Knoxville, TN Attorneys Defend Against Your Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

The difference between felonies and misdemeanors

All criminal charges are classified in Tennessee as either misdemeanors or felonies. A misdemeanor is a lesser charge than a felony and a felony will generally carry much more serious penalties. Examples of misdemeanors may include public intoxication, DUI, DWI or simple assault, while felonies may include violent crimes or certain drug charges.

How to defend yourself against misdemeanor crime charges in Tennessee

The first step in defending yourself against a misdemeanor charge is to retain an experienced lawyer, such as those at Menefee & Brown, P.C. A misdemeanor charge never expires from your record, but certain misdemeanor and felony charges in Tennessee can be expunged (removed) from your record. This was not always the case, but as of July 2012 some felonies and nearly all misdemeanors, except for those that involve deadly weapons or sexual charges, maybe eligible for expungement (to see a complete list of exempt misdemeanors, click here).

To be eligible to have your criminal conviction expunged, you must meet certain criteria. These include:

  • You may only have one criminal conviction on your record.
  • You must wait five years from the completion of your sentence to petition to expunge.
  • You must have completed all court-mandated obligations prior to expungement.
  • Your crime must have been committed after November 1, 1989. If your crime was committed before this date, our knowledgeable lawyers at Menefee & Brown, P.C. can discuss other options.

Seasoned attorneys are the best strategy for handling your felony charges in Tennessee

If you have been charged with a felony, the defense process may be more complicated and daunting than for a misdemeanor. Felonies are more serious charges than misdemeanors and carry more strict sentencing guidelines as indicated by Chapter 39 of the Tennessee Code Annotated. Felonies are divided into five classes and carry possible sentences, including:

  • Class A: Up to 60 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000
  • Class B: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000
  • Class C: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
  • Class D: Up to 12 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000
  • Class E: Up to 6 years in prison and a fine up to $3,000

It is important to note that misdemeanors are at times eligible to be upgraded to felonies, depending on the circumstances. This may include a marijuana possession charge being upgraded to a possession with intent to sell marijuana charge or a DUI being upgraded to vehicular assault. In any felony situation, we will navigate you through the criminal defense process, protect your rights and help to ensure a favorable outcome for you.

Work with experienced Knoxville attorneys to navigate the criminal defense process

The attorneys at Menefee & Brown, P.C. are ready to defend you in criminal court. Contact us online or at 865-357-9800 for a complimentary consultation.