Trusted Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side Fighting for Your Rights
Advocating on behalf of the accused in Knoxville and throughout Tennessee
Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming: you may be frightened about your future, and confused about what you should do next. When you’re facing serious charges that have serious consequences, you need an attorney who knows how difficult your situation is, and who will assert and protect your rights.
Knoxville, TN attorney Patrick Slaughter is here to guide you through the difficulties in the criminal justice system. At the Law Offices of LaFevor & Slaughter, we know that good people make mistakes, and that one bad decision or error shouldn’t ruin your life. We also know that a clear and concise explanation of your charges, and how a conviction could affect your life, can help you make smart choices about what is best for you. We don’t judge you, and we don’t create undue stress for you. We tell you what you need to do and why, and we work with you to plan an effective defense strategy.
The types of cases we handle
We focus primarily on cases involving:
- Juvenile court. Kids make mistakes; they shouldn’t have to pay for them for their entire adult lives. We advocate on behalf of your child when he or she is facing drug charges, underage drinking charges, or theft charges. We always strive to have the charges dropped completely; when that is not possible, we negotiate on behalf of your child to have the charged reduced.
- Expungements. We also assist parents in their quest to have their children’s records expunged for misdemeanor crimes such as disorderly persons and shoplifting.
- A misdemeanor has less serious consequences than a felony, but it can still impact your ability to live your life the way you want to. We have experience helping people charged with misdemeanors, as well as expunging their records of certain convictions.
- Property crimes. Patrick handles all cases involving property crimes, including but not limited to trespassing, destruction of private property, theft, burglary and larceny.
- Class C felonies. Many white-collar crimes fall under the Class C Felony category, including fraud. We also handle drug charges listed as Class C.
- Class D felonies. In Tennessee, failure to pay child support is a Class D felony. Patrick leverages his work in family law to help men and women accused of “deadbeat” parenting. He also defends those accused of Class D level marijuana possession.
Under certain circumstances, we may try to reduce felony charges to misdemeanors if the evidence against you is inconclusive. We represent clients in courtrooms and in bond hearings, and will travel to a local jail if you are being held there.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Tennessee?
A misdemeanor is a crime that is considered less serious than a felony, yet still has serious consequences such as a jail term of up to 11 months and 29 days and potentially significant fines. A misdemeanor will be listed on your criminal record making it difficult for you to find employment, qualify for financing or be accepted at your chosen college or university.
A felony is a serious crime classified as Class A through E with Class A felonies being the most serious. A Class A felony could be punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison, death or a life sentence in prison, fines of up to $50,000, and a Class E felony. the least serious felony under Tennessee law, might face a penalty of one to six years in prison and fines of up to $3,000.
What rights does a convicted felon lose in Tennessee?
If you are charged with a felony and convicted of the crime, you will lose many of the rights that most Americans take for granted including:
- The right to vote
- The right to hold public office
- The right to possess firearms
- Travel and visa restrictions
- Ability to receive federal financial aid and housing benefits
- Qualify for professional licenses and other employment opportunities
- Serve on a jury
- Child custody
What do I need to know about plea bargains?
When a case is resolved out of court in an agreement between the parties, this process is known as a plea bargain according to the American Bar Association. There are benefits for both sides in negotiating a plea deal, which can involve the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge, or it could involve pleading guilty in exchange for a less severe sentence. Plea bargaining is a private process but it must be approved by the court. Your Knoxville criminal defense attorney will advise you as to whether the plea bargain is good for you, and they may be able to negotiate another solution depending on the relative strength of your case and the evidence against you.
Why do I need a criminal defense attorney?
If you are facing criminal charges, you risk some serious consequences if you should be convicted. Whether you get jail time or probation, having a criminal record will have a negative impact on your ability to find employment, you can lose important relationships and face difficulties finding housing and receiving federal student aid.
A criminal defense attorney knows the law, and knows many proven strategies to help reduce the charges, diminish the punishment, lessen or eliminate jail time and build a compelling defense strategy for you. A Knoxville criminal defense lawyer
Our promise to our clients
We know that you have a lot of questions about the charges set against you, and about what you can do to protect yourself. We want to help you understand what you’re facing, so Patrick always:
- Explains your charges in plain language. “Legalese” is confusing and complicated, and you may think you’re in one position when you’re really in another. Patrick explains exactly what the charges are against you, what kind of evidence the State has against you, and what kinds of fines or punishments you might face. If you still have questions after you leave the office, you can call Patrick and he will return your call, during the day or evening.
- Outlines how your case may proceed. Going through the criminal justice system can be overwhelming. Patrick makes sure you understand how it works in relation to your case, and he goes over the laws that may apply to your charges. He even prints out copies of the laws for you to review at home on your own time.
- Gives you options about moving forward. You should have a say in how your case proceeds. Patrick reviews your entire case with you, step by step, to ensure that everything is right. He will look for errors made on behalf of the arresting officer, examine evidence that may not be admissible, and analyze whether your rights were violated at any time during the arrest or afterwards. Then he discusses your options with you, so that you can decide which route is the best one for you.
Your first meeting with Patrick is always free, so you don’t have to pay anything to review your case with him. We want you to feel comfortable with our team, and that we are knowledgeable about the law and prepared to handle your case. If both you and Patrick feel that he is the right lawyer for you, then we can discuss what to do from there. There is never any pressure for you to hire us: we want you to work with the lawyer who is best for you. We hope you choose us, but we won’t force you to choose before you are ready. All we want you to remember is that you don’t have a lot of time to make a decision about your lawyer, so it is important that you contact use to see if we are the right fit as soon as you can after your arrest.
Meet with a Knoxville criminal defense attorney about your case
Being charged with a crime is scary; you don’t have to face it alone. Patrick Slaughter can defend your rights and help to protect your future. To schedule a free case review with Patrick at our Knoxville office, please call LaFevor & Slaughter at 865.272.4454 or fill out this contact form with all the pertinent information about your case, and someone will respond to you shortly.