Probation Laws for a Felony in Tennessee

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In Tennessee, jurisdiction over probation is the responsibility of the sentencing court. Inmates are either released on probation by the court or sentenced to serve time in prison. In compliance with state law, if an inmate is released on probation, any decisions about those in violation of the law rest with the sentencing judge.

The Sentencing Judge

By Tennessee state law, if a convicted offender violates the terms of his probation, he may have to serve time in prison. The sentencing judge may or may not grant credit for time on probation, depending on the circumstances and severity of the violation. If the offender successfully completes the terms of probation, he or she must continue to report to the supervising officer until the sentencing judge releases them from the obligation.

Voting Laws

All persons convicted of a felony since 1981, except for murder, rape, treason or voter fraud, may apply to the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole for voting restoration upon completion of their sentence. Voting rights are not automatically restored and in some cases, the law allows for an offender to lose their voting rights permanently.

Gun Rights

When a person is under indictment for a felony, including prior to conviction, it's unlawful for that person to purchase or possess firearms. In some cases, a conviction may result in a permanent ban on possessing firearms. Tennessee law is subject to federal law; federal law prohibits firearm possession following any state or federal felony conviction, even if the sentence was suspended.

Sex Offender

Federal law requires states to create and maintain sex offender registries. Tennessee’s Sex Offender Registry began in 1995. Sex offenders are registered by local law enforcement or the Board of Probation/Parole. By law, offenders are required to register within 48 hours of establishing or changing residences. They must also inform the state of their email addresses, employment status and place of employment, the place where they are attending school and whether or not a minor is living with them. Homeless offenders on probation must check in with the sheriff's department on a monthly basis to report their whereabouts.

Serving Probation in Other States

Serving probation in another state is possible. Consult with a lawyer for specific details. The sentencing judge has the last word; the probation courts of the state and county where the offender is relocating also weigh in on the decision.If the probationer is a registered sex offender, he is required to register in the transferring state and county if given permission to move.

Read More: What Is Non-Reporting Probation?