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Chattanooga Criminal Defense and Family Law Blog

The best interests' standard for child custody determinations

When a court is required to make a determination on where a child will live, they must weigh many factors. The court may consider the abilities of the parents to provide the support the child needs, and the limitations the parents may have that will prevent them from being fully available as the child's custodian. The many elements that the court evaluates during the child custody hearing must ultimately support a determination that favors the best interests of the child.

The best interests of a child are those interests that provide the child with security, support, love, and happiness as they grow into a young adult. In some situations, a court may consult with the child in question to get their opinion on what living situation may best serve their needs and meet their interests. The age of the child as well as other factors can influence whether the court will consider the child's preference.

Theft crimes may have long-lasting repercussions

Theft is a significant criminal charge. The crime of theft involves the taking of another person's property with the intent of depriving them of it forever. Almost anything can be stolen, and the value of the property that is taken may influence how serious the penalties are for the person accused.

The theft of small items that are not worth much may result in only misdemeanor charges. Items of low value may not meet the requisite financial threshold to qualify as felonies and, therefore, petit theft charges may be issued when they are taken. When high value items like vehicles are taken, grand theft charges may be issued with longer possible prison sentences and greater financial penalties.

Taking steps to get ready for your upcoming divorce

Maybe you've made the choice to divorce, or perhaps you are contemplating moving forward with that option in the near future. Once you know this is probably the course of action for you, there are steps you can take to effectively prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Taking the time to get ready for divorce can ultimately save you time and money.

Entering the divorce process unprepared can result in a final order that does not make sense, is not fair or is not sustainable for your future. Preparation can also significantly reduce your stress during what is sure to be a stressful time. Thankfully, even a few small and basic steps can smooth your path and make it easier to fight for a strong post-divorce future.

Understanding the criminal charge of drug possession

Tennessee residents facing drug crimes should seek the help of criminal defense attorneys to support them as they analyze and defend their cases. Legal professionals who work in criminal defense can provide their clients with case-specific help to see them through their trials and prepare defenses that may help them protect their rights. This post provides general information on the topic of drug possession and is not legal advice.

Drug possession is a multi-component criminal charge. It has both an intellectual requirement and a physical requirement. First, in order for a person to possess illegal drugs, they must intend to do so. That means that the accidental possession or holding of illegal drugs, without the individual's knowledge of the illegality of it, may not satisfy this part of the charge.

Co-parenting challenges affect popular reality tv couple

Co-parenting in the wake of a separation or divorce can be incredibly challenging for Tennessee parents. However, when individuals are able to put the needs of their children first, they can often find common ground with their exes to provide their kids with the love and support they need. Not all former couples find this easy, however, and a former couple from a popular reality television program is currently struggling to find balance in their own co-parenting lives.

Kathryn Dennis and Thomas Ravenel of the television program, Southern Charm, share two minor children. Since their separation, they have each struggled with their own problems; Dennis spent time in a rehabilitation facility for substance abuse and Ravenel was charged with assaulting the former couple's nanny.

Defining assault during a domestic violence claim

As previously discussed on this blog, domestic violence accusations can stem from different types of harm that occur between individuals in different domestic relationships. Commonly, individuals involved in domestic violence situations live in the same household or are involved in a romantic relationship. The forms of harm that can occur between them may involve sexual, emotional, or physical abuse.

In some cases, a claim of domestic violence may involve another type of crime, particularly when physical violence allegedly occurred between the parties. An assault may occur when a domestic violence incident happens, and the remainder of this post will discuss just what elements must be proven for a person to be convicted of an assault.

What is a drug diversion program?

Criminal charges are serious, and when Tennessee residents are convicted, they may have to live with their alleged crimes for the rest of their lives. When it comes to finding a job, securing a loan, or even maintaining relationships, individuals can struggle when they must carry the weight of their prior criminal conduct. For some, diversions may be possible to lift such burdens and clear up their futures.

Diversions are essentially holds on criminal charges. When a person seeks a diversion to their charges and it is approved, they may be asked to plead guilty and submit to conditions placed on them by a judge. After they have met all the conditions imposed on them and the period of the diversion has passed, the individual may petition to have their charges expunged.

Periodic custody evaluations can be beneficial

Getting to the end of a divorce with a workable child custody order or agreement in place can be a great relief to a Tennessee parent. Often, individuals worry about how divorce and separation will impact their kids and finding common ground on matters related to where children will live and how they will be raised can alleviate stress and worry. Unfortunately, however, not all families are able to maintain their custody and parenting schedules. Disruptions and changes in parents and kids' lives can require them to modify their operating orders and agreements.

For example, in only a few weeks, children throughout the state will be returning to school. For those going back to institutions that they have previously attended, their schedules may not drastically change. However, kids who are moving up to new schools or whose school days will be longer may find that their parents are not available to pick them up, drop them off, or undertake other important parenting roles.

Are you struggling to cope with your divorce?

When an event seemingly turns your life upside down, you may easily feel overwhelmed. It may reach a point where making even a simple decision could cause you a great deal of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, going through a divorce can cause these feelings for many Tennessee residents.

When feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you may find yourself simply wishing that the divorce process was over so you could move on. However, it is important that you do not make hasty decisions during your case so that you do not end up in a difficult predicament in the future. Of course, in order to have the mindset to make sound decisions, you need to take care of yourself.

Different types of evidence can be used in drunk driving cases

A drunk driving charge may change the course of a Tennessee resident's life and cause a person to experience significant hardship if an arrest turns into a conviction. Our readers know that they have the right to defend themselves when they are facing serious criminal charges like drunk driving. Analyzing the evidence in this case can be an important part of defense strategy planning, as defendants consider the forms of evidence they may face from the prosecutors.

Evidence of intoxication or drunk driving may come in the form of testimony. Oftentimes, a prosecutor will call the law enforcement official who arrested the allegedly drunk driver as a witness. Officers may then speak on what they observed, what they smelled, what they heard and what they did to determine if the driver showed signs of impairment.

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NCDD National College for DUI Defense: Samuel A Byrd