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October 2012 Archives

Alternate Theories of Innocence and Necessity Are Permissible

There is a statutory defense of necessity which can be asserted as a defense to criminal conduct where applicable. It can be asserted where the conduct in question was arguably necessary to prevent or avoid some more serious imminent harm. And as the Court of Criminal Appeals noted in the recent DUI case of State v. Medley, E2012-00646-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-17-2012), the defense of necessity can be asserted even when also asserting no criminal conduct occurred.

Alternate Theories of Innocence and Necessity Are Permissible

There is a statutory defense of necessity which can be asserted as a defense to criminal conduct where applicable. It can be asserted where the conduct in question was arguably necessary to prevent or avoid some more serious imminent harm. And as the Court of Criminal Appeals noted in the recent DUI case of State v. Medley, E2012-00646-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-17-2012), the defense of necessity can be asserted even when also asserting no criminal conduct occurred.

Alternate Theories of Innocence and Necessity Are Permissible

There is a statutory defense of necessity which can be asserted as a defense to criminal conduct where applicable. It can be asserted where the conduct in question was arguably necessary to prevent or avoid some more serious imminent harm. And as the Court of Criminal Appeals noted in the recent DUI case of State v. Medley, E2012-00646-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-17-2012), the defense of necessity can be asserted even when also asserting no criminal conduct occurred.

Evidence Sufficient to Support Probable Cause for Arrest

Before a person may be arrested for a crime, there must be probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime for which an arrest can occur. The information must be reasonably trustworthy. The information can be presented to a judge or magistrate who can then issue an arrest warrant. But police officers acting on probable cause can also make an arrest without a warrant. In many criminal cases, whether there was cause for the initial arrest becomes an important issue to examine because evidence collected as a result of the arrest (such as from a search of or custodial interrogation of the accused) may not be admissible if the initial arrest was unlawful. One recent case examined by the Tennessee Supreme Court, in which they had to address the issue of probable cause for arrest, was State v. Echols, E2009-01697-SC-R11-CD (Tenn. 10-10-2012), which arose from Knox County.

Evidence Sufficient to Support Probable Cause for Arrest

Before a person may be arrested for a crime, there must be probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime for which an arrest can occur. The information must be reasonably trustworthy. The information can be presented to a judge or magistrate who can then issue an arrest warrant. But police officers acting on probable cause can also make an arrest without a warrant. In many criminal cases, whether there was cause for the initial arrest becomes an important issue to examine because evidence collected as a result of the arrest (such as from a search of or custodial interrogation of the accused) may not be admissible if the initial arrest was unlawful. One recent case examined by the Tennessee Supreme Court, in which they had to address the issue of probable cause for arrest, was State v. Echols, E2009-01697-SC-R11-CD (Tenn. 10-10-2012), which arose from Knox County.

Evidence Sufficient to Support Probable Cause for Arrest

Before a person may be arrested for a crime, there must be probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime for which an arrest can occur. The information must be reasonably trustworthy. The information can be presented to a judge or magistrate who can then issue an arrest warrant. But police officers acting on probable cause can also make an arrest without a warrant. In many criminal cases, whether there was cause for the initial arrest becomes an important issue to examine because evidence collected as a result of the arrest (such as from a search of or custodial interrogation of the accused) may not be admissible if the initial arrest was unlawful. One recent case examined by the Tennessee Supreme Court, in which they had to address the issue of probable cause for arrest, was State v. Echols, E2009-01697-SC-R11-CD (Tenn. 10-10-2012), which arose from Knox County.

Specific Date of Activity Not Needed to Obtain a Search Warrant

For a judge or magistrate to issue a search warrant, probable cause for the search must be first established. This is done within an affidavit filed in support of the request for the warrant. The affidavit must supply the facts supporting probable cause for a search. In the recent case of State v. Graves, E2011-02471-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-4-2012), a Defendant accused of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor argued that the affidavit supporting a search warrant did not establish probable cause because it failed to include the specific date on which the illegal activity described in the affidavit was alleged to have occurred. Mr. Graves pled guilty to the offense, reserving this issue for appellate review. Unfortunately for Mr. Graves, the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled in his case that a specific date is not required.

