Tennessee State Representative Curry Todd made his first appearance in a Nashville court room yesterday. Nothing happened and the case was reset.  Representative Todd was charged with driving under the influence , possession of a handgun under the influence of alcohol , and a violation of the implied consent law.

The reason I am commenting on his court appearance is to explain what happens at the initial appearance on a criminal charge in Nashville. After someone is released on a bail bond or pre-trial release , a court date is set on a docket. Most court dates are set at 1:00 P.M. The purpose of this docket is to determine if some criminal cases can be settled with the issuing of any subpoenas. Your attorney and the assistant district attorney meet to discus the case. If the case can’t be settled the case is reset to a trial docket . At the trial docket , the witnesses will be subpoenaed . Plea bargain discussions will continue in efforts to try to come to some agreement on the case. If the case can’t be settled , a trial or preliminary hearing will be held in most cases .

The bottom line is the initial court appearance in Nashville is not that big a deal. You should have a lawyer by that time . Usually , the good attorneys try to speak with the assistant district attorney beforehand to discuss the case. Sometimes , the attorney will continue the case beforehand . However , one judge does require you to be present at the afternoon docket. One key thing to remember . Don’t get disappointed if nothing happens that day. Sometimes the assistant district attorney may not have all the information they need in the case to make a decision.

My question is how did Mr. Todd vote on the harsher implied consent charge ? It appears he exercised his right not to take the breath or blood alcohol test.