How Do Police Officers Get Search Warrants?

Due to the Fourth Amendment, the US Constitution protects American citizens from government intrusions like search and seizure of assets and property or even people themselves. This law makes people feel really protected and balances security and liberty in the society.

Chattanooga criminal defense attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC are working hard to help the accused. Although it is an extremely common process, a search warrant may differ upon jurisdiction. Unfortunately, it is greatly misunderstood both  by the law enforcement and civilians — resulting in lots of problems during court process. That’s why, it is better to start with understanding –

What is a search warrant?

A search warrant is an order signed by a judge or a magistrate that permits law enforcement agent to accomplish a “search and seizure” procedure on an individual, a location, or a building for chances of locating evidence or capturing something in the act that will lead to incrimination. The judge who will provide the search warrant must be neutral. It suggests that they must not be associated with the police in any way.

The search warrant should include not only the place where the crime was most likely to occur, but also reasonable time and schedule, including details of the entity that will be searched and its legal purpose.

If you are afraid of being searched, you should be aware of how the police could do it and what grounds should they have for it.

How Do Police Officers Get Search Warrants?

No one can just go and get a search warrant. This is a lengthy process and police officer should apply for a search warrant on a judicial court and prove that the entity to be searched or seized has a probable cause.   A judge needs an affidavit having all the observations of the officer himself or various other witnesses prior to providing a search warrant.

The affidavit includes:
  • Info on the properties that will be searched
  • Offense that will be charged once the entity is found
  • Reasons why the police think the entity is in the area

The law enforcement agent needs to likewise show himself or herself worthy of asking for a search warrant via offering records that define their setting and authority, the regulations they are acting under, as well as the force and also resources needed to accomplish the procedure. These must all be gone along with the evidence proof that will certainly even more strengthen the application.


First of all, search warrants need to be made within the set time-frame. When a search warrant is released, the law enforcement has only 14 days to do it from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Secondly, there should be a “knock notice” or the announcement of the police presence to notify the inhabitants of the area. However, if you refuse to open the door or let them in, the police can take actions such as breaking or restraining people if needed.

Thirdly, during the search the law enforcement officer can only search the areas included in the warrant and where the entity should reasonably be. However, because of the plain view doctrine, officers could pick the entity if in plain sight regardless of the location.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

To keep everything within the law and not to aggravate your situation, you have the right to challenge the search once it completed. The search warrant is considered completed after submitting a search warrant return document by the police to the court. This document includes the process of the search and the items obtained are reported.

 Some factors the accused can operate with:
  • Going beyond the scope of the search or searching on people as well as places not covered by the warrant
  • Mistreatment by police officers
  • Fabricated probable cause

If you are being accused and you face a search warrant, it is vital to get a lawyer immediately. The criminal law, both federal and state, is complex and complicated.  You should not talk with anyone else and you should not cooperate with the police or their investigators without first retaining a lawyer. At McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, we provide knowledgeable criminal defense representation to clients of Chattanooga and throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us as soon as possible!

Got Fired In Chattanooga? Find Out If It Was Illegal

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If you’ve been fired from your work and also the situations appear unfair, you might be asking yourself if you could successfully sue your former employer of what’s referred to as “wrongful termination” as well as get compensated for your financial losses. Probably you feel upset or frustrated and it’s understandable, especially if you believe the reason of firing was unfair. However, not all firings that are unfair are illegal. Under federal and Tennessee laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of  “protected categories,” including when making decisions about firing. With decades of experience, the Chattanooga employment law attorneys of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC,  have come out with a list of most common aspects that are illegal when firing.

What Makes a Firing Illegal?

Generally, employers don’t need a valid point — or any at all– to discharge their employees, since most work is “at will.” Yet government and also state legislations do distinguish several exceptions. As an example, employers typically can not fire at-will workers for the adhering to factors:

  • discrimination of mentioned above “protected categories” based on a age (over 40), disability, race, national origin, religion, marital status, sex (including pregnancy and related medical conditions) sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • rejection to protect you from harassment ( for example, coming from other employees) based on above characteristics.
  • failure to offer affordable lodging for your special needs, pregnancy, or religious beliefs.
  • refusal to provide you time off that you’re lawfully entitled to take, or.
    violation of an employment contract or the firm’s policy.
  • retaliation for exercising a legal right or for reporting certain unlawful activities

Typical Reasons for Firing That Aren’t Illegal

If your previous company’s actions weren’t prohibited under any one of the exceptions to the at-will guideline, your wrongful termination case possibly won’t go far. That can be irritating, yet it’s much better to know earlier rather than later on whether you have a possibility of getting any settlement for your problems.

