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Knox County Law Blog

A one-time mistake can lead to serious drunk driving charges

All it takes is one or two too many drinks to be too drunk to drive. Not only is it incredibly dangerous to drive while under the influence of alcohol, it can also lead to serious legal consequences as well, even if it is your first DUI. A one-time mistake can have a detrimental effect on your life, but you can fight against drunk driving charges, regardless of your criminal history.

Some Tennessee drivers make the mistake of assuming that a first DUI is not that serious. Others believe that there is nothing that can be done and that pleading guilty is the only option. Neither of these is true, and not only is it possible to defend against these types of charges, it is wise to do so.

When can parents modify a child support order?

Parents in Tennessee are required to provide for the financial needs of their children until they are at least 18 years old. These financial needs can be costly as well. Every child needs food, shelter and clothing as the basics, but they have other needs as well. Young children may require child care and parents may need to pay for the children's health insurance and other medical costs. Children also are involved in various activities that have fees and may require certain equipment.

When parents divorce or separate, it is important that each parent is still contributing to these financial needs, but it can be more difficult when the parents are no longer together. That is why generally there will be a child support order to ensure both parents are continuing to contribute.

Motorcyclist struck by multiple vehicles dies

Anytime people drive on the roads in Tennessee they take certain risks. This is not always because of their own actions though. The risk is that they cannot control the actions of the other drivers on the roads. If people make bad choices, others who may have been driving perfectly could end up in an accident. This is even more true for motorcyclists as they are harder to see. Also, if they are in an accident the outcome can be much worse as they are not equipped with the same safety devices as cars and trucks. Often times they are left with catastrophic injuries.

Recently a motorcyclist was involved in an accident in which he was struck by multiple vehicles and unfortunately ended up dying as a result. The accident was caused by a driver who at first drifted over the center line of the road he was on, then he struck the motorcycle in the rear. This caused the motorcycle to leave the road and the victim was thrown off of the vehicle. Debris from the accident struck another vehicle and a fifth one ended up running over the victim while he was on the ground. The driver who caused the accident then fled the scene.

Understanding when expungement is an option - II

Expungement, meaning the process of removing arrests, charges or convictions from a person's criminal record, has recently become a hot topic of conversation here in Tennessee owing to the enactment of a new law lowering the felony expunction fee by $170.

Given this reality and the fact that it likely left people with questions about how expungement works in the Volunteer State, our blog began taking a closer look at the process, starting with eligibility. We'll continue with these efforts in today's post, examining what happens if an expungement order is actually granted.

Getting approved for SSD benefits can be a long process

If you have suffered a physical or mental impairment that has left you disabled, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits will be your lifeline. They will provide you with the funds you need to meet your basic needs, or at least they should. However, many Tennessee residents may find that getting approved for SSD benefits can take a while.

Want to know how the approval and claims process works? The truth is it can be a lot of back and forth, which is why it can take so long.

New law amends payment of retroactive child support

If you think back to July 1, chances are good you'll remember grilling, spending time with family and friends, planning for fireworks or even just relaxing. In other words, you'll remember nothing particularly noteworthy about the first day of the long holiday weekend.

While this is understandable, it's important to know that this date was actually very significant in the eyes of the state government. That's because 133 new laws or amendments to existing law took effect here in Tennessee.  

How a recent case has left parents with more questions than answers

A few weeks ago, legal observers -- and much of the nation -- were closely following a criminal trial in Massachusetts involving a 20-year-old woman charged with involuntary manslaughter for sending her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to take his own life, which he sadly did.

Specifically, prosecutors alleged that the then 17-year-old woman sent her 18-year-old boyfriend, who was already of a fragile mental state, a series of text messages back in 2014 that caused him to inhale a fatal amount of carbon monoxide while sitting in his idling vehicle.

Restorative justice program for juveniles to be tested in Davidson County

Statistics show that the both the Metro-Nashville area and Davidson County have seen a troubling trend in recent years: an increase in both juvenile crime and violence. As discouraging as this development is, the good news is that the reaction of local officials hasn't been to simply make more arrests.

For example, the mayor's office hosted a series of Youth Violence Summits last spring, during which multiple recommendations were made for reducing juvenile crime. One such recommendation was the adoption of a restorative justice program, something that the Davidson County District Attorney's Office and the juvenile court system are now poised to try.

Understanding when expungement is an option

In our previous post, we discussed how a new law here in Tennessee lowered the amount of the felony expunction fee from a staggering $350, the third highest in the nation, to a more manageable $180.

In recognition of the fact that this discussion may have left people with questions about how the expungement works -- particularly in relation to criminal charges rather than criminal convictions -- today's post will take a closer look at the process.

State lawmakers lower felony expunction fee

The unfortunate reality for many men and women released from prison is that despite paying their debt to society and their commitment to getting their lives back on track, the road ahead does not always prove to be particularly easy or even particularly fair.

This is perhaps no more apparent than when they seek to land a job, as they'll be required to check the box indicating a criminal record, an automatic rejection for many employers. As frustrating as this can prove to be, it can be even more so when the key to removing this obstacle -- expungement -- can't be secured owing to its steep price tag.

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Mr. McKellar was voted by his peers as a “Top Attorney” by Knoxville’s CityView magazine in its 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Mr. McKellar was selected as a member of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the National Trial Lawyers.

Ms. Easter was voted by her peers as a “Top Attorney” in Cityview Magazine for Family Law / Divorce / Child Support in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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