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Chattanooga Criminal Defense Blog

Facing drug charges? Know your rights and fight back

There are various kinds of drug charges you could face if you're caught in possession or using drugs. One of the kinds of crimes you may not have realized you could face is one for paraphernalia. This is a charge that doesn't actually require any drugs to be present. Paraphernalia includes items such as syringes, rolling papers, pipes and bongs. Each case involving these products should be handled individually and based on the facts, because there could be reasons for someone to have these products without using them with drugs.

Possessing drugs is another crime that could get you into trouble. Possession of marijuana, cocaine or heroin can result in a charge. Other types of possession, like possessing prescription medications without a prescription, can also lead to penalties.

Victims of domestic violence allegations deserve to be heard

Domestic violence is devastating to families, which is why you may want to begin thinking about how you can protect your mental and physical health after an attack. Violence in the home can put you on edge and make you feel like you're alone. That's not true, and there are many ways to handle your situation with grace and dignity.

No matter what your circumstances are, you have a right to safety. Start by developing a safety plan, which gives you a way out if things are violent at home. For example, have a location you can go to for someone to pick you up, a safe housing option and a packed bag with keys, clothing and other necessary items. Code words are also important, so you can signal that you're in trouble without letting the abuser know your intentions.

Yes, mouthwash can result in a DUI charge in Tennessee

You were late for work, so you quickly swished the closest mouthwash you could find before running out the door to your vehicle. Somewhat rushed, you sped through an area of the town known for having police officers. Shortly after seeing you drive by, one of them pulled you over for speeding and driving in a reckless manner.

The officer alleges that he believes you've been drinking, even though it's fairly early in the morning. You allow the test, and it comes back positive. What happened?

Are gun crimes increasing in Tennessee?

Being accused of a gun crime can mean that your right to possess a gun is threatened. It's within your rights to challenge any accusation against you. Why are gun charges so serious today, though, when they seemingly weren't in the past? This is a change as a result of the following information.

According to data from 2014, more people have died from gunshots in Tennessee than car accidents. If that seems shocking, it is. The last decade has seen a rise in gun-related deaths, accidental shootings, suicides and homicides. Overall, the number of people hit by cars has decreased.

What happens if you're falsely accused of gun crimes?

Being falsely accused of a gun crime can make it hard for you to protect your reputation. You may have to spend time and energy defending yourself, and that could mean spending less time doing the things you need to do to live comfortably. A false allegation can mean being arrested, missing work and being impacted in other ways.

For example, if you are accused of threatening someone with a gun, you could find the police at your doorstep. Maybe not surprisingly, your name could be spread by the media, but the person who accused you may not have his or her name spread because of being an alleged victim and needing protection.

Can you get a DUI without failing a blood or breath test?

One thing you may not have known about a DUI is that you can get one even if you're not over the legal limit. How is that possible, and is it legal? Unfortunately, it is legal and it's possible if the officer can prove that you were intoxicated enough to be a threat to yourself or others.

When you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent, it's called being "per se intoxicated." That means that the officer doesn't need any other proof than the test to show that you were intoxicated. However, driving while intoxicated with any amount of alcohol in your system can still lead to an arrest and charge.

Restraining orders can affect your ability to get hired or work

You were dating someone you cared about when she suddenly started acting oddly around you. You weren't sure what you did, but you decided to let things go. Not long after, you got into a verbal altercation with her, and she struck you with her palm. You didn't retaliate.

Not long after that happened, you found yourself at the receiving end of an assault complaint, even though she was the one who assaulted you. You have a restraining order against you for no reason other than her lies.

Can a minor own a gun?

There are plenty of minors who enjoy shooting. They have learned to hunt with their parents or taken time to refine their sharp-shooting skills at the gun range. How young is too young to own a gun, though? How young is too young to use a gun?

The law has a number of answers to those questions. In fact, depending on what you want to do with a gun and the kind of gun you would like to buy, you have a right to possess at least some type of firearm at nearly any time in your life.

Field sobriety tests may not be what you think

You were pulled over, and now you expect to face a breath test. You're surprised when you agree to the test only to be asked to step out of your vehicle. What's going on?

Field sobriety tests do not include the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, which is also known as the Breathalyzer test. Field sobriety tests actually come before a Breathalyzer test in most cases. These tests are also known as roadside sobriety tests, primarily because they are performed out of the vehicle and on the side of the road.

New law allows for guns on buses in Tennessee

Tennessee remains one of the states with the highest number of gun-related crimes, but the state has again made it easier to take guns to more places. Cities in the state are now adjusting to laws that allow for guns in bus stations and on buses themselves. Right now, the cities going through gun-law changes include Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis.

The law took effect on July 1. Nashville's bus hubs had to change the code of conduct. Previously, all weapons were banned. Now, only unauthorized weapons are banned. Interestingly, there is no mention of the new law at the stations. This could be because some of the cities don't agree with the change in legislation.

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Leonard M. Caputo, P.C.
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801 Broad Street, Suite 520
Chattanooga, TN 37402
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