Criminal Law

We know that many times good people find themselves in bad situations. We consider ourselves one of the best criminal defense law firms in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Our criminal defense lawyers have been defending people charged with crimes for more than thirty years. At Johnson, Scruggs and Barfield, we believe that every citizen deserves competent, aggressive counsel. When the government arrests you, state and federal prosecutors have almost limitless resources at their disposal to convince a jury that you are guilty. It is critical that you have an experienced local criminal defense attorney committed to your case and working hard to keep you out of jail. We understand the procedures police and prosecutors are required to follow, and will assure you that your civil and Constitutional rights are not violated. We help citizens in the following areas in both state and federal courts:

DUI / DWI / drunk driving
Some people think that if they fail a breathalyzer test, they could just as well plead guilty to a DUI charge. That is absolutely not true. At Johnson, Scruggs & Barfield we know how to fight DUI charges because we are very familiar with DUI law and know what police records to subpoena so we understand the strengths and the weaknesses of the state's case against you. We will analyze the police reports to find out if the stop and field sobriety tests were legitimate. If you flunked a breathalyzer test, we will work with the one of the nation's leading breathalyzer machine experts to challenge those results. Do not be pressured into pleading guilty! A DUI conviction can affect your driving privileges, your insurance rates, and your freedom. If you win your case, you not only clear your record, but you won't have to pay fines, attend alcohol classes, or pay high-risk insurance. We represent both adults and juveniles who are charged with drunk driving.

Traffic Offenses

Spousal Abuse

Child Abuse

Assault and Battery

Sex Crimes / Child Sexual Abuse
The dynamics of a sex offense differ greatly from those of any other crime. The media tends to assign guilt before cases even begin, harming your right to a fair trial in a system that is intended to consider you innocent until proven otherwise. Under the influence of the media and other factors, police may fail to carry out their duty to conduct a thorough investigation. Instead, they seek to assign guilt by using unfair tactics, including psychological manipulation to get false confessions. We know how to work against these dynamics and cut through the clutter to ensure a fair trial, one in which your rights are protected in the way they should be.

Child Pornography
Cases involving children often involve a media-induced witch hunt that leads to the use of unfair tactics against innocent people. Police and prosecutors, regardless of their good intentions, often fall prey to the influence of the media and society. They turn to improper methods of obtaining evidence, one-sided investigations, and psychological tactics to obtain false confessions from innocent parties. They ask leading questions that herd witnesses into providing the answers they want to hear. We know how to work against these tactics.
From investigating how the evidence was obtained to examining the evidence itself, our attorneys are serious in their dedication to your rights. They understand that supposedly explicit images of minors may be nothing more than digitally manipulated pictures of adults. Furthermore, they are aware that images can be implanted on your computer's hard drive through no fault of your own. Viral emails may contain unwanted attachments that bury themselves in your computer. We understand the evidence in sex crimes cases. We understand how to communicate with the court and the jury about this evidence.

Internet Crimes
Crimes such as eBay fraud, phishing, child pornography, solicitation, and predatory criminal sexual assault are very serious charges, which can have a devastating affect on your future. Most internet crimes are felonies, which carry lengthy prison sentences. Internet sex crimes also carry the possibility of lifetime registration as sex offender. To preserve your freedom and future, you need an Internet crime defense attorney who is willing to fight for you. Police officers often pose as minors in chat rooms and readily engage in sexual conversations with other chat room visitors. Many adults are arrested by police when they attempt to meet the person who was posing as a minor. They may be charged with solicitation of a child to commit sex acts or other serious crimes. The defense for many sex crimes related to chat room conversations is entrapment, since police officers posing as minors often aggressively pursue meeting the adult. We will examine email records, text message records, to find out what was really said and what was expected. Just because you went to meet someone posing as a sixteen-year old, does not mean you were planning to have sex with him or her.

Sex Offender Registration
Sex offender registration is a permanent mark. Its impact spans every aspect of a person's life, from getting a job to getting a home. If you have been accused of a sex crime, you need a lawyer that understands the impact of the brand it can result in. The sex offender registration attorneys of Johnson, Scruggs & Barfield understand the impact, and they understand the steps that need to be taken to ensure that you receive the same right to justice that every citizen of this country is entitled to.

Theft and Embezzlement



Drug-Related Offenses
While possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor, most drug charges are felonies and result in substantial fines and jail time. If the drug possession or sale is within a certain distance of a school, church, public park, or a movie theater (or if a firearm is in possession at the time of a drug arrest) the court may double the fine and the sentence. In addition to a long jail sentence, any felony conviction will make it difficult to get a job in the future. Even misdemeanor convictions for possession of a small amount of marijuana will be on your criminal record and can be viewed by prospective employers. If your child is convicted of a drug charge, he or she may not be able to obtain any government student aid, loans, or grants. To preserve your freedom and your future, you need a drug defense attorney who is willing to fight for you. We handle all types of drug cases, including:

  • Possession of narcotics or another controlled substance (such as heroin, cocaine, morphine, marijuana, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and LSD)
  • Delivery of narcotics or another controlled substance
  • Sale, manufacture, possession of narcotics or another other controlled substance with intent to traffic
  • Unlawful possession of meth (amphetamine), manufacturing chemicals and equipment
  • Homicide / Murder / Manslaughter

Weapon Charges
Many of the people we represent on weapons charges are ordinary citizens who are carrying a gun improperly in their car. Most don't even know it is illegal or how serious the charges are. If you do not have a permit, you cannot carry a weapon in your car. You may be pulled over for a traffic ticket and end up being charged with a felony because a gun was carried improperly in your car. As a convicted felon, you would be unable to own a gun legally for the rest of your life all for doing something that you did not even know was wrong. To preserve your freedom and your future, you need a weapons charge defense lawyer who is willing to fight for you.

White Collars Offenses: Fraud & Embezzlement
A conviction for a white-collar crime such as theft, fraud, or embezzlement can take a heavy toll on your life. Many white-collar crimes are felonies, which carry lengthy prison sentences. Since employers routinely conduct background checks of prospective employees, a felony conviction can also make it nearly impossible to get a good job. Few employers would consider hiring someone who has a conviction for fraud, embezzlement, or any other white-collar crime. We will subpoena the state's evidence and other materials so that we understand both the strengths and the weaknesses of the case against you. Then we will conduct our own investigations to challenge the prosecutors charges.

Act Promptly
If you have been arrested or under investigation for any criminal offense, you should not talk with anyone about the facts around your case until you have spoken with one of our attorneys. Whatever you say, no matter how innocent it may seem to you, has the potential to be turned around by law enforcement to be used against you. If you have any question, you should contact us by either clicking here for e-mail or call us at 615-352-8326.