Chattanooga Criminal Defense Lawyer

At the Law Office of Sam Byrd in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I employ an aggressive approach and a thorough knowledge of criminal law to protect your rights and help you make the best choice for your situation.

No matter what criminal charge you are facing, your best opportunity to secure a dismissal, fight a case and win at trial, or just get the best possible outcome in working out a deal, will most often result from being proactive in your defense. Call 423-954-7949 today to schedule a consultation.

The American Justice System is based on the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The expression was first used in the Bill of Rights to ensure all citizens receive a fair trial if they are ever charged with a crime. This principle requires the government to prove the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As the founders of the United States realized, the rights of the accused must be protected if we want to maintain a functioning democratic society and prevent the government from abusing its authority.

I provide legal counsel for a wide array of criminal cases including, but not limited to:

Criminal Cases Fall Into Two Categories:

  1. I can't believe what I've been accused of. I am being seriously railroaded by trumped-up circumstances and some extremely questionable evidence. I need to fight this case to clear my name, and let justice be served.

  2. I can't believe what I did. I made a very bad decision, and it cost me. I'll never do anything like this again. What can I do to make this go away as quickly as possible without damaging my future and my livelihood?

In either case, you can count on me to provide the professional representation you require.

Do I Fight The Charge Or Plead Guilty?

The two things you can do in a criminal case are work out a plea bargain or plea deal with the prosecutor, or take the case to a trial. It is not always a simple decision. I can help you work through the pros and cons of both options, as they apply to your specific case.

What Is A Plea Bargain?

Plea bargains or plea deals are agreements between defendants and prosecutors where defendants agree to plead guilty to some or all of the charges against them without going to trial in exchange for leniency from the prosecutors.

In plea bargains, prosecutors usually agree to reduce defendants' punishment. They often accomplish this by reducing the number or severity of the charges against defendants. They might also agree to recommend that defendants receive reduced charges and/or sentences. Some plea bargains require defendants to do more than simply plead guilty. For example, an experienced criminal defense attorney can often convince prosecutors to allow the defendant to pay fines, perform community service, or obtain drug and alcohol counseling instead of serving jail time.

The primary benefit of hiring a Chattanooga criminal defense attorney is that he or she can negotiate with a prosecutor to make sure that your actions fit the crime charged and that the punishment fits the crime. Sometimes the police overcharge the offense and pleading guilty to a trumped-up charge carries with it trumped-up punishment. Even if you did commit a crime, it may not be the crime with which you are charged. An experienced attorney will look at all the facts of your case to determine whether the actions you are accused of fit the crime charged.

Are You A First-Time Offender?

Being charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Tennessee can be intimidating and overwhelming. This is especially true for those who have never been in trouble with the law before or have no prior record. They have legitimate fears of serving jail time, losing their job or having difficulty finding employment in the future.

However, my mission is to help resolve your case so that you do not have to serve jail time and the charge never goes on your record. Learn more about judicial diversion for first offenders.

Defending Against DUI Charges In Hamilton County

Do not underestimate the impact that a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can have on your life. A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in the state of Tennessee is not something to take lightly. Even a first DUI offender can face serious penalties. If this is your second or third conviction, the consequences can ramp up that much more. For example, a second-offense DUI in Tennessee carries a mandatory minimum jail time of 45 days, extending up to 11 months, 29 days — the maximum sentence allowed for a misdemeanor.

The fines associated with a second offense can range between $600 and $3,500. Your license will automatically be revoked and installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) required. Additional penalties such as community service hours and vehicle impoundment may be enforced. Third and subsequent DUI convictions will result in even more drastic punishments. If you have been charged with a DUI in Tennessee, it is critical that you move quickly to obtain the defense you need.

That said, severe DUI penalties may be preventable. At the Law Office of Sam Byrd, I handle complex criminal law cases on a regular basis. I begin by listening carefully to your information on the case and by getting a sense of your goals for the outcome. I review the full police report to make sure your constitutional rights were not violated, and I investigate every aspect of your arrest to build a strong case.

Through negotiations with prosecutors, I work to bring many of my cases to an efficient and successful resolution without going to trial. I have established a strong reputation among municipal and state court judges and prosecutors as a no-nonsense lawyer who is amenable to fair plea agreements. However, I also have the litigation experience and knowledge necessary to take any case to court if necessary.

Answers For Clients In The Chattanooga Area And Beyond

Even after reading all the information on this website, you probably still have a lot of questions like:

  • Am I facing jail time, and if so, how much?
  • Can I change my court date?
  • How long is this process going to take?
  • Should I demand a trial or just get it behind me?
  • How much is this going to cost me?

The answers to these questions will be different for every person, every situation and every charge. But we will always work with you to help you determine what is ultimately in your best interest. That is the only thing that matters.

Take the next step. Call us.

Your next step is to meet with an attorney to learn what's at stake, learn how to protect yourself, and learn how to move forward to a place of safety. Call the Law Office of Sam Byrd at 423-954-7949 or use the contact form on this website to schedule an appointment.