State Laws

Tennessee State Laws


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The state of Tennessee gave birth to many well-know people who left their mark on the rest of the world. This state also has large industries in tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. Soybeans, cotton, and tobacco are the largest crops to leave the state. Electrical equipment, chemicals, and transportation equipment also come from this Southern state.

Tennessee is governed by state laws as well as four specialized entities that are single only to Tennessee: the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee State Parks Department, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The state government is responsible for maintaining the peace and safety of its citizens. By creating laws Tennessee is able to provide this with ease. Some of these laws include bankruptcy laws, divorce laws, labor laws, expungement laws, felony convictions, drunken driving laws, and gun laws.

Wages
The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all those living within the United States be paid a minimum wage. Under this act employers cannot lawfully pay their employees less than this amount. In 2009 the federal government raised its minimum wage to seven dollars and twenty-five cents. Like many other states, Tennessee chose to raise its minimum wage to this standard, rather than exceed it.

It is fully legal to pay employees who are regularly tipped less than this amount. The tipped minimum wage for Tennessee stands at two dollars and thirteen cents an hour. This system is designed to have any acquired tips compensate for the decrease in hourly wages. An hourly tipped wage can only be constituted if an employee earns more than thirty dollars in tips per month. When employees acquire tips in mass, they are required to divide the tips at the end of the shift.

Self-defense
Tennessee law states that the use of a deadly weapon is fully legal when used in self-defense, but only under certain circumstances. These circumstances include being threatened with the necessity to defend the life of another individual or the self. The location must be one where the individual has full right to be and not trespassing. Self-defense is lawful when an aggressor had forcefully entered a place of business, a motor vehicle, a place of residency, and other place of dwelling.

Felony Sentencing
Those who are charged with felony offenses will be tried by either a jury or a judge. Once a verdict has been reached of guilty, a sentence will be arranged. Depending on the number of charges against an individual, as well as past criminal history, an individual can serve prison time, be placed on probation, be required to pay a fine, or have several consequences combined.

Tennessee law allows individuals to be charged with more than one crime at a time, such as two misdemeanor offenses and a felony offense in the same case. When prison sentences are distributed the sentences can be added together for one large sentence. For instance an individual may have three convictions for crime. One of these may sentence three years of prison, another five years, and the last two years. The individual will then serve the sentences together for ten years of incarceration.