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What You Need to Know about Misdemeanor Citations in Memphis, TN

Every day officers across Memphis and Shelby County write hundreds of misdemeanor citations for a variety of criminal offenses. There are many misconceptions about how to handle such citations and how they can affect a person’s background.

First and foremost, a misdemeanor citation is a criminal charge. This is not the same type of citation you’ll receive if you’re caught slightly speeding or parking in a no parking zone. Some common crimes for which a misdemeanor citation is issued are driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, minor drug possession, certain theft of property cases, criminal trespass, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, gambling, and selling beer or alcohol to a minor.

When you receive a misdemeanor citation, an officer is writing a citation for you to appear at a later date in court for a formal arraignment on said criminal charges rather than taking you directly into custody. While you are not being taken into custody at the time of the alleged crime, you should know that the crimes involved in issuing the citation can carry up to 11 months and 29 days in jail.

When you receive a misdemeanor citation, there will be two separate dates listed at the bottom. The first date will be a designated date and time for you to appear at the Shelby County Jail Annex at 201 Poplar, Room 10-06, for booking and processing. During this procedure, you will not be taken into custody but rather held so your identification and fingerprints can be processed into the court system prior to your first court appearance. The second date on the citation will be the designated date for you to appear in General Sessions Court at 201 Poplar. It is extremely important that you appear on time for each of these procedures. If you miss your designated court appearance, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Learn More about Criminal Warrants


We recommend that during the time between your processing and court date that you contact an experienced attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm for a free, confidential case evaluation. During your initial consultation we will examine the misdemeanor citation and go over your rights and options in detail.

While misdemeanor citations may seem minor, pleading guilty to any crime can present serious problems with one’s ability to obtain or keep a job. A criminal conviction can remain on one’s public record forever if it is not properly handled and disposed of by a knowledgeable and experienced Memphis criminal defense attorney.

The attorneys at The Chiozza Law Firm believe that, if possible, a dismissal should be sought in each and every criminal matter. While this is not always possible, we can also try to limit the punishment one receives after being accused of a criminal offense. Our attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience in the Shelby County criminal court system. We have diligently represented Memphis and Shelby County residents who have made mistakes and are looking for confidential, knowledgeable and compassionate voices to share in their defense. We believe that good people can sometimes make poor choices and mistakes, but that doesn’t mean the actions should harm you forever.

We also believe in charging a reasonable fee for our services, one you can afford while allowing us to fight for your rights. Facing criminal charges of any type is stressful enough. Therefore we believe in charging a reasonable fee that won’t place additional and unneeded stress on you or your family. We happily work out fee arrangements with all of our clients.

Call 901-526-9494 to speak with an attorney or feel free to drop by our office, conveniently located just a block behind 201 Poplar in downtown Memphis. No appointment is necessary and all consultations are confidential and free of charge. To learn more about the crimes and punishment related to misdemeanors and felonies, please click here.

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Posted by Brian Chiozza at 1:58 PM
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