on a suspended or revoked license is a MISDEMEANOR.
is NOT just a traffic ticket.
Criminal cases generally are divided into 3 groups:
The jail term is 1
year or longer;
The jail term is up to
11 months, 29 days; and
These are generally
not really criminal matters. They usually carry
only a fine, and are civil in nature.
However, certain traffic cases such as
vehicular homicide are felonies, and certain traffic cases such
as Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving on a revoked or
suspended license are misdemeanors.
for a free appointment to discuss your situation.
There are 3 types of
Courts in Shelby County, Tennessee for Driving on a
revoked or suspended license criminal
This is a Court of a
municipality such as Bartlett, Germantown,
Collierville, or Millington. These Courts can
conduct trials of traffic cases and
The traffic cases involve only violations
of city ordinances. These Courts can only hold preliminary hearings
of felonies. A preliminary hearing is held to determine if enough
evidence exists to refer the case to the Grand Jury for indictment
and trial in Criminal Court. The preliminary hearing also can lead
to dismissal if no evidence is found.
These Courts have the
same authority as Municipal Courts. These Courts
hear traffic cases from the County outside any
municipality. These Courts try violations of state
criminal laws the same as Municipal Courts,
including preliminary hearings for
These Courts are the
same as Circuit Courts in other counties. However,
in Shelby County they try only criminal cases.
These cases can be either misdemeanors or felonies
which are violations of state law.
A case is brought to
the Criminal Court as a result of an indictment by
the Grand Jury. The indictment can follow a
Municipal Court or General Sessions Court
appearance, or it can first be brought by the Grand
Jury. This is the Court where you obtain a jury
trial for a criminal or driving with a revoked or
suspended license charge.
Fees are generally
less for Municipal Courts and General Sessions
Court. This is because trials and appearances are
much shorter than in the other Courts. The savings
in time is passed on to the client in the form of
Time spent on appearances in Criminal
Court is longer and trial time is much longer than Municipal or
General Sessions Courts. Thus the fees charged are far more substantial.
It is rare for a trial to last less than 2 days in Criminal Court.
The allotment of such a large amount of time must be compensated.
Lawyers must spend a great deal of time
preparing a case for trial. They may need to hire an investigator,
or interview witnesses with a Court Reporter, the likes of whom
cost considerable sums of money. Therefore, fees may appear high,
but in reality are not. Fees cover the overhead of the lawyer as
well as provide personal income to the lawyer.
for a free appointment to discuss your situation.
The Attorney will examine all of the
evidence and research all of the applicable law. He will then advise
he client of the alternatives available, including his evaluation
of the case. The client then has to decide whether to chance going
to trial and receiving a harsher result, or settling the case by
pleading guilty and receiving a lighter sentence.
The guilty plea can
involve a fine, a jail sentence, probation,
restitution, or any combination of these. It can
also be diversion, which is a probation period
which, if completed without incident, results in a
dismissal of the case and expungement (clearing) of
the client's record.
Fines and Court costs
can be paid in installment payments to the Court
Clerk. These must be arranged with the clerk after
a guilty plea or after a guilty verdict.
Sometimes a trial is
the best course of action. The client then has the
right to have a jury of his peers hear the
evidence, and then decide whether or not the client
is guilty, and what the sentence will
C. Lack of
There are no
guarantees. There are too many "people" variables.
All a lawyer can do is prepare the best that he
can, and use all of his experience and ability to
try the case in a manner which is most favorable to
Judges are people.
Some have conservative leanings and some have
liberal leanings. Some are tough, some are
thoughtful. It is the luck of the draw, and is a
factor to be considered when debating whether to go
to trial or plead guilty.
V. Constitutional Rights
Every United States
citizen has certain rights granted under the United
States Constitution. Unfortunately, our courts have
been enforcing these rights less and less since the
1970's. Motions to suppress evidence are rarely
granted any more.
The courts are,
however, enforcing rights to jury trials and right
to a speedy trial.
Generally, most uninformed people are
against enforcing these rights because they feel that it benefits
"criminals." However, they usually take a different position when
the defendant is them or their relatives. Then they are insistent
on having their constitutional rights protected and honored.
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901-757-5557 for a free appointment to discuss your situation.