NASHVILLE LAWYERS | FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
This page contains all of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and some infrequent ones as well. The criminal defense questions we have already answered include questions related to domestic violence, orders of protection, assault, drug crimes, misdemeanors, felonies, and general Tennessee law questions. We will be continuously adding to this list, but if you have a question we do not address, please comment or contact us.
Tennessee Temporary Orders of ProtectionWhat is a temporary Order of Protection in TN? In TN, a temporary Order of Protection is a civil order signed by a judge that. ... read more >
What is a temporary Order of Protection in TN?
In TN, a temporary Order of Protection is a civil order signed by a judge that prohibits one person from contacting or going near another person. Orders of Protection are meant to protect victims of 1) domestic abuse, 2) stalking, or 3) sexual assault. Unlike ex parte Orders of Protection, a temporary Order of Protection is only issued after a hearing in which both the Petitioner (victim) and Respondent (defendant) have the opportunity to present their case to the Court. While ex parte Orders only last 15 days, a temporary Order can last for up to one year and may be modified as the Court see fit. The term "temporary" is a little misleading as there is no "permanent" Order of Protection in TN. Violating any protective order is a criminal offense.
Tennessee Ex Parte Orders of ProtectionWhat is an ex parte Order of Protection in TN? An ex parte Order of Protection is a civil order signed by a judge and. ... read more >
What is an ex parte Order of Protection in TN?
An ex parte Order of Protection is a civil order signed by a judge and only lasts for 15 days. The purpose is to provide Petitioners (victims) of 1) domestic abuse, 2) stalking, or 3) sexual assault with immediate relief. Unlike temporary Orders of Protection, a judge or magistrate makes the determination to grant or deny ex parte Orders based solely on the victims’ claims. Thus, Respondents (defendants) do not have an opportunity to present a defense before the ex parte Order is granted or denied. If granted, a hearing must take place within 15 days.
Police Came, I Left. What If You Have A Domestic Violence Warrant?What should you do if you have a domestic violence warrant in Tennessee? If the police are called and a police report is filed for. ... read more >
If the police are called and a police report is filed for domestic violence, you might be wanted on a domestic assault charge even if you left the scene. First, be sure to find out if you actually have an arrest warrant issued for you. Once you are sure that a domestic violence warrant has been issued for your arrest, you have two realistic options: 1) voluntarily surrender yourself to police custody with your domestic violence lawyer 2) be arrested by police at work, home, or any given time and place.
Either way, expect to wait in jail for at least 12 hours before you can post bond because all domestic violence charges in Tennessee come with a de facto “12-hour hold” upon arrest. This means you will remain in custody for 12 hours after your arrest regardless of a bond posting. With option one, however, there's a decent chance your lawyer can have that mandatory 12-hour hold waived.
Arranging your surrender will probably be the best option because it puts you and your lawyer in the driver's seat. While each case is different, we usually suggest this route for our clients because, more often than not, we are able to convince the court to waive the mandatory 12-hour hold and/or reduce the bond amount for our clients in conjunction with a surrender. Contact or call 615-873-5670 to find out what the best option is for your specific set of circumstances.
Do I Need A Criminal Attorney For A Domestic Violence Charge?How do I choose the right lawyer for a domestic assault charge? Without a doubt. In fact, you need a really good one. Consequences for. ... read more >
Without a doubt. In fact, you need a really good one. Consequences for a domestic violence related conviction are severe. Any resolution that does not remove the charge from your record will almost certainly cause irreversible economic and social problems for most people. However, with a great domestic violence lawyer, the charge does not have to affect the rest of your life.
The reality is that there is an excellent chance your life can continue as if this never happened. This is not a guarantee of anything, as each case is different. Call or contact us to evaluate your specific case to find out where you stand.
