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Memphis Tennessee Criminal Defense Blog

Reviewing Tennessee's "Stand Your Ground" law

It seems that the claim of self-defense is thrown out so often when people are facing murder charges that it has lost its credibility as a viable defense. Yet if and when you are placed in a position of needing to use force (even lethal force) to defend yourself and/or others, you might question what other alternatives others might say that you have. Many in Memphis have come to us here at The Law Office of Massey McClusky McClusky & Fuchs wondering if the law does indeed designate when lethal force may be justified. If your intent in using such force is facing scrutiny, then you may be happy to know that it does. 

Tennessee has followed the example of other states in enacting a statute known as the "Stand Your Ground" law. Per Section 39-11-611 of the state's Criminal Offenses Code, you are considered to be justified in using deadly force against an individual who has unlawfully entered your residence, place of business or vehicle if you believe yourself, a family member, friend or visitor is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Such force must be used, however, in response to aggression, and not simply because you believe that person is there to do harm. 

Are you eligible for expunction?

The key to successfully moving on after having been convicted of a crime in Memphis is taking full advantage of all of the opportunities that are offered to you. Unfortunately, those opportunities may be limited by the mere fact that you have a criminal conviction on your record. Thus, if it is a possibility, expunction is definitely something that you will want to explore. 

Per the state of Tennessee's website, you can seek an expungement once five years passed since the completion of your imposed sentence (if you were convicted of drug fraud, you must then wait 10 years). During that time, you cannot have been charged with any other state or federal crime, and you must have completed all of the requirements associated with your conviction, such as: 

  • Paid any and all fines
  • Served an imposed period of incarceration 
  • Met all of the conditions of your release

Is using medicine without a prescription a crime?

Prescription drugs are used for a multitude of purposes, from fighting off infections to reducing pain. While they are legal when used in the correct manner by the person with the prescription, use by unauthorized individuals for other purposes is not legal and can actually get you in trouble with the law. Very Well Mind explains the ramifications of using drugs without a prescription.

For the prescription holder, it’s crucial that medicine is kept in the correct bottle or packaging, especially when being taken outside your home. In many states, it’s actually considered illegal to carry drugs in other types of packaging that doesn’t bear the label of the original prescription bottle. This can be construed as possession with intent to distribute, which can have very stiff penalties depending on the circumstances.

How can I get treatment for alcoholism?

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in Memphis, your problems likely extend beyond the legal. Trouble with the law is often a sign of alcohol addiction, which can ultimately impact every area of your life. Getting treatment is vital in this case, especially when faced with the possibility of jail time. If you’re in search of treatment, Healthline explains the different options that are available.


Does wearing a body camera change police behavior?

Over the last several years there has been significant contentious talk around the country regarding the use of video by law enforcement during interactions with the public. Many people have called for its use to call out inappropriate behavior. One study however suggests that officers wearing a body camera did not cause any significant change in incidents of force or complaints. 

When you are falsely accused of murder

Our law office deals with a number of legal issues, but murder is an especially challenging facet of defense. Setting aside the extremely harsh stigma that comes with these allegations (and can shatter someone's life even if they are innocent), people facing murder charges may be unsure of what to do next and how the allegations will impact their future. Unfortunately, many people have been accused of murder even though they were innocent. This is no time to procrastinate or avoid looking into your options, however, as your entire future may be at stake.

Someone may be falsely accused of murder for a number of reasons. For example, they may have an enemy who wanted to frame them for a crime they never committed. Or, someone who may have murdered another person may want to have the blame placed on someone who is innocent. Moreover, some people are just very unlucky, finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and end up being accused of heinous crimes as a result.

Should you accept a plea bargain if it is offered?

You have been charged with a crime and the situation you find yourself in can feel stressful and overwhelming. You are suddenly faced with being in the inside of a court room and maybe even a jail cell, meeting with a lawyer and hearing legal terms you may not be familiar with. Your life may be turned upside down all for something you may or may not have done.

On the positive side, your criminal defense attorney will be there to achieve the best possible results for you. The circumstances to determine the outcome of your case will usually involve being in front of a judge and possibly even being heard in front of a jury. While many outcomes of a criminal case have their outcomes decided this way, there are other times when a defendant is offered a plea bargain.

When crashes lead to vehicular homicide charges

Being involved in a major traffic crash is a very traumatic experience. It can leave a person facing a lot of emotional challenges. This can particularly be the case if the accident resulted in a death. Having been in an auto crash that resulted in any deaths can also leave a person facing a very difficult legal situation if he or she is accused of having triggered the accident through dangerous conduct. Here in Tennessee, such allegations could lead to a person being charged with vehicular homicide.

Under state law, it is vehicular homicide when a person, when operating a vehicle, engages in conduct carrying a substantial risk of serious injury or death that results in the reckless killing of another person. The offense of vehicular homicide also covers reckless killings involving things like driving while intoxicated or drag racing.

Don’t make these common mistakes if you are ever arrested

Being charged with a crime can be a very stressful. The desperation you may feel can make it difficult to act like yourself, and it may possibly lead to your saying the wrong thing. The time immediately following an arrest can have a great impact on the rest of your case. Because of how important your behavior can be to a case, here are some tips to avoid common mistakes in the event you are ever arrested. 

What is the difference between first and second-degree murder?

You may think that a murder is a murder and the person who committed the murder should face the harshest penalties for that act. However, the law has determined the facets of a murder based on its circumstances. These circumstances take into account things like intention and how the act was committed, then give it a designation based on a level of degrees which can range from first-degree to second-degree and may even include third-degree.  

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