2016 Derek R. Howard Attorney at Law

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR A CRIMINAL CHARGE?

Yes.  No matter what crime you have been charged with you need to at the very least consult an experienced attorney about your case.  An experienced attorney can discuss with you any possible defenses you may have to the charges and what options may be available to you if you wish to enter a plea agreement.  Remember, attorney's handle these matters everyday!  Knowledge and experience can make all the difference when you are faced with a criminal charge.  From Simple Possession to DUI you should consult an attorney before your first court appearance.  

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE PUNISHMENTS IF I AM CONVICTED?

Your range of punishment varies depending on what crime you are charged with.  Punishments can range from simply a fine and probation to extensive periods of incarceration.  Tennessee has certain crimes with mandatory minimum penalties like DUI.  The minimum penalty for a DUI conviction is a $350 fine, Court Costs, 1 year loss of driving privileges, 48 hours in jail and certain classes like the Victim Impact Panel and Driver's Safety School.  As discussed in the DUI LAW page there many factors that need to be addressed by a skilled and experienced attorney before you should consider entering a guilty plea.  Additionally, certain crimes against persons have mandatory minimum penalties in Tennessee.  Drug charges can range from fines and Probation to extensive incarceration.  Consult an experienced attorney before your first court appearance.

WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT TO ENTER A GUILTY PLEA?

ABSOLUTELY.  If you have decided that you are not guilty of the crime that you have been charged with then you certainly need the experience of an experienced attorney to represent you in the criminal justice system.  Meet with an attorney and discuss the facts of your case and the charges alleged against you.  Take the time to explain your side of the story to your attorney before you go into court.  

HOW MUCH DOES AN ATTORNEY COSTS?

There are many factors that contribute to the costs of hiring an attorney to represent you in criminal court.  The attorney's length of practice and experience in the criminal field in addition to the nature of the charges against you and how long it may take finish your case are two factors that go into the costs.  Obviously, the decision on who you hire needs to be based on a face to face meeting with the attorney and a genuine discussion of the charges and facts of your case.  Be sure to tell your attorney what you would like to see happen with your case and get their opinion on whether or that expectation is reasonable.

DEREK R. HOWARD

ATTORNEY AT LAW     615-900-3235