Specific Date of Activity Not Needed to Obtain a Search Warrant

For a judge or magistrate to issue a search warrant, probable cause for the search must be first established. This is done within an affidavit filed in support of the request for the warrant. The affidavit must supply the facts supporting probable cause for a search. In the recent case of State v. Graves, E2011-02471-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-4-2012), a Defendant accused of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor argued that the affidavit supporting a search warrant did not establish probable cause because it failed to include the specific date on which the illegal activity described in the affidavit was alleged to have occurred. Mr. Graves pled guilty to the offense, reserving this issue for appellate review. Unfortunately for Mr. Graves, the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled in his case that a specific date is not required.

Specific Date of Activity Not Needed to Obtain a Search Warrant

For a judge or magistrate to issue a search warrant, probable cause for the search must be first established. This is done within an affidavit filed in support of the request for the warrant. The affidavit must supply the facts supporting probable cause for a search. In the recent case of State v. Graves, E2011-02471-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-4-2012), a Defendant accused of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor argued that the affidavit supporting a search warrant did not establish probable cause because it failed to include the specific date on which the illegal activity described in the affidavit was alleged to have occurred. Mr. Graves pled guilty to the offense, reserving this issue for appellate review. Unfortunately for Mr. Graves, the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled in his case that a specific date is not required.

Vehicle Stopped for Speeding/ DUI Conviction Affirmed

In a recent Henderson County DUI case,  (State v. White, W2011-02301-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-31-2012) the Defendant attempted to challenge a stop for speeding by using a land surveyor to analyze video, conduct measurements, and opine that the Defendant was not speeding. The surveyor noted power poles along the highway where the Defendant's vehicle had been traveling, measured distances between them, noted the time it took for the Defendant's vehicle to pass from one point to another, and calculated that the Defendant's vehicle was traveling within the speed limit. Unfortunately for the Defendant, the trial court was more convinced by the testimony of the police officer who testified the Defendant was indeed speeding. The trial court found the stop to be valid and the Defendant was subsequently convicted of DUI (though acquitted of speeding). The trial court's ruling was affirmed on appeal.

Vehicle Stopped for Speeding/ DUI Conviction Affirmed

In a recent Henderson County DUI case,  (State v. White, W2011-02301-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-31-2012) the Defendant attempted to challenge a stop for speeding by using a land surveyor to analyze video, conduct measurements, and opine that the Defendant was not speeding. The surveyor noted power poles along the highway where the Defendant's vehicle had been traveling, measured distances between them, noted the time it took for the Defendant's vehicle to pass from one point to another, and calculated that the Defendant's vehicle was traveling within the speed limit. Unfortunately for the Defendant, the trial court was more convinced by the testimony of the police officer who testified the Defendant was indeed speeding. The trial court found the stop to be valid and the Defendant was subsequently convicted of DUI (though acquitted of speeding). The trial court's ruling was affirmed on appeal.

Vehicle Stopped for Speeding/ DUI Conviction Affirmed

In a recent Henderson County DUI case,  (State v. White, W2011-02301-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-31-2012) the Defendant attempted to challenge a stop for speeding by using a land surveyor to analyze video, conduct measurements, and opine that the Defendant was not speeding. The surveyor noted power poles along the highway where the Defendant's vehicle had been traveling, measured distances between them, noted the time it took for the Defendant's vehicle to pass from one point to another, and calculated that the Defendant's vehicle was traveling within the speed limit. Unfortunately for the Defendant, the trial court was more convinced by the testimony of the police officer who testified the Defendant was indeed speeding. The trial court found the stop to be valid and the Defendant was subsequently convicted of DUI (though acquitted of speeding). The trial court's ruling was affirmed on appeal.

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