Accused of a Misdemeanor in Tennessee?
Under Tennessee state law, there are a variety of possible penalties involved in being convicted of a misdemeanor offense. Many of these are far tighter than the punishments imposed by misdemeanor laws in other states. They may involve significant personal sacrifices, including both fines and jail time. No matter how minor the offense, no misdemeanor charge should ever go unchallenged. Before you consider pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in Tennessee, you should consider consulting with a criminal law attorney who understands how the peculiarities of state law apply. Call Colavecchio & Colavecchio Law Office at 615-242-3333 today, for a free consultation with an experienced trial lawyer.
Being put on trial is never a pleasant experience. By the time you appear before a jury, the prosecutor is convinced that they have found their guilty party. The assertion that you are innocent until proven guilty applies, except within the mind of a prosecuting attorney. It is their job to assert, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are what they already believe you to be. Having an expert criminal defense attorney in your corner will almost certainly make the difference between vindication, or doing time for a crime of which you are not guilty… while the actual criminal goes unpunished.
Classes of Misdemeanor Under Tennessee State Law
- Class A misdemeanors: If found guilty of a class A misdemeanor in Tennessee, you will almost certainly be sentenced to both a prison term and a fine. The prison term may be up to just shy of one year, and the fine can be as high as $2,500. Exactly how severe your penalty is will depend upon the judge presiding.
- Class B misdemeanors: For a class B misdemeanor, you face up to six months’ prison time. You will most likely also face a fine of up to $500. Again, these are at the purview of the presiding judge.
- Class C misdemeanors: Class C misdemeanors involve penalties of up to thirty days in prison, and will usually include a fine of up to $50 as well. Some judges apply the maximum penalty by default.
You need to understand that there are many factors playing into what class of misdemeanor a particular offense will be tried as. An existing criminal record will most certainly affect your charges, but other factors may include extenuating circumstances – such as the level of violence involved, or even threatened. This is highly subjective material, which is subject almost entirely to the perception of witnesses.
Types of Misdemeanor Under Tennessee State Law
- Simple Possession: Possession of illegal drugs and related paraphernalia, without any evidence of intent to distribute, is a misdemeanor under Tennessee law.
- Assault: Assault, without the involvement of a weapon, may be tried as a misdemeanor. This depends upon the perception of the severity of the situation, and the existence – or lack – of threats of further violence.
- Shoplifting/Theft: Acts of shoplifting and theft may be tried as misdemeanors if they involve the theft of property valued at less than $500. However, property value is vulnerable to being held to subjective standards.
- Vandalism: Vandalism is almost invariably tried as a misdemeanor crime in Tennessee, but what constitutes vandalism is subject to a great deal of interpretation. Spray painting a public utility box would certainly be tried as vandalism, but tacking a public notice to a telephone pole could likewise be regarded as such – as could, by special provision, throwing a small pebble at your own mailbox.
- Trespassing: Accusations of trespassing will usually be tried as a misdemeanor. An experienced trail attorney understands the various legal aspects involved in laws regarding trespassing; for example, you must have been told to leave the property, whether verbally or through visible signage.
Don’t Wait. Contact Colavecchio & Colavecchio Law Office Today!
If you stand accused of a misdemeanor crime in Tennessee, don’t delay in pursuing the assistance that you will need. The experienced and highly professional legal team at Colavecchio & Colavecchio Law Office knows what you’re going through, and understands how uncomfortable your situation is. They also know that the longer you wait, the more likely that you will be found guilty; any delay in putting together a defense is likely to be seen as a sign of guilt. With the right trial lawyer in your corner, someone who is experienced with the complications of misdemeanor law in Tennessee, you have a much higher chance of securing a swift and optimal outcome to your trial. Call now at 615-242-3333 for your free consultation.