CALL US: 423-267-6715
WELCOME TO THE TEAM MEET AMANDA DUNN AND KATIE FUENTES
We are happy to report that we have two new people joining our firm, Amanda Dunn and Katie Fuentes!
battling it out in court. We are extremely fortunate to have an attorney of Amanda’s caliber join us, and we look forward to working together to continue providing our clients with excellent service and results.
Amanda Dunn is a highly respected criminal defense and personal injury attorney. She is a Chattanooga girl, having graduated from UTC in 1999. A 2004 graduate of Wake Forest Law School, and a member of the law review, Amanda is licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Georgia as well as the United States District Courts in Eastern
Katie is our newest paralegal and will primarily handle our personal injury matters. She is extremely well-trained and experienced, having worked at several personal injury firms prior to coming to work with us. Hailing from Ringgold, Georgia, Katie loves sports and is (unfortunately) a Florida Gators fan. We will be trying to convert her to Vol fandom!
and Western Tennessee and North Georgia. She is also licensed to practice before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to joining us, Amanda was a partner with the firm of Luther-Anderson, PLLP. Amanda is highly energetic, works tirelessly for her clients, and has defended charges up to and including first-degree murder. Amanda also handles personal injury and domestic cases and has a reputation for hard work coupled with a high level of respect from judges and opposing counsel. Amanda has been married to her husband, Alan, since 2012. Alan is also an attorney, practicing with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office. They have a wonderful 3-year-old daughter who keeps them busy when they are not
Katie is married to her high school sweetheart, Vincent Fuentes, and they have two lovely daughters, whom Katie refers to as her “mini-me’s.” Vincent works at Aquarium Pools, owned by Katie’s father, and they are quite busy this time of year. If you ever want to know where Katie is, just walk in the front door of our office and you will immediately hear her! Katie is loud and energetic and has never met a stranger. We are extremely happy to have Katie on our team.
423-267-6715 | TNDUIAttorney.com
With the school year fast approaching, families are in preparation mode. Parents are busy buying new clothes and school supplies and thinking about the best way to get their kids safely to school. Keeping your child safe on their commute starts with knowing the transportation method that works best for you and the rules that accompany that method. Transportation Safety Tips Protect Your Children During Their Commute
Taking the School Bus According to the United States
Kids on the Road Whether your child is biking, walking, or even skateboarding, it’s vital that they know and follow the rules of the road. All children should practice road safety behavior, such as riding on the right side of the road, wearing helmets, stopping at stop signs, and watching out for cars. Internalizing these habits will help them stay aware of their surroundings when traveling to and from school. Sharing the Road When school starts, the roads become even more cluttered than usual. On top of people heading to work, there are large buses making frequent stops, parents rushing to drop their kids off, and young
Department of Transportation, the school bus is the safest means of transportation to and from school. Buses are built to withstand a hit and distribute the damage throughout the vehicle, keeping its passengers safe and sound. Knowing basic bus safety will help kids be mindful when taking the bus. Before the school year starts, take your children to the bus stop and show them where they should stand when the bus approaches — a minimum of three large steps or 6 feet from the street. Tell your kids about the importance of sitting still and not standing in the bus while it’s in motion.
kids biking or walking to school. With the added tension on the road, it’s important to be alert and move cautiously. Slowing down in school zones or around young pedestrians will keep you vigilant and could potentially save lives. Teach your kids to be prepared and safe on the road to ensure that they have a healthy and safe school year.
No Stone Left Unturned A DUI Case Study
A client came to our office after a wreck where he was charged with DUI. He had been driving in a residential area late at night, sped around a turn, oversteered, and his truck turned upside down on the roadway. Given that he worked in local law enforcement, a state agency was called in to investigate the case rather than the municipal authorities who initially reported to the scene of the accident. He was arrested at the scene and taken to jail; his breathalyzer test came in at 0.14, almost twice the legal limit. The client was suspended from his job and told that if he were to be convicted of DUI, his position would be terminated. In dire straits, the accused sought out a well-known DUI attorney, only to be turned away. This attorney reasoned that, given the breath result, there was no realistic way of beating the case. The client was informed that he should look for another line of work. Instead, he came to us as his last hope. He had already concluded that his case was unwinnable and there was likely no need to even contest the charge. After convincing him that we would leave no stone unturned, he hired us to represent him. We knew it was a long shot but quickly went to work, obtaining a copy of the video of the client taking the breath test. Tennessee law requires that the breath test operator
observe the subject for a solid 20 minutes prior to the sample being given. We discovered that the breath test operator left the room, making it impossible to observe our client for the requisite 20-minute time period. When we went to court on the case, the DA made his offer: Plead guilty to DUI and receive the minimum punishment despite the wreck — ordinarily a good offer, considering the circumstances. I took the police officer outside and showed him the video. Realizing he had not properly followed the procedure, the officer did not oppose a reduction, and the charge was amended to reckless driving, resulting in a six-month suspended sentence and a fine. There was no loss of license, no DUI conviction, and therefore no loss of job!
While we cannot guarantee a reduction or dismissal in every case, we do guarantee that we will work hard and do everything legally possible to beat the charges. We have seen countless lawyers over the years just take the money and try to work a case out on the day of court, which is a recipe for disaster! Had this client not hired us, he would have been found guilty of DUI and would have lost his 17-year job, as well as his pension.
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Arrested in College? How to Protect Your Future
Judicial Diversion Judicial diversion works much the same way as pretrial diversion, with charges being expunged at the end of a probation period. However, this diversion is offered by the judge overseeing the case, not the district attorney’s office. Those seeking this route will also have to enter a conditional guilty plea, meaning that failure to complete the probation period results in an automatic conviction. While more stringent than pretrial diversion, this option can be used to expunge severe charges, including certain felonies. Seeking either form of diversion, as well as filing the order to expunge charges, is an involved legal process, requiring skilled negotiation. An experienced criminal defense team like Houston & Alexander can ensure your student has the best options available when seeking a clean record. If you have a family member in college who is facing criminal charges, have them give us a call today at 423-267-6715. We take education seriously and will do all we can to help them protect their future.
As we move into the last days of summer, young people across Tennessee will be starting their college careers. While it will undoubtedly be a great time for these students to learn and grow, statistically, they’re likely to make a few mistakes along the way. When these mistakes land students on the wrong side of the law, it can spell disaster for their future. A criminal record can derail a promising career before it even gets started, causing all the hard work and money spent to get into university to go to waste. But an arrest does not have to be the end of the line. There are options available to Tennessee students, especially first-time offenders, that allow them to take responsibility for their mistakes while maintaining a clean record. Pretrial Diversion Pretrial diversion is an alternative to prosecution that consists of an agreement between the district attorney’s office and the accused. In exchange for serving a probation period, criminal charges will not be pursued in court. The stipulations of the probation period vary case by case, but usually involve some form of community service or rehabilitation. If the student successfully completes the probation period, the criminal charges will be expunged from their record.
Update on Dexter
Grilled Leg of Lamb
This recipe is the perfect centerpiece for a late summer cookout or an easy family dinner.
We’re happy to report that Dexter came through his ACL surgery well. (Honestly, I didn’t even know dogs had an ACL until Dexter was hurt.) The first few days were tough, and he had to spend them at the vet. As you can imagine, a dog’s knee joint is very different from ours, and rather than having the ACL replaced in the way an orthopedic doctor might do for us, Dexter’s knee joint was reconfigured and a metal plate was screwed in. While it will not return him to 100 percent
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine
• 1 4–5-pound boneless leg of lamb, not butterflied • 1/4 cup extra-virgin • olive oil Ingredients Directions
• 8 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced • Salt and pepper, to taste
mobility, with therapy he should get to about 80 percent. Believe it or not, the vet has a water tank with a treadmill that Dexter swims/walks in so that he can rebuild the strength in that leg and joint. He seems to be handling it well, and we hope that in a few months he can resume being just a regular old dog.
1. On a large cutting board, cut between the muscles on the leg of lamb to divide into 4 pieces, pulling apart with your fingers if need be. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Add lamb and toss to coat. Marinate for 4 hours at room temperature. 3. Heat grill to medium-high. Season lamb with salt and pepper and grill until lamb reaches an internal temperature of 130 F (medium rare). Cook time will vary depending on size of lamb pieces. 4. Let lamb rest, covered with tin foil, for 15 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.
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TNDUIAttorney.com CALL US: 423-267-6715
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Meet Our Two New Team Members
Keep Your Kids Safe on the Way to School
Case Study: From DUI to Reckless Driving
Back to School: How to Maintain a Clean Criminal Record
Grilled Leg of Lamb
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking
Become a ‘Dog Whisperer’ Train as a Pack for Better Results
Your whole family adores your dog — but not the barking. This issue can lead to feelings of frustration, and the more frustrated you get, the more your dog barks. It’s their only way of communicating, and they’re telling you, “My needs are not being met.” As Cesar Millan, the original “dog whisperer,” explains, “A barking dog needs exercise, discipline, and affection, in that order.” EXERCISE Part of the barking issue may be due to pent-up energy. According to the humane society, “A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.” If you already take your pup on a morning walk, try adding in an evening walk. You could add it to your child’s chore list and help get out some of the kid’s pent-up energy, too. It may also be beneficial to practice
obedience exercises and games that challenge your dog. DISCIPLINE To put a stop to the behavior, you’ll first need to change any of your behavior that’s reinforcing it. Any attention your dog gets when he’s barking — even yelling, “Rover, stop!” — teaches him to keep going, because you’re rewarding him with attention. Wait until your dog has stopped barking to give him any sort of attention, including looking at them. “To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking,” advises the Humane Society. AFFECTION Of course, your dog needs love and attention to thrive — a lack of it could contribute to barking behavior. Reinforce silence by giving your dog a treat and an encouraging pat when she demonstrates
good behavior, like not barking. “Our pups want to work for our attention,” Cesar Millan reminds us. “Allowing her to do that and to see your happiness is, to your dog, the biggest reward of all.” To make your training program successful, consistency is key. Enlist the help of the whole family to stick to the principles. Together, you can foster a calm, peaceful home where you and your dog happily coexist.
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