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Criminal sentences and other laws get fresh start in 2017

Tennessee residents across the state have welcomed in yet another New Year. As 2017 gets off to its start, many new laws have gone into effect. Included in the 29 new laws are several that will impact people arrested or accused of various criminal offenses in Tennessee.

Anyone found guilty of substance-related vehicular homicide will no longer be able to serve probation. However, people who experience violations of parole or probation may not be sent back to prison as long as their violations do not involve new crimes. Previously, an order of protection for alleged domestic violence victims was only able to be requested by the victim. Under a new law, a police officer may make such a request on behalf of an alleged victim. If a person is arrested and charged with domestic violence in a case that involved deadly force, an order is automatically created.

The delineation of a Class D or Class E felony and a Class A misdemeanor has been changed for offenses related to property theft. People convicted of a third or subsequent offense of aggravated burglary will be required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences under the Public Safety Act of 2016. Mandatory minimums for defendants involved in Class A, B or C felony drug crimes have also been adjusted.

Because laws can and do change, anyone arrested for a drug crime or other offense in Tennessee might want to talk with a lawyer. This can give defendants access to the latest and most accurate details about their charges.

Source: Tullahoma News, "29 new laws effective today," Jan. 1, 2016

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