Best Nashville Criminal Lawyers

Best Nashville Criminal Defense Lawyers – Helpful Guide

Getting arrested can be scary. Being accused of a crime is frightening. But having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can give you peace of mind. This guide will help you find the best criminal defense attorney in Nashville for your specific legal needs.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

The criminal justice system can be complicated. Prosecutors have huge resources on their side. You need someone equally knowledgeable fighting for you. A good lawyer understands the complex laws and procedures. They can identify weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to negotiate effectively on your behalf. They will protect your rights at every stage.

How to Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Nashville

Picking the right attorney is crucial. You need someone you’re comfortable with. They should be responsive, trustworthy and truly care about you. Look for these qualities when choosing a criminal defense lawyer:

  • Specializes in criminal law. Look for attorneys who focus specifically on criminal defense.
  • Local knowledge. Find someone familiar with Nashville courts and prosecutors.
  • Trial experience. Select a lawyer with a proven record of favorable verdicts.
  • Affordable fees. Avoid attorneys who overcharge for services.
  • Good reputation. Read reviews and talk to people who’ve used them.

Top Criminal Defense Law Firms in Nashville

Here are some of the best criminal defense lawyers and law firms in Nashville:

Sherwood Boutique Litigation

Highly experienced criminal defense attorney Cynthia Sherwood provides personalized attention and strong advocacy. She has 23 years of criminal law experience. Cynthia is known for thorough case research and preparation. Her attention to detail gives clients a powerful defense. She also takes time to understand each client’s unique story. Cynthia excels at conveying that story effectively in court.

Nickels Law

Attorney Jim Nickels is a former prosecutor. His inside knowledge of the system helps him defend clients skillfully. Jim handles a wide range of criminal charges from DUI to domestic violence. He is an experienced trial lawyer who isn’t afraid to take cases to court when needed. Jim Nickels is also praised for his communication skills in explaining legal options.

May & McKinney

This firm’s team of seasoned criminal defense attorneys has over 100 years of combined experience. May & McKinney provides strong legal advocacy for charges ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies. They are known for thoroughly analyzing each aspect of a case. Their effective negotiation skills resolve many cases favorably before trial. When needed, their trial lawyers will aggressively defend clients in court.

Gulley Oldham

Led by the widely respected John E. Rodgers Jr., Gulley Oldham provides skilled representation in criminal matters. John is a board certified criminal trial specialist with over 25 years of experience. His expertise covers both state and federal cases. The firm’s attorneys are praised for their sharp legal skills and compassionate support. Gulley Oldham handles cases ranging from white collar crimes to violent offenses.

Bone McAllester Norton

This respected Nashville firm has a team of top-notch criminal defense lawyers. Charles Walker is known statewide for his skilled courtroom advocacy. He takes on high profile homicide and sex crime cases. The firm also has extensive experience defending complex federal charges. Bone McAllester Norton’s rates are higher than some competitors but clients get premium legal representation.

Criminal Defense Lawyers for Specific Charges

Some Nashville criminal defense attorneys specialize in certain types of cases. Here are a few who handle specific charges:

DUI Defense

Leslie Ballin – Defends DUI and other alcohol-related charges
Jim Davis – Skilled litigator in breath test refusal cases

Drug Crimes

Torry Johnson – Former DA provides strong drug crime defense
Jim Davis – Also has extensive drug charge experience

Domestic Violence

Cynthia Sherwood – Defends domestic assault and violation of order charges
Miles Mason – Skilled at getting charges dismissed

Sex Crimes

John Rodgers – Strong defense in rape, statutory rape and other sex charges
Jim Davis – Also represents sex crime defendants

What Makes a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer?

The best criminal defense attorneys have certain skills and qualities you should look for:

  • Excellent negotiation skills – Can craft favorable plea bargains
  • Litigation expertise – Isn’t afraid to take cases to trial
  • Deep knowledge of criminal law – Understands complex state and federal laws
  • Attention to detail – Identifies and challenges flaws in prosecution’s case
  • Trial experience – Comfortable speaking in court and questioning witnesses
  • Creative legal thinking – Develops alternative theories and defenses
  • Strong research skills – Able to find precedents and statutes to support defense
  • Compassion – Shows genuine concern for clients

Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer

It’s important to interview potential attorneys before choosing one. Here are some key questions to ask:

  • How long have you been practicing criminal law?
  • What percentage of your caseload is criminal defense?
  • How many jury trials have you handled in the past 5 years?
  • What training do you have in criminal defense?
  • Are you a member of any criminal defense organizations?
  • Will you personally handle my case or pass it to an associate?
  • How quickly do you return calls and emails?
  • What are your fees and how are they structured?
  • Can you provide references from past clients?

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

A skilled criminal defense attorney can assist you in many ways, including:

  • Investigating – Digging into the facts to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
  • Negotiating – Working with the DA towards a favorable plea deal or reduced charges.
  • Litigating – Taking the case to trial and aggressively defending you.
  • Sentencing – Advocating for the lightest sentence possible.
  • Appealing – Identifying and challenging legal errors to overturn convictions.

Cost of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Nashville

Attorney fees vary based on experience, case complexity and other factors. Here are typical hourly rates:

  • Entry-level criminal defense lawyers: $200 – $300/hour
  • Experienced criminal attorneys: $300 – $500/hour
  • Former prosecutors and top attorneys: $500+/hour

Ask about flat fees, payment plans and other options to make legal costs more affordable.

Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer for You

Facing criminal charges is daunting. But the right lawyer can empower you to get the best possible outcome. Use this guide to find an attorney who understands your needs and will fight relentlessly on your behalf.