Bullying or run-of-the-mill harassment

It’s a typical false opinion that any type of kind of workplace harassment is unlawful. Nevertheless, laws that call for companies to safeguard their employees from prohibited harassment apply just when you’re being targeted because of a protected characteristic. So you can have an unlawful harassment case under federal legislation if you were fired or required to quit due to the fact that you underwent severe or pervasive harassment based upon your sex, disability, ethnic background, or religion– as well as your company really did not deal with the situation correctly.

But numerous people say their supervisors or coworkers bullied them because of a personality problem or just because they didn’t like them. Unless that behavior was based on their race or one more protected characteristic, they possibly didn’t have a legit wrongful termination case.

Personal preferences

Several clients coming to McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC informed us that they were fired because their manager intended to hire a good friend or relative, or a new manager thought it would be better to start with a completely new staff. Others spoke of being reprimanded for situations other colleagues got away with (like lateness), or going through requirements not related to others (like a requirement to authorize credit report authorization). Unfortunately, unless such prejudiced attitude was based on a secured particular or there was an additional prohibited factor behind these actions, these workers would not have a legit wrongful termination claim.


More than half of the people with an unsuccessful wrongful termination case based on leave told us they were fired for taking personal leave, bereavement leave, too frequent sick leave (for minor health problems). The federal Family as well as Medical Leave Act does not shield employees that require time off for these reasons. Unfortunately, Tennessee law neither requires employers to provide sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

Posts on Facebook or other Social media

Constitutional free speech rights don’t put on those who help exclusive employers, but specific types of online speech might be protected under federal as well as state legislations. Federal regulations protect employees’ legal rights to connect with each other concerning pay issues as well as work environment problems, or to elevate concerns regarding their companies’ illegal actions. And some states restrict employers from disciplining employees for sharing political views. Yet in general, companies can legally discharge staff members for uploading declarations or images that could be seen as racist or sexist, or that disclose trade secrets or secret information.

Get Legal Help

Very often, employers don’t feel like telling their employees the real reason they’re being fired. Thus, if you have reasonable suspicion of being fired illegally, the best you can do is talking to an employment lawyer about the circumstances around your firing. Our attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC  can tell you whether your employer’s actions might be illegal and whether you have a good chance of receiving compensation for your financial losses. Don’t hesitate to contact us and protect your rights.

What To Do With Construction Delays

Delay is one of the most common root cause of construction lawsuits for non-private, residential projects. Delays may descend from one specialist or company to another, creating a domino effect that can result in a very pricey conclusion. Besides, time is money, and delays on industrial tasks can mean expenses of thousands and even millions dollars to the property owner.

When the size of a few tiny, apparently unimportant delays are determined throughout an entire project, they can become really significant, as could their final cost to the project. Unfortunately, there is little that could be done to stop the actual delays from occurring. Even an iron clad contract could not prevent the delay, only try to change the damage brought on by the delay to an party more capable of stopping that delay.

In order to justify a claim for damages caused by a construction delay, one requires more than mere original plans and as-built drawings. Expertise and also experience are needed in areas such as accounting, job monitoring, scheduling, estimating, approaches, and performance evaluation, and usually you need to hire a specialist to help with all the analysis. This implies working with an attorney before job has actually begun who will certainly be able to help you minimize the damage brought on by any type of delays as well as to manage any type of prospective risks of delay by moving concerns as explained above.

It is also essential that you stay alert and hyper-aware of potential delay reasons. Occasionally, the delay can be as an outcome of poor weather condition, however many are the outcome or poor planning. Lots of possible delays could be foreseen early via the use of well-planned, detailed schedules. Failing to resolve scheduling issues at the very start is a major mistake, because unreasonable red- and deadlines will certainly not work themselves out throughout construction. Undoubtedly, risk management and preparation for possible delays and audit for them in any schedule might be the most effective method to mitigate any type of possible damage. Moreover, if the project finishes without delay, you will get everything done ahead of schedule, and it’s very encouraging.

If you suspect a delay after the start of a project, keep the records of all activities that might be affected and continue to update the schedule. In addition, collect detailed information of the impact of the delays on other project stages, labor costs and efficiencies. Usually, the party that maintains more detailed records will additionally be the party to prevail in a construction delay claim.

You need to additionally be aware of the typical types of damages you could deal with as an outcome of construction delays. Construction contracts progressively utilize liquidated damages provisions. These are used when real damages will be challenging or impossible to establish and, thus, a particular amount of money is listed in the agreement for each day the project is prolonged past the promised completion date. Liquidated damages are not considered a penalty, which is prohibited in many states, though many try to use them as such.

Other kinds of damages are a lot more complicated as well as require different techniques of analysis, such as critical path method (CPM). Real, compensatory damages are utilized when liquidated damages are either not provided for in the contract or available for some reason. Actual damages for owner delay claims can include:

(1) The owner’s project management and supervisory expenses
(2) Overhead
(3) Loss of use
(4) Lost rents
(5) Lost profits
(6) Insurance costs
(7) Construction loan interest.

Actual damages claims for contractor delay cases may include:
(1) Supervision costs
(2) Extended general conditions
(3) Jobsite trailer rental
(4) Temporary facilities such as toilets, fencing telephone, site power and water
(5) Liability insurance
(6) Equipment rental costs
(7) Equipment maintenance
(8) Field labor if the scope of work is increased by the delay
(9) Increased material costs
(10) Lost productivity caused by the delay due to disruption and inefficient task sequencing
(11) Hourly labor rate increases due to longer duration of project
(12) Demobilization and re-mobilization expenses for extended delays

Unfortunately, in most situations delays are unavoidable. The very best protection to a delay claim is to be prepared for a potential issue, record its effect, as well as be able to adjust the schedule to find time for fixing if the delay is on the critical path. To create the claim, on the other hand, the best is to prepare for it in advance, record the source of the delay, and also aim to change the burden for any resulting costs or loss of earnings to the other party by very carefully composing your contract. In either case, you must contact an experienced attorney proficient in construction delay cases as well as agreement prep work to help you with these matters. A little financial investment in legal services now will likely save you a big investment dealing with delay insurance claims later on.

The Construction Law Practice at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC has significant expertise in all aspects of construction, from contract negotiation through litigation. We work closely with experts in the construction field to assist clients in understanding and evaluating their contracts, claims and litigation strategy. Don’t hesitate to contact us for everything involving Chattanooga commercial, residential and public works construction.

Risks Of Filing Bankruptcy Yourself

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Lots of people who are taking into consideration submitting bankruptcy wonder whether they could do so without a lawyer. After all, this is a time when their financial circumstances go to a lowest level. They may not have the ability to imagine paying any more money. When even buying groceries feels like a pressure, it is alluring to move on without a lawyer.

Never think that you could not afford a lawyer. Our attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC always offer a free consultation and understand how difficult your situation is. A solution can always be found.

The Advantages of Filing Yourself

Despite which state you stay in, you can legally file bankruptcy without a lawyer. If you do not have a lot of / expensive property, do not own assets, as well as your credit score situation is rather simple, you could be able to get away with submitting your own bankruptcy papers. The good news is, the forms for bankruptcy filing are standard. Just comply with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The court clerk will let notify you about any schedules that have not been completed properly.

The Risks of Filing Yourself

Bankruptcy documents seem simple enough, especially considering that the changes to bankruptcy legislation in 2005. It is extremely tempting to do it on your own. You could feel that you have nothing to lose, or you may simply be the type of individual that usually does his or her own job.

Sadly, there are numerous mistakes that people make when filing. The largest issue is leaving a creditor or some property off the paperwork which could produce big issues. Also if you believe that type of financial debt can not be released, you can be mistaken.

If you deliberately leave a person off because you wish to pay back the debt you owe them, the court will not to have a complete picture of your debt obligations. It is important that the court recognizes every little thing there is to learn about your case in order to aid you effectively assign your financial debt.

When residential or commercial property is left off the schedules, it is most often because individuals forget. Right here are a few of the more common neglected things:

  • Retirement funds
  • Tax funds
  • Trust funds
  • Interest in a probate estate that is pending
  • Partnership interest
  • Lawsuits that have been filed


If you are considering filing bankruptcy without an attorney, you may have heard that you can obtain a legal assistant or petition preparer to complete the kinds for you. These people are not authorized to offer lawful recommendations. Rather, all they can do is complete papers. If you hire a request preparer, this individual ought to not address any kind of legal inquiries. Do not allow him or her to authorize a file. Do not pay them for court fees.

