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Frequently Asked Questions
From Tourists After an Arrest


Frequently Asked Questions From Tourists After an Arrest in Nashville

A friend or loved one has been arrested while visiting Nashville, what should we do next? 

The first step is to arrange the arrestees release from jail. This may be difficult because the person is from out-of-state. A criminal defense lawyer experienced with representing tourists and visitors will be able to provide quick and valuable assistance.  Depending on the charge, the arrestee may not be required to post bond before being released from jail. More serious charges require a bail to be posted and possibly the need for a bonding company. Seeking advice from a local tourist lawyer is the first critical step upon arrest or issuance of criminal citation.  

Can I go home after being charged with a crime while visiting Nashville?

Generally, the answer is YES, you will be able to go home after being released from jail. 

However, before returning home, it is advisable to contact an attorney experienced in defending tourists and visitors. If you immediately leave town before speaking with a lawyer, there may be important evidence lost relevant to your defense. A skilled criminal defense attorney, like Patrick McNally, will immediately assess if there is evidence that needs secured before you return to your normal life and responsibilities in your home state or city. 

Will I have to return to Nashville for court?

In many cases, your Nashville tourist defense attorney will appear on your behalf reducing the number of times you will have to appear in court. As an out-of-state or international tourist, making repeated court appearances can be costly. We seek to minimize your expenses and even attempt to save you from making any trips at all. 

The first court appearance is called an “initial appearance” and generally does not require the defendant’s appearance.  Occasionally, cases are dismissed at the initial appearance.  If necessary, the second court appearance is a “trial date.”  Prosecution witnesses are subpoenaed for the trial date and the matter is either resolved through a plea agreement, dismissal, or bench trial. Talk to defense attorney Patrick McNally about the specifics of your charges to assess whether you will need to make court appearances. 

Do I have to hire a local Tennessee attorney?

An out-of-state lawyer generally cannot represent someone charged with a criminal offense in the state of Tennessee. Each state licenses lawyers in their jurisdiction to ensure they are competent of the laws of that state. Therefore, it is always better to hire a local tourist defense attorney who’s familiar with the court system, judges, and prosecutors in Nashville.

Can I get my arrest expunged?

Expunging a record is the first step to removing a criminal charge from the public record. Even though someone may live in another state or even another country, Tennessee visitors can take advantage of the same laws as Tennessee residents to have the public record expunged.  A person can have the public record of their arrest and criminal disposition expunged so long as it is permitted in the resolution of a case. It’s best to seek the help of a local experienced Nashville tourist defense attorney to ensure a record will be expunged.

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