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Chattanooga Criminal Defense and Family Law Blog

What is a protective order?

In other jurisdictions around the country they may be called restraining orders or orders of protection, but in Tennessee orders issued by courts in domestic violence cases are generally called protective orders. These orders often impose significant burdens on the individuals who are accused of committing domestic violence against the alleged victims and this post will discuss just how invasive these orders can be.

Foremost, a protective order may force an alleged aggressor out of their home. They limit the contact that accusers and alleged aggressors may have with each other and as such a person may be required to vacate their family home due to the terms of an order of protection.

Drugged driving charges could affect you or your child

You have likely learned throughout your life, and tried to warn your kids as well, about the dangers of drinking and driving. However, alcohol is not the only substance that can inhibit a person's abilities, and drugged driving also presents a substantial problem that puts anyone on the road at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries.

Whether through alcohol or drugs, impaired driving is an illegal act. Therefore, if you or a loved one -- even your child -- faces accusations of driving while under the influence of drugs, serious criminal charges could result.

Getting help with a Fourth of July DUI charge

Every year many Tennessee residents take to the roads to visit with family and friends over the Fourth of July holiday. The Fourth of July is an important day to celebrate the independence of the nation but also to embrace the special opportunities that the summer months offer. With pleasant weather and great company, individuals may spend their day outdoors, enjoying cook-outs and indulging in alcoholic beverages.

Law enforcement officers know that the Fourth of July is a time when individuals relax and partake in the legal consumption of alcohol. While drinking a beer in the home of a friend is not illegal, law enforcement officials look for individuals who leave their Fourth of July celebrations after consuming enough alcohol to make them intoxicated. A driver who is stopped for alleged drunk driving may wind up with a DUI charge if they are suspected of having consumed alcohol at a Fourth of July bash.

Should I fight for legal custody of my child?

One of the greatest sacrifices that a Tennessee parent may have to make when they choose to divorce their spouse is their loss of custodial time with their child. Even when a parent is able to maintain shared physical custody of their child with their ex, they still must cope with the fact that they will not have direct access to their child when their child is with their other parent. There is a way, though, that a parent can stay involved in their child's life even when the child is out of their home, and that is through the right of a parent to legal custody.

Unlike physical custody, which has to do with where a child will live, legal custody has to do with who may make important decisions about matters related to the child's health and upbringing. A parent with legal custody of their child may intervene if they feel that their child's educational needs are being neglected and such a parent may also have their voice heard when important medical considerations are under review for the benefit of the child.

Tennessee's zero tolerance law

Drunk driving in the state of Tennessee is defined by driving while under the influence of alcohol. If a person's blood alcohol concentration is at or above 0.08 percent, then they are considered intoxicated and in violation of the law. However, for individuals under the age of 21, the standard is much higher since it is illegal for those below the 21 year age threshold to consume alcohol.

Individuals who are allowed to drive but not legally allowed to drink are held to a zero tolerance policy. This policy is codified in Tennessee law and generally states that if a person under the age of 21 is found to be driving with alcohol in their system they are in violation of the law. A person need only have 0.02 percent alcohol in their blood alcohol concentration to be in violation of the zero tolerance policy.

Child support payments are based on specific Tennessee guidelines

During a divorce, you and your future ex-spouse may be at odds about how to handle a range of divorce matters, including alimony and the splitting of marital property. However, some of the most contentious issues may be those involving the children -- such as child support.

Parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, which is why child support exists. Here is a look at what you need to know about these payments in Tennessee.

What is an uncontested divorce?

Many marriages in Tennessee end when the partners to the unions are unable to work through their differences or when they experience significant hardships. State law recognizes a number of fault-based grounds on which divorces may be started, including but not limited to adultery, cruelty and prior unresolved marriage. However, some couples may be eligible to use the state's no-fault grounds for divorce to achieve a faster resolution to their sought-after marital dissolution.

If the partners to a couple agree that a divorce is what they both want and they are able to meet a list of conditions, they may pursue a no-fault divorced that is uncontested. In Tennessee, uncontested divorces are also called agreed divorces. The remainder of this post will discuss how one may pursue this unique way to end a marriage.

Tennessee drug bust leads to five arrests

Many arrests based on drug possession occur during traffic stops or alleged criminal matters that actually have nothing to do with illegal substances. Some, though, are the work of lengthy investigations undertaken by multiple law enforcement branches and are executed after significant police work. Recently, Tennessee law enforcement officers arrested five people that they believe are involved in drug trafficking and allegedly seized large quantities of marijuana, ecstasy and LSD.

The five people all lived in the Nashville area and are believed to be involved in a large scale drug operation. In addition to illegal drugs, law enforcement officials also seized firearms, vehicles and a large sum of money. One of the men who was arrested in the bust also allegedly had outstanding arrest warrants issued against him from out of state.

What are the penalties for cocaine possession in Tennessee?

A number of illegal substances are addressed in the drug laws of the state of Tennessee, and each substance carries with certain punishments and sentences for convictions on different charges. Alleged criminal acts involving cocaine are met with serious legal sanctions that can deprive individuals of their futures and impose heavy burdens upon them and their families. This post will address some of the ways that individuals may be penalized for allegedly possessing or selling cocaine in the state.

Only a small quantity of cocaine is necessary for a person to be considered in possession of it. Merely possessing half a gram of the substance may yield a felony possession charge. The level of felony that a person may face for cocaine possession can change based on the circumstances present at the time of their arrest. For example, if a minor is given cocaine by an adult who is two or more years older than the minor, the adult may face a felony possession charge. A person's possession charge may also rise to the level of a felony if they had previously been convicted on drug charges.

Grandparent visitation awarded only in specific circumstances

Grandparents often share special relationships with their grandkids that transcend the bonds they have with even their own children. In Tennessee, grandparents often step up to help out the grandchildren that they love by providing child care, financial support and more to them when their parents cannot meet their needs. Grandparents can seek court-ordered visitation time with their grandchildren as well, but the circumstances under which a court may approve such a request are limited to specific occurrences.

For example, a grandparent may be awarded visitation time if one of the child's parents has died. Also, if a child lives only with one parent because their other parent has passed away, the parents of the deceased parent may have a claim for visitation time with the child to preserve their relationship with them. A parent who has been missing for at least six months may also serve as the basis for a grandparent visitation request if the grandparents are the parents of the missing parent.

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Law Office of Sam Byrd
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Chattanooga, TN 37415

Phone: 423-954-7949
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NCDD National College for DUI Defense: Samuel A Byrd