Angel Kane, Attorney

ANGEL KANE has been practicing law since 1995. Angel was a member of the University of Memphis Law Review and served as a judicial law clerk while in law school. A graduate of the University of Memphis Law School, Angel has practiced in Memphis and Lebanon, Tennessee.

Need Your Criminal Record Expunged? Here's How!

Image: Al Capone's Criminal Record  

 

For many people with a criminal record, their convictions affect future employment and business opportunities. For people charged with felonies, their criminal record prevents them from owning a firearm or traveling outside the country. Having a clean criminal record is also important due to many apartment and housing complexes requiring a background check before allowing a person to live there.

  In order to avoid all of the above obstacles, you should attempt to have your record expunged as soon as possible, depending on your case. Expungements in Tennessee are governed under the statute T.C.A. 40-32-101. This statute states that in order to be eligible for expungment, defendant must have:

  • No other convictions in any jurisdiction, 
  • Have completed all terms of probation, parole or imprisonment must be completed and 5 years must have lapsed since the completion of the sentence, 
  • Have met all conditions of release, 
  • Have a copy of the record of the conviction to be expunged, 
  • Have paid all fines, restitution and court costs, 
  • Conviction must be for a Class E felony included on the inclusion list or a misdemeanor not included on the exclusion list, and
  • A government issued ID. 
  The list of included and excluded offenses can be found on the Tennessee District Attorney's website: http://www.tndagc.com/expunge/Expungement%20Checklist.pdf.
 
  Once you find out if you are eligible for expungement, you must petition the court for an expungement.  A licensed attorney experienced in criminal law can assist you in having your criminal record expunged. Contact our office at (615) 784-4800 for assistance with your case.
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Establishing Paternity in TN

Parentage Photo

 

It's a situation that we see too often: Parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule for a child and the father cannot see the child because he has no legal rights. A mother may move away with the child and the father disagrees but has no grounds to contest the move because he has no legal rights.

  In Tennessee, a mother's husband at the time of the birth of child is the legal father of that child, whether or not he is the biological father. If the mother and father are not married at the time of the child's birth, the parents may sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and have the father's name placed on the birth certificate. A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and birth certificate, however, are not sufficient legal proof that a man is a child's father.

  If the parents were not married at the time of the child's birth and the father wants visitation and legal rights to the child, he must ask for an order of the court. A mother and father can agree to paternity and ask the court to establish the father's rights to the child. Alternatively, if they disagree, the father is entitled to a paternity test to prove he is the father of the child. Once the parties agree or a successful DNA test is complete, the court will produce an order of paternity and establish visitation and other legal rights.

  Establishing paternity is a very important step in being able to parent your child. Many fathers wait until there is an issue with visitation or support before they ask the court to establish them as the father's child. Due to the length of time this can take, a father may miss out on a significant portion of a child's life. If you were not married to your child's mother at the time of the child's birth and have never been legally declared the child's father, do not procrastinate in establishing paternity. We have successfully helped establish paternity for fathers in multiple counties and we would be happy to help you. Contact us with questions today at (615) 784-4800.

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Lower Expungement Fee

A man fills out a form. 

 

In Tennessee, certain charges and convictions are eligible to be expunged, or erased, from your record…for a price. The previous fee to have your record expunged was $450.00. Many people could not afford to pay the expungement fee after having also paid court costs, fines and probation fees. Unfortunately for these individuals, charges and convictions would remain on their record simply because they did not have the funds required.

  Fortunately, that recently changed when Governor Haslam and the Tennessee Legislature reduced the expungement fee from $450.00 to $270.00. Hopefully this will make it easier for those with simple misdemeanors to start fresh with a clean record. Read more about the change here: http://www.newschannel5.com/news/haslam-signs-bill-reducing-costs-of-wiping-criminal-records

If you have questions about having your record expunged, call us at (615) 784-4801.

 

 

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New TN Laws – Will They Affect You?

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As of July 1, 2017, several new laws went into effect in Tennessee. Do any of the new laws affect you?

  • Penalties for being a convicted felon in possession of a gun can be increased, depending on the previous felony.
  • If you file for retroactive child support, you can only be awarded the prior 5 years’ child support unless the court finds good cause that another award is proper.
  • The offense of the unruly act of illegal use of a telecommunication device has been created. Watch what you do on your cell phone!
  • Don’t publicly release the residential address of a police officer. It’s a Class B Misdemeanor if negligent and a Class A Misdemeanor if intentional.
  • Property owners can put purple paint on their trees to serve as a no trespassing sign.

Read more here on all of the laws:

133 new Tennessee laws take effect July 1

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Do you know what a Living Will is?

Do you know what a Living Will is?

If I had to pick one legal document, after a Last Will and Testament, that was of the utmost importance, I would have to pick a Living Will.

A Last Will and Testament is the document we all know about wherein you decide how your assets will be devised upon your passing. A Living Will, on the other hand, is the document that determines how you will live at the end of your life.

