Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Once Again Charged With A Crime? Entitled To Bail? - Criminal Litigation

The majority of individuals know, if you are arrested for a crime, you are entitled to have a bond set in most instances.  This bond will allow you to be released from jail pending your trial or the disposition of your case.  This is one of our constitutional rights as citizens of the State of Tennessee. BUT what if you are arrested for a crime, released on bail, and before your case is disposed of you are charged with a new crime?  Are you allowed to obtain a new bond for the new charge? 

                This matter comes up on a surprising regular basis.  There is no question that your current bond can be revoked for picking up a new charge.  What we are talking about here is a court denying a criminal defendant a new bond for the additional charge and then holding them there without bail.  The state legislature ATTEMPTED to address this very issue when they passed a law effective in 2012, which is still on the books.  The law says a court may deny you an additional bond when you commit a crime while out on bond for the other crime.  The statute reads in pertinent part…

Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-11-141

"(b) If after the defendant is released upon personal recognizance, an unsecured personal appearance bond, or any other bond approved by the court, the defendant violates a condition of release, is charged with an offense committed during the defendant's release, or engages in conduct which results in the obstruction of the orderly and expeditious progress of the trial or other proceedings, then the court may revoke and terminate the defendant's bond and order the defendant held without bail pending trial or without release during trial."

                Is this statute passed by the legislature constitutional?  According to a recent Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals case, this law does not pass constitutional muster and is currently considered unconstitutional.  The case of State of Tennessee v. Burgins (No. E2014-02110-CCA-R8-CO, Dec. 3, 2014) points out, that Article I, Section 15 of the Tennessee Constitution clearly states "that all prisoners be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses" and only for capital offenses "when the proof is evident, or the presumption is great."  (A capital offense being one in which the punishment is the death penalty.)  This is the plain meaning of our constitution and according to the referenced case, the portion of the law allowing a court to deny a defendant's bond is unconstitutional except in capital cases and should not be followed by the courts.  Therefore, in most cases, you are still entitled to a bond to be set, even if charged with a new crime while out on bail for a previous crime.   

To learn more about how we can assist you in a Criminal Litigation issue Contact Us Here or Call Us 615.444.2345

Posted on 02/25/2015 3:24 PM by Jonathan Tinsley
Thursday, 19 February 2015
I'm Not A Millionaire, So Why Do I Need Help Planning My Estate?

In a recent blog, I discussed the 2015 Federal and Tennessee Estate Taxes.  A common follow-up question to that discussion sounds something like, "My assets are nowhere near $5,000,000.00 so why do I need any help with planning my estate?"

The answer is two-fold:

1) Tax laws are not written in stone!

Our laws change constantly and our government is always in flux.  I am thankful that we live in a country where we are represented by the people of our choosing, but that means that "the people of our choosing" change every year.  We do not know who will be in power or what agendas will become important in the future.  We can only live in 2015.  That being said, it is not difficult to see how tax laws affecting Tennesseans could change.  It could suddenly become the law that all estates are subject to taxes (thankfully, this is not the current trend).

2) Estate Planning is much more than just taxes. 

Estate planning is more than tax law.  In fact, I would say that with the majority of our clients, other topics are of greater concern.  For example, making sure the correct people have control over assets or determining who will be the decision-maker are more important than estate taxes to many people.  Also, privacy or creating a process that will be simple for loved ones are both common goals.  There are many reasons that an estate planning attorney can be helpful, whether taxes are of concern or not.  Just about everyone can benefit from some estate planning.

To learn more about how we can assist you in Estate Planning or if you have any questions about this or any other legal matters Call Us:  or Contact Us Here

Posted on 02/19/2015 1:40 PM by Erika Piland
Friday, 13 February 2015
A Big Break On Estate Tax In Tennessee

A new year brings new taxes.  Fortunately for Tennesseans, in the area of estate tax, this means less taxes for 2015.

