Hindman & Lanzon Hindman & Lanzon
Call for a Free Consultation
865-223-6450

June 2013 Archives

Felony DUI for prescription drug abuse a Tennessee problem

Tennessee authorities say that a recent traffic stop in Henderson County underscores some of the problems that law enforcement are targeting on our roadways. The apparent prevalence of prescription drugs has been an issue of some concern to police throughout our state. Indeed, as many as three quarters of all driving under the influence arrests -- including those for felony DUI -- are attributable to the ingestion of prescription drugs, either on their own or together with alcohol.

Prior Testimony Generally Admissible on Retrial

A criminal defendant's prior testimony about a particular incident is generally admissible in a retrial of the same case, even if the defendant elects not to testify on retrial. Certainly the original statement is a prior statement of the accused, not coerced or improperly obtained, as it was offered in court after being advised of the right not to testify. An exception exists, created by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harrison v. United States, 392 U.S. 219 (1968), for when the original testimony was offered to rebut evidence later determined to be improperly admitted. In the recent case of State v. Pottebaum, M2012-01573-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-21-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals distinguished an accused's decision to testify to rebut evidence which should not have been admitted against him, and an accused's decision to testify as a result of not being allowed to present certain evidence which should have been admissible.

Prior Testimony Generally Admissible on Retrial

A criminal defendant's prior testimony about a particular incident is generally admissible in a retrial of the same case, even if the defendant elects not to testify on retrial. Certainly the original statement is a prior statement of the accused, not coerced or improperly obtained, as it was offered in court after being advised of the right not to testify. An exception exists, created by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harrison v. United States, 392 U.S. 219 (1968), for when the original testimony was offered to rebut evidence later determined to be improperly admitted. In the recent case of State v. Pottebaum, M2012-01573-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-21-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals distinguished an accused's decision to testify to rebut evidence which should not have been admitted against him, and an accused's decision to testify as a result of not being allowed to present certain evidence which should have been admissible.

Prior Testimony Generally Admissible on Retrial

A criminal defendant's prior testimony about a particular incident is generally admissible in a retrial of the same case, even if the defendant elects not to testify on retrial. Certainly the original statement is a prior statement of the accused, not coerced or improperly obtained, as it was offered in court after being advised of the right not to testify. An exception exists, created by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harrison v. United States, 392 U.S. 219 (1968), for when the original testimony was offered to rebut evidence later determined to be improperly admitted. In the recent case of State v. Pottebaum, M2012-01573-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-21-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals distinguished an accused's decision to testify to rebut evidence which should not have been admitted against him, and an accused's decision to testify as a result of not being allowed to present certain evidence which should have been admissible.

Repeat drunk driving offender causes fatal accident in Tennessee

Loss of life in any car accident is devastating. However, that devastation is made all the more apparent when the accident comes as a result of a temporary lapse in judgment made by another driver. Recently, an 89-year-old man lost his life on a Tennessee roadway, allegedly due to one woman's drunk driving.

Theft of Used iPad Reduced to Misdemeanor

The offense of theft of property in Tennessee is graded based on the value of the stolen property. Stealing property valued at under $500 is a class A misdemeanor. Theft of property valued at $500 or more is a felony, with classifications from E ($500 to under $1,000), to D ($1,000 to under $10,000), to C ($10,000 to under $60,000), to B ($60,000 or over). In the recent case of State v. Webster, M2012-00713-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-5-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found the evidence insufficient to support a felony conviction for theft of a used iPad, and reduced the conviction offense to a misdemeanor.

Theft of Used iPad Reduced to Misdemeanor

The offense of theft of property in Tennessee is graded based on the value of the stolen property. Stealing property valued at under $500 is a class A misdemeanor. Theft of property valued at $500 or more is a felony, with classifications from E ($500 to under $1,000), to D ($1,000 to under $10,000), to C ($10,000 to under $60,000), to B ($60,000 or over). In the recent case of State v. Webster, M2012-00713-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-5-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found the evidence insufficient to support a felony conviction for theft of a used iPad, and reduced the conviction offense to a misdemeanor.

Theft of Used iPad Reduced to Misdemeanor

The offense of theft of property in Tennessee is graded based on the value of the stolen property. Stealing property valued at under $500 is a class A misdemeanor. Theft of property valued at $500 or more is a felony, with classifications from E ($500 to under $1,000), to D ($1,000 to under $10,000), to C ($10,000 to under $60,000), to B ($60,000 or over). In the recent case of State v. Webster, M2012-00713-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-5-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found the evidence insufficient to support a felony conviction for theft of a used iPad, and reduced the conviction offense to a misdemeanor.