TN Order Of Protection Violation: What Are The Consequences?What happens if you violate an Order of Protection in Tennessee? It is a criminal offense for a Respondent to violate an Order of Protection.. ... read more >
It is a criminal offense for a Respondent to violate an Order of Protection. The first and immediate consequence for a Respondent who violates an Order of Protection or is alleged to have violated the order is to be arrested. To be clear, the Respondent will be arrested if the Petitioner alleges that they have violated the order. No investigation or documentary proof is required. A comprehensive list of consequences for Respondents and next steps can be found here, or see what happens if the Petitioner contacts the Respondent.
What Happens If The Petitioner Violates Their Own Order Of Protection?What happens if the victim violates the Order of Protection in Tennessee? In Tennessee, if the Petitioner (victim) is granted the Order of Protection, she. ... read more >
In Tennessee, if the Petitioner (victim) is granted the Order of Protection, she or he is technically not under the order. She or he can contact you anytime and cannot be penalized for violating the Order of Protection because they are not subject to it. Okay, but can you respond if the victim contacts you first?
Someone Has An Order Of Protection Against You And Contacts You. Can You Respond?In TN, if someone has an Order of Protection against you and they contact you, can you respond? Even if the victim contacts you first,. ... read more >
Even if the victim contacts you first, any response by you is a violation of the Order of Protection. If and when the Petitioner reports your response, you will be subject to immediate arrest and the full consequences for violating an Order of Protection. Unless you also have an Order of Protection against them, a victim with an Order of Protection against you can contact you. However, this type of behavior can be grounds for you to seek a modification or dissolution of the Order of Protection.
The circumstances under which a judge will modify or dissolve an Order of Protection vary widely. If you are in a situation like this, contact us or call 615-873-5670 to discuss what can be done.
How Long Does An Order Of Protection Last In Tennessee?How long Tennessee order of protection last? Tennessee law allows an Order of Protection to be in effect for up to one year, but it. ... read more >
Tennessee law allows an Order of Protection to be in effect for up to one year, but it can be extended if the order is violated. However, some judges can and sometimes do grant Orders of Protection for shorter periods depending on the case. For instance, the Court may find that a three or six-month Order of Protection is sufficient to address the harm being caused. Most judges do give the full one-year order when granting an Order of Protection. Protection orders can be extended for up to five years if a respondent violates the Order or 10 years if they violate the order a second time. The consequences for violating an order of protection are severe. An Ex Parte Order of Protection does not last nearly as long.
Ex-Parte Orders of Protection are only granted for up to 14 days in Tennessee, at which point an Order of Protection hearing must be held to allow both parties to be heard.
How To Know If There Is An Arrest Warrant For Me In Davidson County?Is there a way to find out if there is an arrest warrant? If you’re worried you may have been accused of a crime in. ... read more >
If you’re worried you may have been accused of a crime in Metro Nashville-Davidson County, you may already have a warrant issued for your arrest. Nashville Metro’s Criminal Warrants Division will not provide warrant information via phone or online so the only way for you to find out if there's an outstanding warrant for your arrest is by going in-person to the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Criminal Warrants Division and ask. You want to find out as soon as possible so that you are not arrested at your work, home, or other embarrassing or compromising location. Without a criminal lawyer, surrender can be risky.
Obviously, the risk of appearing in-person without a lawyer to inquire about your arrest warrant is that you'll be arrested right then and there with no representation or guidance if one has actually been issued for you. If that sounds too risky for you, the better option is to consult with a Nashville criminal lawyer. This option removes the risk of appearing without an attorney. We often appear with our client for a voluntary “surrender.”
Arranging a "surrender" gives you more control over your situation. In addition to removing the risk of a surprise arrest, this option can help reduce the amount of time you are held in jail/custody (especially if there is a 12-hour hold for a domestic violence charge) and may also help lower or even eliminate your bond amount. Additionally, our attorneys will coordinate connection between our client and a bondsman prior to surrender so that any necessary details can be worked out in advance. Most people find this option to be much less stressful and cost-effective, but you may not even have a warrant out for your arrest. If you want to find out, give us a call.
