According to statistics provided by The Tennessean, more than 146,200 drivers have lost their license simply because they couldn’t afford to pay court costs. A ruling from U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger changes that.

The criminal justice system relies heavily on court costs and administrative fees, but for many people those costs are a significant burden. Someone accused of even a petty crime may still face thousands of dollars of court costs, which only increase over time due to the inability to pay those costs.

In Tennessee, a failure to pay fines and costs has meant that the state can revoke your driver’s license. Obviously, this threw people into a vicious cycle: a person who couldn’t pay costs lost their license, which meant they couldn’t get to work, which meant more costs were incurred, and so on – a cycle of debt that sent many people who were already hurting financially into even more dire straits.

tennessean newspaper article

The Tennessean, 14 July 2000

Nearly eighteen years ago, I was part of a team hired to represent two men who were arrested after the discovery of 264 pounds of marijuana in the back of a trailer truck. At the preliminary hearing in Nashville General Sessions Court, we were able to prove to the judge that the men had their rights violated by police during the search and seizure.

tennessean newspaper articleThe Tennessean, 2 February 2001

Award for best criminal defense lawyers in Nashville 2018

Expertise scored 140 criminal defense lawyers in Nashville on more than 25 variables across five categories and ultimately named the 19 top criminal defense lawyers in Nashville, and Himmelberg & Associates is honored to be included in that group!

For over two decades, we have worked tirelessly to defend those accused of all types of crimes in courthouses across the state of Tennessee, and it is humbling to be recognized for those efforts.

At Himmelberg & Associates, we understand that people come to us during the worst days of their lives. Don’t wait until it is too late. If you or a loved one are arrested, call us immediately. Let us help you get your life back to normal. Call our office at (615) 353-0930, or you can reach Don at anytime at (615) 308-5405.


A client out on parole was recently arrested with a loaded handgun and 52 grams of crack cocaine. Charged with possession of both drugs and the handgun, he was looking at anywhere from 22 to 38 years in prison. After hiring us, we got all the evidence thrown-out and the case was dismissed! We even got the charges expunged (erased) from his record! How did we do it? Through hard work in and out of the courtroom, we were able to prove the police violated his rights during the arrest.

This isn’t just a job for us. We take our client’s situations very seriously. At Himmelberg & Associates, we understand that people come to us during the worst days of their lives. For over 25 years, Attorney Don Himmelberg has helped guide Tennesseans through the difficult and confusing process of the criminal justice system. Criminal charges can affect your family, your job, and your future.

Don’t wait until it is too late. When you’re arrested, call us immediately. Let us help get your life back to normal. Call our office at (615) 353-0930 or call Don on his cell phone at (615) 308-5405.

Earlier this month a client of this law firm was arrested for possession of 42 pounds of marijuana that was found in the trunk of his car. Facing felony charges, substantial fines, and court costs and other fees, he didn’t know what to do. Needing an experienced defense lawyer in Nashville who has handled hundreds of drug cases, he gave us a call and set up a free consultation. We met with the client, devised an aggressive strategy to tackle his case, and then went on the offensive.

During our cross-examination of the arresting officer at the preliminary hearing, the presiding judge agreed with our defense and delivered a ruling in our favor that the stop was illegal.

Case Dismissed. No Felony Record! No Fine! No Court Cost! No Probation!

Sexual Battery is a serious offense in Tennessee – a felony conviction can include 60 years in prison, fines of up to $50,000, and placement on the sex offenders registry.

A recent client was accused of sexual battery in Rutherford County, TN.  After a free consultation with Don Himmelberg, he hired Himmelberg & Associates to represent him in General Sessions Court. The case ended up being dismissed after the judge determined that the alleged victim was not being truthful in her testimony. Our client walked away with no fines, no court costs, and no registration on the sex offenders list!

Every case is different, so let our knowledge and skill go to work for you. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Middle Tennessee, please do not wait  to give us a call. Remember: you are not guilty until proven guilty. Voluntary statements can and will hurt you, so call us first so we can put our decades of expertise to work for you and guide you in the right direction.

Okay, so you just got pulled over for weaving, speeding, or maybe it’s 10:30 p.m. and you are just driving around downtown. The cop asks you for your license and insurance and then says, “Sir, where are you coming from tonight? “or “Ma’am, have you been drinking tonight?” What do you do? What do you say?

People always seem to believe that if they just tell the officer the truth they will be let go, or even if the officer decides to charge them they will somehow be allowed to go home. This is WRONG. Everything you say to a police officer can and will hurt you, because he is evaluating your speech, your eyes, and he is smelling in your car to see if he can detect anything.

Now, the officer asks you to step outside the vehicle. Be careful, because he is watching your every move. The officer pulls you aside and says he believes you have been drinking: “I just want to have you undergo a few tests before I let you head home.”


If you have been pulled over, been a victim to a search warrant, or have interest in property that has been seized by the State, then read this…

The State can seize your property consisting of vehicles, money, real property, and other miscellaneous property if you or someone that lives with you was charged with drug or alcohol crime. Property may be seized for possession of drugs, illegal or prescription. Vehicles may be seized for driving on a driver’s license which has been revoked for a DUI. Even if you lend someone your car and they get pulled over and their license is revoke for DUI, that vehicle is subject to seizure and can be forfeited to the State.

The State can and will take your property if it is tied to a drug or alcohol crime. Don’t play around with your valuable property. Hire an experienced lawyer who handles forfeits and seizures. If you had property seized due to a drug or alcohol crime or has interest in property that has been seized, call immediately 615-353-0930 or 615-308-5405. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO WASTE. There are statutory time restrictions on getting your property back and if you don’t act fast you will forfeit your property to the State.
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Domestic Violence victims as well as advocacy groups have been voicing their concern with Domestic Violence laws and procedures. Currently, those laws in place might be changing and powers of the judiciary limited. Recently, a Nashville developer was arrested for domestic assault against his ex-girlfriend. Being somewhat known and arrested is not the story here. The story is that he was released from jail earlier than expected and went back and assaulted the victim again that same morning. In a domestic assault case the accused is supposed to be held in custody for 12 hours before being released on bond, this is known as a “cooling-off” period. In this case a judge had waived the 12 hour “cooling-off” period and deemed it not a domestic case due to bad information. Waiving the 12 hour “cooling-off” period is not uncommon and is up to the Night Court commissioner. Since domestic violence can be an array of offenses each domestic violence case is different. Case law does not set out guidelines, so the Night Court commissioner has to examine the facts for each case differently. Legislatures now want to take that power away from judges and make the law more stringent when dealing with domestic violence cases.

Being charged with a domestic crime is a serious offense. Some domestic crimes are felonies and can carry lengthy prison sentences as well as large fines, domestic violence treatment programs, community service, and more. Individuals charged with a domestic crime have the right to hire an experienced attorney for representation. If you or someone you know has been charged with a domestic crime call immediately 615-308-5405 for a free consultation. Also note that if convicted of a domestic crime you are prohibited from possessing a firearm under law.

Take a look at the Tennessee statute defining Domestic Assault and relationship: