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Memphis Criminal Defense Lawyer

Memphis is a bustling city that is home to unique people participating in all kinds of activities. Police officers in Memphis regularly arrest many individuals for alleged criminal offenses. Anybody who is facing criminal charges in Memphis will want to be certain they have an experienced Memphis criminal defense attorney at PIC for assistance defending their rights and seeking the most favorable outcome to their criminal case.

Prosecutors handling most criminal cases in Memphis want to secure convictions, so you are going to need an attorney experienced in dealing with them to help defend your name. Prosecutors are overworked and often do not have time to gather evidence to prosecute a case. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is guilty. This becomes so critical for any alleged offender to secure legal representation. Effective legal representation will ensure that your rights are protected to the fullest extent and that any unproven claims are quickly thrown out.

Types of Criminal Offenses Our Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney Handles

Our firm regularly represents individuals accused of many different kinds of crimes in the greater Memphis area, including such offenses as:

  • Assault and battery
  • Burglary
  • Domestic violence
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
  • Drug crimes
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Federal charges
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Murder
  • Parole and probation violations
  • Reckless driving
  • Shoplifting
  • Speeding
  • Stalking
  • Theft
  • Traffic violations
  • Weapons charges
  • White-collar crimes
  • Order of protection/Restraining order defense

Possible Criminal Penalties in Memphis

Convictions for criminal offenses in Memphis can carry very steep penalties that typically include both fines and imprisonment sentences. Depending on the classification of your alleged offense, you could be facing any of the following penalties.

Misdemeanors in Tennessee are punishable as follows:

  • Class C Misdemeanor – punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine
  • Class B Misdemeanor – punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine
  • Class A Misdemeanor – punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine

In some cases, repeat misdemeanors may lead to enhanced felony penalties. Some misdemeanor offenses also carry felony penalties if the amount of harm to a person or property increases.

Felony offenses in Tennessee are punishable as follows:

  • Class E felony – punishable by one to six years in prison and a $3,000 fine
  • Class D felony – punishable by two to 12 years in prison and a $5,000 fine
  • Class C felony – punishable by three to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
  • Class B felony – punishable by eight to 30 years in prison and a $25,000 fine
  • Class A felony – punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison and a $50,000 fine
  • First-degree murder – Punishable by death or, when death is not imposed, life in prison without the possibility of parole

Beyond the obvious penalties associated with imprisonment and fines, both misdemeanor and felony convictions can have many other consequences in Tennessee. An alleged offender could lose their professional license, suffer negative impacts on their immigration status, child custody rights may be compromised, and there could also be a forfeiture of gun rights.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

Certain criminal cases may involve either mitigating or aggravating factors that can drastically impact the possible punishment a court will impose for a criminal offense. Under Tennessee Code § 40-35-113, mitigating factors may include:

  • Individual was charged that did not cause or threaten serious bodily injury
  • Individual acted under strong provocation or “in the heat of passion.”
  • Individual did not play a big part in the offense
  • Individual exercised bad judgment based on youth or old age
  • Individual was was motivated by a strong desire to provide for the needs of family or self
  • Individual was suffering from a serious mental or physical condition
  • Individual served as a confidential informant for law enforcement
  • Individual helped law enforcement with a current investigation by locating or recovering any property or person involved in the crime.
  • Individual acted under duress.

Our experienced attorneys can help assert these factors in court.

Aggravating, or enhancement factors, established under Tennessee Code § 40-35-114 include:

  • Individual has a prior criminal history
  • Individual was a leader in conspiracy
  • Multiple alleged victims were involved
  • Large or severe injuries involved
  • Individual violated bond conditions
  • Individual used a deadly weapon during a felony
  • And many more

Memphis Courts

Many initial criminal cases in Memphis are handled in the General Sessions Criminal Courts, which are comprised of nine courts: Divisions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15. t. Colloquially, General Sessions is referred to as “downstairs.” General Sessions handles misdemeanors and felonies. With felonies, the court only has jurisdiction to preside over a preliminary hearing to determine probable cause.

Criminal courts in the Memphis area or “upstairs” include the following courts: Divisions 1-10. The majority of the cases set in the Criminal Court have all been indicted and heard by the Grand Jury. Criminal Court hears both misdemeanors and felony cases and conducts jury trials.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation With a Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney

Are you facing criminal charges for an alleged offense anywhere in the Memphis area and Shelby County? You are going to want to make sure you quickly contact Pickford Law for help fighting the charges and trying to minimize any penalties you could be facing.

Our firm can conduct an in-depth investigation into your alleged offense and secure the evidence necessary to show the prosecutor that they do not have a case. You contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can review your case and answer all of your legal questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Shelby County District Attorney’s jurisdiction?

The office of the Shelby County District Attorney prosecutes people who violate state law in the 30th Judicial District of Tennessee or Shelby County.

Will my case go to trial?

The possibility of a trial taking place depends on the nature of the criminal charges you are facing and how willing the prosecutor is to negotiate a plea agreement. Many prosecutors do not want cases to go to trial because trials are very time-consuming and expensive, but there are instances in which alternative resolutions prove impossible, and trials become the only option.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

A misdemeanor is simply not as serious of a crime as a felony. A misdemeanor will typically result in no more than 11 months and 29 days of imprisonment, while a felony can result in up to 30 years or more of imprisonment. The fines also increase for felony offenses. Felony convictions are also more damaging to have on criminal records than misdemeanors.

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