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Franklin Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Don't let mischief become a felony this Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, which means children and adults across Tennessee are getting their costumes ready and finalizing their plans for the holiday.

If you are the parent of a teenager, another critical step in preparing for Halloween should be to discuss with your child the very real consequences that can arise if he or she engages in unlawful conduct on Halloween, including property crimes. 

Social host liability and underage drinking

Most people who drink alcohol have been to a party or other social gathering where one or more people drank a little too much and drove home. Many may have even been the person who drank too much at the party and drove home, although hopefully they made it to their destination without incident. Unfortunately, when a person who drinks and drives at a social gathering does experience an accident, the host of the party may face some liability for the results of that accident.

Tennessee, like many other states, observes social host liability, especially when it comes to serving alcohol to minors. If a minor drinks at a social gathering and then gets into an accident, authorities pay special attention to where the minor obtained the alcohol and whether the person who supplied the alcohol had any knowledge of the minor drinking.

Why alcohol affects some people more than others

Imagine you meet up with some friends for a drink at the bar. You end up staying for a while and you each have the same number of drinks over a couple hours.

Now imagine you all get in your cars to drive home and each of you is stopped by police for suspected drunk driving. Some of you are arrested for DUI, others are cleared and sent home because they did not show signs of intoxication or have a high enough blood alcohol level to warrant an arrest. How can this be? 

The many consequences teens can face for misdemeanors

Stop and think about what you were like in middle school or high school. Think about all the mistakes you made and silly things you might have thought were the most important things in the world. You could be quite happy to have put that time behind you and relieved that any decisions you made back then stayed in the past.

However, this isn't how it is for everyone. Teenagers charged with crimes like underage drinking or minor drug offenses can experience serious penalties that follow them for years. Below, we examine some of the consequences teens might suffer for a criminal conviction. 

Challenging wrongful allegations of domestic assault

Being accused of domestic assault or violence can be devastating. In the course of one allegation, your career, reputation and family could be in jeopardy, so it is crucial to defend yourself when the allegations are false.

Often, defense against these charges will involve scrutinizing the statements from the alleged victim. This can be difficult and uncomfortable, but challenging tenuous or fabricated claims can be the difference between conviction and dismissed charges.

Popular college application no longer asks about criminal history

Imagine a teenager is convicted of a drug crime in Tennessee. It's his first offense, and the teen completes all the terms of the sentence. He hopes to focus on the future, which had always included going to college.

However, those plans might not become reality because of a checkbox asking about a criminal record on the college application.

Can overserving be a legitimate defense to a DUI?

When frequenting a bar or restaurant in the state of Tennessee, you have the right to be served the amount of alcohol that you specifically request. Since alcohol is a depressant, those ordering alcohol need to be aware of how much they are consuming. This is so that they can make sensible decisions and keep themselves safe.

However, overserving is a phenomenon that is more common than one might think. Many bars overserve alcohol in an attempt to intoxicate the customer in the hope that they will then buy more. This is irresponsible and unlawful behavior.

Even traffic stops warrant legal scrutiny

Many people have been in the unfortunate situation of being pulled over by police for a traffic violation. Often, people pay the fine and move on.

However, if that traffic stop turns into serious criminal charges, close inspection of the stop can be critical to determine if it was lawful in the first place. In some cases, the courts may dismiss criminal charges if the stop was improper. That was the case in another state recently.

5 factors that can lead to additional property crime charges

Taking something without permission is a very general way to describe numerous types of criminal offenses, from embezzlement to burglary. As such, people don't always appreciate the fact that there are many distinct theft-related offenses for which a person may be arrested. 

There are also several different elements of a specific case that could lead to additional counts or escalated criminal charges.

4 consequences of domestic assault allegations

When partners and family members fight, there is the potential for an argument to spiral out of control. Add in factors like alcohol or drugs, and the situation can become even more volatile. Under these circumstances, altercations can come to an abrupt end when police show up and make an arrest.

If this has happened to you and you wound up in handcuffs and arrested, it is crucial that you take your situation seriously and seek legal counsel. Even if you think you didn't do anything wrong, domestic violence allegations can still cause damage. 

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