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Posts tagged "sentencing"

3 reasons why you need an attorney

If you are facing criminal charges for a DUI in Knoxville, the last thing you should do is represent yourself. You may feel tempted to forgo hiring an attorney so you can save money. But the costs relating to the consequences you face are often more expensive. Being charged with a DUI means you may have to pay fines and restitutions costs or even serve jail time. You may also lose your driving privileges and have to deal with the long-lasting consequences that often come from having a DUI arrests and conviction. You should take some time to learn how a criminal defense attorney can help your case.

Breach of Plea Agreement Results in New Sentencing Hearing

Most criminal cases are resolved by plea agreement rather than trial. Plea agreements are a critical part of the judicial process. Given the temporal and financial resources expended for a jury trial (including the time expended by court staff, judges, attorneys, jurors, and witnesses), it is not possible for all criminal charges to involve a trial. In most cases, prosecutors and defense counsel can evaluate the available evidence and arrive at a reasonable plea bargain which both satisfies the interests of the state and offers the defendant enough incentive to waive his or her trial rights. Defendants who enter a plea agreement must be able to rely on the promises made in exchange for the agreed plea.

Appellate Court Reverses Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a sentencing option available to a court in criminal cases in Tennessee for first time offenders and certain eligible offenses. It allows an eligible defendant to avoid a formal conviction if the defendant complies with certain terms and conditions and successfully completes a probationary period of time. The decision of whether to grant or deny judicial diversion is a decision to be made by the sentencing court. But the decision must be made within the confines of established law, and specific factors established by legal precedent. In the recent case of State . Gobble, E2014-01596-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-12-2015), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court denial of judicial diversion because the trial court based its decision on an irrelevant (and impermissible) consideration.

Devil Head Tattoo Leads to Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a procedure by which a first-time offender who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a diversion eligible offense may still avoid the criminal conviction after complying with certain conditions during a probationary period, after which the charge is effectively dismissed if the conditions are met. Whether to grant judicial diversion to a diversion eligible offender is within the discretion of the sentencing court. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Guilliams, E2013-0145-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-2-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of judicial diversion to an offender who may have offended the sentencing court with a tattoo the court believed to resemble "the head of the devil."

Devil Head Tattoo Leads to Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a procedure by which a first-time offender who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a diversion eligible offense may still avoid the criminal conviction after complying with certain conditions during a probationary period, after which the charge is effectively dismissed if the conditions are met. Whether to grant judicial diversion to a diversion eligible offender is within the discretion of the sentencing court. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Guilliams, E2013-0145-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-2-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of judicial diversion to an offender who may have offended the sentencing court with a tattoo the court believed to resemble "the head of the devil."

Devil Head Tattoo Leads to Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a procedure by which a first-time offender who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a diversion eligible offense may still avoid the criminal conviction after complying with certain conditions during a probationary period, after which the charge is effectively dismissed if the conditions are met. Whether to grant judicial diversion to a diversion eligible offender is within the discretion of the sentencing court. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Guilliams, E2013-0145-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-2-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of judicial diversion to an offender who may have offended the sentencing court with a tattoo the court believed to resemble "the head of the devil."

Denial of Judicial Diversion Reversed in Reckless Homicide Case

Judicial diversion is a process by which a defendant in a criminal case, who acknowledges guilt of an offense, may still avoid a criminal conviction under certain circumstances. The defendant generally must have no prior criminal convictions and complete a probationary period which may include other requirements imposed by the sentencing court. At the successful conclusion of the diversion terms and probationary period, and completion of payment of court costs and restitution if applicable, the charges can be dismissed by the sentencing court. Not all criminal offenses are eligible for this process. In determining whether to grant judicial diversion if it is requested, a sentencing court must determine eligibility and then must decide whether to grant it based on specific factors which must be weighed by the court in considering the request. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Turner, M2013-00827-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-29-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court decision denying judicial diversion in a reckless homicide case, and remanded the case for further consideration by the trial court.

Denial of Judicial Diversion Reversed in Reckless Homicide Case

Judicial diversion is a process by which a defendant in a criminal case, who acknowledges guilt of an offense, may still avoid a criminal conviction under certain circumstances. The defendant generally must have no prior criminal convictions and complete a probationary period which may include other requirements imposed by the sentencing court. At the successful conclusion of the diversion terms and probationary period, and completion of payment of court costs and restitution if applicable, the charges can be dismissed by the sentencing court. Not all criminal offenses are eligible for this process. In determining whether to grant judicial diversion if it is requested, a sentencing court must determine eligibility and then must decide whether to grant it based on specific factors which must be weighed by the court in considering the request. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Turner, M2013-00827-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-29-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court decision denying judicial diversion in a reckless homicide case, and remanded the case for further consideration by the trial court.

Denial of Judicial Diversion Reversed in Reckless Homicide Case

Judicial diversion is a process by which a defendant in a criminal case, who acknowledges guilt of an offense, may still avoid a criminal conviction under certain circumstances. The defendant generally must have no prior criminal convictions and complete a probationary period which may include other requirements imposed by the sentencing court. At the successful conclusion of the diversion terms and probationary period, and completion of payment of court costs and restitution if applicable, the charges can be dismissed by the sentencing court. Not all criminal offenses are eligible for this process. In determining whether to grant judicial diversion if it is requested, a sentencing court must determine eligibility and then must decide whether to grant it based on specific factors which must be weighed by the court in considering the request. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Turner, M2013-00827-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-29-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court decision denying judicial diversion in a reckless homicide case, and remanded the case for further consideration by the trial court.

Denial of Probation Reversed on Appeal

The decision of whether to grant probation in a criminal case in Tennessee where the defendant is eligible for it is discretionary with the trial court. In the recent case of State v. Sihapanya, W2012-00716-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 11-8-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals in a split decision reversed the trial court's decision to deny probation to a defendant who pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving a death.

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