If you’ve been charged with a crime in Fayette County, TN and have to go to court in Somerville, you may be seeking information about what happens next. Being arrested and charged with a crime is an embarassing, stressful experience. There are so many uncertainties and questions. What is going to happen when I go to court? Will I go back to jail? Am I going to lose my job? How much is this going to cost? This article will answer those questions and give you an overview of the court process in Fayette County. All Fayette County criminal cases are heard in Somerville, at the General Sessions court. Most misdemeanor cases are resolved in General Sessions, but felonies will generally be transferred to the Circuit Court after review by the grand jury. Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, a Somerville, TN criminal defense lawyer can review your case and represent you. Misdemeanors include offenses such as simple drug possession, DUI, shoplifting, domestic assault, minor in possession of alcohol, and certain weapons possession charges. The punishment for these offenses is up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, and possibly a permanent conviction. However, qualified first-time offenders may be able to have the charge removed through a process of supervised probation and payment of court costs. It’s going to depend on the charge, the particular facts of the case, and how flexible the prosecutor’s office will be. A criminal lawyer in Fayette County can represent you and work to keep the charge off your record, since having a clean record is crucial to keeping a job or staying in school. A Somerville DUI case may have to be tried, since under Tennessee law drunk driving charges cannot be dismissed through probation. Your only other option will essentially be to plead guilty to the charge. But if you want to try to keep the charge off your record you would have to either set it for trial or have a Fayette County DUI lawyer look over the facts to see if there are grounds to have it thrown out. If the police lacked probable cause to make an arrest then the charge should be dismissed. Felony cases in Fayette County go through a different process. Like misdemeanors, they start out in General Sessions, but most are sent to the grand jury for indictment and then go to Circuit Court. Under Tennessee law the General Sessions court does not have jurisdiction to resolve felonies. Some non-violent felony offenses may be reduced to a misdemeanor, like property or drug crimes, but violent felonies such as homicide, armed robbery, and many sex crimes will likely not be reduced and must go to Circuit Court. These serious crimes are often tried in front of a jury, and the punishment could be years or even decades in prison. A Somerville criminal defense lawyer should be retained to handle felony crimes. Patrick Stegall is a criminal lawyer for Somerville, TN handling misdemeanor and felony cases of all types. If you wish to avoid jail time and keep a criminal charge off your record, or if you want to maintain your innocence and go to trial, Mr. Stegall can help. Please contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (901) 205-9894.
CategoryFiled under: West Tennessee Counties