1) Misdemeanors carry a minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum of 11 months and 29 days of jail time along with a fine from $50 to $2,500. Drug related offenses carry fines which vary based on the classification of the offense.
2) Felonies carry a minimum of 1 year in prison to a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole along with a fine from $3,000 to $50,000. Felony offenses are generally classified as violent and non-violent, with the later being those that include property related offenses like thefts. On the other hand violent felonies include, but are not limited to: rape, murder, manslaughter, carjacking, etc.
Many people are not aware of offense classifications until they are charged with a crime and either have a high bond or are informed by a Judge on arraignment date of the classification of their offense(s) and how much time those offenses carry. It's imperative that defendants take every case seriously whether misdemeanor or felony because guilty pleas and convictions to any offense will have lifelong detrimental consequences and this is even more true with felony offenses.
Jurisdiction over these criminal offenses fall within either the General Sessions or Criminal Courts:
General Sessions Courts have jurisdiction over all Misdemeanor charges. Should you choose to waive your rights to a Preliminary Hearing or jury trial, then you will be permitted to resolve your matter in General Sessions.
Those who are charged with Felony offenses or Misdemeanor offenses and choose to either set their case for a Preliminary Hearing, or waive their case upstairs to Criminal Court via a Waiver Bindover or a Waiver By Information will fall under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Courts.
The following are some of the many Misdemeanor Offenses in Tennessee:
Theft of Property $500 or less
Vandalism $500 or less
Simple Assault, Assault w/Bodily Harm, Threat of Bodily Harm, or Offensive Contact
Prostitution near a church or school
Driving Under the Influence (1st-3rd offense)
Possession of Controlled Substance (1st & 2nd offense)
The following are some of the many Felony Offenses in Tennessee:
Murder (all degrees)
Theft of Property over $500
Vandalism over $500
Driving Under the Influence (4th offense or greater)
Possession of Controlled Substance (3rd offense or greater)
Convicted Felon in Possession of Handgun
Some of the more serious Felonies like Carjacking require that you serve a majority of the sentence before you reach your Release Eligibility Date. With Felonies like First and Second Degree Murder there is no parole.
Should you find yourself facing a criminal offense, be it misdemeanor or felony, please contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who will review your case especially your criminal exposure and mount a vigorous defense to your charges. Your Attorney will also explain your rights and options and how best to effectuate a satisfactory resolution of your case.
Contact Tawanda Williams Law Office, PLLC at 901-206-8200 for a FREE CONSULTATION!