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September 2011 Archives

Sometimes Color Matters in Search Warrants

Search warrants must specifically describe what property is authorized to be searched. Ambiguity can render the warrant invalid. In the recent case of State v. Spivey, W2010-01853-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-19-2011), a search warrant described a home with tan siding at a particular address. The search revealed crack cocaine, a digital scale, and a handgun. The problem was that there were two separate homes at that address. One had tan siding and one had blue siding. The police searched the blue one (which is the one they believed they had sought authorization to search). They searched the right home but had described the wrong one. The Defendants moved to suppress the evidence from the search. The trial court granted the motion. The State appealed. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court.

Sometimes Color Matters in Search Warrants

Search warrants must specifically describe what property is authorized to be searched. Ambiguity can render the warrant invalid. In the recent case of State v. Spivey, W2010-01853-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-19-2011), a search warrant described a home with tan siding at a particular address. The search revealed crack cocaine, a digital scale, and a handgun. The problem was that there were two separate homes at that address. One had tan siding and one had blue siding. The police searched the blue one (which is the one they believed they had sought authorization to search). They searched the right home but had described the wrong one. The Defendants moved to suppress the evidence from the search. The trial court granted the motion. The State appealed. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court.

Sometimes Color Matters in Search Warrants

Search warrants must specifically describe what property is authorized to be searched. Ambiguity can render the warrant invalid. In the recent case of State v. Spivey, W2010-01853-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-19-2011), a search warrant described a home with tan siding at a particular address. The search revealed crack cocaine, a digital scale, and a handgun. The problem was that there were two separate homes at that address. One had tan siding and one had blue siding. The police searched the blue one (which is the one they believed they had sought authorization to search). They searched the right home but had described the wrong one. The Defendants moved to suppress the evidence from the search. The trial court granted the motion. The State appealed. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court.

Defense Wins a Vehicle Search and Seizure Case

In the recent search and seizure case of State v. Donaldson, M2010-0069-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-15-2011), the State of Tennessee, appealing a trial court ruling excluding evidence, asserted that a police officer has unrestricted authority to order a motorist to exit a vehicle at any point during a valid traffic stop. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals disagrees.

Defense Wins a Vehicle Search and Seizure Case

In the recent search and seizure case of State v. Donaldson, M2010-0069-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-15-2011), the State of Tennessee, appealing a trial court ruling excluding evidence, asserted that a police officer has unrestricted authority to order a motorist to exit a vehicle at any point during a valid traffic stop. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals disagrees.

Defense Wins a Vehicle Search and Seizure Case

In the recent search and seizure case of State v. Donaldson, M2010-0069-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-15-2011), the State of Tennessee, appealing a trial court ruling excluding evidence, asserted that a police officer has unrestricted authority to order a motorist to exit a vehicle at any point during a valid traffic stop. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals disagrees.

State Loses Appeal on Double Jeopardy Issue

A person who violates a court order of protection in Tennessee may be prosecuted under criminal contempt provisions or under a criminal statute criminalizing violations of orders of protection. However, charging both criminal contempt and violation of the criminal statute may be double jeopardy, depending on the circumstances of the case.

State Loses Appeal on Double Jeopardy Issue

A person who violates a court order of protection in Tennessee may be prosecuted under criminal contempt provisions or under a criminal statute criminalizing violations of orders of protection. However, charging both criminal contempt and violation of the criminal statute may be double jeopardy, depending on the circumstances of the case.

State Loses Appeal on Double Jeopardy Issue

A person who violates a court order of protection in Tennessee may be prosecuted under criminal contempt provisions or under a criminal statute criminalizing violations of orders of protection. However, charging both criminal contempt and violation of the criminal statute may be double jeopardy, depending on the circumstances of the case.

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