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Memphis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Involuntary manslaughter: An unintentional killing

Involuntary manslaughter charges occur when a person unintentionally causes the death of another person through reckless, unlawful or negligent behavior. Although not as severe as murder charges, the accidental killing of another person is still a criminal act.

The resulting death may have been an accident, but the risky actions and disregard for safety leading up to the death make the outcome a punishable crime.

What constitutes a domestic assault in Tennessee?

It's not always easy living with family members. Arguments break out, and -- depending on the household -- things can also get physical. In certain circumstances, police could interpret different types of altercations in the home to be domestic assault, and that can result in arrests and criminal allegations.

It's vital that every Tennessee resident understands what constitutes domestic assault, so that they can avoid committing it and also avoid becoming a victim of false domestic assault accusations.

Do you know your Fourth Amendment rights?

In the United States, we have certain rights that the Constitution grants to us. For example, we have specific rights under the Fourth Amendment that protect us from unlawful search and seizures. Unfortunately, you cannot depend on every single police officer to respect this right. This means that if a Memphis law enforcement officer violates your rights under the Fourth Amendment, then your attorney may be able to convince the court to drop any charges that resulted from the illegal search and seizure.

While the Fourth Amendment does protect from search and seizures the court might consider unreasonable, it does not mean that every search and seizure is illegal. The following information on the Fourth Amendment can help you understand more about your rights.

There is more than one type of robbery defense

There is no denying the severity of a robbery charge. If you find yourself in this position, it's up to you to do whatever possible to avoid a conviction and the punishment that comes along with it.

Fortunately, there is more than one type of robbery defense to consider. With the right approach, it may be possible to convince the jury that you did not commit the crime. Subsequently, you can walk away without any penalty.

5 ways you might be committing credit card fraud

Imagine that your girlfriend gave you her credit card to pick up dinner from your favorite Memphis restaurant. The cashier rings up your order, runs the card and prints out the receipt for you to sign. Thinking nothing of it, you sign the receipt, collect your food and head home for a nice quiet dinner. What you may not know is that you just committed credit card fraud.

Most people think of credit card fraud are someone stealing your information and making purchases three states away, or in a whole other country. In reality, credit card fraud comes in many different forms and you could be committing it without even realizing it. It may surprise you to know how you, inadvertently, might be committing credit fraud.

First-degree murder in Tennessee: A quick primer

All murder charges are serious matters since these are violent felony charges that involve a victim's death. The penalties for these charges are very serious. This means that anyone who is facing criminal charges in relation to a homicide should understand what they are up against.

In Tennessee, there are six types of homicide charges -- reckless homicide, criminally negligent homicide, voluntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, second degree murder and first degree murder. Of these, first degree murder is the most serious. Here's what you need to know about this charge.

What are your Miranda Rights in Tennessee?

You were driving faster than you should have been, and you were pulled over. The officer claims you were traveling fast enough that he has to arrest you. He believes you're under the influence of alcohol or drugs based on a failed field sobriety test and your reckless driving.

You're taken into custody and go all the way to the police station. At that point, you realize that no one has given you your rights. Should they have?

Are you facing criminal charges because you defended yourself?

Crime is all too common in our country. People are victims of violent assaults, home invasions and robberies all the time. Occasionally, someone who would be a victim fights back. When that happens, it's possible for the victim of a crime to end up charged with one instead.

Maybe you used your hands, purse or feet to defend yourself by hitting an attacker. Maybe you feared for your life and defended yourself with a firearm. Whatever the scenario, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You shouldn't speak to law enforcement without a lawyer.

Searching your home: There are limits on the police

You've been charged with a criminal act, but you want to know if the police really had the right to enter your home for the evidence they're using. There are a few times when the police do have a right to enter your home, which you should understand to decide if the police have violated the law.

When you explain your situation to your attorney, he or she can help you understand if your rights have been violated. If so, then the evidence that was collected may not be admissible in court. Here are four times when the police may enter your home or collect evidence on your property.

Do law enforcement actually read your Miranda rights?

Anyone who's ever watched a procedural law enforcement or court drama can likely recite the Miranda rights statement. Every person who is facing arrest in the United States is protected by certain rights. These rights include the right to stay silent when questioned by law enforcement and the right to an attorney.

These rights are universal, which means that they apply to every person under arrest in the United States. It is common for a police officer to advise you of your Miranda rights at the time of your arrest. In other cases, law enforcement may not tell you them until you're actually questioned.

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