If You File A False Report, You Will Go To Jail

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It is a crime to falsely report a crime.

That is, you can and will get in trouble with the law if you report a crime but know that it really is not a crime. This is exactly what happened to a Action woman who, just a few weeks ago, was charged for her false report. Now she will have to pay her consequences by spending 2 months in jail.

26-year-old Charline Gatson filed a report with the police, reporting that an acquaintance approached her in her car and pulled out a gun. The acquaintance let Gatson go, but took her car. Gatson’s teenage son was still in the car and the acquaintance drove off. The vehicle was found later in San Bernardino, CA.

After investigators completed their work, they determined that Gatson’s carjacking and kidnapping report was false. In fact, Gatson had lent her vehicle to the acquaintance, and the acquaintance refused to return it. The stepson was not involved with the incident.

Because of Gatson’s false report, which effectively wasted resources, time, and money from police officers and investigators, Gatson was charged and ordered to spend 2 months in jail. In addition, she will be on probation for 36 months, and will pay a fine of $220.

Consequences for filing false reports are taken seriously because it takes officers away when they should be devoted to focusing on real, serious crimes.

All in all, filing a false report is irresponsible and reckless. It is, however, a different story when the person filing a report genuinely believes it to be true crime, but it is later determined that they are just mistaken. An example of that would be if someone witnessed a person whom they have never seen before, entering their neighbor’s apartment. Believing it to be an intruder, they alert the police. After investigating, the police learn that the neighbor had given this “intruder” their key because they are staying with them; this is an out-of-town friend, which is why the person had never seen them before.

Difference Between Infraction, Misdemeanor And Felony

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The terms “infraction,” “misdemeanor,” and “felony” have probably flown across your ears every now and then – from video games to television to movies to the morning news. But do you understand the differences between the three? Some people may think they are simply synonyms for each other. But, they are not and it is important for all Tennessee residents to understand the differences to these charges:

  • INFRACTION – fines must be paid but the defendant will not be put on probation and they will not face jail time. Infractions do not appear on criminal records.
  • MISDEMEANOR – fines must be paid and the defendant is subject to probation and up to 1 year in county jail.
  • FELONY – fines must be paid and the defendant is subject to probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and 1 year or more in state prison.

Simply knowing these consequences should hopefully be enough to steer you away from potential trouble. But if you are ever in need of a bail bondsman in Tennessee, Action Bail Bonding is ready to help. The company has offices all over the state and with over 30 years of experience in reuniting loved ones, they can help you too!

You can reach Action Bail Bonding 901-476-2245 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat and get your FREE consultation.

Criminal Charges Vs. Civil Charges

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One of the things that makes the American legal system confusing is that we have both criminal charges and civil charges.

Criminal charges are a straightforward part of the legal process. If you break the law, you’re arrested and criminal charges are filed against you. You have the option of pleading guilty to these charges. If you don’t plead guilty, the case goes to trial and a jury will decide if you’re guilty.

Civil charges are more complicated. Civil charges involve the victims of the crime. The civil court provides victims with an opportunity to do two things. First, they can face the person who they believe impacted the quality of their life. The second thing civil charges do is provide the victims with an opportunity to seek financial retribution.

If you’re unlucky enough to be hit with both criminal and civil charges, you’ll quickly notice that the two cases are handled quite differently.

The punishment in criminal cases usually involves fines, jail time, community service, or probation.

  • The punishment in civil cases is always financial.
  • There is a different standard of proof in civil and criminal cases.
  • Defendants in criminal cases have different guaranteed protections.
  • Juries are only used in very specific civil cases, most of the time it’s the judge who makes the final civil case ruling.

One of the things the O.J. Simpson case proved was that even if you’re not found guilty of the crime in a criminal case, you can be found guilty during a civil case. The reason Simpson was found guilty during the civil case even though he’d been found not-guilty during the criminal case is that a different standard of proof is required in the cases.

One of the first things criminal juries are told is that they can only find the defendant guilty if the prosecutor has proven that the defendant committed the crimes “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That means that if there is any question in the jury’s mind that someone else committed the crime, they must find the defendant not guilty. In the O.J Simpson criminal trial, the jury voted not-guilty because there was evidence that suggested someone else could have committed the murders. In his civil case, there was enough evidence to suggest he had.

The “beyond a reasonable doubt” concept disappears in civil cases. In those cases, if the judge (and in rare situations, a jury) looks for a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that if all the evidence suggests that the defendant committed the crime, they’ll be found guilty of the civil charges.

One of the interesting things about civil cases is that the people who filed the charges against the defendant not only seek financial restitution for actual costs, such as medical bills following a DUI accident but can also seek punitive costs which include pain and suffering.

Considering the extremely high cost of both criminal and civil cases, it’s in your best interest to think twice before you commit a criminal act that could result in you facing both criminal and civil charges.

 

What Happens If I Make A Fake Or Prank 911 Call

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Making a fake or prank phone call to 911 might seem like good fun but it’s not something you want to follow through with. Neither law enforcement offices nor court officials have a sense of humor.

