07 Aug 23

Best Clarksville Criminal Lawyers

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Last Updated on: 26th October 2023, 01:45 pm


Best Clarksville Criminal Lawyers

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer in Clarksville, TN can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. With so much on the line, you want an attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable, and will fight aggressively on your behalf. This article provides an overview of some of the top-rated criminal defense attorneys and law firms in the Clarksville area, along with their key strengths and focus areas.

Gregory Smith

Gregory Smith heads the law firm that bears his name – Gregory Smith and Associates[1]. With over 30 years of experience dating back to 1988, Gregory Smith is one of the most seasoned criminal defense lawyers in Clarksville. He handles a wide range of criminal cases in both state and federal courts, including:

  • Drug charges – possession, distribution, trafficking
  • DUI and drunk driving
  • Sex crimes
  • White collar crimes – fraud, embezzlement
  • Violent crimes – assault, domestic violence, homicide
  • Gun charges – possession, use in a crime
  • Probation violations

Gregory Smith is known for his meticulous trial preparation and aggressive defense strategies. He conducts thorough investigations, consults closely with clients, and mounts strong challenges to the prosecution’s evidence and witnesses.

Clients appreciate his straight-talking style and depth of experience. Gregory Smith has an impressive track record of achieving successful case outcomes, ranging from dismissals to favorable plea bargains to acquittals at trial.

Kennedy Law Firm

The Kennedy Law Firm[4] focuses exclusively on criminal defense work in both state and federal courts across Middle Tennessee, including Clarksville. Attorneys Rob McKinney and Mark Kennedy bring over 25 years of combined experience to each case they handle. Their key practice areas include:

  • DUI defense
  • Drug crimes
  • Sex offenses
  • Domestic violence
  • Theft/burglary
  • Probation violations
  • Expungements

The Kennedy Law Firm prides itself on providing personalized attention and compassionate counsel to each client. They work diligently to understand the details of each case, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s approach, and build the strongest defense. Attorneys McKinney and Kennedy are known for their aggressive courtroom styles and willingness to take cases to trial when warranted.

In addition to English, the attorneys are fluent in Spanish, an asset when representing many Clarksville-area clients. Overall, their experience, tenacity and commitment to clients make the Kennedy Law Firm a top choice for criminal defense.

David Ridings

Based in Nashville but handling cases across Middle Tennessee, attorney David Ridings[3] is recognized as one of the most experienced DUI defense lawyers in the state. With over 20 years exclusively focused on DUI defense, he has unparalleled knowledge of Tennessee’s DUI laws and how to aggressively defend clients facing drunk driving charges.

Key practice strengths include:

  • In-depth understanding of technical issues related to breathalyzer and blood tests
  • Success challenging the validity of field sobriety tests (FSTs)
  • Identifying improper procedures by law enforcement
  • Negotiating reductions or dismissals of DUI charges
  • Strong record of trial success if necessary
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Ridings is certified by the National College for DUI Defense and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. His reputation and track record make him the go-to choice for Clarksville-area drivers facing DUI charges.

Law Office of Michael K. Williamson

Clarksville attorney Michael K. Williamson[4] focuses exclusively on criminal defense cases in state and federal courts. Since beginning his practice in 1998, he has handled over 1000 cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies. His experience includes:

  • Drug possession and trafficking
  • Assault and violent crimes
  • Sex offenses
  • Probation violations
  • Post-conviction relief

Williamson is known for thoroughly analyzing each case, identifying key pre-trial issues, and developing strong defense strategies. He aggressively challenges questionable evidence and interrogation tactics used by police. Williamson has successfully defended many high-profile cases in Clarksville and surrounding counties.

His experience handling complex cases and willingness to take cases to trial make Williamson a strong choice for tough criminal matters.

Key Factors in Choosing a Clarksville Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Experience – Look for substantial experience specifically handling your type of criminal case. An attorney who regularly defends cases like yours in Clarksville courts will know the prosecutors, judges, and procedures.
  • Courtroom skills – Find a lawyer who is aggressive in the courtroom, comfortable taking cases to trial, and has a successful track record. You want an attorney who can persuasively advocate for you.
  • Resources – Choose a lawyer who has the time and resources to thoroughly prepare your defense, conduct investigations, research pre-trial motions, and take other steps to build the strongest case.
  • Communication – The ability to listen and clearly explain legal issues and defense options is vital. Seek an attorney who communicates well and makes you feel comfortable and confident.
  • Fees – Rates and fee structures vary among attorneys. Be sure you understand exactly what is covered by any fees quoted.

