Legal Question in Criminal Law in Tennessee

felony charges in TN, but moving to CA

My 20yr old nephew fell victim to ''peer pressure'' and was involved in ''theft of property $1K'' in TN. (all property returned; felony charges punishable 1-6 yrs; 3 were charged including 1 employee). He had planned on moving to CA on or about 07/20/03. What do we need to do to have this entire case moved to CA? As of now, he's out on his own recog, but has a court appearance on 08/04/03. This is a 1st time offense.

Asked on 7/10/03, 4:18 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Arnon Sincoff Law Office of Arnon I. Sincoff

Re: felony charges in TN, but moving to CA

From your question, it sounds like your son committed the offense but there are mitigating circumstances.

Your son needs to have a TN lawyer advise him whether to fight the case and go for a dismissal or acquittal, or whether to try for probation.

If your son's lawyer can have the matter reduced to a misdemeanor with informal probation, then he will only have to report to the TN court every few months. If the matter must remain a felony, then your son's

lawyer needs to wrap up the case ASAP, by getting your son probation with a TN court order permitting him to move to CA, and providing for a transfer of probationary supervision to the CA Department of Probation. TN law is undoubtedly the same as CA concerning the Interstate Probation and Parole Compact. Have your son's lawyer call me ASAP to follow through on the CA end. This matter has to be coordinated between the two states in order to allow your son to "move on" with his life.

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Answered on 7/12/03, 11:33 am
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: felony charges in TN, but moving to CA

The case will not be moved to California. Tennessee -- like all other states -- wants to prosecute its own crimes, and California is not going to devote its resources to trying and punishing people for crimes committed elsewhere. Courts, prisons and probation officers in California are already overloaded with in-state cases and the last thing they want is more cases moving in from out of state. Even if these issues weren't present, the result would be the same. Court cases just don't move from one state to another.

Your nephew should have a lawyer by now; if he doesn't, he should get one immediately. A local lawyer will know what must be done in Tennessee to enable him to move out of state. (He might have to post a bond, for example.)

Chances are nobody will care where he lives as long as he returns to Tennessee for all of his court appearances -- including his trial if the case proceeds that far. If he is convicted and sentenced to time behind bars, he will serve it in Tennessee. If he gets probation, he will have to deal with Tennessee's probation system, but my guess is he will be able to report to them by phone and live where he wants to.

Of course, my educated guess could be wrong since I am not a Tennessee attorney. He needs to consult with a local lawyer.

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Answered on 7/10/03, 4:43 pm
Robert Miller Robert L. Miller & Associates, A Law Corporation

Re: felony charges in TN, but moving to CA

Thank you for your posting. As Mr. Hoffman suggested, the courts in TN will retain jurisdiction.

Although he may be able to do certain classes or programs (if applicable) in other states, any court appearances would have to be in TN. I am not aware of TN law, but it may be possible for attorneys to appear for clients there, otherwise, you have to appear in TN. It won't be possible to move the entire case to CA, unfortunately.

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Answered on 7/10/03, 8:07 pm
Brooks Yelverton Thompson & Associates

Re: felony charges in TN, but moving to CA

If he has no prior record, then there is a good chance he will be eligible for judicial diversion, which is a probation type program which lasts one year. He should be able to plead to the offense in Tennessee and coordinate with a probation office in California.

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Answered on 7/15/03, 12:05 pm

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