Criminal Charges: Why Hire A Private Lawyer

When an individual is dealing with criminal charges, they are forced to make lots of vital decisions. They must think about whether to plead guilty or not guilty. They should determine whether to take a punishment suggested by a prosecutor. Potentially the most vital decision is who she or he needs to use as a lawyer.

A criminal defendant generally has two primary choices: a public defender or a private lawyer. Both choices have their own advantages and disadvantages. S/he has to very carefully evaluate the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Public Defender

A public defender is appointed to the case by the court and to offenders who could not afford hiring a private lawyer. As a result, the defendant does not need to pay for his or her lawyer, which can otherwise be very pricey.

Public defenders have dealt with a variety of criminal situations and normally have experience working with criminal cases. They interact with prosecutors on a regular basis and also may have a far better connection with them that can assist obtain plea agreements through.

Why Public Defender Is Not The Best Choice

First of all, keep in mind that public defenders are governmental workers. Therefore, they normally make a lot less compared to private lawyers. Given that a lot of people are not able to pay for to work with a lawyer for their criminal protection, they frequently have huge caseloads. It is common for public protectors to be overworked and underpaid. These factors could result in blunders or lack of time to meet with clients and prepare for the case.

It often happens that the public defender hasn’t spent even an hour before the person enters a plea because of managing hundreds of cases in parallel. Such a large caseload consumes time, energy and focus needed to develop a legal protection that can have prevented or minimized the impact of a conviction.

Another negative aspect of having a public defender is that the client does not have many options. It’s the court who appoints the lawyer. If the general public defender is not satisfying the client, it may be quite problematic to work together and get a new public defender.

Why Hire A Private Lawyer

First and foremost, a private lawyer is selected personally by an interested party – the defendant or his or her family. For many individuals, the only negative aspect of working with a private lawyer is having to pay for his/her services. But the price cannot be compared with the value of your freedom and future.

Private legal representatives normally do not have nearly as many cases as public defenders. This allows them to have more face to face time with clients. This time can be used to get better accustomed with the defendant and also to find details that can help the defense. This enables a private lawyer to discover weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that could aid the lawyer get the situation dismissed or have the costs reduced.

Because the defendant is paying for legal services and relevant lawful expenses, there may be a lot more sources that can help with the defense. For instance, it becomes possible to hire expert witnesses to explain a key aspect of the case. Evidences that will be used against the defendant can be tested in private laboratories if there are any doubts in verity of the results. Another option is to hire private investigators to discover important evidence that will certainly assist the defense. In general, private lawyers always have additional staff, associates and paralegals that can help on the case.

At McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC our Chattanooga criminal defense attorneys can protect the rights of the accused in the state and federal courts of Tennessee. On the contrary to public defenders who may be very difficult to get a hold of, we are always available for the call or personal meeting. Our main aim is to protect your rights and interests. We have the resources and experience to handle a wide range of criminal charges, we are ready to step in and protect your rights as soon as possible. If you are facing criminal charge, any minute is precious – contact us for a professional legal defense you can rely on.

How To Overcome A DUI Charge In Tennessee

If  for some reason you have failed a field sobriety test or blown over a. 08 on a breath examination in Tennessee, you may be thinking that a DUI charge is unavoidable. This is not always the case. The results of a field sobriety test and even a blood or urine test do not instantly lead to a conviction. The main purpose of the test results is to serve as an evidence that will be presented in court  exist at trial but they are not determinant in a DUI case.

There are a number of ways to overcome a DUI charge in Tennessee. Most of them are connected with the mistakes in the procedure following the DUI stop as well as the blood alcohol content (BAC) determination. For instance, if the policeman that stopped you for DUI made a mistake in the police report or various other documents related to your arrest, the whole case against you may be undermined. Such a mistake casts doubt on the reliability of all information collected during the stop. It can likewise be used to decrease the reliability of the police officer.

It is also important to evaluate the certain conditions linked to the administration of the breath, blood, or urine test or the administration of the field sobriety test. These examinations have specific procedures which have to be adhered for the cause to be considered reliable. In some areas, police officers should be certified and specially educated to administer a breath test. Without appropriate training or if an error was made in the test administration, all collected results can be challenged in court.

In addition, the preliminary reason for the policeman stopping you could have serious effects for how your DUI trial will certainly proceed. A policeman must have a probable cause for stopping you as well as providing a field sobriety examination or breath examination. Were you driving unpredictably? Swerving? Moving in and out of lane lines? These could be reasons to validate potential cause, but they can likewise be tested. For example, some of these driving patterns can be explained by poor weather condition. If there are irrefutable proofs which can convince the court, the judge will find that there was no reason for the stop. As a result, evidence surrounding the stop and possible after the stop may be suppressed which means it would be inadmissible at trial. That also applies to the police officer’s failure to read you your Miranda rights.

A Tennessee DUI charge is a severe issue and, though it is possible to efficiently overcome the DUI charge, it takes an experienced and detail-oriented Tennessee lawyer to find the weak points in the State’s DUI case. At McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC our Chattanooga criminal defense attorneys  understand that beating a DUI charge requires taking into account every single detail. We have an extensive understanding of DUI law as well as criminal procedure to fight for our customers. If you have been charged with a DUI in Tennessee, do not quit yet. Get in touch with the professional attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC today online, or call (423) 756-6400 to set up a free appointment.

New City Hall Was Named After One Of Our Attorneys

In may, one of attorneys from McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC was honored to have a new city hall named after him. This decision was made by the commission at Thursday session on May 17. With more than 30 years of professional experience, attorney Arnie Stulce is known for helping Chattanooga with legal matters and being a mentor to many. It was also pointed out by Red Bank outgoing Mayor John Roberts.

A few years ago, Red Bank bought a building two doors down on Dayton Boulevard. In February, the commissioners voted to renovate this old building and open a new city hall which will cost $681,040.

After the renovation, the building will have offices for the city manager, the city recorder, the finance director, director of public works, office staff and a receptionist. Also, there will be a special room for local public meetings.

It has actually been designed to meet the city’s new design criteria using approved building materials and glass. The parking area will be defined by short walls and landscaping. Upon completion of the new building renovation, the existing structure will become the police department.

Attorney Arnie Stulce was truly surprised and shocked at the news. The team of attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC is glad to congratulate its member on such an occasion. It’s a real honor to work together with a person who did so much for Chattanooga. This is yet another proof of the high professionalism of the attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC. 



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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!

What Is A Living Trust And Why Do You Need One

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Writing will is a common practice since you must have a legal document to ensure that your will would be followed after you are gone. However, not many have heard of a living trust and only around 20% of Americans have them. So should you join that 20 percent?

Our professional elder law attorneys from McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, strongly believe that this is an aspect you should understand. Below is the answer to the main question:

What Is Living Trust And Why Do You Need One

A living trust is a written legal document through which your assets are placed right into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and afterwards transferred to marked beneficiaries at your death by the representative you choose, called a “successor trustee.” A living trust contains the main assets in your estate, such as your house, vehicles, investments, and savings.

1. A Living Trust Prevents Probate

One of the first advantages of a living trust is that it prevents probate which usually suggests a faster distribution of assets to your heirs– just during several weeks compared to months or years with a will. Your your debts will be paid off and your assets will be distributed by your  successor trustee your assets only in accordance with your directions.

What is important, this document allows you to select a guardian for your children in case of death.

2. Saves Money, Time and Nerves

As stated abode, the transfer of assets will not go through probate and thus save money in the long run if someone decides to contest it. Though drafting a living trust will likely cost you more as it is a more complex legal document, it will ease the life of your family members. Here’s how.

Having a living trust could be incredibly helpful if you sooner or later end up being unable to take care of your assets as a result of physical or mental disorder. This is due to the fact that if you’ve made a trust with your partner, she or he has authority over all the trust property.

This attribute of a living trust can be a blessing to family members who are troubled, or rather perhaps overwhelmed, by taking care of a person who has actually been struck by a severe illness or accident. Without the authority conferred in a living trust file, relatives have to generally go to court to obtain lawful authority over the incapacitated individual’s funds– an uncomfortable, public procedure. Generally, the children or the spouse of the person should ask the court to be appointed as that person’s conservator or guardian.

This document also makes possible to avoid any fraud as your incapacity would need to be proven and licensed in writing by several doctors. Once that determination has actually been properly made, the follower trustee has legal authority to take care of all property in the trust, and also to utilize it for your health care, assistance and general well-being. The regulation requires him or her to act truthfully and prudently.

3. A Living Trust Guarantees Personal Privacy

One big difference between a will and a living trust is the degree of privacy. As this document is not revealed, after your death, your estate will certainly be distributed in private. A will, on the contrary, is a public document and all transactions will be public as well.

An additional difference is the handling of out-of-state residential or commercial property you own after your death. With a will, that home will have to go through probate in its own state; a living trust could assist you prevent probate.

With the huge experience of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley Chattanooga attorneys developing a living trust is simple. The process starts by completing an easy set of questions. We will guide you through every aspect to avoid any potential issues and take care of your and your closest people future. In addition, if you have any doubts or concerns about doctors knowing your wishes about the use of various life-sustaining treatments, you may may prepare and sign some other documents, commonly called an advance healthcare directive (living will) and durable power of attorneyDo not hesitate to contact us!

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