Criminal Defense Lawyers Knoxville, Knox County, TN
Boldly defending clients throughout Knoxville, Maryville, Sevierville, Clinton, Lenoir City & Loudon
Being arrested for any type of crime is traumatic. The criminal justice system and process can seem daunting and intimidating, and one wrong move can land you in jail or prison. You want the help of a skilled lawyer on your side, fighting for your rights and your future.
At Banks and Jones, we are formidable Knoxville criminal defense lawyers who deftly handle the most complicated criminal defense cases. Not only do we support you and protect your rights, but we also work closely with you to develop effective defense strategies unique to your situation. For more than 25 years, our team has helped clients throughout the greater Knoxville area facing charges at both the state and the federal level.
T.Scott Jones and his firm have been very professional and pleasant to work with. He is the best at what he does! Would highly recommend.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ [Google Review]
- Fighting for clients facing the toughest criminal charges
- Should I Try to Work Out My Criminal Case on My Own Before Contacting an Attorney?
- What are the stages of a criminal case?
- How does a Knoxville defense lawyer fight for defendants?
- What additional legal concerns do criminal charges raise?
- What is the difference between felonies and misdemeanors?
- Tennessee charges vs. federal charges
Fighting for clients facing the toughest criminal charges
Our experienced team of Knoxville criminal defense lawyers routinely handles some of the most complex, high-visibility cases in Tennessee – but we also handle cases that other attorneys may let slip through the cracks. We believe that everyone is entitled to the best possible defense they can get, whether they are facing federal charges or a speeding ticket. You can rely on us to help you with:
- Assault. If you are charged with a simple assault, you face misdemeanor charges and less than a year in prison. If, however, the prosecution charges you with aggravated assault, you could face felony charges and up to 12 years in prison. All assault charges can have serious consequences.
- Driving under the influence. If you are stopped for drinking and driving and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, you may be charged with a DUI. If convicted, you could face jail time, costly fines, and loss of your driver’s license. Prior to having your license suspended, you have the opportunity to attend an appeals hearing. Our lawyers have experience defending clients against DUI charges in Tennessee, and we know to help you avoid maximum penalties.
- Drug crimes. In addition to carrying a stigma, convictions for drug crimes are punishable by lengthy prison sentences. If you face charges for the possession, simple possession, sale, delivery, or manufacturing of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, or other illegal drugs, our Knoxville criminal defense lawyers can help you with crafting a solid defense.
- Juvenile crimes. Everyone makes mistakes, especially children. But what you may not realize is that if your child is arrested, his or her future may be in jeopardy. When your child is arrested for drugs, drinking, DUI, theft, or other crimes, you need professional help. Our Knoxville criminal defense attorneys provide high-quality legal services to parents of teens and children accused of committing juvenile crimes.
- Homicide. Taking the life of another human being is the most serious offense in the criminal justice system. First-degree murder is the only crime punishable by death in Tennessee: if you are convicted, you could die. To successfully defend against a criminal homicide charge, you must retain experienced counsel. But there are different types of homicide. Did you kill in self-defense? Was the homicide justifiable? We know what is on the line if the charges stick, and we will stop at nothing to uphold your rights and protect your freedom.
- Charges of rape and sexual assault are among the most serious a person can face. There are a more than dozen different categories, and every single one of them is a felony. If convicted of a sex crime, you could end up on the offender’s registry, which means you’ll continue to pay long after you’ve left prison. You can trust us to create a strong, aggressive case in your defense.
- Reckless driving. You may be charged with reckless driving if you display a wanton disregard for the safety of others while driving. Such behaviors as speeding, swerving, and tailgating may all be considered reckless driving. Most people do not realize that reckless driving is a Class B misdemeanor in Tennessee, punishable by up to six months in jail.
- Robbery. In Tennessee, robbery is a theft crime against a person. The state treats robbery offenders harshly. Depending on whether you are charged with robbery or aggravated robbery, you could be facing a significant sentence. In fact, if you are convicted of aggravated robbery, you face penalties for a Class A felony — the most serious type of charge under Tennessee law — and could end up serving a lengthy prison term.
- Theft. Theft crimes, even petty theft, can affect your ability to obtain employment in certain fields in the future. Some theft crimes are felonies, meaning that if you are convicted, you could face more than a year in prison. Confident and experienced, our lawyers are prepared to defend you in the courtroom and in all other legal proceedings.
- White collar crimes.So-called “white collar” crimes are often handled at the federal level. If you are facing charges of fraud, embezzlement, RICO, money laundering, or other non-violent offenses, our team has the resources and experience to defend your rights.
Should I Try to Work Out My Criminal Case on My Own Before Contacting an Attorney?
Call Banks & Jones at (865) 317-9866 to see how we can help you.
What are the stages of a criminal case?
Don’t assume you understand the law based on what you’ve seen on TV, the movies, read on the Internet, or heard from friends. Terms such as arrest, bail, and indictment have precise legal meanings. The meanings to words can vary depending on whether federal charges or state charges are brought.
