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Clarksville Legal Blog

Domestic violence case against Tennessee athlete dismissed

Just because you have been charged with domestic violence or assault, doesn't mean that you will face conviction, or even a trial. Charges were recently dropped against Tennessee wideout Josh Smith after an alleged domestic violence incident at his home, which he shared with two friends. We often think of domestic violence involving dating or married couples, but the law is based on proximity between the two parties, not just relationship. In this case, the parties were roommates who got into an altercation after a night of drinking.

One of Smith's roommates went to the bathroom and Smith forced his way into the room out of concern. Many details are unclear, but the roommate apparently pushed Smith and they began fighting. The parties' third roommate entered the room and refused to leave. As a result, the three men ended up in a scuffle. Smith admitted to kicking the first roommate in the face when trying to stop the other two from fighting. Smith then called his parents for help once he saw the severity of the first roommate's injuries. Smith's parents drove the first roommate to the hospital and Smith's brother drove Smith. Smith was later charged with domestic assault.

Calculating child support in a military divorce in Tennessee

A very common source of contention in any divorce concerning children is the calculation of child support. Usually, the custodial parent demands more money than the noncustodial parent is willing to pay. Each parent will try to get the final amount to be in his or her favor.

For those in the military, things can go a little differently due to military laws. Understanding how child support works in a military divorce can help you know what you reasonably should receive from your ex. As military divorce and child support are complicated issues, seeking counsel from a family law attorney with experience in military law is in your best interest.

Possible defenses for assault and battery

If you have been accused of physically injuring someone or attempting to injure them, you may face assault or battery charges. Being charged with a violent crime is serious and could lead to long-term consequences. Many Tennessee residents convicted of these criminal charges face years in prison.

Fortunately, the criminal justice system is based on a presumption of innocence. This means that the prosecution has the difficult task of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to get you convicted. If they fail to do that, your charges will likely be dropped. While it is the prosecution's job to prove that you committed the crime in question, a solid criminal defense strategy can play a huge part in whether the prosecution is successful in proving your guilt.

After lengthy court battle, divorce granted for lesbian couple

After a hard-fought divorce and custody battle, a Tennessee lesbian couple has finally been granted a divorce and a split custody arrangement to care for their child. The judge on the case changed his mind after originally ruling that one of the women had no parental rights to the child, who was conceived via artificial insemination, as she does not legally qualify as a "husband." This case will likely have a major impact on same sex family law issues in Tennessee.

When the couple first filed for divorce, Tennessee legislators tried to intervene, insisting they needed to preserve their ability to protect domestic policy. These lawmakers were represented by the Family Action Council of Tennessee, or "FACT," believing that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.

How can I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

If you are overwhelmed by debt and cannot seem to find a way to repay it, there are ways for you to have your debts forgiven in Tennessee. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many of your unsecured debts will be discharged, including credit card, personal loan and medical debt. You will get to keep exempt property, but the rest of it will be liquidated.

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the past eight years or filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the past six years. If you have mostly consumer debts, you must pass a means test to show that your income is low enough to file.

Defending against false accusations of domestic violence

Every day, men and women all across the nation are subjected to domestic violence. It is easy to assume that a person charged with domestic violence committed a crime. However, this is not always the case. Some people will falsely accuse their loved ones of domestic violence during an argument or to get back at them for something they did. Unfortunately, even the mere accusation of domestic violence can negatively impact someone's life. Domestic violence charges can damage your reputation in the community and make it difficult to get a job.

The legal penalties of a domestic violence conviction in Tennessee are similar to other assault convictions, in that you may face fines and jailtime. However, domestic violence charges carry additional penalties that other misdemeanor charges don't have.

Defending against assault and battery charges in Tennessee

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming no matter what the accusations are. However, assault and battery charges can result in some of the most serious consequences, including long-term jail sentences. Being charged with a crime does not mean that you will be convicted. You could avoid conviction and serious penalties by utilizing a solid criminal defense to protect yourself.

In assault and battery cases, self-defense is one of the most common defenses used by defendants. Self-defense basically says that you assaulted someone else based on the belief that your life was in danger. Establishing self-defense requires you to show that you were facing a threat of illegal force or harm and that you were fearful of harm. The fear of harm must be reasonable in that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would also experience the same fear. In order to use self-defense, you must not have harmed or provoked the person you attacked. You must also show that you did not have any reasonable method of escaping the situation without self-defense. You may also use force to protect others from harm if you reasonably believed that they were in danger.

Natural Marriage Defense Act may eliminate same sex marriage

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal all across the country with their ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Because of this ruling, same-sex couples in every state are legally permitted to marry and have their marriages recognized by the court system. Same-sex couples are also allowed to divorce and are subject to the same divorce court procedures as other couples. However, a new bill, sponsored by Representative Mark Pody and Senator Mae Beavers, may cause same-sex family law issues in Tennessee. The bill will soon be brought in front of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

The bill states that only "natural marriage between one man and one woman" will be recognized in Tennessee, in spite of the Supreme Court ruling. As a result, same-sex couples who were married in Tennessee or in any other state will see their marriages be null and void in Tennessee. The bill also states that same-sex married couples may be denied certain services that are offered to different-sex married couples.

Common methods spouses use to hide assets

If you reflect on that day you either asked someone to marry you or accepted a proposal, you probably had nothing less than complete trust in the person with whom you decided to spend your life. Relationships have a tendency to change over time, however, and that person you once trusted may one day become your adversary. When couples are on the verge of a split, it is not uncommon for each spouse to look out for his or her own best interests, and this can lead husbands and wives to try to conceal assets from one another so that they do not have to be divided. They may attempt to do so in the following ways.

How can I defend myself in criminal court?

Criminal charges in Tennessee can result in serious consequences, including years in prison, fines, probation and other penalties. However, many criminal charges are dismissed in court when the defense uses a solid criminal defense strategy.

Your criminal defense strategy will depend on your specific charges. However, there are some defenses that are usable in most cases, regardless of the type of crime you are charged with. One of these strategies requires you to tell the truth in a certain way. While your story must be based in factual evidence, there are ways for you to tell your story and gain sympathy from the judge or jury hearing your case. You should also be able to explain and prove the facts of your story to make sure that your story is "airtight" and cannot be challenged by the prosecution.

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
412 Franklin Street
Clarksville, TN 37040

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