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Chattanooga Criminal Defense and Family Law Blog

How do possession and intent to distribute charges differ?

Drug charges are serious legal matters that can impose severe repercussions on the lives of those in Tennessee who are forced to face them. Two significant drug charges that readers may sometimes confuse are drug possession and intent to distribute drugs. This post will address each and discuss the elements that must be present for convictions.

A possession charge requires that a person have drugs on their person or in a place where they have control. Such places can include but are not limited to the storage compartments in their cars, their homes and other places that the charged parties can access. Generally, in order to be convicted of a possession charge a person must know or should know that the drugs were on them or under their control.

Finding the right defense strategy for your drunk driving charge

Charges of drunk driving are serious, even if it is your first DUI. Tennessee laws take a strong stand against intoxicated operation of a vehicle, and the repercussions are steep. If you are facing charges for drunk driving, it is in your interests to defend yourself no matter your criminal history.

The right defense strategy for your individual situation will depend on factors that are unique to your case. There is no one-size-fits-all way to fight drunk driving charges, and you would be wise to take immediate action to start working on a strategy that will give you the best chance of success. These are serious charges with serious consequences, and you will benefit from having a serious defense.

The best interests of a child in a grandparent visitation matter

When Tennessee parents go through a divorce, how custody matters will be arranged often depends on the best interests of the child who will be affected by the outcome. If a child's interests will be supported better in the home of one parent rather than the other, then it is likely that a court will place the child with the more appropriate parent. To this end, when making decisions that will impact children, courts try to look at their unique needs to decide how best to serve their interests.

The same principles generally hold when grandparents wish to secure visitation time with their grandkids. There are legitimate reasons that parents may wish to deny their parents the opportunity to spend time with their kids. For example, if abuse or cruelty is suspected a parent may do whatever they can to deny a grandparent access to a child. However, under certain conditions and if it would support a child's best interests, a grandparent may be able to petition a court for visitation time.

What factors may cause more serious penalties for theft charges?

Different types of allegedly criminal conduct are penalized in different ways by Tennessee courts. Many factors can influence whether a person will walk away with a fine or a jail sentence for a criminal conviction. This post will focus on one type of alleged crime -- theft -- and the different factors that can augment the penalties that will attach after a conviction.

A theft occurs when someone allegedly takes something that does not belong to them with the intention of depriving the owner of the item of its possession. The first factor therefore that can influence the type of penalty the person will face will be the value of the item that was allegedly taken. For example, a person who allegedly steals a car may face a stronger penalty that a person who allegedly steals a paperback book.

Diversion may be a legal option for those facing drug charges

Pleading guilty to a criminal charge may not ever seem like a good path for a person to take. A guilty plea means that a person is admitting that they committed the wrongdoing on which the crime they are charged with is based. However, it certain circumstances Tennessee residents may benefit from using a guilty plea as a means to enter a diversion program to eventually have their allegedly criminal conduct expunged.

A diversion may be sought from the courts. If a person is offered the option of a diversion, then they must agree to the terms and conditions that the court places on them and generally will have to plead guilty to the criminal charges against them. The diversion will last for a stipulated period of time. The length of time the diversion will last depends on the facts of the individual's case. Once the diversion is over and if the individual has satisfied the conditions of the court, then they may seek to have their diverted charges expunged from their criminal record.

Will you still need child support with joint custody?

As a parent, your concerns during divorce likely focus a great deal on your children and the decisions that will impact them most. The proceedings at the top of your priority list are likely related to child custody. You certainly do not want to disrupt your children's lives more than necessary, and custody will play a significant role in their future relationships with you and their other parent.

Because you and the other parent can still get along well and you understand the importance of those child-parent relationships, you may believe that joint physical custody will work best for your situation. However, you may also have to prove that to the court. If you and the other parent can work together to reach an agreement, the court may be more likely to honor it as long as no serious issues exist.

Can I stop my ex from moving with our child after we divorce?

Losing time with one's own child due to divorce or separation can be devastating for a parent in Tennessee who wants nothing more than to support their child and bestow as much love upon them as possible. However, as readers of this blog know, after the end of a relationship parents must work out arrangements that involve the custody of their children. In some cases parents will share physical and legal custody of their kids, but in other cases parents may find themselves without custodial rights. Whether a parent has physical custody of their child will have a big influence on how the matter of parental relocation will be resolved.

If two parents have shared physical custody of their child, then the parent who does not want to see their child move with the other parent may have a case for arguing against the relocation. Depending upon the distance of the move, the other parent may no longer have as much time with their child and may be unable to meet their custodial commitments. A parent with custody of their child can, though, expressly allow their ex to move with their child if they are willing to rearrange their parenting plan.

Help for when criminal and civil legal problems collide

Last week's post on this Tennessee criminal and family law legal blog discussed different forms of alleged conduct that may result in charges of domestic violence or domestic assault. Readers may be aware that these charges are criminal and can result in serious penalties like jail time. They may also have repercussions for individuals who have families and may impact their rights to see the people that they love.

Domestic violence can be alleged when prohibited conduct happens between people who share certain relationships. Parent-child relationships, spousal relationships and others can all form the basis of domestic violence claims. To this end, if a parent is alleged to have harmed their child in a purported domestic violence incident, then that parent may see their rights infringed upon when it comes to spending time with their child.

Different alleged conduct may constitute domestic violence

Domestic violence is a common theme of police dramas and other programs that sensationalize the discord that some families experience within the confines of their own homes. Interactions between Tennessee spouses, parents, children and other close relations can become heated and when they do allegations of domestic violence may arise. This post will touch on some of the ways that a person may allege domestic violence under the laws of the state.

Domestic violence, also called domestic assault, may be based on an alleged physical injury inflicted on one person by another. In order for an alleged injury to form the basis of a domestic violence claim, a familial relationship between the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim must exist. If it is not, then the alleged incident may form the basis of a general assault claim.

Why might a request for spousal support be denied?

When spouses in Tennessee divorce, they may choose to incorporate a spousal support agreement into their final divorce decree. They may come to terms on how much money one party should pay to the other and for how long those payments should continue. If the parties do not work out such matters on their own, one of the parties may ask their family law court to award them spousal support from their soon-to-be ex-partner.

Spousal support is generally awarded when one of the parties to a divorce will be financially disadvantaged by leaving their marriage. This may be because the requesting party gave up their paying job to become a stay-at-home parent or because the party that will pay spousal support earns significantly more money than the other. Before spousal support is awarded, though, a court will carefully analyze if such an action is warranted.

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Law Office of Sam Byrd
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Chattanooga, TN 37415

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