If you have been charged with a crime in Memphis Tennessee here are some questions and answers that may help you get through your difficult time.
Where do I go to court?
Memphis as you all know is also called the Bluff city it is also the biggest city in the county of Shelby and it has a number of courts. Should you be charged in Memphis, most likely you’ll go to the Shelby criminal court which is located in a downtown area at Poplar Avenue 201 Memphis, TN.
General Sessions Court is usually where the majority of criminal cases are heard. Other cases including felonies, usually go to criminal court through the grand jury.
In Memphis there are a few suburbs which include Germantown, Collierville and Barlett. All of them are within Shelby County however they do have their own local government as well as court system. Should you have been charged in any of these jurisdictions you will be heard in that very jurisdiction’s court.
Misdemeanors are often the result without the need of going downtown, however, serious charges such as felonies will likely be passed on to criminal court in Memphis by means of one of the ways I have mentioned before.
They gave me a citation. What the heck does that mean?
A citation is something that is issued in some misdemeanor cases like disorderly conduct, stealing or just drug possession. It is given to the person accused and this person doesn’t need to go “downtown quotation” neither they have to be arrested or pay the bond. That person will receive a date where he or she will have to appear before the jurisdictions processing center.
Later on you will be booked and processed. At the booking date, you will not go in front of a judge but they’ll take your fingerprints and you have to fill out some forms and there will be a file created containing your offenses. This will take about an hour. Also on that day you will be informed about your court date, which will most likely be about a week later.
They have charged me with a crime and I have no idea what to do next?
You need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your Memphis area. They will take a close look into your case and give you an assessment of your situation. The important think when talking to a lawyer is to say exactly what you have been charged with and be very transparent about the whole case.
It to tell them everything- for example if you have been charged before or maybe on probation or out of bail. The more information you provide the more likely it is that they will be able to help you effectively.
Will going to jail before referee my records?
It’s really all depends what you have been charged with. Also, your previous charges will work against you here. If this is your first offense, you will most likely get a probation. What that usually means is that the charge will be removed from your files right after the probation period is finished.
An exception to this is when you’re charged with a DY periods if this happens to you in Tennessee, your records will not be eligible to diversion unless you are acquitted or if your case is dismissed in court. What is more, if you are a DUI offender, law says you have to serve time in jail. The amount of time you have to spend in jail depends on how many DUIs have you had before. Your lawyer will explain it to you in much more detail.
I’m innocent. How do I fight my case?
If this is the case you will have to go in front of the grand jury. For that to happen, there must be a preliminary hearing which will determine whether your case is eligible for that. When the probable cause is found, what oftentimes happen, your case is going to move forward. The idea here is to collect as much evidence as possible by examining the witnesses. Having your case dismissed here will not happen. These witnesses are the same ones who are going to testify if your case goes to trial.
Then a jury determines whether there is substantial evidence beyond all doubt that is enough to convict. Then of course you will have the opportunity to call your very own witnesses and also testify for yourself. You will really have to go through all of these options with your Memphis criminal lawyer in order to determine the best solution for your case and your actions.