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Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

Tennessee Criminal Charges: How to Keep Them Off Your Record

Article by Patrick Stegall

If you’ve been charged with a crime in the state of Tennessee you may be wondering how to keep it from going on your record permanently. There are only a few ways to do this, and it’s going to depend on factors such as your prior criminal background (if any) and the type of charge and facts surrounding it. There are no guarantees that a charge can be removed. You’re going to need a competent attorney, a willingness to do what it takes to help yourself, and maybe a bit of luck.

Where I practice in Memphis, Tennessee the easiest way for a defendant to get a charge removed from their record is through a dismissal. This means that the case is dimissed, or the charges dropped, and there is no further prosecution. Prosecutors, however, are not in the habit of just dismissing cases. If they’ve got what they feel is a solid case, then no amount of pleading, negotiating or arguing will persuade them to simply drop the charges. However, like a lot of things in life, it’s a give and take process. If the defendant does x, the state may do y, such as agree to a dismissal.

Some examples. Often on shoplifting cases the prosecution will agree to dismiss if the store does not want to press charges, the merchandise was recovered undamaged, and the defendant pays restitution and court costs. Domestic violence cases will frequently be dismissed if the accused attends an anger management course and pays court costs. Charges such as trespassing or disorderly conduct may be dismissed on the first court date by simply paying costs.

If the case is dismissed through one of these methods, an expungement order can be prepared for the judge to sign. An expungement order authorizes the destruction of all public records relating to the offense, including police reports and court documents. This is the process of actually removing the charge from someone’s record; a dismissal simply means the charge has been dismissed but it still may show up. An expungement erases it completely from your public record. Another way to secure a dismissal and expungement of a criminal cases in Memphis-area courts is through a process called diversion.

Diversion is a Tennessee law that allows qualified first-time offenders to go on probation. After the individual has completed probation and completed all their obligations, such as paying court costs and fines, or completing classes, the charge will be dismissed and they may have it expunged. Having a dismissal without diversion is the easiest and least expensive way to dispose of a case, but that option isn’t always available. It’s going to depend on the type of charge and the district attorney’s policy. When an outright dismissal isn’t available, diversion is the next option. The more serious the charge, the harder it will be for it to be removed from your record. Violent offenses such as armed robbery and murder are rarely, if ever, going to be dismissed, and under Tennessee law are not eligible for diversion. Misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, however, may be taken off through one of the methods I previously mentioned.

About the only other option for having a criminal charge in Tennessee removed from your record is to go to trial and be found not guilty. A verdict of not guilty will allow the individual to have all public records of the case expunged. A conviction, however, whether through a guilty plea or a verdict of guilty following trial, cannot be expunged. I am frequently asked by people with a Tennessee criminal conviction if they can get it removed from their record. My answer is always no. The case has to be dismissed. Being charged is one thing, but being convicted is a whole different matter. Convictions are permanent, unless you can get a pardon from the governor or some other extraordinary relief.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Tennessee, you should explore all your options for removing it from your record. An experienced Memphis criminal defense lawyer can help with this.

About the Author

Patrick Stegall is a Memphis, Tennessee criminal lawyer. Please visit his website at

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Dolly Parton’s Theme Park – Dollywood – in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Article by Darryl Payne

When people think of Dollywood they come to think primarily of rides at an amusement park, but Dollywood is much more than fun-loving rides. It is The E-Pod of the south with exploration, entertainment, and education.

As you enter the gates of Dollywood you will begin your exploration through the “Craftsmen’s Valley” that offers a shady walk through a genuine holler past all sorts of working craftspeople, chefs cooking in huge cast iron skillets over open fires, and a winding brook. The steam train takes you on an exploration of times gone by with over 5 miles of track. You will explore the high ridges of the Smokies and back again on this unique visit in the Smokies.

Around the bend you will be entertained by gospel groups, musicals of the 50’s, celebration shows of the heritage of the great Smoky Mountains, and so much more. The shows are some of the best entertainment at Dollywood. Why, you will even meet some of Dolly Pardon’s relatives who are a part of the show!