Some of the initial terms that anyone charged with a crime will learn in more detail when they speak with their attorney are:
- Arrest. A seizure is generally considered to be an arrest when someone who is suspected of criminal activity is detained for longer than a brief investigation and forced to answer for their conduct through the criminal justice systems. The police can only arrest someone if they have “probable cause” to believe the person has committed a crime. When someone is arrested, they should immediately be given their Miranda rights. These rights include the right to speak with a lawyer and to remain silent.
- Bail. Defendants should have a fair chance to present their best defense. They also should not be forced to spend time in jail until they are convicted unless there are very strong reasons for keeping them imprisoned pending the trial. Bail is the right of a defendant to request, with the help of legal counsel, that he/she be released from jail/prison after an arrest. Judges normally either release defendants on their own recognizance or require some type of payment or bond. If a payment or bond is required, defense counsel seek to have it be a sum that is affordable by the defendant or by family and friends of the defendant.
- Indictment. This is the formal accusation that someone has committed a crime. Indictments are brought if a grand jury of citizens decides that the government has enough evidence to file the accusation. It is sometimes said that a Grand Jury “will indict a ham sandwich,” because except in very rare circumstances, the Grand Jury only hears the government’s side of the case.
- Arraignment. This court proceeding normally takes place a few days after someone is arrested. At the arraignment, the prosecution presents the formal charges against the defendant. The charges include identifying which statutes were violated on which specific dates. The defendant is then given the right to plead not guilty or guilty to the charges.
- The preliminary hearing. A defendant has a right to a preliminary hearing in Tennessee, when the defendant is arrested and initially charged pursuant to an arrest warrant. In those circumstances, the case begins in General Sessions court. The purpose of the hearing is to decide if there is probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed it and that the case should move forward to the Grand Jury. The government will need to present evidence usually in the form of the testimony of the arresting police officer and possibly the testimony of other witnesses. The defense has the right to question the police officer and the witnesses and to call witnesses on the defendant’s behalf. Normally, the defendant does not present any evidence at the preliminary hearing, however.
How does a Knoxville defense lawyer fight for defendants?
Our skilled defense lawyers begin by speaking with the defendants. Communications with our lawyers are generally confidential. We begin immediately to assess your defenses. We often work with investigators to review the scene of the crime, so we know the layout and what happened. The investigators also work to speak with relevant witnesses.
We pursue all possible defenses on your behalf including:
- Violations of Constitutional rights
- Justifiable defenses such as self-defense
- Questioning the chain of custody of evidence
- Challenging breath and blood tests
- Arguing that the terms of the statute don’t apply
- Holding the prosecution to its burden to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt
- Arguing that the value of stolen items is much less than claimed
- Many other legal and factual defenses depending on the criminal charges and the facts of the case
While we work aggressively to obtain acquittals and dismissals, we also negotiate plea agreements that are fair to you – with your consent. Plea agreements are generally an agreement to plead to lesser charges.
In addition to hearings and court trials, we are open to other alternatives. We demand that a juvenile be tried in juvenile court. We explain how drug courts, veterans treatment courts, mental health courts, and other recovery alternatives may be a better option.
What additional legal concerns do criminal charges raise?
If you are found guilty of a DUI, you will be ordered to surrender your license. If you refuse a breath test or blood test, you may also lose your license. There may be defenses and options. For example, drivers in Tennessee may be eligible for a restricted license to:
- Drive to work or school
- To drive to your substance abuse class
- To meet with a probation officer
- To attend church
Eligibility generally depends on things like:
- Not having a prior DUI within the prior 10 years
- Not having killed or seriously injured someone
- Not having driving on a suspended license
In some cases, there may be related charges such as:
- A protection from abuse order
- Forfeiture of assets
We’ll explain your rights and assert any defenses that apply regarding these related issues.
What is the difference between felonies and misdemeanors?
The criminal justice system charges offenders with either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are lesser offenses punishable by up to a year in prison. Felonies, however, are more serious crimes punishable by more than a year in prison. A felony conviction can also affect your ability to obtain future employment and limit certain rights, including your right to vote, your right to bear arms, and your right to hold public office.
Tennessee charges vs. federal charges
Most criminal charges are handled by the state, but in some cases, the federal government may get involved. It’s usually a matter of jurisdiction, but there are certain crimes – like RICO charges, or interstate drug trafficking – that will always be handled at the federal level. If you are charged with a federal crime, you’ll need an attorney licensed to practice in federal court to defend you.
If you are convicted, you may be sentenced to federal prison. There’s only one Federal Correctional Institution in Tennessee (it’s in Memphis), so if you are sent to a high-security penitentiary, you’ll be sent out of state. We understand what kind of hardship this can create for your family and loved ones, and we fight hard to protect you, your family, and your future.
Secure a comprehensive criminal defense strategy from experienced and trustworthy attorneys
At Banks & Jones, we have a reputation for taking risks and coming out on top. But when it’s your life and freedom on the line, know that our legal team always performs a careful risk assessment and only proceeds when we believe that doing so is your best interests. If you need serious help with a criminal matter, please contact us or call 865-546-2141 to schedule an appointment with a skilled Knoxville criminal defense attorney today. Fight 2 Win!