Expungements in TN- What You Need to Know

In this week’s podcast, host and Knoxville DUI attorney Steve Oberman provides a summary of Expungement laws in Tennessee. While this podcast provides an overview of the Tennessee Expungement laws, Steve, Sara, and AZ are happy to address any questions you have and can be reached by calling (865) 249-7200. You can also find a video version of this podcast on YouTube.

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Oberman & Rice
550 Main St., Ste. 730
Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 249-7200
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Happy Holidays from the Tennessee Highway Patrol- Sobriety Checkpoints

Motorists venturing to Grandmother’s house this holiday season in East Tennessee need to be very careful and prepared for delays while passing through several checkpoints throughout the end of the year and leading into the new year.   Tennessee Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies will be out in full force over the next few weeks to ensure that drivers heading to see family and friends are not operating their vehicle while impaired or committing traffic violations.

The 2019 Christmas/New Year holiday enforcement period has already started and will include several sobriety checkpoints in the following East Tennessee counties: Knox, Union, Campbell, Monroe, Morgan and Scott. For a full list of checkpoints please click here.

The DUI defense lawyers at Oberman & Rice are always willing to help those who may find themselves being arrested at one of these checkpoints or being cited for a traffic violation. If you or a loved one find yourself in need of a skilled trial lawyer, please make sure to contact one of our three law partners at (865) 249-7200 or by visiting www.tndui.com. Even though most law firms are closed during this holiday period, all of our lawyers will be available 24/7 to help you with any situation you may find yourself.  If we cannot be of assistance, then our firm will attempt to help find you someone who can. 

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Drivers Rejoice – Speed Limit Increase On I-40/I-640 in Knoxville

Motorists driving through Knoxville on I-40 and I-640 splits should be on notice that the speed limits have been modified by the Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOT).  According to a recent WVLT article, TDOT has increased the marked speed limits on I-40/I-640 splits. As Mark Nagi said, “I don’t like to make predictions, but I wouldn’t think [speed limits would be raised again] because there is so much congestion in the areas where we haven’t increased the speed limit to 70.”  Most of the changes to the speed limits will be from 55 miles per hour (m.p.h.) to 65 m.p.h.

In 2004, the speed limits were reduced to make Knoxville fall into compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards.  Since that time, Knoxville has reduced their omissions and are now in compliance.  The changes in speed limits are at the following locations:

  • I-40 from Mile Marker  367.8-385.2 (65 m.p.h. throughout);
  • I-40 from Mile Marker  385.2-390.2 (60 m.p.h. throughout);
  • I-40 from Mile Marker  395.7-409.7 (70 m.p.h. throughout);
  • I-640 from Mile Marker 0.0-3.6 (65 m.p.h. throughout);
  • I-640 from Mile Marker 3.6-10.6 (65 m.p.h. throughout).

Aside from being aware of the speed limit changes in Knoxville, drivers should also be aware that many arrests stem from a simple speeding ticket (or any traffic citation for that matter).  Many misdemeanor and felony charges arise from the simple act of driving over or under the speed limit.  Such criminal charges can include Driving Under the Influence; Misdemeanor Drug possession and Felony Drug possession along with many other potential charges.  If you find yourself being charged with a simple traffic violation or any criminal offense, you need a knowledgeable lawyer willing to answer all of your questions.  Please contact the lawyers at the Oberman & Rice Law Firm by phone at (865) 249-7200 or via email at our website if you find yourself in need of legal assistance. 

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Speeding or Traffic Ticket? Talk to a Lawyer!

No matter where you are driving in the United States, one constant exists: Drive over the Speed Limit and you are probably going to receive a ticket.  These tickets that are administered by various law enforcement agencies are meant to levy punishments against the driver as a form of deterrence.  These punishments normally include: fines/court costs; potential points/infractions on one’s driving record; required attendance to a driving school and a potential increase in insurance premiums.  Public safety is the main reason for deterrence, and these Speeding tickets (along with other traffic citations) serve as a way to help prevent accidents and keep folks safe on the roadways.

Frequently, however, individuals who receive Speeding tickets (and other traffic citations) choose not to get a lawyer and instead handle the case on their own (or pro se.) While there is nothing legally (or ethically) wrong with the handling of a traffic ticket oneself, a lawyer should know the procedures and local rules of a jurisdiction where the ticket may be docketed (and potentially help obtain a favorable outcome).  Additionally, a lawyer should be able to advise the driver about any potential point increase on their driving record and other risks associated with just “paying off a ticket.”  “Paying off a ticket” is equal to being found guilty of the alleged traffic infraction. 

Commercial Drivers (those having Commercial Driver’s Licenses or C.D.L.) also need to be extremely careful as states (such as Tennessee) are cracking down on these special license holders.  C.D.L. drivers should always consult with a lawyer before handling any Speeding ticket or traffic citation because such offenses could potentially lead to disastrous consequences for the C.D.L. holder.

If you receive a Speeding ticket or any other traffic citation please contact a knowledgeable lawyer to help advise you on the situation.  Furthermore, if you receive a Speeding ticket or traffic citation in Tennessee please feel free to contact the lawyers of Oberman & Rice.  With over 80 years combined experience, the law partners of Oberman & Rice are ready to answer your questions about any ramifications a Speeding ticket may have on your driving record.  Our lawyers may be contacted by calling (865) 249-7200 or by email at and of the following: az@tndui.com, sara@tndui.com or oberman@tndui.com.      

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Labor Day Weekend 2019: Sobriety Checkpoints Planned for East Tennessee

Drivers in East Tennessee need to be mindful during the upcoming Labor Day Weekend while driving to the lake for one more weekend of “fun in the sun” before the summer ends and football time begins! Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force in most of the East Tennessee area this Labor Day weekend ensuring that motorists are not driving while impaired or committing traffic violations.

The 2019 holiday enforcement period begins Friday, August 30, and will include several sobriety checkpoints in the following East Tennessee counties: Union, Campbell, Monroe and Sevier. For a full list of checkpoints please click here.

The DUI defense lawyers at Oberman & Rice are always willing to help those who may find themselves being arrested at one of these checkpoints or being cited for a traffic violation. If you or a loved one find yourself in need of a skilled trial lawyer, please make sure to contact one of our three law partners 24/7 at (865) 249-7200 or by visiting www.tndui.com.

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New Tool to Aid Law Enforcement in D.U.I. Enforcement

Many road warriors across the country know that if you drink too much alcohol and operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway you may be arrested for Driving Under the Influence (D.U.I.). A lot of drivers are not aware that a D.U.I. charge may also arise out of the use of prescription medication and/or the use of marijuana (even if legal in your state to consume). The issue for law enforcement, however, is how to test for medications and marijuana traces from the person suspected of committing a D.U.I. based on the consumption of drugs alone and not alcohol (while not obtaining a blood sample). Law enforcement agencies have long implemented the use of a portable breath test device to detect the presence of alcohol on a suspect, but now- a new tool has been adopted by law enforcement agencies to combat drivers who are suspected to be impaired by drugs.

According to a recent U.S.A. Today article, the new tool for law enforcement agencies is a portable “lab” that can test the oral fluids of the alleged D.U.I. offender through a simple swab of the suspect’s mouth for saliva. The device is called the Dräger DrugTest® 5000. The device is supposed to determine if the driver has any traces (in their saliva) of drugs including, but not limited to: amphetamines, opiates, cocaine, and cannabinoids. As of the publishing of the U.S.A. Today article, law enforcement agencies in several cities have already implemented the device in the field.

Presumably, the use and science behind this new tool for law enforcement will be challenged in a court of law (much like the alcohol portable breath test device has been for years). Please remember if you or someone you know has been charged with a D.U.I. alleging alcohol or drug impairment, make sure to call and speak with one of our attorneys at the Oberman and Rice Law Firm. The Obermand and Rice Law Firm can be reached 24/7 at (865) 249-7200 or by email at oberman@tndui.com, sara@tndui.com or az@tndui.com.

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Don’t Drink and Scoot

On July 1, 2019, several new laws and modifications of current Tennessee DUI laws were implemented.  The first we will discuss (with more updates to follow on this blog) refers to all of the scooters that have become common place in most major downtown areas in Tennessee.  In downtown Knoxville, for example, you cannot walk a block without seeing these scooters available for rent.  In case you are not familiar with these scooters, one such company called Zagster has released these scooters for rent and places many of them around busy areas hoping for people passing by to rent one to travel (or scoot) around the city.  It is hard pressed to not see at least one person zooming along the street or sidewalk on one of these devices. 

The new law, mentioned above, aims to eliminate the problem of impaired people renting these scooters by making such an action punishable under Tennessee’s DUI laws.  As this recent article on WKRN states, these electric scooters will be considered motor-driven vehicles.  This language is important because under Tennessee’s DUI laws, the operator must be in physical control of a motor-driven vehicle to be arrested for a DUI.  As we have discussed previously on this blog (and at our website- www.tndui.com), if convicted of a DUI you face some of the following punishments: mandatory jail time (up to 48 hours on a First Offense); fines; required attendance of a Drug Education Course and a loss of your Tennessee driving privilege. 

Please remember that over this holiday weekend if you decide to enjoy the festivities in an area that allows for these scooters to be rented, please do not drink and scoot.  You may find yourself being placed under arrest for a DUI!  If you’ve been charged with Driving Under the Influence in Tennessee while on one of these scooters, operating a boat or while driving in your vehicle, please contact the Oberman and Rice Law Firm at (865) 249-7200.  We are available 24/7.

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THP set to combat distracted drivers with “Operation Incognito”

Drivers on the roads throughout Tennessee who are preparing for the Holiday Season need to be mindful as the Tennessee Highway Patrol initiates “Operation Incognito”. The campaign started on November 11 and plans to run through November 17.

The initiative’s goal is to combat distracted driving (texting while driving, etc.) on the roads of Tennessee. As THSO Director Vic Donoho states, “The primary focus of Operation Incognito is to reduce distracted driving, serious injury traffic crashes, and fatalities.”   Additionally, THSO Director Vic Donoho goes on to say that some secondary goals of “Operation Incognito” will be for the Tennessee Highway Patrol to saturate construction zones and attempt to increase driver’s awareness for utility maintenance zones.

The DUI defense lawyers at Oberman & Rice are always willing to help those who may receive any traffic citations during the Operation Incognito campaign and beyond. Traffic violations (if convicted) can add points to your driver’s license and cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. Before you pay off a traffic citation and receive a conviction, it is important to discuss with a lawyer any potential penalties and consequences. Please review our website for more information or call us with questions at (865) 249-7200. Our lawyers are available 24/7.

 

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Tennessee Highway Patrol Planned Checkpoint For Labor Day 2018

Motorists in Knoxville need to be mindful during the upcoming Labor Day Weekend while driving to the lake or local pools to celebrate the “unofficial” end of summer. Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers will be out in force this Labor Day weekend ensuring that motorists are not driving while impaired or committing traffic violations.

The 2018 holiday enforcement period begins Saturday, September 1, and will include a sobriety checkpoint at East Emory Road at Longmire in Knox County, Tennessee.  Other checkpoints are scheduled throughout September for the East Tennessee area. For a list of all planed checkpoints in September please click here.

The DUI defense lawyers at Oberman & Rice are always willing to help those who may be falsely accused, but we’d prefer that the readers of this blog not place themselves in a position to be suspected of driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Please review our website for more information or call us with questions at (865) 249-7200.

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Fourth of July Holiday and Fireworks

With the Fourth of July Holiday quickly approaching, it is important to take a step back from the lake adventures and cookouts to think of our great country and how many of our forefathers fought and persevered for our country’s Independence around 242 years ago. As with every Fourth of July Holiday, the city of Knoxville will have a celebration (rain or shine) that culminates with Fireworks (free to the public) starting around 4:00 p.m. and the Fireworks to be deployed around 9:45 p.m. Information regarding the celebration may be found here.

All of us love fireworks (except for maybe our four-legged family members). Please remember that the City of Knoxville prohibits the possession, transportation, storage, manufacture, sale, handling and discharge of fireworks without a permit from the Fire Marshall (See the Knoxville Tennessee City Code of Ordinances, Section 11-5 through 11-7). Furthermore, violation of this City Ordinance is a Misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500.00 and/or 30 days in jail for each separate offense (See the Knoxville Tennessee City Code of Ordinances, Section 1-9; General penalty- continuing violations). In other words, shooting (even simply handling) fireworks without a permit in the City of Knoxville can lead to criminal prosecution that may result in a criminal conviction on your criminal public record that may hinder your ability to obtain a job or your ability to receive a scholarship for college/higher education. Additionally, Knox County (outside the city limits of Knoxville) does not allow the shooting/possession of fireworks.

The criminal defense lawyers at Oberman & Rice are always willing to help those who have been arrest or cited for a criminal offense. Our lawyers are available 24/7 to answer questions regarding an arrest or citation for any criminal offense. Please review our website for more information or call us with questions at (865) 249-7200.

 

 

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