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Knoxville Legal Blog

Is your teenage son or daughter shoplifting?

Some kids seem to glide through the teen years with the wind at their backs and sails billowing high. Others get stuck trying to paddle upstream. While it may be impossible — and likely unwise — to rush to your teens' rescues every time they make a stagger step, parents can still be strong deterrents against teen lawbreaking.

Shoplifting isn't a thrill — it's a crime

Unwed fathers may have to battle to win child custody rights

Unwed fathers may be at a disadvantage. If a man's relationship with his former partner is strained, a father may not even realize he has a child. When he discovers he is a father, he may not understand that he has certain rights that must be protected if he hopes to establish a bond with the child or obtain child custody. Along with those rights, however, go important responsibilities.

The unwed father must establish paternity; otherwise, the mother has no obligation to allow him to communicate with the child or make any decisions about the care and well-being of the child. If the mother names the man on the child's birth certificate, the law accepts that he is the biological father. If his name is omitted from the birth certificate, the father can acknowledge paternity by completing the appropriate documentation with the local health department in Tennessee.

Man faces 2nd drunk driving charge after tragic accident

Tennessee drivers usually understand the risks of driving late at night. Visibility is low, and there is always the danger of becoming drowsy or encountering drowsy or otherwise impaired drivers along the way. One man is now facing drunk driving charges following a late-night accident that left a family in mourning.

It was nearly 3 a.m. when a 32-year-old woman was driving along the interstate with her two children in the car. For unknown reasons, the woman's car veered from its lane, and the woman was apparently unable to regain control of the vehicle. It clipped a tractor-trailer and skidded across the lanes of the highway, coming to rest in an outside lane. There, according to media reports, a pickup truck driven by a 30-year-old man collided with the disabled vehicle on the passenger side.

Preparing for a divorce court appearance

Despite the fact that the divorce rate is high in Tennessee and across the country, few people appearing before a family court judge have had previous experience in such a setting. The procedure is quite different from the dramas of television and movies, and although a judge may understand that the participants are unfamiliar with what is expected of them, he or she likely won't have the time or patience to tutor the couples on proper courtroom decorum. It will help couples heading to divorce court to understand some basic expectations.

A great deal is riding on this one appearance before a judge. Decisions will be made that affect the lives of the participants for years to come. Although the situation may be new, and one may feel anxious, it is important for participants to remain calm and present a good first appearance. One way to alleviate much anxiety is to arrive on time. Showing up late for anything places one in an awkward and frenzied state, so experts recommend knowing the location of the courthouse ahead of time and arriving well before the scheduled appearance.

Tennessee drug charges for 10 following 6-month investigation

Keeping Tennessee neighborhoods safe from illegal drugs and the violence that is often associated with them is a commendable effort of law enforcement agencies across the country. In their efforts to rid the streets of dangerous substances, police may build cases based on months of investigation, surveillance and information provided by witnesses. Anyone who faces drug charges at the end of one of these investigations has the right to question any evidence police claim to have against them.

Some people may be doing just that following a six-month police investigation that culminated in the arrest of 10 Memphis residents. Law enforcement officers from state and local agencies teamed with the FBI during the operation. Early on a recent Tuesday morning, officers executed search warrants on numerous locations, allegedly resulting in the seizure of over $300,000 and the arrest of 10 people.

Child custody options for Thanksgiving holiday

For many families in Tennessee, Thanksgiving extends beyond the fourth Thursday in November. The weekend following Thanksgiving may be full of other traditions, such as visiting extended family, putting up decorations or beginning holiday shopping. However, for divorced parents, those days may be a source of contention and frustration when child custody issues arise.

Parents who are seeking options for minimizing the stress and enhancing their parenting time over the Thanksgiving holiday may consider various custody patterns recommended by family advocates. While one method may seem preferable over another, it may really depend on the parents' plans and the amount of travel to which they must subject the children. For example, the father may have the children for Thanksgiving Day, perhaps beginning Wednesday afternoon, and the mother may spend time with the children from Thursday evening through the weekend.

Here's what you should know about marital property in Tennesse

During the course of a marriage, especially one that lasts a decade or more, it is typical for each spouse to accumulate money, property and various assets: for example, the house you purchased in Knoxville after your wedding, the furniture in it, your cars and even your retirement accounts. All of these items typically fall under the category of marital property. Now that you are considering divorce, you and your future ex-husband will have to divide this property.

Understanding how Tennessee treats marital property in a divorce will help you make decisions regarding your potential divorce settlement. For example, some states follow the laws of community property in which the court will generally divide marital property in half. Other states, like Tennessee, do not recognize community property. To learn more about property division, read further.

Fire chief arrested for drunk driving at end of career

At the end of an illustrious career, a person may dream of leaving the position with some honor and dignity. It is a time to look back with pride on accomplishments and contributions that may benefit the industry for years to come. Colleagues may throw a party, and the public may even offer expressions of gratitude and congratulations at this bittersweet moment. For one Tennessee public servant, however, the exit may be more bitter than sweet following his drunk driving arrest.

Police apparently received a call from a citizen that a driver was drinking alcohol behind the wheel. Responding officers claimed to have witnessed the man, who was the chief of the city fire department, make an illegal U-turn, and when they made a traffic stop, they allegedly found a bottle of vodka in the man's vehicle. Reports say there was also mouthwash and toothpaste on the front seat. After the driver supposedly failed field sobriety tests, police arrested him.

Thinking it through before deciding to divorce

Like getting married, bringing a marriage to an end is not a decision to make without careful consideration. Divorce is stressful, and its consequences can be long-lasting, so making a hasty decision can mean living with years of struggle and regret. Marriage experts often encourage Tennessee couples to carefully examine the situation as it is now and how it will be after a divorce before rushing to file papers.

First, couples would be wise to be honest about how well they have communicated to each other. Sometimes one spouse may not know how to change or what role to play in the relationship because the other spouse has not been open about his or her expectations. A spouse considering filing for divorce may benefit from reflecting with a calm mind about whether he or she still cares about the spouse enough to keep trying and if it is worth it to save the marriage.

2 men facing drug charges after traffic stop

There are many things that can create a sense of uncertainty in a person's life. Facing drug charges is likely one of those things since a conviction for such an offense can potentially bring life-changing consequences. When someone in Tennessee is arrested and charged with such crimes, it is never too early to plan a defense strategy.

Two men are in this situation after a traffic stop led to their arrest. A police officer claimed to recognize the 23-year-old driver as he passed in a vehicle. The officer apparently knew the driver's license had been revoked, so police initiated a stop. Because the officer claimed to smell marijuana, he ordered the driver to step out of the car for questioning. During the questioning, the driver allegedly admitted he had marijuana in the car.

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