Meet the DA
District Attorney General: Charme P. Allen
Charme P. Allen is a veteran prosecutor with over 25 years of experience with the Office of the Knox County District Attorney General. She is honored with the distinction of being the first female elected to this position in the history of Knox County.
Charme's passion for criminal justice began when she was a child in Northwest Georgia. Her parents and grandparents instilled in her a code of honor, discipline, and respect for the law that grew from her family’s participation in local law enforcement. Her grandfather, Hugh Prater, first served as a Deputy Sheriff, and then became Sheriff of Gordon County, Georgia. During Hugh’s service, Charme’s grandmother, Ruby, was head cook for inmates and also acted as a guard when Hugh was on duty in the community. As a boy, Charme’s father, Rex, received calls and operated the dispatch radio directing his father, the Sheriff, on calls. As Charme came of age, her family shared with her their collective history of law enforcement and service to the community and established the foundation of Charme’s own commitment to criminal justice.
In keeping with her family’s dedication to service, Charme attended West Georgia College where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in criminal justice. She then focused her efforts on obtaining a law degree and gained acceptance to the University of Tennessee College of Law. As a law student, Charme began a clerkship with the Office of the Knox County District Attorney General where she solidified her path to a career in law enforcement.
Charme graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1990 and began full-time employment with the Office of the District Attorney General under the direction of District Attorney General Ed Dossett. Her first assignment as a prosecutor was to Knoxville City Sessions Court where she conducted hundreds of preliminary hearings on cases ranging from petty crimes to aggravated felonies. In a short time, Charme was promoted to the Sex Offense Unit where she focused on child sexual battery and rape cases. This assignment placed her in a lead trial attorney position, where she handled criminal cases from the investigation phase to their conclusion with a trial by jury.
Then in 2000, Charme undertook an assignment as a specialized DUI prosecutor where she handled Driving Under the Influence cases and repeat habitual motor vehicle offender cases. She prosecuted thousands of drunk and drugged driver cases during this period of her career and witnessed first-hand the adverse effects of addiction and drug use on individuals, families, and the community.
In 2007, District Attorney General Randall E. Nichols created a special Child Abuse Unit and appointed Charme as the Unit Chief. As Chief, she directed the investigation and prosecution of thousands of child abuse cases. Those cases included internet sexual exploitation of minors, rape, and homicide cases. As a result of her work, her peers in the Knoxville Bar selected Charme as a Cityview Magazine “Top Attorney” for 2011 and 2013.
In 2014, Charme was elected as the first female District Attorney General of Knox County. As District Attorney, she relies upon her lifelong experiences with law enforcement to pursue a multi-dimensional approach to prosecution. Charme’s model for successful prosecution not only involves enforcing the law and seeking punishment for crime, but it also requires a dedication to the prevention of crime at its source in our community.
Charme and her husband, Kevin, are the proud parents of four children and attend Fellowship Church in Knoxville.