The District Attorney’s Office here in Nashville is using a new tool at their disposal. On some simple crimes , a defendant is offered a suspended sentence. A suspended sentence is suspended  for a period of time . Recently , the assistant district attorneys have been more aggressive in filing motions to revoke a suspended sentence based on new criminal charges.

T.C.A. 40-35-311 provides the procedure to revoke one’s suspended sentence. The procedure provides that the trial judge or General sessions judge has the power to revoke a suspended sentence based on a violation of probation or a breach of the laws of Tennessee. In revoking a suspended sentence in General Sessions Court , the State of Tennessee is simply filing a motion with the court. The statute provides that the court must issue the revocation warrant. In the cases I have seen in Nashville, the assistant district attorney files the motion. The procedure is not followed.

If the court finds you have violated the conditions of the suspended sentence, the court can order you to serve the sentence or sentence you to any community-based alternative to incarceration. You also have the right to appeal the judgment from General sessions Court to criminal court.

If you find yourself facing one of these motions to revoke your suspended sentence, make sure the procedure is being followed.