, probation, and possible prison time, there may be far-reaching consequences to your life. So, don’t wait to seek legal help. After being charged with a crime in Franklin, your decisions have a significant impact on your situation.
At Nash Law, PLLC, our Franklin criminal defense lawyers have the experience to answer all your questions and work tirelessly to get positive results for your case. For years, we have successfully defended Tennesseans against criminal charges in Franklin and throughout the state of Tennessee. Guided by a principle that our clients are innocent until proven guilty, we are highly regarded as dedicated, aggressive advocates.
There is no more significant cause than defending our clients’ freedom, and we take that responsibility seriously. When you walk in with a lawyer from Nash Law, the prosecutor knows they are in for a battle. Our attorneys are well-versed in the applicable rules of criminal procedure and statutes and proudly practices criminal defense in Tennessee. Allow our legal team to fight for you!
Call 615-544-6096 today and tell us more about your case. We are ready when you are!
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Aggressive Franklin Criminal Defense Lawyers at Work for You
Arrested and charged for a crime in Franklin, TN? You will need a skilled and experienced Franklin defense lawyer with Nash Law, PLLC working diligently on your behalf. Brian Lee Nash is just such an attorney. Mr. Nash and the criminal defense legal team he leads have the qualifications and trial experience to effectively prepare you for the challenges you face and help answer your questions regarding the potential consequences of your specific charges.
Our criminal defense practice areas include state and federal cases such as but not limited to:
- Violent crimes
- Drug crimes
- Sex crimes
- Probation violations
- Traffic offenses
- Juvenile offenses
- Criminal appeals
- White-Collar crimes
Regardless of your charges, when your freedom is at stake, you can count on our tough-minded criminal defense attorneys to aggressively fight to protect your rights. Call 615-544-6096 to get started. All initial case evaluations are always confidential and free.
What Are the Rights of a Criminal Defendant in Tennessee?
Being arrested is a very drastic and frightening experience: you are handcuffed, detained, and taken to jail without any oversight until the next business day when you are brought into the Tennessee court system.
If the police have detained you or a loved one for a criminal offense, you become a criminal defendant – regardless of your innocence or guilt.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to know that the United States Constitution grants individuals who are charged with criminal offenses with certain rights under the Bill of Rights and various amendments. You have constitutional rights! Included in these rights are provisions for criminal defendants. By being aware of your rights as a criminal defendant in Tennessee, you or your loved one can take the necessary steps to protect these rights.
Below are some of the constitutional rights that criminal defendants have in Tennessee. Continue reading to learn more, or let the dedicated Franklin criminal defense lawyers at Nash Law, explain your rights, fight to protect your freedom, and ensure you receive a fair trial.
The 4th Amendment
The fourth amendment covers a criminal defendant’s right to probate cause for searches and seizures. This amendment states that the government must establish probable cause before searches and seizures. A defendant can also dispute the charge if they believe that a search & seizure was conducted without probable cause/reasonable grounds. Furthermore, any piece of evidence that is obtained illegally against a criminal defendant will not be admissible in court.
The 5th Amendment
The fifth amendment protects a defendant against double jeopardy and self-incrimination:
Right to Remain Silent
The 5th amendment mandates that a defendant has a right to stay quiet when questioned by law enforcement officers during arrest or by a prosecutor during the trial – commonly known as Miranda Rights. In simple terms, a defendant cannot be compelled to be a witness against him or herself in any criminal case.
Right Against Double Jeopardy
According to the 5th amendment, a defendant also cannot be subject to the same offense twice. This is referred to as “double jeopardy” as it is unconstitutional.
However, there are exceptions:
- A defendant may face criminal charges in both state and federal court for the same offense.
- A defendant can be brought once to the civil court and the criminal court for the same offense.
The 6th Amendment
The sixth amendment provides all criminal defendants with a right to legal counsel and representation, the right to confront a witness, and a speedy trial. We go into detail below:
The Right to Representation
The 6th amendment states that in all prosecutions involving criminal charges, the defendant shall enjoy the right to have the assistance of counsel and representation for their defense. If the accused cannot afford an attorney, the government will appoint a public defender.
