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Legal Experts Helping Clients in East Tennessee

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a lawyer?
While it is true that some matters can be managed on your own, it is also a good idea to have a law firm like us in your corner. The law is complex, and in many cases, you will save money, time and stress by enlisting our services.
Can you represent me?
We handle a wide variety of cases and are always looking for ways to broaden our services, but if we are unable to offer you the result-driven representation you need, we will direct you to someone who will.
Aren't lawyers expensive?
A lawyer's services can be pricey at times. We pride ourselves on our small-town values and honest business practices, so if we don't think we can save you money in the long run, we will tell you.
What does ex post facto mean?
In Latin, ex post facto means "after the fact." In criminal law, the Ex Post Facto Clause mandates that laws may not be applied retroactively if to do so would:  (1) make an act criminal which would not have been criminal at the time the act was committed, (2) increase a punishment after the crime was committed or (3) lower the burden of proof required to convict someone. This means that you can't do something now which is not against the law and later be prosecuted for your act. It also means that if you are already serving a sentence for an act, then if that act begins to carry a lengthier sentence, the courts cannot apply the new conviction time to you. And finally, in a criminal case, the burden of proof is the highest in that the state must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. That is what ex post facto really means.
How is custodial interference different from kidnapping?
There is a difference between these two crimes. First of all, kidnapping is seizing and taking away someone by force or fraud that may expose the other person to substantial risk of bodily injury. Can you do this with a child that is naturally born to you? Yes, this charge may occur if you have no visitation rights and are allowed no contact with a child, yet you pick them up and take them away. Custodial interference is different. This would be where both parents are addressed on a court order as to visitation rights and limitations, but one of the parents goes directly against the order by knowingly moving or detaining their child in violation of a court order. This may result in a charge of contempt of court, which is punishable by incarceration of varying lengths but is also a Class E felony that carries a one-to-six-year sentence range, whereas a conviction of kidnapping is a Class C felony and will be a minimum of 3-15 years. If you are a parent in a situation where you feel desperation as to your rights, then consult an attorney.
The Law Offices of Andrew Farmer is here to help, whether it is regarding family law matters or a criminal charge that you are facing.