A criminal charge can derail your life – but it doesn’t have to.
If you’ve recently been charged with a crime, you know the experience can be frightening and overwhelming. You are probably concerned about what happens next, what effect the charge will have on you and your family, and what you can do so that the consequences don’t derail your life. This page will introduce you to our Knoxville criminal defense lawyers and how we can help.
Barnes & Fersten believes it’s important that you do not have to go through this process alone. We practice criminal defense to help people just like you and take great pride in delivery high quality service both inside and outside the courtroom. We have years of experience navigating the criminal justice system on behalf of clients with a proven track record of success. We strive to always keep our client informed and involved in their case and to treat each individual the way we would want a family member treated in their shoes.
At Barnes & Fersten we have dedicated our entire practice to criminal defense. We do not dabble in personal injury, real estate, wills, or any other area. We do so to make sure we can stay at the cutting edge of our industry and provide our clients the best possible defense in every case.
You are presumed innocent, even after being arrested and charged. It is up to the State of Tennessee to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you are guilty if they want a conviction. There are numerous ways to challenge evidence in court and to defend against criminal charges.
A few of the numerous considerations, strategies, and defense we use for our clients every week include:
Driving under the influence is one of the most common cases we defend at Barnes & Fersten. We’ve attended numerous continuing education course, including those put on by the National College for DUI Defense and the course police officers go through before enforcing DUI laws. DUI cases raise a number of issue that are less common in other criminal cases, like blood and breath testing, field sobriety testing, and the effect of medications and drugs on impairment, that require significant experience and training. At Barnes & Fersten, our Knoxville criminal defense lawyers pride ourselves on our defense of DUI cases of all types across east Tennessee.
State drug cases range from simple possession of small amounts of marijuana to complex criminal conspiracies involving the distribution of heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine. The consequences of these cases can be significant and we treat them as such. Determining the strength and weaknesses of the State’s informant evidence, law enforcement evidence, and expert evidence, along with thorough investigation and motions practice makes up the backbone of an effective drug case defense.
Federal drug cases, while charging similar crimes to state cases, are often very different. Many of these cases will include multiple defendants at varying levels of culpability, sometimes in different geographic locations and traveling across state lines, and also often charge gun crimes or even deaths that are allegedly the result of drugs that have been sold. Federal cases also require a Knoxville criminal defense lawyer with in depth knowledge of the different procedure involved in federal court, including the United State Sentencing Commission Guidelines which are not used in state court.
Domestic assault cases present serious issues for our clients and their loved ones. Much of the time no contact orders are put in place against the wishes of both the alleged victim and the client. These orders can keep family apart for significant periods of time and upend the lives of all involved. In many cases no one believed involving the police in a situation they did not believe was criminal would result in their entanglement with the justice system, but it did anyway. These cases can arise as misdemeanors or serious felonies and must be handled with the highest level of care and competence by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Violent crime cases are amongst the most serious cases that can be brought against an individual. From murder and manslaughter to assault, kidnapping, others, these cases can be devastating. Challenging the state’s case at every turn and tracking down all the information and evidence available can be the difference in winning and losing in these cases. Violent crimes, if convicted, often carry long sentences and restrictions on parole and must be defended aggressively.
Theft and shoplifting cases are charged based on the value of what was alleged to be stolen. Cases charging less than $1,000 lost are misdemeanors. Any amount over $1,000 is a felony and the penalties increase as the amount of loss goes up with the most serious charge being a class A felony for loss over $250,000 and carrying 15-60 years in prison. While few theft cases are that large, all are serious and require close scrutiny to determine whether a theft actually occurred, if so, who stole what, and what was the item stolen worth. Theft can be charged both for physical items, theft of good, and as theft of services. While these issues are sometimes straightforward, in our years of practicing criminal defense law we have seen numerous times when they were not.
Fraud and white collar cases often arise in professional or business settings and, like theft cases, involve financial harm to others. Many cases are brought against people in positions of trust or authority like executives, bankers, public officials, or and other managers. Allegations can include embezzlement, bribery, money laundering, and even bribery. These cases can be complex and can involve large numbers of documents and records, sometimes requiring the use of experts like a forensic accountant to aid in our investigation and defense. Many identity theft cases involve allegations of unauthorized use of credit and debit cards or checking account information and can also be complicated to prove.
The purpose of the juvenile justice system is different from the adult system, in that the juvenile court’s mission is to rehabilitate, often through alternative forms of punishment. Depending on the seriousness of the charge, the result of a juvenile case can include “informal adjustment” in which charges are ultimately dismissed, up to “transfer,” meaning the case is sent to adult court even though the defendant is a juvenile. Our goal as Knoxville criminal defense lawyers in representing juveniles is to protect them from the negative impacts of a juvenile charge and setting them up for a positive future. This can be achieved both by the traditional means of defending a charge and by convincing a prosecutor or court that it is in everyone’s best interest to support the child and family, rather than imposing harsh punishment.
A criminal charge can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. You may be feeling scared, confused, and unsure of what to do next. You may be worried about the impact a conviction will have on your life, your job, and your family.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are experienced criminal defense attorneys who can help you fight the charges against you and protect your rights.
At Barnes & Fersten, we have a team of experienced Knoxville criminal defense attorneys who are dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible representation. We will work tirelessly to investigate the facts of your case, build a strong defense, and fight for the best possible outcome for you.
We understand that being charged with a crime can be a very difficult time in your life. We are here to help you through this process and to provide you with the support you need.
If you have been charged with a crime, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We will review your case and discuss your options with you. We will fight for your rights and help you get the best possible outcome.