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.
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:
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:
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.