Circuit court judges delay sentences

Defendants in Circuit Court who were supposed to serve their sentence on non-violent misdemeanor or felony case or violation of probation in April should report 30 days later, the Circuit Court judges ordered Monday.

People convicted of violent offenses of crimes against people and children, aggravated burglary, DUI third offense or higher and all domestic assault cases must begin serving their sentence on the assigned date.

Non-violent misdemeanor cases include first and second offense DUIs, non-violent Class C, D and E felonies and probation violations based solely on a:

  • Showing a positive drug screen or admitting using illegal drugs.
  • Failing to show up for supervision for four months or less.
  • Being arrested for any misdemeanor case other than DUI third offense or higher) or domestic assault.
  • Failing to pay court costs, restitution, supervision fees or other payment as a condition of probation.
  • Failing to complete a class or assessment.
  • Violating rules of probation, other than a new felony arrest or a new misdemeanor arrest for DUI third offense or higher or domestic assault.

Circuit Court Judges David Bragg and Barry Tidwell and Chancellor Howard Wilson signed the order after monitoring developments of the pandemic and under the Tennessee Supreme Court orders.

“The high population density of the local jail during the COVID-19 pandemic poses a special problem for those incarcerated and the corrections officers, sheriff’s deputies, law enforcement officers, healthcare workers and other professionals who regularly come in contact with inmates,” the judges stated.

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