The Right to a Speedy Trial
Defendants in a criminal case have a right to a speedy trial – but the amendment does not specify a time limit. Tennessee has enacted statutes that set time limits for moving criminal cases from filing the initial charge to trial to help ensure that the defendant’s rights are upheld.
The Right to Confront a Witness
The 6th amendment also gives defendants the right to confront witnesses and the accuser – in other words, “look them in the eye.” This allows the defendant to cross-examine or confront witnesses to question their reliability and dispute their testimony. A criminal defendant also has a right to call a supporting witness to testify on their behalf.
The Right to a Public Jury Trial
The 6th amendment also grants criminal defendants the right to due process to be tried by a jury in an open general attempt. Both the defense and prosecution participate in jury selection, and jury members are randomly picked from the community and must be proven impartial.
The 8th Amendment
The eighth amendment provides defendants in criminal cases with a right to reasonable bail and the right to be free from unusual or cruel punishment.
The Right to a Reasonable Bail
Bail in Tennessee is set by a judge and must be “reasonable,” i.e., not excessive and equivalent to the defendant’s likelihood of fleeing and the severity of the offense. Note that bail is not granted in all criminal cases.
The Right Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment
The 8th amendment protects criminal defendants against “cruel and unusual punishment” if convicted of an offense. This amendment guarantees that those convicted have access to proportionate sentences, including fundamental human rights during incarceration.
Criminal charges, including misdemeanors, are life-changing. Without asserting your rights as a criminal defendant, your life could be turned upside down. The best way to protect your rights is to maintain them by seeking early intervention from a Franklin criminal defense attorney.
What Is a Misdemeanor vs. a Felony in Tennessee?
Tennessee criminal offenses are charged as either misdemeanor or felony offenses. The critical difference between the two charges is that a misdemeanor is considered a “lesser” offense than a felony: misdemeanors are less violent, cause fewer physical damages, and carry less severe sentences with a maximum jail sentence of one year. Jails are municipal short-term holding facilities, while prisons are long-term, state-run detainment facilities.
On the other hand, a felony is considered a “severe” offense: they’re more violent, do more physical damage or high dollar property damage, and carry severe sentences. Furthermore, while both charges appear on your record, a felony conviction can deprive you or your loved one of certain rights, including your right to hold public office, your right to bear arms, and your right to vote.
Some crimes such as DUI and assault are charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the crime’s circumstances. Note that in Tennessee, there are other levels and classes of misdemeanors and felonies, including:
- Class A Misdemeanor – Can carry a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 1 year in prison
- Class B Misdemeanor – A fine of up to $500 and up to 6 months in prison
- Class C Misdemeanor – A fine of up to $50 and up to 30 days in prison
Examples of misdemeanors would be simple drug possession, shoplifting, public intoxication, prostitution, trespassing, and assault.
Classes of felonies in Tennessee include:
- Class A Felony – A fine of up to $50,000 and up to 60 years in prison
- Class B Felony – A fine of up to $25,000 and up to 30 years in prison
- Class C Felony – A fine of up to $10,000 and up to 35 years in prison
- Class D Felony – A fine of up to $5,000 and up to 12 years in prison
- Class E Felony – A fine of up to $3,000 and up to 6 years in prison
Examples of felonies include aggravated assault, rape, kidnapping, arson, burglary, and murder.
Should I Consult an Attorney Before Speaking to the Police?
Yes! If the police have arrested you or your loved one, it is in your best interest to immediately contact a criminal defense attorney in Franklin. An attorney can protect your rights from the get-go and help you or your loved one in all stages of the criminal justice process, from arraignment to a trial.
Remember, you don’t have to speak to the police or the prosecutors, even if they arrest and charge you. Besides, anything you say to them could be used against you. If the police want to talk to you, politely tell them you want to speak to a lawyer first. In some instances, it may be beneficial to talk with the police, but you should make that decision after you consult with an attorney.
What Is the Habitual Offender Law?
Habitual offender law allows a judge to impose a stiffer sentence for repeat offenders, i.e., individuals who are convicted of a crime and have previously been convicted of offenses within a certain number of years. Being declared a habitual offender in Tennessee is a serious matter with far-reaching consequences. Crimes that trigger regular offense status include vehicular homicide, reckless driving, and evading arrest. There are other crimes as well, but the above are the most common.
