How Does Tennessee Handle Music Festival Drug Offenses?

We are often asked “how does Tennessee handle music festival drug offenses?” This is an important question here in Middle Tennessee, which hosts several high profile music events, including the Bonnaroo, the CMA Festival, and the Pilgrimage Festival.

The festival that seems to draw the most festival drug offense charges is Bonnaroo; however, it is important to know the potential charges and possible outcomes for any drug charge in Middle Tennessee.

What are potential criminal charges from music festivals?
At our office, we have represented individuals charged with a wide range of criminal charges from music festivals, ranging from low-level misdemeanors like public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia all the way up to felony offenses and offenses that may create a lifetime of complications like DUI and manufacture or sale of illegal narcotics.

If you are attending a music festival in Middle Tennessee, you may be placed in a situation to be charged with any of those criminal offenses. It’s important to know your rights and know what to do if you are found in violation of the law!

What do I do if I am arrested or cited for crimes at a music festival?
The most important thing you can do if you are questioned, cited, or arrested for crimes at a music festival is to keep quiet a hire a lawyer! The more you talk after being confronted and charged with a crime, the higher your chances of getting convicted. The police officers know this– that’s why they ask so many questions!

If you or someone you know faces a criminal charge at CMA Fest, Bonnaroo, the Pilgrimage Fest, or anywhere in between, call an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly. We are here to help.

Can I Get a Criminal Charge Off My Record?

We are often asked “can I get a criminal conviction off my record?” This question comes from a wide range of people, from people who are merely charged with a crime to people who have an old conviction from several years ago.

There are multiple ways to work towards getting a criminal conviction or criminal charge off your record. I will cover the three most common ways.

Dismissal / Order of Retirement
After being charged with a crime, the State may agree to either dismiss or retire your criminal charge. If the State offers such an agreement, then the matter will be dismissed, either immediately (if a dismissal) or after a passage of time (if a retirement). For a thorough discussion of the difference between these two, give this post a read.

Judicial Diversion
Another agreement that the State may propose is for you to plead guilty to a criminal charge under judicial diversion. Every adult is eligible to use judicial diversion one time in their adult life. Under judicial diversion, you plead guilty and enter a probation period, but, if you successfully complete your probation period, you may pay a fee and have the charge erased from your record once your probation period is over.

Tennessee Expungement Law
The last way that criminal charges or criminal convictions are often removed from records is through the Tennessee Expungement Law, T.C.A. § 40-32-101(g). Under the Tennessee Expungement Law, certain eligible offenses may be erased from your criminal record, subject to strict conditions. The conviction to be removed must be an eligible conviction and it must be the only conviction (or multiple convictions, if entered at the same time) on your record.

If you have criminal charges and are interested in having them removed from your record, schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney so that your future is best protected.

Need a Bonnaroo Lawyer? We Can Help.

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is one of the most iconic music festivals on the planet. Every year, tens of thousands of people cross the globe and descend upon Middle Tennessee to watch performers from Cardi B to The Lumineers perform on the main stages.

One inevitable thing, beyond iconic performances, is numerous Bonnaroo Drug Charges.

The Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, and many other law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for any suspicious activity that could justify a stop and search of your vehicle or person. If they find any illegal drugs, the local courts will prosecute you for charges ranging from simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia to more serious offenses like felony drug possession.

Many of the festival-goers are from out-of-state and do not know local laws, the court systems, or how to resolve charges quickly and reach the right result. That is why local representation matters using an Experienced Bonnaroo Lawyer who knows local courts, local rules, and the local district attorneys and court staff.

If you have been arrested or cited at Bonnaroo, you need a Bonnaroo Lawyer who will fight for you.

With serious risks involved with Bonnaroo Drug Charges like these, it is critically important to have an ally on your side that has a wealth of legal expertise as well as experience in the local courts. The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly has years of experience defending drug and alcohol charges and is eager to get to work for you. We are Bonnaroo Lawyers and we are here to help.

How Long Will My Conviction Remain on My Criminal Record and Background Check?

I am often asked “how long will a conviction remain on my criminal record?” The answer depends on the type of conviction. Depending on the type of conviction, it will remain on your record for one of three lengths of time: (1) until the end of your probation period; (2) for five years following the end of your probation period; or (3) for the rest of your life.

A criminal conviction is removed through expungement, which means to erase that criminal conviction from your record.

Expungement through Diversion
Under a diversion program, a defendant pleads guilty and enters into a probation period. If the defendant completes all the conditions of probation, and the probation period ends, the defendant can return to court and have the charge expunged from his record at that time.

Through a diversion program, a criminal conviction will remain on your criminal record until you return to court after the probation period and have it expunged.

Expungement through T.C.A. 40-32-101(G)
Under T.C.A. 40-32-101(G), a person may have a conviction expunged from their criminal record if: (1) the conviction qualifies for removal; (2) the person has had no criminal convictions since that conviction; and (3) the person has waited at least five years from the end of the sentence to ask for expungement.

If you meet all three requirements, you can petition the court to have your conviction expunged. Through this process, a criminal conviction will remain on your record for at least five years from the end of your sentence.

Convictions that cannot be Expunged
Unfortunately, there are some crimes that simply cannot be expunged from your criminal record. In such a situation, a conviction will remain on your criminal record, and be discovered in background checks, for the rest of your life.

To learn more about expungement, and to learn how you can access the courts to have your convictions removed, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What is the Difference Between a Dismissal and a Retirement?

I am often asked what is the difference between a retirement and a dismissal? In short, the short term looks a lot different between these two things, but the long term looks the same.

What is a Dismissal?
A dismissal is exactly what it sounds like; the State dismisses the charge against you. In Murfreesboro criminal cases, for General Sessions and Circuit Court, the District Attorney may decide to dismiss charges for a number of reasons. A dismissal means that the State has decided not to pursue charges against you and will end the case at that time.

What is a Retirement?
A retirement is best described as a delay with a dismissal at the end. A retirement means that the case will be continued, which means we will pick a new court date in the future, for a certain period of time. After that period, if you have complied with certain requirements, then the case will be dismissed (see dismissal definition above).

What is the Difference Between a Dismissal and a Retirement?
The difference between a dismissal and a retirement is what happens in the short term during the first six months to a year after your court date. Under a dismissal, there is no immediate actions that you need to take. Under a retirement, you may be required to perform certain tasks or conditions.

If a case is dismissed, it is over, which means that you have no restrictions on your behavior and no conditions you have to complete. In the short term, you are free to act however you wish, just as you were prior to being arrested and/or charged. In the long term, your case is dismissed and expunged from your record.

If a case is retired, then the case is not over. Instead, you have a new court date, likely one year away, and you have a signed agreement that you will complete certain conditions during that year. If, and only if, you complete those conditions, then the case will be dismissed. In the long term, like a dismissal, your case is dismissed and expunged from your record.

As always, if you have questions about Murfreesboro criminal cases, consult a Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyer about your case.