To give a brief review of 2014 estate taxes, an estate could be worth $2,000,000.00 and not be taxed by the state of Tennessee.  Federally, an estate could be worth $5,340,000.00 and not be taxed by the federal government.  Although many estates clearly would not have been taxed in 2014, even fewer will be taxed in 2015.

As of January 1, 2015, in Tennessee, an estate can now be worth $5,000,000.00 and not be taxed.  The federal maximum for a tax-free estate has also increased; it is now $5,430,000.00.  Even better news is that in 2016, Tennessee will cease having an estate tax.  This creates a desirable environment for those entertaining the idea of Tennessee as a location in which to retire.

Although these numbers seems unattainably high to most Tennesseans, these amounts are the finale to a long road of decreasing estate taxes.  In 1999, for example, an estate over $650,000.00 was taxed in Tennessee.  A plan was subsequently put in place to slowly phase out the estate tax, with 2015 being the final year.  The federal government has not given any indication that it intends to demolish its estate tax, however, the maximum is set to increase for inflation.  We can only hope that our state and federal government continue these trends.

If you are asking "My assets are nowhere near $5,000,000.00 so why do I need any help with planning my estate?" - I will answer that question next week!

To learn more about how we can assist you in Estate Planning or if you have any questions about this or any other legal matters Call Us: 615.444.2345 or Contact Us Here


Posted on 02/13/2015 3:30 PM by Erika Piland
Thursday, 5 February 2015
Tressler & Associates Promo Video.

We created this short promo video and wanted to share with you all. We are diligently working to provide the best customer experience for our clients. We take great care in ensuring we serve you the best we can. We are excited to be expanding our locations in the near future and being a part of the Mt. Juliet community. We have many wonderful clients spread throughout Nashville and all of Middle Tennessee. Its a community we love to be able to support and serve. We continue to grow and it's all thanks to you. If you have any questions about how we can assist you with your Real Estate or Business Law needs we have a team ready to assist you. Our services expand further than that, and if you need a lawyer, chances are we can help you. Check out our website to find out more.

Posted on 02/05/2015 2:35 PM by Todd Tressler
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
The Benefits of a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare - Estate Planning

A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, or sometimes called a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPOA), is an important document for everyone to have. The specific reasons for having an HCPOA will change throughout life, but the general idea remains the same.  The purpose of an HCPOA is two-fold: it allows you to name one or more persons to have access to your medical records and it allows you to give that person or those people the power to make medical decisions for you when you are not able. Consider these scenarios.

                Jared and Mia Part 1: Jared and Mia are engaged. Mia is in a car accident. Mia is alive, but unresponsive. The hospital will not be able to give Jared information about Mia's condition without Mia's consent. Because Mia is unresponsive, this means and Jared will anxiously wonder what is happening until he is able to work through the HIPPA requirements with the hospital. If Mia had an HCPOA naming Jared as her "attorney-in-fact" or "agent" he would have had access to her medical files and the doctors could inform him as to all that is happening. This scenario would be the same with a parent and an adult child. Even between two spouses, the process of the hospital being about to release information would be expedited if there is an HCPOA.

                Jared and Mia Part 2: Now the hospital is wanting to perform procedures that could potentially prolong her life, but Jared knows Mia would not want done. Unfortunately, Jared has no power to make those decisions for her. If Mia had an HCPOA, Jared would have the power to act as her agent and make decisions for her medical treatment that are within any guidelines she had set.

                Keep in mind that an HCPOA only comes into play when you are unable to make the decisions for yourself; so these people will only have these powers if you become incapacitated or unresponsive. As long as you are able to consent or deny informed consent, you will be the one choosing what is done medically for yourself. However, should you become incapacitated, this is an extremely useful document. Remember to update your HCPOA regularly so that the best person is named as your agent. Although we dread to think of the times when this document would be used, in a world of few promises, it is best to be prepared.

To learn more about how we can assist you in Estate Planning or if you have any questions about this or any other legal matters Call Us: 615.444.2345 or Contact Us Here

Posted on 02/03/2015 1:03 PM by Erika Piland
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