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Jacksboro criminal defense lawyerMany people do not realize just how precious the ability to drive is until it is taken away from them. In the state of Tennessee, there are many ways you could lose your driver’s license. According to the Tennessee Driver Services Division, you could lose your license for a variety of offenses, including obvious ones like DUI or drag racing and not-so-common ones, like fleeing from the scene of a traffic accident or driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license. Being convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license is a serious offense that could result in criminal charges.

Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License

According to Tennessee statutes, a person who is caught driving with a suspended, canceled, or revoked license is generally subject to a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a possibility of up to six months in jail and up to $500 in fines. If the incident is the second offense a person has for driving with a suspended or revoked license, they will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a potential year-long jail sentence and up to $2,500 in fines.

Enhanced Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License

Penalties change if there are aggravating circumstances. For example, if your driver’s license was suspended because of a vehicular assault, vehicular homicide or DUI conviction, you may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and face a minimum of two nights in jail and the potential for the judge to add on up to $1,000 in fines. If the offense is your second offense of driving with a suspended license and the original suspension resulted from one of the crimes mentioned above, you face a Class A misdemeanor. You also face a minimum jail sentence of 45 days and up to $3,000 in fines.

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tennesse car crash lawyerIn the United States, having a vehicle is extremely important for much of the population. In many places, it can be nearly impossible to get around without a vehicle, causing more drivers on the road and an increased possibility of getting into an accident. The latest information available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that there were an estimated 6.7 million motor vehicle crashes reported to police in 2019. Car accidents often result in injuries, which can range from minor scrapes and bruises to more serious injuries, like a traumatic brain injury or broken bones. When filing a claim for compensation, you should understand some of the potential causes for the accident.

Common Causes for Motor Vehicle Accidents

We see car accidents on TV and hear about them on the news so frequently that they do not faze most people anymore unless they are particularly serious or eventful. However, the cause of many of these accidents can be traced back to a few common reasons. Some of the most common causes of serious car accidents in the U.S. include:

  • Distracted driving: In today’s world, one of the most common causes of car accidents is due to distracted drivers. According to the NHTSA, there were an estimated 424,000 people injured and another 3,142 people killed in accidents involving distracted drivers. Distractions while driving can include cell phones, GPS systems, passengers in the vehicle or even adjusting the vehicle controls.

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campbell county dui lawyerOver the past 30 years or so, there have been countless campaigns aimed at decreasing the number of people who drink and drive. While these campaigns have been successful in their goal of reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents and deaths, driving under the influence (DUI) still remains a serious issue. According to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the state of Tennessee saw an increase of more than 19 percent in the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities from 2018 to 2019. Tennessee law states that a person is not permitted to be under the influence of any intoxicant or have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more while operating a motor vehicle. Anyone who is even arrested for DUI can face consequences, but sometimes those consequences are more severe than others, resulting in felony charges.

Felony DUI Situations

In most cases, a DUI is charged as a misdemeanor charge, with a focus on rehabilitating the person, rather than punishing them. In cases that involve more serious situations, however, the typical misdemeanor charge can be elevated to a felony charge. According to Tennessee law, the following DUI offenses are charged and punished as felonies:

  • A fourth or subsequent DUI charge - If you are charged with DUI and you have at least three prior DUI convictions, you can be charged with a felony DUI. The offense is anywhere from a Class E to a Class C felony depending on the number of prior convictions. This means you could face a minimum of two years and a maximum of seven years in jail for a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction. 

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Jacksboro personal injury attorneyBeing in a car accident in a jarring experience, even if it is just a small fender bender. Experiencing a car accident can cloud your judgement and cause you to make decisions that may make sense at the time but that are not good decisions in the long term. You may already know what steps you should take if you have been in a car accident, but you should also know what steps you should not take, as there are things that you can do that can actually prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Common Mistakes

If you have been in an accident that was the fault of another driver, you have the right to seek compensation from them, but certain actions could prevent that from happening. Here are a few common mistakes that people have made after they have been in a car accident that could prevent them from receiving compensation:

  • Not calling the police at the scene of the accident. If you get into any kind of car accident, you should always call the police to the scene, even if you do not think it is necessary. When the police arrive, they are required to make a report. This report will contain valuable information that you can use as you build your case, such as taking photographs, tracking down witnesses and gathering statements from the other driver and witnesses.
  • Not seeking immediate medical attention. It is always a mistake if you decide not to get checked out by a medical professional after a car accident. Even if you do not feel as if you have been injured, you should visit a physician, as some car accident injuries are not visible to the naked eye or may take hours or days to manifest. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more difficult it may be for you to make a case for your injury.
  • Not filing your case within the appropriate amount of time. In the state of Tennessee, there is a limited amount of time during which you can file a personal injury claim for injuries sustained during a car accident. In Tennessee, you have up to one year from the date of the injury to file a claim. If you wait longer than a year, you may have a harder time claiming compensation.
  • Accepting blame for the accident. Another mistake you should never make is admitting you were at fault for the accident. This can either prevent you from claiming compensation for your accident or significantly lower the amount that you are awarded. In Tennessee, you can still recover compensation from a car accident, as long as you are not found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.

