There are four circuit court judges in Franklin Circuit Court. These judges divide their schedules into divisions. Each division handles a different area of the law and they rotate on a yearly basis. Judge James G. Martin is the most senior member of the court. Judge Martin has served on our court for almost a decade. Judge Martin is involved in countless civic endeavors and has gained the reputation of being an extremely thorough decision-maker. For more information in Judge Martin, click here.
Judge Michael Binkley was elected in 2012 in a hotly contested race. He unseated incumbent Judge Derek Smith in a race that saw celebrities from all across the state come out to support Judge Binkley, including Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Fisher. As a lawyer with more than 30 years experience, his energy and work ethic allowed him to win an exhausting election. For more information on Judge Binkley, click here.
The most recent judge-elect is Woody Woodruff. With Judge Robbie Beal retiring to private practice, Judge Woodruff ran unopposed. He began his term as the fourth judge in Williamson County's 21st Judicial District on September 1, 2014. Judge Woodruff has gained his reputation in various areas of civil practice and has been widely published in the State of Tennessee. For more information on Judge Woodruff, click here.
When Judge Timothy Easter was appointed to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Governor Haslem appointed Deanna Johnson as his replacement. Although she has just taken the bench, she has quickly gained a reputation as a judge that is fair and hard-working. For more information on Judge Johnson, click here.
If you have your case bound over to the Williamson County Grand Jury, then your next stop will be arraignment in Franklin Circuit Court. If the grand jury determines there is probable cause to have your case sent to circuit court, your arraignment will be your first appearance, in which you will receive a copy of the indictment, plea not guilty, and get a scheduling order, which will include a review date and a trial date. If you have already retained an attorney, you can have your attorney waive your first appearance in Circuit Court.
Once arraignment has ended, your attorney will have an opportunity to file for discovery, as well as file any motions necessary to help you win your case. If there are no motions to file, and the district attorney's office will not agree to a resolution, you will then be placed before a jury of your peers. Once a case is set for trial, you should be confident that your lawyer has enough experience to competently handle your case.
As a former DUI Prosecutor, I have conducted several DUI jury trials and know what it takes to get a favorable verdict. Your lawyer should be intimately familiar with NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), field sobriety tests, and procedures used for obtaining implied consent. If you are arrested for DUI and adamant about your innocence, please make sure you hire an attorney that knows how to plead your innocence to a jury of your peers.