How Safe is Southeast Tennessee? Depends on Where You LiveMaryville, the count seat of Blount County, is a city with a reputation for enjoying a good quality of life. It’s ranked one of the best places to live, year after year, by a number of different publications and sites. One of the reasons for that is how low the crime rate is compared to the rest of Tennessee and the rest of the country.

Blount County in general, really, is pretty safe. According to, there were 1.9 homicide deaths per every 100,000 people between 2009 and 2015. In comparison, Shelby County had 16.4 per every 100,000 in that same time span. In fact, the heaviest concentration of homicide deaths seems to be in the Southeast – except for Meigs County, which ranks in the #2 spot.

When you look at violent crimes, however, the map changes a bit. Blount County is still pretty safe – 308.9 violent crimes per every 100,000 people – compared with Shelby County (1,286.1) and even Davidson County (1,110.9), but the division is less stark.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shed a little more light on the situation for us. In 2017, the Blount County Sherriff’s Office reported:

  • Two (2) murders, both firearm-related (down 33.33%)
  • 61 non-consensual sex offenses (up 5.17 %)
  • 354 cases of aggravated assault (down 2.21%)

For all of Tennessee, those numbers were:

  • 528 murders (up 6.67%)
  • 5,633 non-consensual sex offenses (down 0.49%)
  • 32,781 charges of aggravated assault (up 2.81%)

Charges for violent crimes are a very big deal

Overall, the Southeastern part of our state is relatively peaceful, compared with other areas. (We can probably thank the Smokies for part of that, since they take up a significant chunk of the property.) But that does not mean that law enforcement in this area is not ready and willing to track down people accused of these types of crimes.

If you are facing violent crime charges, you need to know that they carry serious consequences should you be convicted. A felony conviction will have a lasting negative impact on your future. Your employment, housing and education opportunities will be limited, you may have to spend time in prison and pay significant fines.

As criminal defense lawyers, we address the mitigating factors which would support your receiving leniency from the judge, such as:

  • No prior criminal record
  • You did not play a leading role in committing the crime
  • Mental illness
  • Provocations

We will also do what we can within the limits of the law to downplay alleged aggravating factors, which could elicit tougher sentencing, such as:

  • This is a repeat offense.
  • The victim was a vulnerable person.
  • You played a lead role in commission of the crime.
  • Hate crimes based on bias against the victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, etc.

Shepherd & Associates, P.C., is based on Maryville, and works with clients throughout East Tennessee. We are aggressive about protecting your rights when you are facing criminal charges. If you’ve been accused of a violent crime, please call 865.225.9655 or filling out our contact form. We’ll fight this together.



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