Speak With Our Campbell County Car Accident Injury Attorney Today

If you have been in a car accident, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable Jacksboro, TN car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Office of William F. Evans, we will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office anytime 24/7 at 423-449-7980.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_marijuana-drugged-driving-pot-DUI.jpgDrunk driving is known to be dangerous, and drivers understand that they can face criminal charges of driving under the influence (DUI) if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of .08%. However, some people may not realize that they can also face DUI charges if they drive after using other types of drugs or intoxicating substances. Driving while under the influence of marijuana has become a larger concern for law enforcement in recent years, especially since several states have made this drug legal for both recreational and medical uses. While marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee, some people may travel to other states where it is legal, and drivers will want to understand the potential consequences they could face if they are charged with DUI related to marijuana or other drugs.

Drug-Related DUI Charges

Under Tennessee law, it is illegal to be in physical control of a vehicle on a public road or highway while under the influence of marijuana, controlled substances, drugs that affect the central nervous system, or other types of intoxicants. A person will be considered intoxicated if a substance or a combination of different substances affects the clearness of their mind and their self-control, causing them to be unable to operate a vehicle safely.

DUI charges related to marijuana or other substances are charged the same as for a driver who is intoxicated by alcohol. If a chemical test shows that a driver has any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs in their system, they may face DUI charges. A person may also be charged with DUI if they use prescription drugs such as opioids that impair their driving ability, or even if they use over-the-counter drugs such as cold or cough medicines that cause drowsiness or affect their clarity of mind.

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

If you were involved in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident while driving or riding a vehicle that caused you to become hurt, you might be waiting to hear back from an insurance company about your personal injury compensation. Or maybe you already received a compensation settlement from the insurance company, faster than originally expected. Whatever the case may be, you should still consider retaining representation from a personal injury attorney for the following reasons.

3 Ways a Lawyer Can Help You Get a Better Settlement

When the insurance company makes its decision, your options are not limited—you still can hire an attorney to help you obtain a higher settlement, among other things. Just be sure you do not agree to that original settlement. Do not sign anything if you suspect you are getting taken advantage of. In cases like that, you will want to reach out to a lawyer. Here are a few reasons why hiring an attorney after receiving a mediocre settlement offer is possible, reasonable, and greatly beneficial:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney

Whether you are pulled over, arrested, and taken into custody for a DUI or some other crime, you will want to know about the Miranda Warning. It is a key component of a police officer’s proper custodial procedures and must be followed in the correct sequence and responded to with the appropriate measures in order to ensure your Fifth Amendment rights are not violated. In addition, if you pay close attention to the Miranda Warning for your case, you might be able to help your criminal defense lawyer build on his or her strategy in defending you. 

What Is the Miranda Warning?

The Miranda Warning is a statement that arresting officers must read to you if they take you into custody and intend on questioning you. It reads as follows:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Whether you have been in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident while driving or you are simply just curious, it can be interesting to know how common traffic accidents are in Tennessee, especially over the last year relative to other years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By seeing and processing this data, you can become more aware of how serious of a problem vehicle crashes are in Tennessee and hopefully, figure out ways to avoid them in the future so you are not faced with any severe personal injuries

6 Facts About Tennessee Vehicle Accidents

  1. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there was nearly a 5 percent increase in traffic accident fatalities in 2020 relative to 2019.

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney BUI

Toward the beginning of 2020, Tennessee legislators introduced a bill that would work to align penalties between boating under the influence (BUI) and driving under the influence (DUI). It is probably good timing too because, after a sharp decline in boating-related deaths in 2019, 2020 saw the highest amount of boating-related deaths in nearly four decades for Tennessee. While it is true that some of these deaths could have been prevented with the proper safety measures being taken, many of them might have been caused by BUI. If this bill passes to align BUI penalties with DUI penalties, then both crimes would lead to equally severe punishments, making representation for a BUI arrest even more critical. Here is an update on the bill’s movement in the state legislature so you know what to expect this year.

Latest News on the New BUI Bill in Tennessee

The bill is the BUI Bill, HB0679, SB0246, and it explicitly states in its original form that it aims to mirror the penalties associated with DUI in Tennessee with those for BUI, meaning in the eyes of the law, both crimes will be considered equal in terms of the seriousness of crime and severity of punishment.

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Campbell County personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

In Tennessee, motorcycle crashes rank Campbell County close to the upper half relative to other counties in terms of high frequency. In addition, the state of Tennessee alone has seen spikes in motorcycle accidents and related personal injuries over the last few decades. Many people are aware of the risks involved with riding motorcycles, but there are some important safety laws and other tips that you might want to consider before hopping on that bike this spring.

How to Stay Safe on Your Motorcycle This Spring in Tennessee

With the pandemic figures getting better and improved weather conditions on the way, you might be tempted to ride your motorcycle more. This is a great choice, but you need to be a defensive motorcyclist and stay safe out there by doing the following things in order to avoid major accidents:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney

It is true that misdemeanors are not as serious, carrying with them less severe penalties, than felonies. With such a major difference between these two types of general criminal classifications, it might be worth considering the differences between misdemeanor court and felony court in Tennessee. While these two courts serve slightly different purposes, the overall courtroom experience for both is entirely different in terms of procedures, as evidenced by their respective definitions and processes. 

Misdemeanor Court, Explained

Misdemeanor court is also referred to as general sessions court. During these proceedings, you as the alleged perpetrator of the crime are given the following choices in court:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

If you are ever arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you need to realize that in Tennessee, a DUI is a very serious criminal offense and not just a minor traffic violation. If you do not realize this, you are not alone—nearly half of Americans across the nation do not consider DUI or DWI charges a criminal charge with criminal consequences under most circumstances. 

This could be for many reasons, one of which is the fact that every state has its own laws about drunk driving—Wisconsin for one has first-time DUI offenses punishable as traffic violations while subsequent DUI charges are considered criminal. In New Jersey, all DUIs are treated as traffic offenses. Even in New York, the law is a bit more lenient with regards to what is considered criminal concerning DUIs--first-offense DUI and second-offense DUI charges are viewed as traffic infractions while third-time DUI introduces criminality into the charges.

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Campbell County personal injury attorney

No one ever wants to think about this happening: Your loved one gets involved in a car accident while driving. It was not your family member’s fault, and the resulting personal injury from the collision caused him or her to become incapacitated, at least temporarily. You may believe that your relative should seek compensation in a court of law, but how? A coma or other mental incapacity could prevent a personal injury case from being initiated. Worse yet, your loved one might eventually die, making you wonder if a wrongful death lawsuit would be necessary on the family’s behalf. Not many people anticipate such dreadful thoughts and scenarios nor do they prepare for them. However, there are some things you can do if faced with such a situation that can help you protect your relative’s rights and obtain a positive outcome.

What to Do Before Pursuing Compensation through a Personal Injury Claim

So you know that your family member’s incapacitating injuries are the other driver’s fault, and you and your attorney agree that a personal injury lawsuit would be very appropriate in such a situation. Do you even have the right to file on your loved one’s behalf? That depends. Before attempting to litigate anything, you should look at your family member’s will, if he or she has one. Here are some things to consider first:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

As you may already know, in Tennessee, DUI is so serious that being convicted of it, even for the first time, can result in severe consequences, including jail time, fines, and revocation of your license. Indeed, not even a first-time DUI is considered a small offense in Tennessee. What is more, if you are pulled over for reasons other than drunk-driving and the officer discovers that you are also drunk, you could be faced with compounded charges in which you must defend against more than one offense. This is why probable cause can make or break a DUI case, and really, any criminal defense case for that matter.

What Is Probable Cause to Pull You Over in Tennessee?

Over the years, “probable cause” has become more loosely interpreted in the higher courts, both at the national and state levels. For instance, in Tennessee, pulling someone over even for the slightest presumption of guilt for breaking minor traffic laws is enough probable cause. After that, the police might perceive other things about your person or your property that leads them to suspect other more serious offenses. Like dominoes, the charges could pile up, and you might find yourself dealing with multiple charges, some of which could result from searches of your car or your property that you might have given consent for without even knowing it. 

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Chain-reaction accidents are usually caused by rear-end collisions. Tennessee has a history of some very serious chain-reaction crashes or pileups of multiple cars, often on the highway, that can lead to fires and even deaths. In fact, 15 people died in such a pileup on a Tennessee highway back in 1990. Last August, more than 30 cars were involved in three different chain-reaction accidents in one day, and just a few days ago, a rear-end collision in Tennessee led to a destructive fire that not only damaged cars and hurt drivers but also destroyed a building in the fire. As suggested, these multi-vehicle accidents are dangerous and consequential. Winter weather conditions, including fog, could lead to these types of crashes occurring even more often. That is why it is imperative to be aware as a motorist and the steps to take if you are involved in this type of crash.