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Uncontested Divorces - If your spouse has a lawyer, do you need an attorney?

Uncontested Divorces - If your spouse has a lawyer, do you need an attorney?

We often receive calls from people whose spouse has presented them with legal documents asking for a divorce. The divorce, however, is something they both want and all they have to do on their end is sign the papers they are presented with.

Do you sign them without consulting with an attorney? That's a tough call.

First know, it's extremely difficult to get those papers set aside once you sign them. Most Judges will not set them aside unless you can show you were under duress or there was fraud committed. Both are very hard to prove.

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What Are Grandparent Rights In Tennessee?

What Are Grandparent Rights In Tennessee?

We often are asked about Grandparent rights in Tennessee, and yes, grandparents do have the right to file for visitation in our state. They can also file for custody.

However, the standard for both is very high.

When it comes to custody, a grandparent can't just show that they can better care for their grandchildren. They must actually show both parents are unfit to parent. While difficult to prove, in this day and age where addictions are becoming rampant, we are successfully representing many more grandparents who are having to step in and raise their grandchildren.


 

Visitation, on the other hand, where the parents are both fit, is a completely different standard of law. In these cases we are required to prove that the grandchildren once had a significant relationship with their grandparent that was severed by the parent and that because of this severance the child will suffer substantial harm. It can be a difficult case to prove but often grandparents can meet this burden because they have, in fact, played a significant part of their grandchildren's lives.

Our office handles these cases and will be glad to evaluate your case with you to best determine if you have a cause of action and when the best time to file will be.

 

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Are We A Joint Custody State?

Are We A Joint Custody State?

I'm often asked if we are a joint custody state. The answer is we are not.

What we are, however, is a state that requires our courts to maximize parenting time between both parents. And in doing that, our courts must look at several factors including those that effect the parents as well as the children.

In order to determine what type of visitation schedule will be best for the child the court looks at each parent's living arrangements, their proximity to each other and their work schedules. The court also determines if the parents are making good life choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol, as well as the type of people they are spending their time with.

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Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

In Tennessee, our Courts will enforce Pre-Nuptial Agreements, but only if they meet certain legalcriteria. 

As a divorce attorney, I see many, many battles fought over bank accounts, retirement accounts and real estate people owned prior to marriage. Often, without thinking during the marriage your spouse’s name is put on your bank account or your home.

And when you divorce, it may be too late to undo and you just made separate property - marital.

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Marital & Separate Property

Marital & Separate Property

One of the most asked questions we hear is, what is considered marital property and what is considered separate property in Tennessee?

Marital Property

Most anything you and/or your spouse accumulated during the marriage is marital. It doesn’t matter whether or not you kept it in a separate account, didn’t put her name on the Deed or that his name is not on your Company 401k account. For the most part, if it was earned during the marriage (by either of you) – it is marital. And therefore, the Court can and will divide it.

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Custody & Visitation In Tennessee

Custody & Visitation In Tennessee

Technically, in Tennessee we no longer use the words custody or visitation. A few years back, the statutes were changed and now – you will see the words Primary Residential Parent and Parenting Time replacing those words.

However, the words are interchangeable.

The Primary Residential Parent is the parent with whom the children live the majority of the time. Parenting Time is the time either parent spends with the child.

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LEGALLY CHANGING YOUR NAME IN TENNESSEE

Sometimes you just don’t care for your given name. And in those cases, your name can be changed with a one-time Court appearance.

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CHILD SUPPORT IN TENNESSEE

Years ago, child support, in Tennessee was based on percentages of the non-custodial parent’s income. You paid 21% of your income for one child, 32% for two children and so on.

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FAILING TO ABIDE BY A COURT ORDER IN TENNESSEE

Your failure to abide by a Court Order can have dire consequences. The most traumatic of which can result in your being incarcerated by the Judge.

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YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT...

Everyone has heard those memorable words on any given cop or detective show.

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GIRLFRIENDS AND BOYFRIENDS DURING AND AFTER A DIVORCE

During the pendency of a divorce, it is unlikely the Judge will allow you to take your children around your boyfriend or girlfriend. Often children are just getting used to the fact that their parents are no longer going to be together and introducing a new adult into the picture, can greatly complicate matters.

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At-Will Employment

At-Will Employment

Tennessee is an At-Will Employment state. That means you can be fired for cause or no cause at any time.

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Evictions in Tennessee

Evictions in Tennessee

Our office mainly represents Landlords in Landlord/Tenant disputes. And, if you are a Landlord that we represent, we have prepared an airtight lease agreement on your behalf.

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TENNESSEE SMALL CLAIMS COURT

We receive several calls a day regarding “small claims court.” The Court most people are referring to when they call about this, is General Sessions Civil Court.

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WHAT DOCUMENTS DO YOU NEED FOR PROPER ESTATE PLANNING?

When a client meets with me about Estate Planning, after some discussion, I usually find that they need the following documents for proper estate planning; a Will, a Financial Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will.

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