A disbarred Gallatin , Tennessee criminal defense lawyer who was found guilty of smuggling drugs into the Sumner County jail has lost her appeal for judicial diversion in the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Jocelyn Mimms was convicted of conspiracy and attempt to introduce contraband into a penal facility. Ms.Mimms was sentenced to serve two years in jail. She appealed her denial of judicial diversion by the trial court .

Tennessee code Annotated 40-35-313 provides that a qualified defendant may be placed on judicial diversion. After the period of probation , The defendant can petition the court to have his or hr criminal record expunged. Judicial diversion is one of the great tools a Tennessee criminal defense attorney has at their disposal to avoid a permanent conviction on a client’s criminal record. The trial court based it’s decision on the facts  that Ms. Mimms had not accepted responsibility for her actions and that she abused her position of trust.  The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court and denied her application for judicial diverison.

There are three key points in the case  for criminal defense attorneys.

  1. Do not talk on the phone from jail or prison. Ms Mimms , A Vanderbilt Law School graduate , spoke on the jailhouse phone detailing the drug deals. Stupid. There is an an announcement that all calls are recorded. Jailhouse calls are routinely used in criminal trials that they were used here.
  2. A criminal defense lawyer should not date their client who is in Jail. The ethical rules forbid it and you could wind up in jail.
  3. Judicial diversion is a great tool to avoid a criminal conviction in Tennessee. It is one tool that a Tennessee criminal defense attorney should keep in his get out of jail file.