Franklin Criminal Attorney
Being put through the criminal justice system is an intimidating and frightening experience, and the stakes are high. You not only face steep fines or jail time; even if you only get probation, a criminal conviction can cause you to lose your job or professional license or do immeasurable damage to your reputation and standing in the community. Even if the offense you get charged with seems relatively minor, it’s still important to do everything you can to keep your record clean and avoid the worst consequences of a conviction.
The legal team at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers, LLC includes a former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense attorneys who have successfully represented people charged with every kind of misdemeanor or felony offense in Tennessee, from traffic tickets to attempted murder. We’ll take the time to carefully review the facts in your case and explain the charges against you and the consequences you face. We’ll fight the charges, negotiate a favorable result, or go to bat for you in court when a trial is in your best interest. Make sure your first call after an arrest is to Fort, Holloway, & Rogers.
Call our experienced and successful Franklin criminal defense attorneys if you are charged with any misdemeanor or felony offense in Williamson County, including:
- Reckless driving, speeding, traffic offenses
- Theft, burglary
- Criminal simulation (fraud, forgery, felony theft)
- Sale and possession of scheduled narcotics
- Possession and sale of marijuana
- Underage consumption
- Assaults and domestic assaults
- Orders of protection violations
Process of a Criminal Case in Williamson County
Adults accused of a crime will likely come into contact with both the General Sessions and Circuit Court in Williamson County. Below are the typical stages of a criminal case in Williamson County and how the Franklin criminal defense lawyers at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers can help.
The police must have probable cause to believe you committed a crime before they arrest you. Unless they actually observed a crime in progress, they might need to have a valid warrant before they can make an arrest. If the police lack probable cause or commit procedural errors in making the arrest (failure to read you your rights, excessive force, coerced confession), your attorney can fight to get the charges dropped or the case dismissed. Evidence that was obtained illegally or without a warrant can be suppressed and excluded from your case, which will help you in your defense or even get the charges dropped completely.
Arraignment, Initial Appearance
At your initial appearance, you’ll be informed of the charges against you and given the opportunity to enter a plea. Bail will also be set at this appearance. Your attorney can be present to advise you on how to plead (usually not guilty) and help get you released from pretrial detention with a reasonable bail or no bail required at all.
This hearing is held to determine whether the police have probable cause to detain you. It is possible to get the charges dropped at this stage.
The prosecutor presents the case to a grand jury and asks for an indictment. The grand jury will indict if they believe probable cause exists to believe a crime was committed and you might have committed it.
If indicted, you’ll be brought into court to have the indictment read to you, and you’ll be asked to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, no contest) to the charges.
At this stage, your attorney might meet with the prosecutors to negotiate a guilty plea in exchange for a favorable outcome, such as probation, a reduction in the charges, or recommendation of a favorable sentence. Your lawyer will go over these options with you and discuss whether a plea bargain is in your best interest or whether you should take your case to trial. The decision on how to plead lies with you. Our criminal defense attorneys give you honest advice so you can make the best decision on how to proceed.
Before trial, there is a period of discovery where the prosecution and defense seek information, evidence and subpoenas to help them build their case. We may file motions with the court during this time to challenge a defect in the indictment, suppress evidence, or sever or consolidate charges. These motions can get your case dismissed or position you for a stronger defense at trial.
At trial, you have constitutional rights to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against you and compel witnesses to testify. You have the right to testify or refuse to testify on your own behalf. Your attorney will advise you on whether to take the stand and will present all available defenses while challenging the prosecution’s evidence and arguments at every turn.
If you are convicted, you have the right to appeal the conviction or the sentence imposed. If mistakes were made during the trial by the judge or prosecutor, or if the wrong instructions were given to the jury or an improper sentence handed down, you might be able to get the conviction overturned or get a new trial.
Help With Criminal Charges in Franklin
The Franklin criminal attorneys at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers are with you at every critical step of your criminal case. We’ve handled all types of misdemeanor and felony cases in Williamson County and are dedicated to helping you get a fair trial, a strong defense, and a favorable outcome in your criminal matter. Call 615-791-7575 after an arrest for practical advice, strategic representation, and strong defense against criminal charges in Franklin, Tennessee.