To put it simply, making fake or prank 911 calls is illegal. In some situations, that single phone call could even result in felony charges.

The best way to learn just how much trouble making a fake or prank 911 call can land you in is by setting aside a few minutes to read Tennessee’s Penal Code 148.3. When you do, you’ll learn that you can’t:

  • Call 911 and make a fake report of a crime, injury, or accident.
  • Make a 911 call that results in the dispatcher or a law enforcement making a 911 report.
  • Use 911 to report a fictional emergency.
  • Call 911 and make a report that you know is false.

Law enforcement can choose to file charges against you if your fake/prank 911 call results:

  • In the deployment of emergency vehicles.
  • A building/area is evacuated in response to your call.
  • The call prompts the 911 dispatcher to activate the state or local Emergency Alert System.

The law very clearly states that anyone who makes a fake/prank 911 call can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. What is less clear is how the decision to pursue a misdemeanor or felony case is made. The general rule of thumb is that if someone is hurt, the prosecutor will push for felony charges.

Making a single prank/fake 911 call in Tennessee can have a seriously negative impact on your budget. If you’re found guilty, you could be:

  • Spend a full year in a county jail.
  • Be fined up to $1,000.

The cost doesn’t stop with the court fines. Depending on how much effort local agencies made to respond to your fake 911 call, the emergency response team that was involved will likely send you a bill that includes all the expenses they incurred as a result of your call.

Fake/prank 911 calls officially became illegal in Tennessee in 2013. Local lawmakers choose to crack down on these types of calls because they were tired of the calls tying up local resources and making it impossible to respond to valid emergencies.

In Action, fake/prank 911are sometimes referred to as swatters because of the number of times a fake 911 call resulted in a swat team getting deployed to a celebrity’s house.

Considering how much a fake/prank 911 call in Tennessee could cost you, it’s in your best interest to avoid using the number for anything that isn’t a genuine emergency.

 

What Is On Your Criminal History Background Check?

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Anyone who has ever been arrested is going to be concerned about what happens when they apply for jobs and housing – there’s always that piece of information on the application where it asks if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. It also says the hiring committee and landlord may do a background check on you first if they wish. Though not as scary as when you were actually being arrested, this is still quite a nerve-racking thought. What will they find out? How will my past behavior affect my current hopes and aspirations?

Background checks reveal records of any misdemeanors and felonies of the defendant. It will show whether the person was convicted or not. However, only records of the past 7 years will show; so if the person has a conviction that happened 10 years ago, it will not appear during the background check. As a record, it still exists, but that piece of information would not be available to others to see in this case. A background check will also not reveal any arrests that did not lead to a conviction.

Criminal histories do not prevent good opportunities for people trying to better themselves. But it can be important for employers and/or landlords to know and be aware of this information for professional and legal means.

If you or a loved one is ever in need of a bail bond, which releases a defendant from jail, Action Bail Bonding can help you with that. We are a professional bail bond company in Tennessee with more satisfied clients than other bail companies. Consultation is FREE for all. So talk to one of our skilled bail agents and get your questions answered and learn just how we can help you by contacting us online or on the phone at 901-476-2245. Ask about cheap bail bonds and discounts we offer. We are conveniently open 24/7.

To learn more about services we offer at Action Bail Bonding, call 901-476-2245 or Chat With Us now. Consultation is always FREE!

Understanding Assault With A Deadly Weapon

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Assault with a deadly weapon is basically what it sounds like. It means you are accused of assaulting someone and at the time you had something that could have been considered a deadly weapon. Like most legal issues, assault with a deadly weapon isn’t as simple as we would like it to be.

What Is A Deadly Weapon?

The first issue that comes up during assault with deadly weapon trials is if the object was deadly. Most of us hear deadly weapons and we instantly think of things like guns and knives. We don’t usually realize that many of the things that are simply laying around your house could be considered a deadly weapon in the right situation. In the heat of the moment, a shoe, pen, heavy beer bottle, or dog leash could become a deadly weapon. There have even been situations when a person bit or clawed an opponent and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon due to the sheer amount of damage their teeth and nails did to the victim.

Why It’s Important To Understand What A Deadly Weapon Is

Assault with a deadly weapon isn’t a simple thing in Tennessee, in large part because it’s one of the state’s wobbler laws. Depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

If you’re convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon you could spend the next four years in a state prison and be hit with up to $10,000 in fines. You’ll also probably have to go through a felony probation period.

If a gun is involved, the situation becomes even more complicated. If you have a simple handgun during the assault, the DA has the option of charging you with a misdemeanor. However, if the gun was a machine gun, an assault weapon, a semi-automatic, or a .50 BMG rifle, you’re automatically hit with felony charges. If you’re found guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon that included one of the listed firearms, you could be sentenced to twelve years in prison.

Potential Defenses In Assault With A Deadly Weapon

Just because you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, that doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. There are several, legal defenses you can use, including:

  • Someone was mistaken and you weren’t in possession of a deadly weapon at the time of the assault.
  • You didn’t intend to use the weapon.
  • You acted in self-defense.

