If you have landed on this page, there is a likelihood that you have been charged with a criminal offense. This article is designed to discuss common criminal charge that Nashville area college students will face. First off, let us discuss the two types of ways you can be charged with a criminal offense under Tennessee law. Often times, the police will elect to issue a criminal citation in lieu of arrest instead of actually making a full custodial arrest. The citation process is quicker and allows the officer to return to the streets in order to perform his or her duties. It also allows the accused the opportunity to go home quickly. Most misdemeanor charges start out with a citation instead of an arrest. The only notable exception to the citation rule is charges stemming from driving while under the influence. Regardless of how charged, both methods result in criminal charges that must be defended in court. A criminal citation is not a traffic ticket so please take your charges seriously.
Hiring an attorney immediately before court will ensure that your case is given the appropriate amount of attention. This will ensure that your charges can be resolved in a favorable manner. Many times charges can be resolved with only one appearance by the defendant. Even though there is usually other court dates, most Nashville judges will allow the attorney to attend court for the defendant on any post plea matter such as status dates. This will result in the student being able to focus on their studies and move forward with their lives instead of having to attend several follow up dates. This is where an attorney can truly be of service.
Possession of illegal drugs is one of the most common charges that Nashville area college students face. In particular, marijuana is most often involved. Possession of marijuana over one half ounce will most likely be charged as a felony. Felony charges must result in an arrest. Tennessee law provides a presumption of intent to resell for any amount of marijuana over one half ounce. There is also a similar presumption for all other types of drugs. There does not have to be direct evidence of intent to resell or distribute. However, this presumption can be rebutted with contrary evidence that the marijuana or other drug was possessed for personal use. Unfortunately, this battle must be fought out in court. Save these arguments for court and don’t argue with the police. It is safe to just go with the flow and let the court deal with these matters.
Simple possession of marijuana or any other drug is a Class A Misdemeanor that carries a jail sentence up to 11 months and 29 days and a maximum fine of $2,500.00. Be careful, a third conviction for simple possession could result in a felony conviction under Tennessee law.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is usually associated with most drug charges. This is also a Class A Misdemeanor charge that carries the above penalties.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is also a common charge that college students face. It is important to remember that DUI charges can result from both alcohol and drug consumption. It does not matter if the drugs consumed are legal or illegal. DUI’s are extremely complicated cases and carry many mandatory penalties that include jail time, fines, loss of license, supervised probation, a permanent criminal conviction, and alcohol rehabilitation classes. For more DUI information, please click here.
Disorderly conduct and public intoxication charges are additional charges that Nashville college students face. These charges most often result when the accused fails to obey orders or questions the arresting officer’s authority. Remember to stay calm and be polite to law enforcement.
Theft of property or shoplifting charges are charges college students should not take lightly. Although these charges are only misdemeanor charges, they are both considered to be a crime of moral turpitude that could exclude you from future job prospects as well as federal financial aid. Please consult an experienced criminal defense attorney if facing these charges. A successful defense could result in the charges either being discussed or plead pursuant to a deferred adjudication program. It is important to keep these charges off of your permanent criminal record. Theft charges could ruin your life and all the hard work you have done while in college.
Unfortunately, all criminal charges require the accused to come to court and face their charges in open court. The primary goal in all criminal cases is to keep the accused’s record clean. This often requires the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Regardless of the facts of your case, please consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney prior to going to court. Don’t go to court alone and assume that the truth will win out. It seldom prevails.
If you are currently facing criminal charges in Nashville, TN or any surrounding county in Middle Tennessee, contact criminal defense attorney Lee Martin at 615-345-1988. He is a criminal defense attorney with nearly 20 years of experience and he knows how to get results in criminal cases. He will use his experiences in criminal defense and police investigations to your benefit. You have nothing to lose. If facing criminal charges, please make your choice wisely. It could make all of the difference in the world.
I help good people restore their lives
-Lee Martin is a nationally recognized DUI and criminal defense attorney. He provides premier legal services by limiting his caseload exclusively to DUI and criminal matters. Lee knows how to build a solid defense strategy for your upcoming court date. Let Lee Martin be your choose as your Nashville area criminal defense lawyer. If you have pending charges, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
National Trial Lawyers TOP 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense