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Sara Elizabeth Compher-Rice

Sara Compher-Rice’s Answers

7 total



    Sara’s Answer

    I suggest that you contact a criminal defense attorney who practices in the Covington area. Be aware, however, that only charges that have been dismissed are eligible for expungement in Tennessee. In other words, if your son was convicted of this felony charge, the conviction will remain on his record forever.

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  • What are consequences for not showing up on a court date for a "failure to stop at a stop sign" ticket.

    What are my options if i don't pay by the court date. if i try to fight it and lose will i have to pay more? can i get driving school to take this off my record? If i don't pay by the court date is there just a fee or will i get a warrant?

    Sara’s Answer

    First of all, if you do not pay by your court date, you are required to appear in court. The consequences of not appearing will vary by court, but at a minimum, this failure will be reported to the Tennessee Department of Safety who will then suspend you license for failure to satisfy your citation.

    It certainly is possible that you will pay more if you contest the ticket and lose (as additional, though typically minor, court costs may be assessed). However, I would strongly recommend that you consider options other than simply paying the ticket, especially if you have a clean driving history. In the long run, pleading guilty and paying the ticket may cost you more insurance premiums than the out of pocket expense of fighting the ticket.

    The availability of driving school to keep the ticket off of your record is typically decided on a case by case basis. I suggest that you contact an attorney who has experience with traffic citations in your jurisdiction. I would also advise you to speak with your automobile insurance agent before paying the ticket. Your agent may be able to give you an idea of how much a traffic conviction will cost you in increased premiums.

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  • Can you expunge a case that is 10 years old if it is a misdemeanor.

    In 1998, I plead guilty to a misdemeanor, although I had nothing to do with the charge. I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The charge was theft of property under 500.

    Sara’s Answer

    Unfortunately, this conviction will remain on your criminal history. Tennessee law allows for a charge to be expunged, or erased, from one’s record only if the charge has been dismissed. The passage of time alone, even 10 years, will not be sufficient to allow for expungement under Tennessee law.

    You may want to consult with a lawyer in the jurisdiction where you were convicted to look into this matter and verify that the final Judgment in your case was valid.

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  • When a record is expunged is the slate really clean?

    I had a shop lifting charge expunged. Only charge i ever had. is my record really clear. If asked do I have a record, can I legally say no?

    Sara’s Answer

    Tennessee law allows for the expungement of public records relating to your arrest. The law further provides, however, that:

    "Public records," for the purpose of expunction [of a criminal record] only, does [sic] not 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 and are not open for inspection by members of the public and shall also not include records of the department of children's services or department of human services that are confidential under state or federal law and that are required to be maintained by state or federal law for audit or other purposes. See T.C.A. Section 40-32-101

    In other words, government and law enforcement agencies will likely still have a record of your Tennessee DUI arrest record. For instance, if you were arrested again, the prosecution may obtain information relating to your expunged charge. Although these records would not be available to the general public and would likely not be admissible in court against you, the existence of a prior arrest may hinder a subsequent plea negotiation process.

    Unfortunately, even some public records may remain after an expungement is processed. Many private companies that provide background check services accumulate and maintain arrest records. Oftentimes, these companies do not update their data to reflect cases that have been dismissed and/or expunged.

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  • Traffic tickets and license points

    I got a speeding ticket 3 months ago in a construction zone. A couple days ago I got a ticket for "improper turning" when I entered a Taco Bell. I drive a lot for work and school, so I need my license. I am concerned about having so many points ...

    Sara’s Answer

    I would encourage you to consult with an attorney anytime you are cited for a traffic violation. Even if you are guilty of the offense, many courts provide options to prevent being convicted of the offense. Not only do you have to be concerned with accumulating enough points to suspend your license, but you should also be concerned about how these convictions will impact your insurance premiums.

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  • Procedure for contesting traffic ticket under TN traffic court procedures

    i got at-fault-ticket for an traffic accident..a lawyer sent me a letter saying he could go to court for me for 100 dollars..andfight for me and get it off my record..he say the most i may have to do is go to one this true? can this be d...

    Sara’s Answer

    Even if you were at fault and have no defenses to your traffic case, Judges often agree to allow your ticket to be dismissed upon completion of certain conditions (such as court costs and driving school). I do not practice in Memphis and do not know the facts of your case, so I cannot comment specifically whether such an agreement would be available in your case.

    I would urge you to contact a lawyer and attempt to have your case dismissed. Because you were at fault in the accident, the Tennessee Department of Safety will likely assess points to your driving history (3 or 4 depending on the facts). If convicted of the traffic citation, additional points would be assesses which would impact your insurance rates.

    I suggest that you research this attorney before hiring him or her. Is he rated on and/or Ask your friends and family if they have heard of him or if they have dealt with another traffic attorney that they trust.

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  • What is the normal sentence in tennessee for driving on a suspended license third offense.

    third offense non dui

    Sara’s Answer

    Under Tennessee law, a second or subsequent violation of Driving While Privileges Suspended is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months, 29 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500.00. In certain circumstances, a conviction could result in a mandatory confinement period of forty-five (45) days and a fine of up to $3,000.00. Additionally, if convicted, the Tennessee Department of Safety will extend the period of your license suspension.

    Keep in mind that the actual sentence is dependant on many factors and will vary by case to case. Because of the serious penalties involved, you should consult with an experienced attorney in the jurisdiction in which you have been charged.

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