4 Tips to Help You After a Chain-Reaction Accident in Tennessee

If you are involved in a chain-reaction accident, especially if you are injured or your car is damaged, consider the following tips to help you get through this traumatic experience:

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Campbell County criminal law attorney DUI

A first-time DUI (driving under the influence) is a very serious charge even though it is the first offense. Tennessee takes all DUI very seriously; therefore, even first-time DUI carries with it severe consequences, some on par with other similar charges of higher degrees. However, the judicial system can be somewhat forgiving, especially if you have a talented, knowledgeable, and experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side. First, you must realize the consequences, then you can consider what to do if charged so that this never happens again.

Consequences of First-Time DUI in Tennessee

While it might only be your first time receiving a DUI charge, if convicted, you could face relatively severe penalties, including the following punishments:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Despite the pandemic putting many of the usual activities of life on pause for the greater part of 2020, the Tennessee legislature did manage to pass a few laws that take effect in January of 2021. One such law took root in House Bill 1593 and Senate Bill 2207. These bills were primarily meant to tax peer-to-peer car-sharing programs, in which a car owner lends his or her car to someone else who will borrow it to drive using the program for a fee. It is the gig economy’s version of a car rental company in much the same way Airbnb is the hotel or timeshare of its age in this “sharing economy.” But what happens if you suffer a personal injury from a car accident involving a driver who is borrowing an automobile through a peer-to-peer car-sharing program? The 2021 peer-to-peer car-sharing program law has a lot to say about the insurance process, but what if the auto insurance policy does not fairly compensate you for your injuries or damages?   

What to Do After a Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Program Accident in Tennessee

Essentially, as a personal injury victim, you will want to handle a peer-to-peer ride-sharing accident in much the same way you would any other car accident:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

DUI charges during the winter holidays can be a frequent occurrence and accidents caused by drunk driving are also very common, but there are plenty of other reasons that drivers in Tennessee might be involved in car accidents this winter holiday season. Here is an overview of the data concerning the most common reasons for car accidents in Campbell County. Keep them in mind should you ever be involved in a car accident with personal injuries. Doing so will help you better understand whether you have a strong case, what type of compensation you might be entitled to, and how an experienced attorney can help you with your claim.

Frequent Reasons for Car Accidents in Tennessee

While driving drunk, texting while driving, driving recklessly or aggressively, and countless other reasons for car accidents are common across the nation, they are not nearly as common as the following categories are in Campbell County, TN, at least over the last decade. Each of these reasons for car accidents has resulted in hundreds of times more accidents than most other reasons:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

The holidays are here, and even with the pandemic still surging throughout Tennessee and the country, for that matter, there is still an increased likelihood of drunk driving on the roads. This means that the police in Tennessee will be more vigilant about stopping drivers for a wide variety of traffic violations but, most importantly and notably, they are going to be especially focused on pulling people over for DUI. With that in mind, here is a refresher on some tips for what to do should you be pulled over this holiday for DUI to avoid any criminal charges. 

Your Actions During a Traffic Stop Matter

There are several things you could do if pulled over for DUI this holiday that are common sense, but there are other steps to take that you might not even think about doing. Whatever the case might be, here are some tips for what to do if you are pulled over for DUI this holiday:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

In Tennessee, in addition to truck accidents, motorcycle accidents often can lead to some of the more devastating personal injuries. This is because by their very nature, motorcycles, especially if not driven with an extra degree of caution, can be dangerous. From the lack of protection with an outer frame and airbags that vehicles offer to a lack of proper protective gear to other motorists on the road not knowing how to drive around motorcyclists, it is no wonder that around 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents end in serious or fatal injuries. Below are several of the most common (and most severe) types of injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash.

Catastrophic Injuries 

Taking a motorcycle out for a ride, especially on the highway, can be a risky endeavor. Never is this more true than if other drivers on the road are not being particularly careful or are driving recklessly. In addition, the importance of wearing a helmet cannot be overstated. The Association of the Advancement of Automotive Medicine estimates that between 10 and 20 percent of all motorcyclists are not wearing a helmet at the time of their crashes. Other data suggests up to 30 or 40 percent of crashes in recent years were the result of a helmet not being worn. Tennessee is one of many states that have laws requiring motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear helmets that meet federal and state safety standards.

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