The Tennessee Legislature passed a new sentencing bill in the last minutes of the legislative session. The proposed new law would establish a new enhancement factor for defendants who are aliens illegally or unlawfully in this country and who have previously been deported for a criminal offense. If the sentence cannot be agreed to by

Stacey Barchenger wrote a story in today’s Tennessean about a court filing calling for mass expungements. Before I comment on the article. I would like to acknowledge The Tennessean is once again covering the local courts. When I first started as a law clerk then a lawyer , Kirk Loggins covered the courthouse beat. Kirk

Being a criminal defense attorney requires you to use many types of advocacy. You have preliminary hearings , motion hearings , jury trials ,and sentencing hearings. Each area requires different skills of persuasion. Today , I want to discuss one aspect of  sentencing hearings.

Sometimes your client is found guilty after trial or agrees to

As I was driving to General Sessions Court in Springfield , Tennessee today , I was listening to a story on NPR . The storyline was about what happens when someone convicted of a crime can’t pay their fees. Often times , it  appears that someone who can’t pay the fines or fees are


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

While I was working on this post in court yesterday , I mentioned it to a fellow lawyer who showed me this Chris Rock video on "How not to get your ass kicked."  Some of Chris Rocks tips are very similar to mine. Probation should be easy. There are simple rules like not get arrested

I have been a little remiss posting this summer. I have had a full plate with my term as President of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers , a class at The Trial Lawyers College , as well as practicing law. So, back to the blog. Before I share with you the two most

Appealing a sentence or the denial of probation just got tougher under Tennessee law. In years past , the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court would review a sentence or the denial of probation based upon a standard of review referred to as de novo based with a presumption of correctness. In

Jerry Sandusky is going to prison to serve between 30 to 60 years for being convicted of over 40 counts of abusing children. I am not sure of his convictions. The news reports just refer to molesting children or sex abuse. Under Tennessee law, it could be rape of a child or aggravated child

Dennis Ferrier of WSMV reports that only 17 people have taken advantage of Tennessee’s new expungement law . I was excited about the new expungemnt law going into effect in hopes it would give citizens a second chance. Once , I had a hard look at the law . I knew few people would qualify.