Filing for bankruptcy is stressful and challenging. The choice as to whether to make use of a lawyer must be taken really seriously. You will certainly have lots of concerns throughout the process, and also if you make a mistake, your case can be dismissed immediately. Because of the long-term legal as well as financial consequences, you need to strongly take into consideration getting sound legal suggestions.

Chattanooga Bankruptcy Specialists from McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC will help you understand your options. Our services range from debt consolidation to representing your interests in bankruptcy court – and everything in between. Once you contact us, our experienced lawyers will guide you during this difficult time to help you make the best choices possible given your circumstances. We will show you what legal options you have to shield you from harassing creditors and inform you about all the benefits and drawbacks of each option you may want to consider.

Never Do This In High Net Worth Divorce in Tennessee

Separations are never ever easy or pleasant. There are so many variables that both parties need to take into consideration, such as sharing or splitting of properties, who obtains what, what will happen with the children, the vehicles, alimony, your house, visitation rights … this list is endless. Sometimes divorcing couples find out they may agree on some points, but not on others, and neither feels they ought to find a compromise or make concessions.

Time for an attorney? Absolutely. Even during a simple consultation you can find answers to important questions, so it’s definitely worth your time. and also it is well worth the moment. Compared to what one could lose (financially and or else) from making a mistake — because of not knowing the divorce legislation or a psychological breakdown in a time of tension, the price of excellent lawful advice pays for itself many times over.

This is particularly true for cases which include large amount of money, assets, residential property and business – like high net worth divorce with much higher potential for mistakes on both sides. It could be really emotional and stressful, which’s not the best mindset to make choices that lead to best long-term benefits. Consequently, it’s easy for either party to say or do things they may regret later, or to sign documents prepared by another party that are not in your best interests.

After tens years of professional experience and tons of solved divorce cases, McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley attorneys are sharing tips for successful high net worth divorce and what you should never do to make the procedure run smoothly.

1. Agreeing to Anything Just to Get the Divorce

People may strive to get divorced as soon as possible for a number of reasons. The most common of them is, for example, a situation, when one person in a divorcing couple feels emotionally exhausted and like he/she just cannot stand the ex spouse anymore. The other reason is falling in love with another person and striving to get “free” as soon as possible. Whatever is the reason of your divorce, accepting terms such as alimony, or division of assets and liabilities in a hurry just to move away quickly could have destructive effects on you financially. Therefore, it is important that a complete analysis be taken prior to settling your divorce.

2. Failure to Appropriately Account for Possessions as well as Liabilities

When you get divorced you will have to fill out a financial affidavit and also provide specific records regarding your financial situation required by the law. It is essential to take this inventory seriously and make sure all details are relevant and accurate. It is time consuming and also tedious to put these things with each other, however failure to do so properly could leave you holding onto liabilities that should not be yours or your giving up assets or alimony you should not be obligated to give up.


3. Hiding Possessions

Some spouses think they are clever and also move their valuable assets to a 3rd party such as a company partner or youngster from a former marriage. Transfers like these can (and also more than likely will) be reserved as deceptive and you will lose the most vital thing you have in a court– your reputation. From that point forward you are in a losing position for everything else related to a proper or reasonable divorce settlement. It’s just not very smart and ineffective.

4. Failure to Consider Tax Consequences

When you divorce and you receive certain assets you could be taxed on distributions or you could agree on an alimony amount based on your budget without considering how much you will actually clear after taxes.  Tax considerations are a critical component of a high net worth divorce.

5. Working With A Wrong Lawyer

It is critically important that when you are going through what is probably the most emotionally devastating experience in your life, that you have a lawyer that is going to help you think clearly, strategically and guide you through the legal minefields so that once the dust has cleared, you will have a bright and financially secure future.Our divorce lawyers in Chattanooga, Tennessee provide exceptional service for those seeking soldiers relief or divorce mediation as an alternative to a standard divorce. Our divorce attorneys are more than happy to provide you with information on legal separation, amicable divorce, and common law marriage. There are many different important legal issues that you and your ex-spouse to be must find answers for. Even though it may seem impossible to come to an agreement on important aspects of the divorce, it is essential and our divorce lawyers are here to help you – just contact us today.

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