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Memphis Tennessee Criminal Defense Blog

What are the signs of drug addiction?

It seems like drug addiction is easy to identify, especially when it's happening to you or someone you love. However, this is not always the case. It can be very difficult for some people to realize they have a problem, which can lead to trouble with the law, interpersonal issues, and problems with employment. If you're concerned that you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction, WebMD recommends looking for the following signs. 

Many people with substance abuse issues attempt to impose limitations on themselves in order to cut back on their use. You might tell yourself that you'll only use a so much of a drug or that you'll only use it on certain occasions. When people with addiction problems impose limits, they often find themselves failing time and again. They might also find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about their drug of choice. 

When is deadly force not justified?

While you certainly never anticipate being put in the position of having to use deadly force against another in Memphis, it can indeed happen. The difference between you facing a potential murder charge and your actions qualifying as self-defense depend on the situation you are in. In general, the use of force is justified when you and/or others feel reasonably at risk of being killed or seriously injured by another if you feel to act. A few of the exceptions of this rule have been detailed in the past; this blog post will go in greater depth in defining others. 

Your own actions leading up to and during the incident in which you use deadly force in defense will go a long way in determining the outcome you may face. Section 39-11-611(e) of Tennessee's Criminal Offenses Code clearly states that you cannot use deadly force in response to action that you consented to. The same is true if you were attempting to provoke the person against whom force is used into an altercation. The only exceptions to this would be if, after engaging in the altercation, you made an attempt to walk away from it, yet your opponent continued to act against you. 

Understanding your Miranda rights when under arrest

There are basic rights and protections in place that do a lot for those facing criminal charges. They have the right to a criminal defense, the right to a speedy trial and the right to a jury comprised of their peers. There are also rights enshrined in the Constitution, such as the freedom from unreasonable searches, that can protect people and also help them defend against criminal allegations.

One set of rights that many people find confusing are those commonly called Miranda Rights. Even if you have never run into trouble with law enforcement, understanding your Miranda Rights can protect you. If you have already gotten arrested, it's important to understand if police somehow violated your Miranda Rights.

Understand the risk of the death penalty in Tennessee

Being accused of first-degree murder is serious and can put your life and freedoms at risk. Even though you've not yet been convicted, the likelihood is that you will be treated differently by your peers, colleagues and others. If you're taken into custody, you may lose your job or be unable to support yourself.

Tennessee is a dangerous state for murder convictions. It's one of few that still has capital punishment (the death penalty). Each trial is separated into two parts, with the first being used to determine if you are guilty and the second to decide on a punishment if you are found guilty.

Stress management and DUI charges

When someone is pulled over for drunk driving, they may be immediately overwhelmed with high levels of stress. Unfortunately, this stress may persist long after they are stopped by a law enforcement official, and it may continue to impact their lives in various ways in the weeks and months ahead. If you are facing DUI charges, it is important to address high levels of stress you may be dealing with, which can have negative effects on your job and in your personal relationships. We understand why these charges can be so stressful and the myriad of hardships that those in this position may be going through.

Some people may worry that these charges will disrupt their career, causing them to lose their job or have a hard time finding work in a certain field. Or, someone may worry about how their reputation will be affected in the community and how their friends and family members will view them as a result of the allegations. Moreover, many people experience stress when they have to head to court, especially if they are unsure about which approach to take and the consequences that may lie ahead.

How can there be an eyewitness when you didn’t do it?

Let’s say you were at the bar on a Friday night, had some drinks and had a good time. You went home, got some sleep, and Saturday morning, the cops showed up and wanted to ask you some questions. There was a fight at the bar, and someone got hurt bad. Maybe died. An eyewitness placed you at the scene.

Even though science has repeatedly shown how faulty eyewitness testimony can be, witnesses still play a heavy role in American justice, and eyewitness testimony still carries a lot of weight with jurors. Such testimony can carry a lot of emotion, and though jurors are supposed to make rational decisions, that’s not how the human mind usually works.

What should you know about police lineups?

Did you ever play the game where you and your friends try to figure out which celebrity each of you looks like? You might also have seen people on the street who looked like ringers for famous faces. But how often did you worry that you looked like a copy of a serious criminal?

By now, we’ve all heard stories about people who were arrested for crimes they didn’t commit. And we’ve also heard stories about people who were wrongfully locked away before some new evidence led to their release. This is because the police and courts still rely on some notoriously flawed evidence—eyewitness testimony—and the methods the police use to have witnesses identify suspects can also be flawed.

Breathalyzer tests and false positives

When people are pulled over for suspected drunk driving, a law enforcement official may conduct a breathalyzer test to determine whether or not the driver is under the influence of alcohol. If they notice that someone was driving erratically, they may be convinced that the driver is drunk before they have even talked to the driver or asked them to step out of the vehicle. There are a number of reasons why breathalyzer tests can be wrong, and there are other issues to take into consideration with regard to challenging these tests in court.

For starters, certain products contain alcohol and can throw off the results of a breathalyzer test, such as mouthwash. People may also be exposed to certain substances at work which can affect test results and those with some medical conditions, such as acid reflux, may also fail a breathalyzer test even though they are not over the legal limit. Moreover, law enforcement officials are supposed to wait for a certain period of time to ensure that breathalyzer test results do not reflect a false positive, but in some instances, they may fail to do so.

When does robbery become aggravated?

Most of us understand robbery as a more violent form of theft. On top of robbery, there’s the even more serious and violent aggravated robbery. How is a robbery aggravated when it’s already a violent act? There’s actually a simple way to distinguish the two.

Aggravated robbery occurs when a deadly weapon is present during the theft or the victim sustains a serious injury.

Can you support your efforts to find a job after prison?

Once you have been released from prison in Tennessee, you face the challenges of rebuilding your life and working relentlessly to put your past behind you. Despite your knowledge that you have changed and are committed to making something of your future, other people may not recognize those changes right away and it will take time for you to rebuild that trust. However, with perseverance and determination, you can make progress happen. 

An immediate need will be your ability to acquire employment that will allow you to support yourself and your needs. According to Chron, employers can legally deny you employment based off of your criminal past. As such, you may need to be extra vigilant in marketing yourself as someone who has changed and is committed to supporting the company you are applying for. You may consider seeking professional assistance in helping you prepare for employment, clean up your resume and practice job interview tactics. During your interview, you may discuss how a company's decision to hire you can provide tax benefits to them because of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. 

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