What If You Don’t Show Up To Court For An Order Of Protection Hearing?What happens when you don't show up to court for an Order of Protection hearing? If the party seeking the Order of Protection (the Petitioner). ... read more >
If the party seeking the Order of Protection (the Petitioner) fails to show up for the Order of Protection hearing, the Order of Protection will be dismissed. If the Respondent fails to show up, but the Petitioner is there, the Order of Protection typically will be granted.
Criminal Attorney vs Domestic Violence Attorney?What's the difference between a criminal lawyer and a domestic lawyer? Generally speaking, there is no difference between the two terms. The use of “domestic. ... read more >
Generally speaking, there is no difference between the two terms. The use of “domestic violence lawyer” is mostly used as a term of art to discuss a criminal attorney defending charges related to domestic violence. When the term is used by criminal attorneys, it may indicate that they specialize in resolving domestic violence charges. The general term, however, is criminal attorney or criminal defense attorney. Attorney is also interchangeable with lawyer. – “The more you know.”
Is The Victim Able To Drop Domestic Violence Charges In TN?Can a victim drop a domestic violence charge? The short answer is no; however, having the alleged victim on your side can be very helpful. ... read more >
The short answer is no; however, having the alleged victim on your side can be very helpful in getting a domestic assault charge dropped. The reason the alleged victim cannot drop the charge is that it is the state of Tennessee that is actually bringing the charges against you. The prosecutor for the State will more than likely move forward with or without the victim's consent. Whenever a victim wants to drop the charges, the prosecutor’s office often cites cycles of abuse and domestic violence statistics to justify their reasoning for going forward with the prosecution. There is also pressure for them to continue prosecuting.
Why the pressure?
Many prosecutors and judges alike have lost their jobs after dismissing domestic charges against a person that later caused serious injury or even murdered the victim from the original domestic violence charge. Additionally, prosecutors see themselves as protecting alleged victims they see as unable to protect themselves.
All hope is not lost.
It is undoubtedly a factor in your favor when the victim does want to drop the charges. The difficulty is deciding exactly how to take advantage of this factor. While the defendant should never talk to the victim, the same rules do not apply to their domestic violence lawyer.
The quicker you get someone fighting for your side, the better your chances of getting out of it are. So start taking control of your fate and call to talk to your domestic violence lawyer today.
What’s The Biggest Mistake We See With Domestic Violence Allegations?What's the biggest mistake we see with domestic violence allegations? The biggest mistake we see people make is communicating with the alleged “victim.” It is. ... read more >
The biggest mistake we see people make is communicating with the alleged “victim.” It is highly encouraged to get a domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. Regardless of what situation you are in, at least consult with a domestic lawyer before doing anything else.
What Is The Punishment For 1st Offense Misdemeanor Domestic Violence In TN?What is the punishment for the first misdemeanor domestic assault charge in Tennessee? A Class A Misdemeanor domestic assault conviction in Tennessee is punishable by. ... read more >
A Class A Misdemeanor domestic assault conviction in Tennessee is punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail in addition to fines; however, very few people receive the maximum jail sentence. In almost all cases, an anger management class will be required. The real consequences come after you've served your time, paid your fines, and taken your class. One of those is the mandatory loss of your right to possess a firearm for the rest of your life. Read the full list of those consequences here: collateral consequences of having a domestic violence conviction on your record.
What Are Constructive Possession Charges in TN?What if no one claims the drugs or other illegal items? In Tennessee, when no one claims the drugs or paraphernalia, the police can charge. ... read more >
In Tennessee, when no one claims the drugs or paraphernalia, the police can charge more than one person or even all persons present. This is known as constructive possession and it happens all the time in and around the Nashville Metro area. Under Tennessee law, the courts may also convict everyone who is charged with constructive possession for possession of the same items. Options for defending these constructive possession charges vary dramatically depending on the individual situation and circumstances involved.