An arrest is traumatic. Even the mere accusation of criminal behavior can harm a reputation and cause strain on your life. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the criminal justice system and is sensitive to your needs is crucial.
The Brand Law Office has represented individuals accused of crimes all over Middle Tennessee, from speeding to First Degree Murder. Effective and diligent representation often begins before an arrest and continues long after the case has concluded. Trust and communication are at the center of the attorney-client relationship, and the Brand Law Office will be with you every step of the way.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
An allegation of driving under the influence – or “DUI” – is one of the most common charges. The penalties are serious and include mandatory jail time, loss of license, and a fine. Search warrants are often involved as well as scientific or technical evidence including breathalyzers, blood samples, and video of the investigation. Even though most DUIs are misdemeanors the cases can quickly become complex.
Law enforcement receive extensive training on DUIs. It is important to hire an attorney who understands the training, who understands the investigation process, and who understands the DUI evidence. An experienced DUI attorney can help you fight all aspects of the case and get the best result.
Domestic Assault and Orders of Protection
An argument that turns physical can have terrible consequences. If the parties involved are in physical or romantic relationship, or live (or have lived) together, the person who started the fight (determined to be the “primary aggressor”) may be arrested and charged with “domestic assault.” If you are charged with domestic assault it is important you have the assistance of an attorney. There are often restrictive bond conditions – including a 12 hours “cooling off” period and limitations on contacting the “victim”. If convicted of domestic assault you may be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under state and federal law. Future charges for domestic assault may carry mandatory jail time.
A person charged with domestic assault may also be subject to an Order of Protection (or “restraining order”). An Order of Protection is a civil proceeding requiring one person to stay away and not contact – by any manner, even through third parties – the person asking for the Order. A person may seek an Order of Protection if they are the victim of domestic assault, sexual assault, and/or stalking. An Order of Protection will often initially be granted without a hearing, although a hearing must be set within two weeks.
If someone has taken an Order of Protection out against you, it is imperative that you do not contact that person before the hearing – even if the Order of Protection is baseless. A violation of a valid Order of Protection will result in an immediate arrest and is a misdemeanor.
Violent Crime and Homicide
Murder, robberies, kidnappings, and felony assaults are among the most serious crimes prosecuted. Each requires careful investigation and defense, especially when there is a “true” victim testifying in court. These crimes are often subject to substantial prison sentences. Securing counsel experienced with these serious and complex matters as early as possible is essential.
Despite changing attitudes towards drugs across the country, drug prosecution still accounts for a substantial part of the criminal justice system. Even small quantities of drugs may create a stain on your record and impact housing and employment. Serious charges, like trafficking and conspiracy, may contemplate years in prison.
The laws on drugs are complex and frequently changing. New drugs are made illegal, other drugs are classified differently, mandatory minimum sentences and fines are modified on a regular basis. The difference between a drug charge in state and federal court, or a drug charge in two different counties, can be substantial. Hiring an attorney who understands the law and understands the courts is an important first step in defending a drug case.
Sex Crimes and Child Pornography
Like violent crimes, allegations of sex crimes and child pornography are extremely serious, often have potentially long prison sentences, and require careful and delicate attention. There are many collateral consequences from a sex crime or child pornography case, including the possibility of a Sex Offender Registration or Community Supervision for Life requirement. The stigma attached with these crimes is unparalleled. An experienced attorney can help navigate these difficult charges.
Sex Offender Registry
If you have been convicted of a sex crime, it is likely you are subject to the Sex Offender Registry. These onerous requirements will follow you for years. Even the most subtle misstep will result in a new charge – often a felony with jail time. Multiple infractions can compound and create serious problems. If faced with a Registry issue, contact an attorney to discuss your options.
Probation and Parole
Sentences often loom long after you are released from jail. A period of probation or parole may come with a laundry list of restrictive requirements. Even the smallest violation can create a new and complex case. Vigorously defending any alleged violation of probation or parole may be the only thing standing between you and prison.
With the exception of a simply guilty plea, you always have the ability to appeal any decision by a court. This is an essential part of the judicial process. An attorney who is knowledgeable about appeals is able to build a record from the beginning of the case so they are best situated to challenge any adverse ruling.
Post Conviction Relief
If you have been convicted you may still have options. Whether you are concerned about a deprivation of rights during your original case, have new evidence or information, or believe your sentence is illegal for another reason, there are several processes to pursue justice long after judgment is entered. Often it is important – or even essential – to follow every avenue of relief you have. The Brand Law Office has experience with a wide variety of post-conviction petitions, including challenges to DNA evidence witheld during the original prosecution.