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March 2013 Archives

120 Days in Jail For First Offense DUI Upheld on Appeal

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor in Tennessee when it is the person's first conviction of that crime. However, that doesn't mean it isn't serious. It can still result in significant jail time. In the recent case of State v. Christopher, E2012-01090-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-14-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the imposition of one-hundred and twenty days of jail (followed by the balance of the eleven month and twenty-nine day sentence on probation) for a defendant's misdemeanor first offense conviction.

120 Days in Jail For First Offense DUI Upheld on Appeal

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor in Tennessee when it is the person's first conviction of that crime. However, that doesn't mean it isn't serious. It can still result in significant jail time. In the recent case of State v. Christopher, E2012-01090-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-14-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the imposition of one-hundred and twenty days of jail (followed by the balance of the eleven month and twenty-nine day sentence on probation) for a defendant's misdemeanor first offense conviction.

120 Days in Jail For First Offense DUI Upheld on Appeal

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor in Tennessee when it is the person's first conviction of that crime. However, that doesn't mean it isn't serious. It can still result in significant jail time. In the recent case of State v. Christopher, E2012-01090-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-14-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the imposition of one-hundred and twenty days of jail (followed by the balance of the eleven month and twenty-nine day sentence on probation) for a defendant's misdemeanor first offense conviction.

Coram Nobis Claim Based on Judicial Misconduct Denied

A petition for a writ of error coram nobis is a post-trial petition seeking relief from a criminal conviction based upon newly discovered evidence relating to matters litigated at trial. It is an extraordinary procedural remedy available only where there is newly discovered evidence which was not available in prior proceedings, and which may have resulted in a different outcome if it had been previously available. It is not available to review previously determined issues or previously known issues. It is not available to simply raise different legal arguments about previously known evidence. There must be actually newly discovered evidence. It must relate to matters litigated at trial. And it must have the potential to have resulted in a more favorable outcome, if it had been available previously. In the recent case of Irick v. State, E2012-01326-CCA-R3-PD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-18-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of coram nobis relief when a petitioner sought relief based upon discovery of alleged judicial misconduct.

Coram Nobis Claim Based on Judicial Misconduct Denied

A petition for a writ of error coram nobis is a post-trial petition seeking relief from a criminal conviction based upon newly discovered evidence relating to matters litigated at trial. It is an extraordinary procedural remedy available only where there is newly discovered evidence which was not available in prior proceedings, and which may have resulted in a different outcome if it had been previously available. It is not available to review previously determined issues or previously known issues. It is not available to simply raise different legal arguments about previously known evidence. There must be actually newly discovered evidence. It must relate to matters litigated at trial. And it must have the potential to have resulted in a more favorable outcome, if it had been available previously. In the recent case of Irick v. State, E2012-01326-CCA-R3-PD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-18-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of coram nobis relief when a petitioner sought relief based upon discovery of alleged judicial misconduct.

Coram Nobis Claim Based on Judicial Misconduct Denied

A petition for a writ of error coram nobis is a post-trial petition seeking relief from a criminal conviction based upon newly discovered evidence relating to matters litigated at trial. It is an extraordinary procedural remedy available only where there is newly discovered evidence which was not available in prior proceedings, and which may have resulted in a different outcome if it had been previously available. It is not available to review previously determined issues or previously known issues. It is not available to simply raise different legal arguments about previously known evidence. There must be actually newly discovered evidence. It must relate to matters litigated at trial. And it must have the potential to have resulted in a more favorable outcome, if it had been available previously. In the recent case of Irick v. State, E2012-01326-CCA-R3-PD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-18-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court's denial of coram nobis relief when a petitioner sought relief based upon discovery of alleged judicial misconduct.

Election of Offenses Properly Made

In a criminal trial, where evidence is presented of multiple separate acts, any of which could satisfy the elements of a particular charge, the State is required to clarify for the jury which particular acts the State is relying upon to prove the necessary elements of a charge. This is called election of offenses. Its purpose is to help ensure a unanimous verdict on specific criminal conduct. Otherwise, there is potential for jurors to agree on guilt without agreeing on what facts establish the guilt. The election of offenses can be made simply within the prosecutor's closing argument, explaining which facts the State is relying upon for a particular charge. In the recent case of State v. Kromah, M2011-01813-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-1-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals determined from the appellate record that an election had properly been made.

Election of Offenses Properly Made

In a criminal trial, where evidence is presented of multiple separate acts, any of which could satisfy the elements of a particular charge, the State is required to clarify for the jury which particular acts the State is relying upon to prove the necessary elements of a charge. This is called election of offenses. Its purpose is to help ensure a unanimous verdict on specific criminal conduct. Otherwise, there is potential for jurors to agree on guilt without agreeing on what facts establish the guilt. The election of offenses can be made simply within the prosecutor's closing argument, explaining which facts the State is relying upon for a particular charge. In the recent case of State v. Kromah, M2011-01813-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-1-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals determined from the appellate record that an election had properly been made.

Election of Offenses Properly Made

In a criminal trial, where evidence is presented of multiple separate acts, any of which could satisfy the elements of a particular charge, the State is required to clarify for the jury which particular acts the State is relying upon to prove the necessary elements of a charge. This is called election of offenses. Its purpose is to help ensure a unanimous verdict on specific criminal conduct. Otherwise, there is potential for jurors to agree on guilt without agreeing on what facts establish the guilt. The election of offenses can be made simply within the prosecutor's closing argument, explaining which facts the State is relying upon for a particular charge. In the recent case of State v. Kromah, M2011-01813-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-1-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals determined from the appellate record that an election had properly been made.

Evidence Sufficient to Support Sexual Battery Conviction

Sufficiency of the evidence of a criminal conviction can be and often is reviewed on direct appeal of that conviction. However, the appellate court does not reevaluate what facts should have been believed or rejected by a jury. It is the function of the jury to make factual determinations from the evidence presented. An appellate court will consider the facts in a light most favorable to the jury verdict, and only review whether there were facts presented upon which the verdict could be based. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Kromah, M2011-01813-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-1-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals reviewed the facts presented at trial to determine whether the evidence was sufficient for the Defendant's conviction of sexual battery by an authority figure. The Court ultimately concluded that it was.

Evidence Sufficient to Support Sexual Battery Conviction

Sufficiency of the evidence of a criminal conviction can be and often is reviewed on direct appeal of that conviction. However, the appellate court does not reevaluate what facts should have been believed or rejected by a jury. It is the function of the jury to make factual determinations from the evidence presented. An appellate court will consider the facts in a light most favorable to the jury verdict, and only review whether there were facts presented upon which the verdict could be based. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Kromah, M2011-01813-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-1-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals reviewed the facts presented at trial to determine whether the evidence was sufficient for the Defendant's conviction of sexual battery by an authority figure. The Court ultimately concluded that it was.

Evidence Sufficient to Support Sexual Battery Conviction

Sufficiency of the evidence of a criminal conviction can be and often is reviewed on direct appeal of that conviction. However, the appellate court does not reevaluate what facts should have been believed or rejected by a jury. It is the function of the jury to make factual determinations from the evidence presented. An appellate court will consider the facts in a light most favorable to the jury verdict, and only review whether there were facts presented upon which the verdict could be based. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Kromah, M2011-01813-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 3-1-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals reviewed the facts presented at trial to determine whether the evidence was sufficient for the Defendant's conviction of sexual battery by an authority figure. The Court ultimately concluded that it was.

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