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Franklin Criminal Defense Legal Blog

When does shopping become a criminal offense?

Inevitably, you will shop for something at some point. Whether you need groceries, school supplies for your children or found a pair of shoes you want, commerce is an integral part of life.

No matter your income level, you probably come across things you want, like or wish you could afford on a regular basis. The temptation to sneak something out of a store may be real. However, so are the penalties.

Using your phone could result in a criminal record

When you think of criminal offenses, crime shows or heinous acts you saw reported on the news might come to mind. You may even think of those involved as “criminals,” rather than people who are facing allegations.

However, with the new laws that took effect in Tennessee, criminal charges might entail much more than you think. In some cases, you could face a misdemeanor for using your phone.

Private schools: Can trouble with the law result in expulsion?

If your child has done something wrong, you're likely dealing with the fallout. You may have court dates, need to speak with law enforcement, have attorney visits and more to do. On top of that, your child's private school might get involved.

Most people who enroll their children in private school do so through a contract. They contract the school to teach their children in exchange for following the school's rules of conduct, paying dues on time and upholding the school's standards.

Damaging another person’s property may have serious consequences

When you are involved in an emotionally-heated situation with someone close to you, your anger could cause you to act irrationally. And in some cases, if you and an ex are upset with each other, any variety of allegations could result.

According to recent news reports, a contestant from the Miss Hooters Tennessee pageant faces charges of vandalism and aggravated burglary for allegedly destroying her ex-boyfriend’s house after he broke up with her. However, while you might be familiar with the allegations she faces, you may wonder whether you fully understand the state’s vandalism laws.

How drunk is Independence Day?

It is common for people to consume alcohol on holidays; even if you do not drink, you could experience the after-effects of those who do.

Although people tend to drink more on holidays than on average days, alcohol consumption tends to vary by holiday. Keeping that in mind, there are some things you should be aware of before getting on the road after fireworks this year.

Does a misdemeanor charge offset equality?

Compared to a felony charge, allegations of a misdemeanor offense are less serious and do not hold as extreme penalties. However, depending on your financial situation, facing a misdemeanor can be devasting.

Every year throughout the United States, there are 13 million misdemeanors filed. But does the criminal justice system affect the poor disproportionately?

Tennessee LEOs plan June sobriety checkpoints

Before going to happy hour with your friends, you are likely aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. But no matter how careful you are, in some situations, it is possible that you could overestimate your ability to handle your alcohol.

Sometimes your driving may not give a law enforcement officer (LEO) any indication that they should pull you over because your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) might be over the legal limit. However, a LEO does not need “probable cause” to stop you at a sobriety checkpoint. And since LEOs often establish sobriety checkpoints throughout Tennessee, you might be interested in understanding why some people believe they are beneficial.

Do I have to put this on my college application?

You get arrested as a senior in high school. Your first concerns are fairly immediate: What will your parents say? What legal rights do you have? Are you going to have to spend time in jail or pay a fine?

As things move forward, though, you start thinking a bit farther out and asking big questions about your educational future. Namely, you want to know if you have to list your criminal history on your college application.

Will technology prohibit you from driving?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous since you put yourself and countless others at risk. And those who already faced the consequences of a drunk driving conviction probably understand the risks you take by getting behind the wheel after drinking again.

In Tennessee, an ignition interlock device will prohibit you from starting your vehicle if your breath alcohol content (BAC) registers .02 or more. Although some might view the device as punishment, the technology may soon become a standard part of vehicles.

Refusing a warrantless search request is hard, study says

What can you do if a police officer asks to search your vehicle or your home? Is it really a request that you can refuse, or is the officer just phrasing it politely? This isn’t always clear, and perhaps intentionally so. In some cases, police don’t want you to know that you can refuse a search that isn’t compelled by a warrant.

But even if you know that you have the legal right to refuse a police request to search your property, would you refuse such a request if asked? Many of us believe we would refuse on principle, but recent research suggests that saying no is harder than we might think.

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