New Tennessee law targets drunk driving first offenders

The law concerning first time DUI offenders in Tennessee has changed. The newly enacted law is effective on the first day of July. Going forward, those convicted of drunk driving for the first time are required by law to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a nationally recognized organization, says that statistics have documented a 30 percent reduction in DUI fatalities in the 17 states that have already adopted the measure.

Determination of Implied Consent Violation Permissible on Remand

Tennessee's implied consent law requires drivers to consent to a blood test to determine alcoholic content of the blood if requested to do so by a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Unless the person's driver's license is already revoked for a DUI conviction or other enumerated driving conviction, refusal to comply is a non-criminal, civil violation. The determination of whether this civil violation occurred is to be made by a judge, rather than a jury, and determined at the same time as any criminal charge (such as a DUI) relating to the same arrest incident. In the recent case of State v. Mackinnon, E2012-00594-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 5-29-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found it is also permissible for a judge to make that determination on a remand from the Court of Criminal Appeals, if instructed to do so.

Determination of Implied Consent Violation Permissible on Remand

Tennessee's implied consent law requires drivers to consent to a blood test to determine alcoholic content of the blood if requested to do so by a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Unless the person's driver's license is already revoked for a DUI conviction or other enumerated driving conviction, refusal to comply is a non-criminal, civil violation. The determination of whether this civil violation occurred is to be made by a judge, rather than a jury, and determined at the same time as any criminal charge (such as a DUI) relating to the same arrest incident. In the recent case of State v. Mackinnon, E2012-00594-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 5-29-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found it is also permissible for a judge to make that determination on a remand from the Court of Criminal Appeals, if instructed to do so.

Determination of Implied Consent Violation Permissible on Remand

Tennessee's implied consent law requires drivers to consent to a blood test to determine alcoholic content of the blood if requested to do so by a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Unless the person's driver's license is already revoked for a DUI conviction or other enumerated driving conviction, refusal to comply is a non-criminal, civil violation. The determination of whether this civil violation occurred is to be made by a judge, rather than a jury, and determined at the same time as any criminal charge (such as a DUI) relating to the same arrest incident. In the recent case of State v. Mackinnon, E2012-00594-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 5-29-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals found it is also permissible for a judge to make that determination on a remand from the Court of Criminal Appeals, if instructed to do so.

Woman charged in connection to alleged DUI crash in Tennessee

Being accused of intoxicated driving can lead to a person facing DUI charges. Additional charges can be brought against a person if they are accused of having caused an accident that caused injuries or property damage during their alleged intoxicated driving.

Probable Cause Established by Observation of Speeding

There must be probable cause or reasonable suspicion for a police officer to initiate an investigatory stop of a vehicle. Absent a warrant for a search or arrest, there must be some basis known to the officer for believing an occupant of a vehicle may have committed or may be about to commit a crime, before the officer has the authority to selectively detain the vehicle for even a brief investigation. In the recent case of State v. Mackinnon, E2012=00594-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 5-29-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the trial court's finding of probable cause where a trained police officer estimated the Defendant's vehicle to be speeding.

Probable Cause Established by Observation of Speeding

There must be probable cause or reasonable suspicion for a police officer to initiate an investigatory stop of a vehicle. Absent a warrant for a search or arrest, there must be some basis known to the officer for believing an occupant of a vehicle may have committed or may be about to commit a crime, before the officer has the authority to selectively detain the vehicle for even a brief investigation. In the recent case of State v. Mackinnon, E2012=00594-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 5-29-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the trial court's finding of probable cause where a trained police officer estimated the Defendant's vehicle to be speeding.

Probable Cause Established by Observation of Speeding

There must be probable cause or reasonable suspicion for a police officer to initiate an investigatory stop of a vehicle. Absent a warrant for a search or arrest, there must be some basis known to the officer for believing an occupant of a vehicle may have committed or may be about to commit a crime, before the officer has the authority to selectively detain the vehicle for even a brief investigation. In the recent case of State v. Mackinnon, E2012=00594-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 5-29-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the trial court's finding of probable cause where a trained police officer estimated the Defendant's vehicle to be speeding.

map map

Hindman & Lanzon
550 West Main Street
Suite 550
Knoxville, TN 37902

Toll Free: 866-383-1545
Phone: 865-223-6450
Fax: 865-521-6371
Knoxville Law Office Map