Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense
At The Law Office of Jeffrey Jones, answering questions is a large part of what we do for potential and existing clients alike. If you have been charged with a crime in Tennessee, we welcome the opportunity to hear about your situation and advise you on the next steps. Below are some questions people often ask in initial consultations.
I am under investigation for alleged drug crimes, a sex crime or a white collar crime. When should I bring a defense attorney into the picture?
The answer is clear: as soon as possible. Aggressive, timely defense work can often stop criminal charges from taking place at all. An opportune time to seek this positive outcome is during an investigation. Your lawyer may be able to persuade law enforcement officers or investigators that alleged evidence against you is inappropriate or inconclusive.
Is it true that I will be considered “innocent until proven guilty” after an arrest?
This phrase describes a cherished notion in our legal system that is also called the presumption of innocence. Numerous court cases, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions, have upheld this principle of criminal law. However, you may get bad publicity, lose your job and suffer other social consequences after an arrest or during an investigation. Getting quality, timely legal counsel is the best way to protect your reputation.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor and how will this difference affect my case?
The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony may rest on factors such as:
- Whether a deadly weapon was involved
- Whether a minor was present
- Whether someone was hurt
- How much of something was involved (how much money was allegedly stolen, how much blood alcohol content show up in tests or how many milligrams of illegal drugs were in someone’s possession)
Penalties for felonies are harsher than those for misdemeanors. A felony record may mean that you cannot vote or legally possess firearms. After you have been charged with a crime, a skilled defense attorney will strive to get your charges reduced to misdemeanor levels or dismissed altogether.
Can expungement give me a clean start after I have been in trouble with the law?
Expungement, which can erase records of an arrest or criminal conviction. is a legal process for people with criminal records involving certain nonviolent offenses. It can be an important step toward reentry to the full privileges that society has to offer lawful citizens. If you carry the burden of an arrest or conviction record, you owe it to yourself to learn whether expungement is an option for you. Ask an attorney!