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December 2013 Archives

Army captain charged with vehicular homicide, killing private

An Army captain was recently charged with multiple DUI-related charges in a fatal crash in Tennessee. According to authorities, he hit and killed an army private who was on foot at the time. The captain then allegedly fled the scene. He now faces vehicular homicide, among other charges.

Invocation of Right to Counsel Must Be Unequivocal

When a person invokes a right to counsel, a pending criminal interrogation must stop unless the person initiates further conversation with the police. But to be effective, an invocation of the right to counsel must be unequivocal. An equivocal reference to counsel, whether made before or after being advised of constitutional rights, does not require the interrogation to cease. Whether a request for counsel is equivocal is a mixed question of law and fact. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Scott, E2012-02012-02734-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-6-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the defendant's statement to police that she thinks she needs an attorney was not, in that case, an unequivocal invocation of the right to counsel.

Invocation of Right to Counsel Must Be Unequivocal

When a person invokes a right to counsel, a pending criminal interrogation must stop unless the person initiates further conversation with the police. But to be effective, an invocation of the right to counsel must be unequivocal. An equivocal reference to counsel, whether made before or after being advised of constitutional rights, does not require the interrogation to cease. Whether a request for counsel is equivocal is a mixed question of law and fact. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Scott, E2012-02012-02734-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-6-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the defendant's statement to police that she thinks she needs an attorney was not, in that case, an unequivocal invocation of the right to counsel.

Invocation of Right to Counsel Must Be Unequivocal

When a person invokes a right to counsel, a pending criminal interrogation must stop unless the person initiates further conversation with the police. But to be effective, an invocation of the right to counsel must be unequivocal. An equivocal reference to counsel, whether made before or after being advised of constitutional rights, does not require the interrogation to cease. Whether a request for counsel is equivocal is a mixed question of law and fact. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Scott, E2012-02012-02734-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-6-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the defendant's statement to police that she thinks she needs an attorney was not, in that case, an unequivocal invocation of the right to counsel.

1 dead, 4 injured, man charged with vehicular homicide

A man was involved in a fatal crash in Tennessee recently. According to authorities, he was crossing a bridge and in an attempt to pass a slower vehicle, he drove his pickup truck across the center lane and into oncoming traffic, causing him to collide head-on with another vehicle. The three occupants traveling inside that vehicle, a Honda Civic, reportedly sustained injuries. According to reports, a third vehicle, unable to avoid the accident, proceeded to hit the Civic. The man driving the pickup truck has since been charged with vehicular homicide.

Vehicular homicide and more charged against Tennessee man

A man was involved in a fatal crash in Tennessee recently. According to authorities, he was speeding when he failed to stop at a stop sign, which prompted him to collide with another vehicle. The man driving the second vehicle suffered serious injuries and unfortunately was pronounced dead on the scene. The first man has since been charged with vehicular homicide.

Counsel Not Ineffective For Not Using an Expert Witness

Ineffective assistance of counsel in the original trial or appeal is an often asserted claim when people convicted of crimes are attempting to gain retrials through the statutory post-conviction process. Because effective assistance of counsel in a criminal trial and direct appeal is a constitutional right, having ineffective counsel during those proceedings is a constitutional violation which can result in a new trial. In the recent Tennessee case of Hawkins v. State, M2012-02293-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 11-26-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a post-conviction court ruling rejecting the claim that counsel in an aggravated child abuse case was ineffective for not obtaining and using a medical expert to rebut the state's evidence that the victim suffered 'shaken baby syndrome.'

Counsel Not Ineffective For Not Using an Expert Witness

Ineffective assistance of counsel in the original trial or appeal is an often asserted claim when people convicted of crimes are attempting to gain retrials through the statutory post-conviction process. Because effective assistance of counsel in a criminal trial and direct appeal is a constitutional right, having ineffective counsel during those proceedings is a constitutional violation which can result in a new trial. In the recent Tennessee case of Hawkins v. State, M2012-02293-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 11-26-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a post-conviction court ruling rejecting the claim that counsel in an aggravated child abuse case was ineffective for not obtaining and using a medical expert to rebut the state's evidence that the victim suffered 'shaken baby syndrome.'

Counsel Not Ineffective For Not Using an Expert Witness

Ineffective assistance of counsel in the original trial or appeal is an often asserted claim when people convicted of crimes are attempting to gain retrials through the statutory post-conviction process. Because effective assistance of counsel in a criminal trial and direct appeal is a constitutional right, having ineffective counsel during those proceedings is a constitutional violation which can result in a new trial. In the recent Tennessee case of Hawkins v. State, M2012-02293-CCA-R3-PC (Tenn.Crim.App. 11-26-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a post-conviction court ruling rejecting the claim that counsel in an aggravated child abuse case was ineffective for not obtaining and using a medical expert to rebut the state's evidence that the victim suffered 'shaken baby syndrome.'

Flipped car on I-440 results in drunk driving charge

Residents in Tennessee know that being convicted of a DUI can have lasting effects. From facing hefty fines to potentially serving a jail sentence, the consequences are serious. A driver who recently crashed his car is now facing a drunk driving charge.

Minor violation stop leads to a drunk driving charge

Alcohol can impair judgement just enough to lead to unfortunate and perhaps costly mistakes. However, just because an individual is accused of driving while impaired doesn't mean that they are actually guilty of the charge. If the authorities allegedly notice a safety violation and pull a driver over, they may notice indications the driver might be under the influence and ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test, which could lead to a drunk driving charge. In this instance, the burden is on the government to prove that a person's blood-alcohol content is truly above the legal limit.

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