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Just Because You Did It…. Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty!

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2017 | Litigation

Find out how a guilty plea can affect you.

This article explains important information regarding Tennessee Law in the event you get caught in a “sticky” spot with local law enforcement that results in you being criminally charged.

Entering into a plea of guilty, including misdemeanor convictions (crimes punishable not to exceed one year) can have devastating repercussions, and can affect an individual’s:

  • permanent record
  • employment
  • rental
  • credit applications

In the event you may be on the wrong side of the law, 40-35-313 may just be your “Get out of jail free card!” This is how it applies.

Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-313, the court may defer further proceedings against a qualified defendant and place the defendant on probation upon such reasonable conditions as it may require without entering a judgment of guilty and with the consent of the qualified defendant. The deferral shall be for a period of time not less than the period of the maximum sentence for the misdemeanor with which the person is charged or not more than the period of the maximum sentence of the felony with which the person is charged.

“Qualified Defendant” includes:

  • Is found guilty of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to the offense for which deferral of further proceedings is sought;
  • Is not seeking deferral of further proceedings for any offense committed by any elected or appointed person in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the state or any political subdivision of the state, which offense was committed in the person’s official capacity or involved the duties of the person’s office;
  • Is not seeking deferral of further proceedings for a sexual offense, a violation of § 39-15-502, § 71-6-117, or § 71-6-119, driving under the influence of an intoxicant as prohibited by § 55-10-401, vehicular assault under § 39-13-106 prior to service of the minimum sentence required by § 39-13-106, or a Class A or B felony;
  • Has not previously been convicted of a felony or a Class A misdemeanor for which a sentence of confinement is served; and
  • Has not previously been granted judicial diversion under this chapter or pretrial diversion.

“Reasonable Conditions” includes:

Certain conditions that must be completed prior to the termination of probation such as a trans-dermal monitoring device if court finds

  • alcohol or drugs were the contributing factor in the unlawful conduct or
  • serve a period of confinement in the local jailhouse not to exceed a total of 30 days.

Upon completion of your probation, your case will be dismissed and then eligible for expungement.

For more questions on how a guilty plea applies to you, please contact an experienced Batson Nolan attorney. With hundreds of years of combined legal experience at Batson Nolan PLC, we are committed to our clients. Do not hesitate to call in for a free initial consultation.