Law Office of Edward E. DeWerff - Clarksville Criminal Defense Attorney

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Looking at the looks in mugshots

There are a few different arguments for publishing mugshots online and in newspapers. Some argue that the postings of the photos keeps the public informed and keeps government transparent. Others counter those arguments by pointing out that in many cases, those accused of crimes are later vindicated and that they can never redeem their good reputations.

Regardless, there are several publications in the Clarksville area that daily share mugshots of people accused of various violations of the law. A recent glance though mugshots showed a wide variety of looks into the camera's eye. Some suspects appear defiant, others look angry, while still others look as if they are wishing they could be anywhere but where they are: being booked at Montgomery County Jail.

There was an older man with white hair and a white goatee, reportedly arrested for driving while drunk on a recent day. His bond was set at $1,000.

Near his photo was a picture of a much younger woman, also booked on a DUI charge. Her bond was $25,000, however. There was no information at ClarksvilleNow.com or at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office website on the reason for the disparity in the two amounts.

A man arrested for aggravated assault had downcast eyes; a young man in custody on a charge of theft had a slight grin on his face. A man with a long, bushy beard smiled slightly, though he was being booked on charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

No matter how guilty we might think a person looks, or how innocent they might appear, their real status is yet to be determined. That will happen after they retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who will closely examine the charges and evidence, and then speak with prosecutors. In some cases, negotiations with prosecutors will result in charges being reduced or dropped. In other matters, the clients' best option is to fight the allegations in court.

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