You have been issued a state criminal citation. What do this mean?
You have been charged with a criminal offense. It is a misdemeanor offense, not a felony offense. (A misdemeanor is any offense punishable by a sentence of less than one year. Conversely, a felony is any offense punishable by a sentence of one year or more). If convicted, you could be fined, placed on probation or even sentenced to jail. Further, this may become a criminal conviction on your record for the rest of your life. This could have consequences for your future employment. This is particularly important for college or graduate students. If you are not a United States citizen, it could have consequences on your ability to remain in this country.
You have been arrested. However, the arresting officer decided not to make a physical arrest. Instead, he or she issued a citation in lieu of arrest. In Davidson County, officers often issue misdemeanor citations for the following offenses:
- Simple possession of a controlled substance
- Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia
- Underage consumption of alcohol
- Underage possession of alcohol
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Disorderly conduct
- Public intoxication
- Patronizing prostitution
The criminal citation contains a date on which you are required to be booked. What does it mean to be booked? You do not go to jail. Instead, you report to a room on the first floor of the courthouse. There, you will be fingerprinted, you will be photographed and the sheriff will run a nationwide record check to confirm that you do not have any outstanding warrants. Then, you will go down the hall to a courtroom. That courtroom will be staffed by an assistant district attorney and a judge.
You should be represented by an attorney on this date.
If you are not a local resident, it may be difficult for you to return to Nashville for your booking date and for future court dates if they are necessary.
Attorney Bernie McEvoy insists on meeting with all clients prior to court. He will discuss the facts of your case and your goals as to the resolution of the case. He will discuss whether there is anything you might do prior to your booking date in order to improve your position. Depending on the facts of your case, it may be possible to negotiate a resolution of your case that does not require you to be booked.
Attorney Bernie McEvoy frequently represents students from local colleges on criminal citation cases in Nashville, TN. This includes students from Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Tennessee State University.