The importance of dedicated and aggressive legal representation in any criminal defense matter cannot be stressed enough. Criminal charges, whether misdemeanors or felonies, hold significant potential to affect the rest of your life with a tremendous amount of adversity. Fines, jail time, mandatory minimum sentencing, sentence enhancements and a permanent criminal record can separately or collectively have a heavy impact on your career, your driving privileges, your reputation, and your ability to obtain future employment, loans, education, hunting permits or own a firearm.
Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC represents clients in criminal cases throughout Tennessee. Based in Knoxville, we have a reputation of providing dedicated professional service in a wide variety of practice areas. Our full-service law firm is committed to protecting the rights of our clients, and our Knoxville criminal defense attorneys work to protect your best interests in general sessions, circuit, criminal, juvenile, drug, and appellate court at the state and federal levels.
- Death Penalty
- Alcohol & Drug-Related Crimes
- Clearing Criminal Records & Expungements
- Assault - Felony & Misdemeanor
- DWI-DUI (Adult and Underage)
- Weapons Possession
- Juvenile Crimes
- Property Related Crimes - Theft & Vandalism
- Sexual Offenses Including Rape & Sexual Battery
- Felonies & Misdemeanors
- State Court Criminal Cases
- Federal Court Criminal Cases
- Appellate Courts – Federal & State
Meet The Criminal Law Team
Our attorneys who practice criminal defense law:
Wesley Stone is highly competent in criminal law…
and he is not afraid to take on any challenge. Thanks to him, a member of my family was able to reach a satisfactory resolution in a timely manner and get on with his life. Thank you, Wesley!
-Former Client of Wesley Stone of Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC
You Deserve High-Quality Defense
Whether you have been charged with a municipal traffic violation or homicide, our Knoxville criminal defense attorneys can help you obtain the best possible result through plea bargain, negotiation, or trial. We vigorously advocate for mitigated consequences and fully investigate your case independently to determine if there are grounds to show the charges should be dropped.
Our law firm is one of the largest and most reputable in eastern Tennessee. We have established our presence in the legal community through more than 85 years of professional and principled legal work. We provide thorough and committed representation to a diverse clientele involved in any criminal charge.
There are a variety of different statutes dealing with homicide in Tennessee. Since Tennessee recognizes the death penalty, a person charged with first-degree murder may be subject to the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole if convicted. The degree of homicide depends upon the facts and circumstances of the case including available defenses of self-defense and defense of a third person. People accused of lesser homicides, including voluntary manslaughter and reckless homicide, are eligible for probation under certain circumstances as well. Mr. Stone has defended numerous first-degree murder cases including cases where the state of Tennessee filed notices to seek the enhanced punishment of death and life without the possibility of parole. If you are charged with any level of homicide, our criminal defense attorneys are available to provide you a free legal consultation regarding your rights and issues related to the procedure.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)/Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
A Knoxville DUI or DWI is a serious offense and a conviction brings consequences that may affect your education, job, and even social relationships. We represent drivers who are facing a DUI or DWI charge after an arrest for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit or while impaired by drugs.
To fight Knoxville drunk driving charges, we work to develop an aggressive defense strategy, protect your rights, and get the best possible outcome in your case. We are often able to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser charge, reducing the serious nature of the consequences you face. In addition to representing you in your criminal case, we can also represent you in your administrative hearing to keep your driver’s license or receive a restricted driver’s license. Contact us today to learn more.
We represent clients facing a wide variety of Knoxville alcohol and drug charges. From a college student with a small amount of marijuana for personal use to a major drug manufacturer, we have experience with cases of every size and are ready to go to work for you.
Our criminal defense attorneys can protect your constitutional rights while we build a strong case that supports asking the judge to drop charges, to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser charge, or represent you in a jury trial.
UNDERAGE DRVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Special penalties apply to people over the age of 18 but under the age of 21 that are charged with DUI. If a person between the ages of 18 and 21 has an alcohol concentration of 0.02% or more and is convicted of DUI faces a fine of $250 and their driver license is suspended for one year. Currently, a person convicted of underage DUI cannot get a restricted license. These same rules apply to a person convicted of DUI under the age of 18. This would prevent the person from driving anywhere including to work, school or religious activities.
Clearing Criminal Records and Expungements
Your criminal record can make it difficult to land your dream job or even get approval to rent a new apartment. Luckily, Tennessee law allows you to clear some criminal charges and/or convictions from the background checks used by employers, apartment managers, and others.
However, obtaining an expungement can be complicated as the laws differ depending on what happened to your charge (e.g., dismissal, diversion, conviction). For this reason, you need the support of a skilled criminal defense attorney in Knoxville. Our attorneys have experience handling all types of expungements and can navigate the process for you.
Assault – Felony and Misdemeanor
You will face either misdemeanor or felony assault charges, depending on the circumstances. And in many cases, these circumstances are subjective. This means we might be able to get the prosecution to reduce your charge to a misdemeanor or throw it out entirely.
However, no matter if you face simple assault or aggravated assault charges, the consequences of a conviction could impact your future in many ways. For this reason, you need an aggressive and skilled criminal defense attorney on your side.
Give us a call today to see how we might be able to help you with your case.
Most people who own illegal weapons do not intend to harm anyone, but the consequences of a conviction for illegal weapons possession can still wreak havoc on your life. The penalties for possessing explosives or explosive weapons, machine guns, short-barrel shotguns, silencers, other illegal weapons may include jail time, probation, and additional limits on the types of weapons you can own in the future.
If you are facing illegal weapons possession charges, you need an attorney who understands Tennessee laws and can mitigate the damage done by these charges, while also helping you navigate the criminal justice system to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
When your child has a run-in with police, it is only natural to worry how a misdemeanor or felony charge might affect her future. This is warranted, since a conviction could disrupt her education and go on her permanent criminal record. A teenage crime could prevent your child from obtaining a great job, professional license, or other career goals a decade or more in the future.
If police question your child or arrest your teen, it pays to give our juvenile crimes lawyers a call as soon as possible. We can accompany her to the police station, represent her during questioning, and protect her rights throughout the entire process.
In addition, there are a wide variety of other specific crimes that fall under the property crimes heading. All call for a strong and effective defense strategy to avoid jail time, large fines, and other serious penalties. If you or a loved one faces charges for a property-related crime in Knoxville, call us today and let us go to work for you.
Felonies and Misdemeanors
Crimes in both Tennessee and under federal law are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Depending on the type of misdemeanor you or someone you know are charged with determines the maximum sentence a person might receive in jail from up to thirty days to eleven months and twenty-nine days. Misdemeanor sentences are served in the county jail. Felony sentences in Tennessee begin at one year and go all the way to life; life being defined as sixty years. Felony sentences can be served in the county jail depending upon the type of conviction and length of sentence. In addition, a trial judge has the discretion in most cases to determine whether two or more sentences a person receives is going to be served concurrently or consecutively to one another. Some sentences are required by law to be served consecutively. If you, a friend, or a family member have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor contact our criminal defense attorneys today.
Being accused of a sex crime is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Even if the state drops the charges, you will have to fight to recover your reputation.
If the court convicts you of rape, sexual battery, sexual assault, or another sexual offense, you will likely need to serve jail time and register as a sex offender. This registry marks you for the rest of your life, and can prevent you from working or living where you want to, and even participating in community activities. Call us today, and we can build a strong defense and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
We protect our clients’ constitutional rights such as the right to a jury trial. We also fight for you against illegal search and seizure.
Defending Students at Disciplinary Hearings
Our attorneys also have experience defending students from charges brought by disciplinary boards at educational institutions. A strong defense from a well-prepared attorney can provide you or your child with the representation necessary to mitigate consequences such as student loan loss, suspension, or expulsion — any of which could be detrimental to your child’s education and future employment.
If you, a family member or friend did not plead guilty and are convicted of a crime in Tennessee by either a jury or a judge in a bench trial, you still have the automatic right to appeal your conviction to the intermediate appellate court. Appealing a conviction is procedurally complex and requires the competence of a skilled attorney to properly include all materials in the appellate record, conduct the legal research and draft a persuasive brief that is presented to a panel of three judges. These three judges will give your attorney the right to appear in their court or conduct oral argument. If you are not in custody, you also have the right to be present during the oral argument in front of those three judges. If you are not successful in the intermediate court, you can ask the Tennessee Supreme Court consisting of five justices, in writing, to consider your case. Mr. Stone and our criminal defense attorneys have handled over twenty cases in the intermediate appellate court and the Tennessee Supreme Court. Appeals from convictions in federal court to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati are more restricted and involve more complex procedural rules. Mr. Stone has handled several cases on appeal in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. If you, a friend, or a family member have been convicted of a crime in a state or federal court, contact our criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation.
State Court Criminal Cases
Our criminal defense attorneys have handled or been involved in the defense and representation of criminal cases in state courts throughout the state of Tennessee including middle and east Tennessee. It is important that you hire an attorney that fully understands the procedural and substantive rules and statutes in these courts in order to get you the best results regarding your case as possible. A person accused of either a misdemeanor, felony or both a felony and misdemeanor may have their case presented to a grand jury. The grand jury applies a very low burden of proof to determine whether the case should go to a jury trial. If the grand jury determines that there is probable cause that a crime was committed and the person committed, they either return an indictment or presentment. You will then be required to appear at an arraignment. It is important that you quickly contact a competent attorney as soon as you know you may be under investigation or accused of a crime so that your attorney begin investigating your case and developing the defenses available to you.
Federal Court Criminal Cases
Our criminal defense attorneys have been granted permission to handle cases in the federal courts for the eastern district of Tennessee. The most common criminal case in federal courts are cases where the government has accused several people of conspiracy for conspiring with one another to distribute one or more controlled substances. In addition to being charged in federal court with conspiracy, a person also finds themselves charged in state court involving the same or related conduct. While a prosecution in both state and federal court seems like double jeopardy, the legal principle of federalism permits both the state and federal governments to prosecute a person at the same time for the same or related conduct. Not only are the federal crimes complicated, but the federal sentencing structure is complicated as well. Our attorneys have appeared in the federal courts for eastern Tennessee regarding a variety of charges including conspiracy, firearm possession, and firearm possession by a convicted felon. Arming yourself with a competent criminal defense team in a case charging you or someone you know can make the difference in your case, its outcome and the potential sentence that can come from it.If you, a friend, or a family member have been convicted of a crime in a federal court, contact our criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation.