As I was walking to the criminal courthouse in Gallatin , Tennessee for a motion hearing , I noticed a new sign for a lawyer on the corner . The sign advertised General Sessions Lawyer . What is a General Sessions lawyer ? Under Tennessee rules of specialization , Tennessee does not recognize such certification. Then , I understood .
See , the sign is hoping to attract those accused of a crime or DUI in Sumner County , Tennessee. A poor soul might walk into his office going to the General Sessions Court . To understand what a General Sessions lawyer is one must understand Tennessee’s court system .
Criminal offenses in Tennessee are heard in three trial courts . They are Juvenile court , General Sessions court , and Criminal or Circuit court . A General Sessions Court has jurisdiction of misdemeanors and can only hear preliminary hearings on felony cases . You are not entitled to a trial by jury in General Sessions.
Most criminal cases start in General Sessions Court in Tennessee . Some lawyers don’t want to venture out of General sessions Court . . Should you hire a General Sessions lawyer ? Probably not
Here’s why :
- Are they a Dump Truck Lawyer ? By that , I mean a lawyer that is just going to settle your case with whatever the Assistant District Attorney is offering . Tomorrow , I will post on what is a dump truck lawyer .
- You might not get the best plea bargain offer because the D.A. knows they won’t take one to trial.
- Do they give a damn about you or your case or do they just want a quick attorney’s fee ?
- Do they try cases or just go to the back room and then tell you I can’t help you after their promises ?
- Do they know the basic defenses of a criminal case ?
- Have they ever had pretrial hearing ?
- Have they taken any specialized continuing legal education classes on DUI or criminal law ?
- Are they a member of any criminal defense lawyers groups ? If they won’t pay $175.00 for dues to stay up to date on the law do they deserve your hard earned money to defend you from going to jail ?
You owe it to yourself to educate yourself on getting the best criminal defense lawyer in Sumner County , Tennessee for your case .
Hiring a General Sessions lawyer is like hiring a doctor who is only going to take your temperature and give you an aspirin . They don’t have the cure or will they even try .