Allow your children to be educated as they see where “Challenger” the bald eagle lives. Yes, Dollywood is the place that houses the Eagle Foundation. You will see demonstrations of how eagles, owls, hawks, and other endangered species are cared for. You may have seen “Challenger” at national football games, the World Series, or at national events in Washington as we celebrated our nation’s independence. It all happens at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Throughout the year there are several festivals inside the park, including a traditional Smoky Mountain Christmas Celebration and a Fall Harvest Festival complete with bluegrass and country music. The Smoky Mountain Christmas Celebration includes thousands of lights throughout the park and many Christmas-themed live shows. A summer concert series features more than 50 names in country music. With all these exciting events comes some exceptional food found only in the south. You will eat some of the best bar-b-cue and chicken this side of Memphis, Tennessee!

Arrive by 3 and the next day is free! That’s the policy at Dollywood. It’s their desire is to see that your family has a great vacation at an affordable price. Make the most of your day of arrival by visiting Dollywood in the late afternoon or evening and have a great dinner in the park. Enjoy the entertainment, exploration, and education until the park closes. Retreat to your cabin or hotel and get a great night of sleep and then come back the next morning FREE!

Dollywood is a mainstay when visiting the Smokies. Make sure to plan at least one day to take in all this fun-filled park has to offer.

About the Author

Darryl Payne is owner of Stone Oak Web Travel Guide, which offers information on the Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and more. Visit them online today at http://www.stoneoakweb.comfor complete Smoky Mountain vacation planning information. © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Related National Pardon Articles

Avoiding Pitfalls in Obtaining a Pardon in Tennessee

Article by Nathan Moore

Getting a pardon is the last resort for those ineligible for expungement under Tennessee’s rigorous criminal conviction laws. The official name for a pardon is “executive clemency”.

In Tennessee, the pardon process is lengthy and difficult. The pardon is a concept in merit – you must demonstrate to the governor that you are deserving of a second chance, that you have a legitimate reason for wanting a pardon. There are many good reasons for desiring a pardon, such as wanting to obtain a professional certification or the desire to further one’s education. The pardon is the legal equivalent of things being forgiven, but not forgotten. A pardon in Tennessee does not erase the conviction from your record, but it shows that you have been forgiven by the state for whatever occurred. Obtaining a pardon can significantly reduce the otherwise legitimate concerns a potential employer or educational institution may have concerning your criminal past.

Carefully crafting to pardon application is of utmost importance: two-thirds of pardon applications are rejected outright by the Board of Probation and Parole, who is responsible for offering pardon recommendations to the governor. If the Board feels your application has sufficient merit, a hearing will be scheduled for you where you can make the case that you are worthy of pardon consideration.

There are a few minimum, bare requirements for applying for a pardon in Tennessee: you must have five (5) personal recommendations, you must have fully completed your sentence, and you must have stayed out of trouble since completing your sentence. These are, in fact, the bare minimums. Your chances are helped by the quality and quantity of your recommendations as well as your resume, so to speak, of self-betterment and community involvement. The key to success is demonstrated to the Board that you are worthy and “deserve” a pardon.

As is the case with many legal processes, it is a good idea to consult with a criminal lawyer knowledgeable of the clemency / pardon process before submitting your application. The low recommendation rate alone speaks to the difficulty and complexity of obtaining a pardon in Tennessee. Your best presentation is required if you are to have a chance at impressing the Board of Probation and Parole. One must think of the clemency process as a job interview, where you best foot forward is your only hope of getting hired. It is precisely the same when petitioning for a pardon; therefore, it is important to make sure you make your best first impression. It is vital that the Board think you worthy of forgiveness the first time they see you, and the only way to ensure that is extensive preparation.

About the Author

Nathan Moore is a defense lawyer whose practice is focused on criminal defendants. His office is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and he is certified to practice before the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and in the Middle District of Tennessee. If you are interested in petitioning for clemency, you can discover more about obtaining a pardon in Tennessee at his website,

On the 18th October 1910 at the Old bailey the trial of Dr. Crippen started. Five weeks later he was executed at Pentonville Prison. was his conviction ‘safe’? Giovanni Di Stefano files an application for his pardon as new forensic evidence comes to light that the body found and subject to he indictment was not that of his wife. Hear why. What role did Sir Winston Churchil play?
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Expunge Your Tennessee Criminal Record

Clearing a name of a criminal record used humorous ads to sell itself.

Criminal expungements can be a difficult task. Some states are worse than others when trying to cleanse your criminal record. Tennesse is a particularly difficult state, where qualified counsel is a must if you even hope to erase your criminal history.

Most convictions in Tennessee are permanent. This applies whether you are attempting to expunge a misdemeanor or expunge a felony. There are still some convictions that can be expunged, however. If you entered into a pre-trial diversion or post-trial diversion agreement with the prosecution and successfully completed your probation, you could be eligible to get your criminal record expunged. Keep in mind that any violation of your diversion agreement could make an expungement impossible. The only way to know for sure is to contact an expungement attorney familiar with the requirements of the jurisdiction where you were charged. A small fee is required by Tennessee when expunging a record after completing a diversion agreement.

It is much easier in Tennessee to get dismissed charges expunged. Many people do not realize it, but even if a charge is dismissed against you, it will show up in a criminal background check. Though it will appear as dismissed, any charged crime can raise questions about you to others. This can be unfortunate if a potential employer is doing a background check, or if you are going back to school in the near future. Applying for an expungement and getting your record erased can avoid such embarrassment.

Using your full name and date of birth, an expungement attorney can fully research your criminal record. Expungement applications are detailed legal documents, and a slight misstep can delay your expungement for weeks or even months. A proper expungement application addresses every case number under every name you may have been charged under. A proper Tennessee expungement will make sure that every legal record that can negatively affect you will be erased forever.

Getting a criminal expungement is among the most important things you can do. Even the charge of a crime can be damaging to one’s reputation, not withstanding an actual conviction. A governor’s pardon can work in situations where you are not eligible for an expungement. This is usually a long shot, but still a worthwhile option if you are unable to qualify for an expungement under present law. The most effective and quick option is getting an expungment if you are eligible for it – a qualified expungment attorney can assist you in determining the best way to go.

Nathan Moore is a criminal defense lawyer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Moore’s practice covers all elements of criminal defense – you can learn more at his firm website. If you are interested in learning whether your prior charges or convictions can be expunged, you can discover more about the expungement process in Tennessee here.

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Expungement: Tennessee Law and Filing an Application for Expungement

Criminal History: Working Through Challenges and Dispelling Myths is part of the Employment Law online course.
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Tennessee is one of the more difficult states in which to expunge your criminal record. Unfortunately for those convicted of a crime, there are only limited instances where you can get a Tennessee expungment of your criminal record. The laws and regulations governing Tennessee expungements are identical for all classes of convictions, whether felony or misdemeanor.

Expunging your criminal record in Tennessee is difficult but certainly not impossible. There are a variety of situations where erasing your criminal record and expunging damaging information can legally occur. Dismissed charges can always be expunged in Tennessee. A criminal expungement attorney can do a records search for you to find the dismissed charges against you, the relevant indictment or warrant numbers, and the name under which you were charged (to avoid problems by perhaps missing aliases in the criminal database). Once a complete search is completed, an expungement attorney will then able to draft the required order and submit it to the court clerk in the county where you were convicted or charged. The request is then sent to the district attorney’s office to determine whether there is any state opposition to the expungement.

Post-trial and pre-trial diversion agreements also allow you to expunge a guilty plea. Keep in mind, however, that one can only apply for an expungement once all requirements of diversion have been met. Tennessee law allows counties to collect a court fee for expunging records. This can be in addition to any court costs that may still be owed on your case. Criminal charges and convictions can negatively affect you in the future if they are not fully expunged, even if they are part of a diversion agreement, or a plea under advisement. It is vital that you retain an expungement attorney who does a complete criminal record search to make sure all charges that can be erased from your record are expunged. A good expungement attorney conducts an exhaustive record search with your complete name, date of birth, and any aliases you may have used so that every charge against you that can be expunged is completely removed. It does you little good to miss an expungeable charge and end up with a partial expungement that will still show up on background checks.

It is important that you start the process as soon as possible. Obtaining an expungement can sometimes take months to complete depending on the county where you were charged. This makes it vital to retain an attorney fluent in the criminal system to ensure that your expungement is handled correctly the first time. It is important to make sure your record is fully expunged before you seek a new job or apply to college or a technical school. The process for obtaining an expunement is the same no matter the seriousness of the charge. A knowledgeable criminal lawyer familiar with the Tennessee expungement process is definitely your best bet. Though not easy, a Tennessee expungement is not impossible to obtain. After the expungement process is complete, state law ensures that no physical evidence of your conviction or charge remains. Expert counsel and a committed effort are necessary make sure your record is clean. Getting an expungement in Tennessee can be a trying process. Good counsel is your best

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