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Frequently Asked Questions

Find Out More about How to Protect Your Rights

When you get arrested on criminal charges, the world can feel like it has been turned upside down. Suddenly, state or federal prosecutors are trying to build a case to put you behind bars. At Best Hayduk Brock, our criminal lawyers in Chattanooga understand how frustrating it can feel to be implicated in this way. A crime does not define who you are. For us, the highest priority is ensuring your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome for your situation. Let us help you with your case.

Call (423) 829-1043 now or contact Best Hayduk Brock online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team.

It can be difficult to think straight during these proceedings. To help you gain a clearer picture of the situation, we have written down some answers to questions clients frequently ask. If you would like more information from award-winning legal professionals, call us right away.

  • What's the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

    A felony is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor. The state of Tennessee recognizes three classes of misdemeanors and five classes of felonies. By state statute, the maximum penalty that can be attached to a misdemeanor (Class A) is a $2,500 fine and/or 11 months and 29 days in prison. A felony carries a minimum of 1 year in state prison for a Class E felony, but more serious felonies can carry much longer prison sentences—a Class A felony carries up to 60 years in prison.

    Sometimes, the crimes can sound similar but have different designations based on circumstances. For example, a simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor but an aggravated assault is a Class C felony.

  • What are my rights after I have been arrested?

    Police officers are required to read you your Miranda rights. First and foremost, you have the right to remain silent. This means that you have a right not to answer their questions and risk incriminating yourself. Be aware that anything you say to a police officer during or after your arrest is admissible against you in court. Furthermore, police officers are legally allowed to lie to you to obtain information from you.

    You have a right to legal counsel. It is illegal for police officers to deny your request for a lawyer. Even if you do not have the money to hire a lawyer privately, you are entitled to the services of a public defender.

  • How can a lawyer help me stay out of jail?

    The web of municipal, state, and federal laws that govern activity in Tennessee is hugely complicated. Numerous factors can either mitigate or aggravate the case against you. Taking on the complexities of the legal system entirely on your own is not only potentially overwhelming, it is risky because you are less likely than a lawyer to know about the laws governing your case. Your lawyer is the intermediary that helps you understand the laws while helping courts understand your case. You have a better chance of a just ruling if you have a lawyer on your side.

  • Will my license be suspended if I am pulled over for DUI?

    Tennessee is an implied consent state, meaning that any driver who is suspected by a police officer of driving under the influence is required to take a breathalyzer to test their blood alcohol content (BAC). If you refuse the breathalyzer, your license will be revoked for at least one year.

    If your BAC is over .08, you have exceeded the legal limit and will likely face charges for DUI. Penalties for conviction include suspension of your license. The length of that suspension depends on the specific facts of your case.

  • Can I be arrested for driving after I have consumed marijuana?

    In Tennessee, marijuana is a Class VI drug and use or possession is illegal. Even though a marijuana “high” generally does not last more than a few hours, using marijuana leaves traces in the system for much longer. If a police officer requires you to submit to a blood test to check for drugs in your system and they find marijuana, you could face DUI charges even though you are not actually impaired at the time of the test.

  • Can police search my car for drugs?

    By the U.S. and state constitutions, citizens are protected from unreasonable search and seizure. This means that police have to ask permission before they search your car, and you have the right to say no or to limit the parameters of the search (for example to say they may search the interior of your car but not the trunk). If you do consent to the search, then anything they find during that search can be used against you.

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