Because assault with a deadly weapon in Tennessee is complicated, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as you hear the charges.

 

The First Amendment

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The United States is an interesting place when it comes to politics. There are marches and rallies about various different political issues nearly every day. From college protests to riots in the street, Americans are exercising their First Amendment right.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution covers:

  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of press
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom to petition

The First Amendment covers a lot of freedoms that people use daily. Without the First Amendment, the American culture and climate would be completely different. We wouldn’t be seen kneeling or flag burning because we wouldn’t have a right to protest. Imagine the internet without freedom of speech? Say goodbye to anything that holds an opinion opposing the government. Think of all the memes we would miss out on. Sure, we would see less hate online if we didn’t have freedom of speech, but we also wouldn’t be able to express our beliefs.

It is important to know that we may have a lot of freedoms, but they’re not a get out of jail free card either. A standard of reasonably good or being a decent person, has drawn a line on where your rights to certain freedoms end.

Areas that are not protected:

  • Obscenity
  • Fighting words
  • Defamation
  • Child pornography
  • Perjury
  • Blackmail
  • Incitements to lawless action
  • True threats
  • Solicitations to commit crimes
  • Plagiarism

Living in America, we’re fortunate to have such freedoms. Being able to practice whatever religion you want, say whatever you want, petition the government, and to express oneself is something we might take for granted from time to time. It’s important to our culture that we do exercise our freedoms. After all, what’s more American than having an opinion?

 

The Difference Between Manslaughter And Involuntary Manslaughter

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From a legal standpoint, manslaughter is, “the unlawful killing of a human being without any malice aforethought.”

What that means is that something you did resulted in the death of someone else. What separates it from other types of murder charges is that you didn’t actively think you were going to do something that would trigger their death. There was zero premeditation.

What Is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter, which is sometimes referred to as voluntary manslaughter, happens when the court rules that the victim provoked you. A perfect example of this is if you’re at a bar and someone is harassing you. If you decide you’ve had enough and punch your heckler and they die, that’s manslaughter.

You didn’t plan on murdering the person and their actions provoked the attack, but at the same time, you knew when you threw the punch, there was a chance it could end with a fatality.

Manslaughter is often considered an event that takes place in the “heat of passion.” In most cases of voluntary manslaughter, the defendant realizes that they could have and should have walked away from the situation rather than engaging with the victim.

What Is Involuntary Manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is a little more confusing. It happens when your actions directly led to the death of another, but you didn’t act maliciously. Examples of involuntary manslaughter often involve cars. Examples include getting into a fatal accident because you were speeding, texting, driving under the influence, or failed to properly maintain your vehicle.

Consequences Of Manslaughter

If you’re convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Tennessee, the potential legal consequences include:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Anywhere from 3-11 years in prison
  • Community service
  • Mandatory anger management counseling
  • Losing the ability to own a firearm

Voluntary manslaughter is one of Tennessee’s three-strikes law.

The legal consequence of involuntary manslaughter in Tennessee include:

  • 2-4 year in jail
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Probation

You may also face additional charges such as reckless endangerment, DUI, etc.

 

Tennessee Takes Court Order Violations Seriously

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California judges don’t issue court orders because they think it’s fun. They do so because they want you to follow the order. Failing to do exactly what the court order does or simply pretending it doesn’t exist will bring about some serious legal consequences. Violating a court order in Tennessee could potentially ruin your life.

The Legalities Of A Violated Court Order In Tennessee

The issue of violating a Tennessee court order is addressed in the Tennessee Penal Code Section 166 PC.

If you’re charged with violating a Tennessee court order, you’ll face a separate set of criminal charges that deal exclusively with that particular court order. This is separate from any other criminal charges you may currently face.

The burden of proof is on the prosecutor. During your hearing, they must prove that you knew about the court order, that you understood it, and that you deliberately set out to defy it. If the prosecutor proves that you knowingly violated the court order the case will be dropped.

What Happens If You’re Found Guilty Of Violating A Tennessee Court Order

It’s not unusual for the judge to decide to penalize you to the full extent of the law after you’ve been found guilty of violating a Tennessee court order. Even though this is only considered a legal misdemeanor, the guilty verdict can seriously disrupt your life.

The penalty for violating a court order in Tennessee can include:

  • Up to six months in a county jail
  • Probation
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

While defending yourself in a violation of a court order case isn’t easy, it can be done. The best defense is proving that you didn’t know/understand the terms of the court order. This defense works best when you can prove that the court failed to provide you with an opportunity to read the documentation.

Another common and highly successful defense is proving to the court that circumstances conspired against you, making it impossible for you to not violate the court order. An example of this is when you’re accused of violating a restraining order but the person you were supposed to avoid happened to show up at a venue and you were there before them.

The third most popular defense in a violating a court order case is proving that you were falsely accused.

Defending yourself in a violation of a Tennessee court order case isn’t easy. It’s in your best interest to make sure you fully understand every single aspect of the court order and follow it to the letter. If you’re in any way confused by the situation, you need to hire a good attorney who will explain the situation and advise you about your legal rights if you’re afraid you have already done something that violates the court order.