Baker Associates Blog

Knoxville Man’s Drug Sentence Commuted by President Obama

By admin on July 15, 2015

Thanks to President Obama’s recent push for prison reform, a Knoxville man was one of 46 federal prisoners who saw their sentences commuted. In a video released by the White House, the President advocated for alternative sentences for nonviolent, drug-related charges, saying that the “punishments didn’t fit the crime.” The man will now be released 8 months early. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense  | 

When Does a Drug Crime Become Federal?

By admin on June 24, 2015

First off, any drug arrest can result in a federal drug charge because drug crimes are always state crimes, as well as federal crimes. This applies to manufacturing, selling, and even possession of drugs.

But why is it that some become federal charges while others don’t?

There are a few circumstances which almost always lead to a standard drug crime being elevated to the federal level. They are as follows:

  • A federal officer makes the arrest. This could entail anything from being caught smoking marijuana at a national park to being busted in a sting operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
  • An informant is involved. If someone informs on you, whether willingly or not, the charge will immediately become federal. State and federal prosecutors often work together to make deals that involve more lenient penalties for the informant and federal charges for the individual informed upon. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense  | 

Programs Available To Help Knoxville Addicts Turn Their Lives Around

By admin on June 12, 2015

Drug and alcohol abuse can greatly affect the lives of not only the abusers, but those who are close to them as well. These issues can be financially, legally, and emotionally straining, and often times, it can feel like there is no hope for recovery. The good news is that there are people and programs that are waiting to help anyone in this situation. One Knoxville woman is a living testament to this; she turned a 16-year nightmare into a steady job and a growing relationship with her children all thanks to a program designed to help addicts.

This woman abused drugs and alcohol for 16 years, and struggled greatly along the way. She couldn’t stay sober on her own, no matter how much she tried. These failed attempts landed her behind bars time and time again- even costing her custody of her two children in the process. Things had gotten to such a level that she had accepted that she would die because of her addictions. In 2012, she made a last ditch effort at sobriety, but instead of using her own devices, she reached out to Agape, a program designed for women who had chemical dependencies. The woman took part in a 7-month program that changed her life. In addition to tackling her addictions, she learned valuable life lessons as well. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense  | 

Woman Charged with DUI at Elementary School While Dropping Off Kids

By admin on May 20, 2015

A 31-year-old mother of two landed herself behind bars after she caused a scene at her children’s elementary school. While dropping her 10 –year-old and 7-year-old off, she caused a crash in the parking lot of Amherst Elementary School on Schaad Road. Authorities were called to the school, and although there were no injuries to anyone involved, the police noticed the woman had slurred speech and could not stand on her feet securely. A subsequent field sobriety test was administered, and though these tests are optional, the woman agreed to take it, and did not perform well. She also agreed to have her blood tested, and was taken into custody.

In addition to all of the dangers involved with driving under the influence, she had both of her children in the car at the time, which could have led to serious consequences. The father and Department of Children’s Services were both informed of this incident. Even though her children weren’t injured in the accident, the mother may still face child endangerment charges in addition to a DUI. If convicted, her custody of the children could very well be in jeopardy. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI  | 

Repeat Offender in Knoxville Faces Enhanced Charges for Drug Crimes

By admin on April 30, 2015

A 42-year-old Knoxville man was sentenced to 27 years in prison following multiple convictions on cocaine charges. Neighbors had been complaining of suspicious drug activity since August 2013, and a subsequent search of the residence uncovered 140 grams of crack and powder cocaine, which has a street value of roughly $14,000.

While this sentence may seem long, there are many aggravating factors that have caused this to be. Firstly, this is not the man’s first drug-related conviction. He spent ten years in federal confinement for convictions of ‘conspiracy to distribute cocaine’ and ‘using a firearm during drug trafficking’ in the 1990s. Repeat offenders are usually served harsher, lengthier sentences – and this man’s latest punishment is reflective of just that. In fact- the KPD “Repeat Offender” Squad pursued this most recent case against the man. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense  | 

Dandridge Man Gets 12 Years for Pleading Guilty to Fatal DUI

By admin on April 10, 2015

A 55-year-old Jefferson County resident was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to driving while under the influence. No stranger to the courtroom, this is the third time the man has been charged with DUI. Unfortunately in this case, the DUI resulted in a fatal accident.

A 44-year-old Sevierville woman was killed when the intoxicated Dandridge man hit her car head-on. The man was found with empty pill bottles in his car, and later blood tests showed oxycodone, diphenhydramine and alprazolam in his system. With a history of past convictions, the reckless driver is facing heightened sentences and punishments. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI  | 

Knox County Man’s Drug Conviction Increased Due to Gang Ties

By admin on March 31, 2015

A grand jury recently convicted a 35-year-old Knox County man of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The conviction comes just after the creation of the Career Gang Unit of the Attorney General’s office, which specializes in gang-related cases like these.

The penalties for a possession with intent to distribute charge can be serious and life-altering; however, the man had also admitted to being a member of the “Vice Lords” gang in a previous trial several years ago. It is suspected that the current charge is related to similar gang activity, and although the man has not yet been sentenced for the current charge, the alleged gang affiliation enhances the offense to a Class A Felony, which can result in a prison sentence of anywhere between 15 and 60 years. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense  | 

Roane County Commissioner Arrested on DUI Charges

By admin on March 13, 2015

A Roane County commissioner was recently arrested on suspicion of a DUI after a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer stopped the 1992 Chevrolet Silverado around 8 p.m. on Old Harriman Highway. The officer said that he pulled the 59-year-old driver over for a seat belt violation, however, when he approached the car, he reportedly smelled alcohol. The commissioner told the officer that he’d only had one beer before driving, but he was unable to pass a field sobriety test, resulting in the arrest. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI  | 

Johnson City Man Sentenced to 216 Months in Prison in Plea Deal

By admin on February 17, 2015

A Johnson City man was recently sentenced to 216 months in prison for his role in a cocaine conspiracy. He admitted his plan to distribute between 5-15 kilograms of cocaine in a plea deal. The man, his wife, and a supplier, had negotiated and made sales to a police informant, who collected evidence against all three. The man’s wife is awaiting sentencing, on March 12 of this year.

When law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for this man’s residence, a subsequent search returned an ounce of cocaine, digital scales, substances used for “cutting” or diluting the drug, cash, money orders, and a gun. The search warrant for the supplier’s house contained similar amounts of crack cocaine and paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 121 months of prison for drug and gun charges. Read the rest »

Posted in: Criminal Defense  | 

What happens on your Fourth DUI conviction?

By admin on February 11, 2015

In Tennessee, DUI laws are very strict in hopes of dissuading people from getting behind the wheel after drinking. A first time conviction may result in any combination of court-ordered programs, hefty fines, license revocation, and more. When all is said and done- this first offense can cost you up to $7,500 and more, in addition to countless hours spent in a program and/or completing court-ordered community service. But what happens after a fourth DUI offense? While such a situation may seem unlikely, it does happen more than you may think. In addition to being considered a Class E Felony, a fourth conviction has many caveats that make it more than just inconvenient.

First of all, the fines associated with a DUI crime are severe. On your first offense, you won’t be fined any more than $1,500 (which is still a pretty penny). However, on your fourth conviction, fines alone can be as high as $15,000; ten times that of a first offense. Additionally, the fines do not take into account the costs of towing, bail, attorney retainer, high risk insurance, court fees, and mandated class costs, all of which will have to come out of your pocket. Usually, a heavily restricted license will be made available to a driver six months into a year-long revocation, after a first conviction, that is. A fourth-time offender, however, does not have that option and faces a minimum EIGHT YEAR revocation. Read the rest »

Posted in: DUI  | 

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