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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 111548
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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My name is xxxxxx xxxxxx and I got into a car accident

Customer Question

My name is ***** ***** and I got into a car accident saturday. My boyfriend was in the car with me, he was asleep (keep in mind he's on probation not for weed or anything) but he would have been getting off in the middle of December. An animal ran across the road and got me off track, i hit a stop light pole and knocked it down. The police searched the car and found backpack with a grinder inside.The backpack belonged to my boyfriend, but he hasn't used the backpack in a while. We had no idea it was in the car, and we also had no idea it had a grinder on the inside. They automatically charged my bf with the grinder because beside the grinder in the backpack was his OLD EBT food stamps card and i got charged with destroying city property. What will happen to me and what will happen to my boyfriend? He has court Dec.3 And I have it Dec.15. There were no drugs found in the car. I wasn't under the influence.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
In order for them to convict him of possession of residue or paraphernalia, they have to prove a connection between him and the backpack, which is why the old EBT card is important, that proves who owned the backpack. His attorney will have to somehow prove to the court in argument that the backpack was as you said not used in a long time (based on the old EBT and where the backpack was in the car and condition of the backpack etc). It is not going to be an easy case to get him out of I am afraid, but he has at least reasonable doubt he can argue to seek to be found not guilty
If you were charged with destroying the pole you hit, if you can get your insurance company to pay for the pole, then the city will dismiss the case. All they are looking for is to make sure the pole is paid for and they will hold this case open until the pole is paid for and then they will dismiss the case in most all instances.
Under TN law, whether the case is a class A misdemeanor or Class E felony depend on the value of the pole (they have to prove the value) and if it is more than $500 it would be a felony punishable by 1-6 years in prison and up to a $3000 fine. If it was under $500, the charge carries a possible sentence of up to 1 year in jail and a $2500 fine. If you have no other record of convictions, jail is almost unheard of in this type of case and all you would be looking at is fines at the most. Again if the insurance covers the damage, in most cases these charges are dismissed.