Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

• Burglary, Robbery, Violent Crimes & Theft
• Domestic Assault
• Drug Charges
• Expungements
• Probation Violations

If you receive a criminal citation, or are arrested for a crime, it can cause an enormous amount of stress and be very traumatic.  Ms. Black is committed to thoroughly listening to your concerns, advocating for your best interest, and remaining professional throughout the pendency of the litigation.  She has successfully defended clients in all types of criminal matters ranging from speeding tickets to criminal homicide.

In Tennessee, if you are charged with a misdemeanor, the sentence typically carries between one day and eleven months twenty-nine days.  However, if you are charged with a felony in Tennessee, the sentence range could vary between one year and sixty years depending factors which may include prior criminal history, classification of offense, and offender range.  In certain cases, an officer may issue a criminal citation instead of making an arrest.  Nevertheless, Ms. Black can help you navigate through the process and resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible.

Burglary, Robbery, Theft, and Violent Crimes

Ms. Black represents clients charged with burglary, robbery, and theft, in addition to clients who are charged with various violent felony and misdemeanor crimes.  Examples of violent crimes include Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Kidnapping, and Murder.  Some of these crimes carry mandatory periods of incarceration and enhanced penalties for multiple offenses.  In many cases, it is discovered that drug abuse or mental health issues are intertwined with continued criminal behavior.  In these circumstances, Ms. Black is committed to helping her clients find optional treatment programs that will best suit her client’s needs in addition to advocating for them in court.

Domestic Assault

In Tennessee, a first offense for domestic assault is a misdemeanor.  Subsequent offenses can carry mandatory periods of incarceration.  Multiple convictions for domestic assault could result in a felony charge.  Further, if a weapon is used, or if there is serious bodily injury, the client may be charged with aggravated domestic assault, which is also a felony.  A conviction for domestic assault typically includes an order of no contact with the victim and/or the victim’s family.

Drug Charges

In Tennessee, you can be charged with a crime if you are in possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor or felony amount of drugs, or if you are in possession of drugs for resale.  You may also be charged with a crime for being in possession of certain types of medication if you do not have a valid prescription.  In certain circumstances, you may be allowed to successfully complete an alcohol or drug treatment program and receive an alternative sentence.  It doesn’t take a large quantity of drugs to constitute a felony, and often times everyone in the vicinity of the drugs may be arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance.  If you find yourself charged with possession of paraphernalia or possession of controlled substance, give my office a call immediately and discuss what options are available to you.


If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of Tennessee, it is a very serious matter.  If you are charged with a first offense DUI, it has significant costs, penalties, and restrictions associated with it if you are convicted.  Thereafter, if you receive a second, third, or subsequent DUI, there are enhanced penalties associated with each conviction.  For example, although a conviction for a first offense carries a mandatory minimum forty-eight (48) hours of jail time, a second offense carries a mandatory minimum jail time of forty-five (45) days, and a third offense carries a mandatory minimum jail time of one hundred and twenty (120) days.  As the number of DUI convictions continue to increase, you may soon find yourself facing a felony DUI charge if you get too many DUI convictions within a certain period of time.

Additional DUI penalties that may apply include, but are not limited to:

-Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs

-Community Service

-DUI school


-Ignition Interlock Device

-Loss of license

-Vehicle impoundment

-Victim Impact Classes


If you have been convicted of a crime in Tennessee, you will not be able to have the charge expunged off your record except in extremely rare and limited circumstances.  Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) § 40-32-101 provides that “all public records of a person who has been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony shall, upon petition by that person to the court having jurisdiction, be removed and destroyed without costs if the charge has been dismissed; a no true bill was returned by the grand jury; a verdict of not guilty was returned, whether by the judge following a bench trial or by a jury; or the person was arrested and released without being charged.” In addition, if you have received a sentence for judicial diversion or pre-trial diversion, and you have successfully completed all conditions of probation, you can have your matter expunged after the matter is dismissed.  There is usually an additional fee for each case that is being expunged that is collected by the clerk’s office. Nevertheless, there are several sexual offenses that are excluded and may never be expunged from your record.

When matters are expunged, typically, all jail records and court records are destroyed and removed from their databases.  However, certain records are not destroyed and these include “arrest histories, investigative reports, intelligence information of law enforcement agencies, or files of district attorneys general that are maintained as confidential records for law enforcement purposes.”   Other records that are maintained by DCS and DHS may be retained due to their confidential manner.  Please be aware that due to the prevalence of news and social media, there are significant amounts of information that are related to news stories, booking photos, crimes, and arrests that are not subject to expungement under Tennessee law.  You may have to individually contact someone affiliated with these sources to request the matter be removed once the matter is officially expunged with the Court.

Probation Violations

A probation violation may be issued for various reasons.  These reasons may include failing to report to probation, failing to report to your probation officer, failing a drug screen, missing a court date, failing to complete community service, committing a new criminal offense, or violating any other conditions of release or probation.  It is important that you contact Ms. Black in the event that you believe that you have violated any terms of your probation, or when you have been notified that a violation report is going to be issued.  In certain limited circumstances, the matter may be able to be addressed prior to a warrant being issued for your arrest.

Copyright © Kelli L. Black, Attorney at Law