The state of Tennessee’s judicial system affords certain rights to everyone who is charged with a crime. It also follows a structured system, from arrest to criminal trial.
The first step in any criminal case is the arrest or citation. Once you are arrested, you will be booked into the criminal justice system—a process which will include fingerprinting, photographing, etc. You will also be scheduled for your first court appearance.
The arraignment, also called the initial appearance, comes before the first court date. Oftentimes, the arraignment is held at the jail via video teleconferencing. During the arraignment, you will stand before a Tennessee judge or magistrate, who will set the bond or bail, make sure that you understand the charges being brought against you, advise you of your right to a Tennessee attorney and, finally, schedule the next court date.
It is critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side prior to the arraignment, to ensure the best possible outcome.
The Tennessee General Sessions court addresses both civil and criminal cases, and also has a division that hears nothing but DUI cases. Depending on the details of your case, it may be resolved in General Sessions court. Otherwise, the case moves to the Grand Jury.
The Grand Jury is “grand” because it is made up of 13 citizens: 12 jurors and one foreperson. In DUI cases, the Grand Jury may determine whether criminal charges may be pressed.
At the indictment, you will be formally charged, with each element of the crime explicitly stated. The Criminal Court is the highest trial court in the state of Tennessee. It is here that the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
If convicted in Criminal Court, you may appeal the conviction, the sentence or both.
Although the state will appoint an attorney to you if you can’t afford to hire one, no one will defend your rights as vigorously as Marcos Garza. Mr. Garza is an experienced and knowledgeable DUI attorney who is well versed in Tennessee law and the judicial process, and he will work hard to ensure your rights are upheld and that you receive a fair trial.
If you are facing DUI charges in Tennessee, call the Garza Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
Don’t leave your case in the hands of a state-appointed lawyer. Call the Garza Law Firm today at (888) 680-7554 to ensure you have the best chance at a favorable outcome.