Tennessee also applies the Three Strikes Rule: under this rule, a defendant with three felony convictions could end up getting a life sentence without parole. Examples of felonies under Tennessee’s Three Strikes Law include voluntary manslaughter or murder, rape, and mayhem.
How Can a Franklin Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
You’ve been arrested, taken to jail, and charged with a criminal offense. Your future is in jeopardy. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Franklin, TN, will give you the best chance to walk away from the charges or secure a plea.
Here’s what our clients can expect when they trust the dedicated and tenacious Franklin criminal defense attorneys at Nash Law to handle their criminal cases:
- Case preparation, including making sure your arrest was lawful
- Handle plea bargains
- We can gauge the possible outcomes of your case and advise you accordingly
- We will investigate the circumstances surrounding your alleged offense
- We work with the best experts
- We are familiar with Tennessee laws & court rules, and we will challenge every piece of evidence
- Above all, we have experienced trial attorneys and are committed to having the charges you are facing dropped or win an acquittal at trial
Don’t hesitate to contact Nash Law if you or a loved one is facing criminal charges. We will help you at every stage of your case and be by your side from arraignment to the end of your trial.
What Is the Cost of Legal Representation?
There is no one-size-fits-all cost of legal representation for criminal cases in Tennessee. However, the typical criminal defense lawyer in Franklin and throughout Tennessee will charge per hour, and prices vary. Sadly, without knowing the facts about your case, it’s almost impossible to quote the exact fees or terms.
At Nash Law, we offer free and confidential consultations because we need as much info as possible to understand the fundamental nature of the criminal charges you are facing and construct a defense strategy suitable for your case. You don’t pay for the talk, so there’s no risk for you to see our legal team to determine a course of action for your case. With that said, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 615-544-6096 to schedule your free case review today and discuss questions regarding the cost of legal representation.
Is There a Benefit to Having a Private Attorney vs. a Court-Appointed Attorney?
A public defender is an attorney who is assigned to a defendant’s case by the court. While many public defenders are reasonable attorneys who believe in the cause and fighting for the rights of criminal defendants, they are often dealing with large caseloads and limited resources. They often struggle to give all defendants an adequate amount of attention.
A private Franklin criminal defense lawyer generally has more resources and time to devote to clients. Besides, a personal defender is hired by a defendant or the defendant’s loved ones at their own cost, which means they are more motivated to help their clients than public defendants.
Don’t leave your case and future in the hands of a public defender; let the experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Nash Law handle your case and get you a positive outcome.
Can You Represent Yourself?
While criminal defendants in Tennessee have a right to counsel and legal representation under the 6th amendment, a defendant can choose to waiver that right and represent themselves – Tennessee courts call this “pro se.” However, it’s best to get information and advice about your case and the criminal justice system from a criminal defense lawyer.
Even if you are charged with a misdemeanor, there is no such thing as a “small” or “minor” criminal offense. When convicted, even if you don’t get a jail sentence, a guilty verdict will mean you or your loved one has a criminal record. After an arrest in Franklin, you should always contact an attorney to know your rights and discuss your options before making any decision.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
No! Never agree to any plea deal without talking to your lawyer first. Even if the prosecutor tells you that they are offering you’re the best deal possible, don’t take it!
Having an experienced Franklin criminal defense attorney who understands how the system and courts work will force prosecutors to stop trying to walk all over you. If law enforcement officers and prosecutors try to get you to accept a plea bargain, they do so because they often want to make their jobs easier. Look after your interests and contact a criminal defense attorney before making any deal.
Appealing a Conviction in Tennessee
All stages of a criminal case can be complicated, but the situation can quickly become confusing when you are convicted. If you are convicted, the expert criminal defense lawyers at Nash Law, PLLC will determine if there are grounds for an appeal and continue to fight for your future. We can represent you before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.
Call Our Franklin Criminal Defense Attorneys Today for a Free Case Evaluation
We know that facing criminal charges – from a misdemeanor to a felony – can be overwhelming. We can help. We specialize in criminal matters and know how the Tennessee legal system works. Our criminal defense legal team in Franklin will be your fiercest advocates and will defend you against any charges of criminal misconduct.