By investing time to research and choose the right criminal defense lawyer in Clarksville, you can maximize your chances of the best possible outcome for your case.

Defending Different Types of Criminal Cases

The Clarksville attorneys profiled above provide defense across a wide range of criminal charges. Here is an overview of how an experienced lawyer approaches some of the most common criminal cases:

Drug Charges

Drug cases range from possession of small amounts of marijuana to trafficking large quantities of narcotics. An effective drug crimes lawyer will:

  • Closely analyze if proper procedures were followed in searches, seizures and interrogations
  • Challenge any questionable or contaminated evidence
  • Raise jurisdictional issues if state/federal lines are crossed
  • Negotiate dismissal or reduction of charges if flaws in the case are found
  • Seek treatment-based alternatives to incarceration


Defending driving under the influence (DUI) charges involves:

  • Scrutinizing blood, breath and field sobriety tests for flaws
  • Questioning the validity of traffic stops and probable cause
  • Checking officer training/certification records for deficiencies
  • Negotiating plea bargains with no or limited license suspension
  • Managing DUI classes and other requirements if convicted

Sex Crimes

Sex crime allegations require aggressive yet sensitive defense. Skilled lawyers will:

  • Thoroughly investigate claims and accusers’ credibility
  • Challenge admissibility of state’s evidence
  • Seek to suppress questionable identifications or interrogations
  • Educate and encourage clients to accept beneficial plea offers
  • Use expert testimony to undermine state’s version of events
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Juvenile Crimes

Criminal cases involving juveniles raise many unique issues including:

  • Protection of juvenile records and identity
  • Transfer to juvenile court and rehabilitation programs
  • Assessment of developmental factors in alleged crimes
  • Coordination with schools, parents and social workers
  • Avoiding or mitigating long-term collateral consequences

White Collar Crimes

Defending white collar cases like fraud or embezzlement involves:

  • Pinpointing flaws in audit or accounting procedures
  • Assessing extent of losses and restitution requirements
  • Explaining complex financial transactions and records
  • Focusing on unintentional mistakes versus intentional wrongdoing
  • Emphasizing cooperation, corrective actions and compliance programs

Violent Crimes

Representing clients accused of violent crimes like assault, robbery or homicide requires:

  • Conducting a full independent investigation of events
  • Challenging any improper police tactics used to obtain evidence
  • Assessing self-defense claims based on “stand your ground” laws
  • Seeking to exclude prejudicial evidence and testimony
  • Raising doubts about the reliability of eyewitness identifications

Key Steps in Criminal Cases

While each case is unique, skilled criminal defense attorneys will generally take the following key steps:


Thoroughly investigating the circumstances of the alleged crime is crucial to building a strong defense. The lawyer will:

  • Interview witnesses, police, prosecutors and others involved
  • Visit the crime scene to assess conditions and lines of sight
  • Review police reports, forensic evidence, surveillance footage and other records

Legal Research

The attorney will research the specific charges and applicable laws and court precedents to identify potential defenses, motions to exclude evidence, sentencing options and other legal strategies.

Pretrial Motions

Pretrial motions may seek to have charges dismissed, evidence excluded or other rulings that strengthen the defense. This may include challenging improper police conduct, unreliable witnesses and other prosecution weaknesses.

Plea Negotiations

The lawyer will confer with the client and prosecutor to explore potential plea bargains that may involve lesser charges or reduced sentencing. The goal is to avoid trial and maximum penalties if possible.

Trial Preparation

If a trial is necessary, the attorney will meticulously prepare exhibits, legal arguments, witness lists, testimony and cross-examination questions to aggressively challenge the prosecution’s version of events.

Sentencing Mitigation

If convicted, the lawyer advocates for the minimum appropriate sentence, presenting mitigating factors like the client’s background, mental health issues, rehabilitation potential and remorse.

By leveraging their experience and legal skills, a seasoned Clarksville criminal defense lawyer can build the strongest case possible on the client’s behalf, whether that leads to dismissal of charges, a favorable plea deal or acquittal at trial.


Facing criminal charges can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. The consequences of a conviction can haunt someone for a lifetime. That is why selecting the right criminal defense lawyer in Clarksville is such a crucial decision. Be sure to invest time researching attorneys’ qualifications, experience and track record handling cases similar to yours. Schedule consultations to meet