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April 2014 Archives

Failure to move over ends in drunk driving arrest

The flashing lights and blaring sirens of a police car can be intimidating. It is easy for an individual to become startled and do the wrong thing in this instance. Recently, a Tennessee woman was in front of a police car that was actually on its way to an accident scene. Perhaps in a panic because of a previous drunk driving conviction and the fact that her license had been revoked, she continued to drive on.

Community Care Taking Not a Substitute for a Warrant in Tennessee

Another 'community care taking' case has recently been addressed by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. 'Community care taking' generally refers to the role of law enforcement authorities in checking on the welfare of people who may be distressed. In many jurisdictions, it is one of the recognized exceptions to the general requirement that a police officer must have a warrant to conduct a search or seizure. Tennessee courts, in recent decisions, have adopted the view that it is not, under Tennessee law, an exception. Consent is still an exception. But an encounter is not always consensual just because an officer may be legitimately acting in community care taking capacity. In the recent case of State v. Shouse, M2013-00863-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling excluding evidence of a DUI offense where the evidence was discovered by a police officer checking on the welfare of motorist who appeared to be unconscious inside a truck.

Community Care Taking Not a Substitute for a Warrant in Tennessee

Another 'community care taking' case has recently been addressed by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. 'Community care taking' generally refers to the role of law enforcement authorities in checking on the welfare of people who may be distressed. In many jurisdictions, it is one of the recognized exceptions to the general requirement that a police officer must have a warrant to conduct a search or seizure. Tennessee courts, in recent decisions, have adopted the view that it is not, under Tennessee law, an exception. Consent is still an exception. But an encounter is not always consensual just because an officer may be legitimately acting in community care taking capacity. In the recent case of State v. Shouse, M2013-00863-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling excluding evidence of a DUI offense where the evidence was discovered by a police officer checking on the welfare of motorist who appeared to be unconscious inside a truck.

Community Care Taking Not a Substitute for a Warrant in Tennessee

Another 'community care taking' case has recently been addressed by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. 'Community care taking' generally refers to the role of law enforcement authorities in checking on the welfare of people who may be distressed. In many jurisdictions, it is one of the recognized exceptions to the general requirement that a police officer must have a warrant to conduct a search or seizure. Tennessee courts, in recent decisions, have adopted the view that it is not, under Tennessee law, an exception. Consent is still an exception. But an encounter is not always consensual just because an officer may be legitimately acting in community care taking capacity. In the recent case of State v. Shouse, M2013-00863-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling excluding evidence of a DUI offense where the evidence was discovered by a police officer checking on the welfare of motorist who appeared to be unconscious inside a truck.

Tennessee man charged with vehicular homicide admitted drinking

A Tennessee driver was involved in a pedestrian vs. car accident at approximately 11 p.m. on April 16. The pedestrian went through the vehicle's windshield following the initial impact. The pedestrian did not survive, and officers claim that the driver was impaired. The driver is being charged with vehicular homicide.

Court Rejects Community Care Taking Argument and Excludes Evidence

'Community care taking' is a form of consensual encounter with a law enforcement officer who may initiate the encounter in looking out for public safety and welfare. When a community care taking encounter is considered consensual, it does not a require a warrant, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion. Yet legal disputes about the nature of the encounter may arise. Tennessee courts use an objective standard to consider whether the encounter was consensual or a seizure. In the recent case of State v. Mustafa, E2013-00960-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-7-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling suppressing evidence of DUI, on the conclusion that the Defendant reasonably felt seized, even though the police officer's subjective intent was to be helpful.

Court Rejects Community Care Taking Argument and Excludes Evidence

'Community care taking' is a form of consensual encounter with a law enforcement officer who may initiate the encounter in looking out for public safety and welfare. When a community care taking encounter is considered consensual, it does not a require a warrant, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion. Yet legal disputes about the nature of the encounter may arise. Tennessee courts use an objective standard to consider whether the encounter was consensual or a seizure. In the recent case of State v. Mustafa, E2013-00960-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-7-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling suppressing evidence of DUI, on the conclusion that the Defendant reasonably felt seized, even though the police officer's subjective intent was to be helpful.

Court Rejects Community Care Taking Argument and Excludes Evidence

'Community care taking' is a form of consensual encounter with a law enforcement officer who may initiate the encounter in looking out for public safety and welfare. When a community care taking encounter is considered consensual, it does not a require a warrant, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion. Yet legal disputes about the nature of the encounter may arise. Tennessee courts use an objective standard to consider whether the encounter was consensual or a seizure. In the recent case of State v. Mustafa, E2013-00960-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-7-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling suppressing evidence of DUI, on the conclusion that the Defendant reasonably felt seized, even though the police officer's subjective intent was to be helpful.

Tennessee man charged with drunk driving

A man accused of driving while intoxicated is behind bars, according to local sources. The Tennessee man has a long history of motor vehicle infractions, with this being his 12th drunk driving charge. It is important to remember that, when it comes to repeat DUI offenders, alcoholism is a disease that can run rampant if left unchecked, altering the way individuals might otherwise behave.

Coram Nobis Claim Must Be Pursued in a Timely Manner

Coram nobis relief (by petition for a writ of error coram nobis) is available in Tennessee to challenge final judgments in criminal cases when there is newly discovered evidence which may undermine the validity of the conviction. There is a one year statute of limitations from the day the judgment becomes final, for filing a petition. However, in many cases the newly discovered evidence at issue is not discovered until after the beginning of that limitations period. So there is also a due process argument for tolling of the limitations period when the grounds for relief arise after the finality of the judgment, and strict application of the limitations period would deny a reasonable opportunity to present the claim.

Coram Nobis Claim Must Be Pursued in a Timely Manner

Coram nobis relief (by petition for a writ of error coram nobis) is available in Tennessee to challenge final judgments in criminal cases when there is newly discovered evidence which may undermine the validity of the conviction. There is a one year statute of limitations from the day the judgment becomes final, for filing a petition. However, in many cases the newly discovered evidence at issue is not discovered until after the beginning of that limitations period. So there is also a due process argument for tolling of the limitations period when the grounds for relief arise after the finality of the judgment, and strict application of the limitations period would deny a reasonable opportunity to present the claim.

Coram Nobis Claim Must Be Pursued in a Timely Manner

Coram nobis relief (by petition for a writ of error coram nobis) is available in Tennessee to challenge final judgments in criminal cases when there is newly discovered evidence which may undermine the validity of the conviction. There is a one year statute of limitations from the day the judgment becomes final, for filing a petition. However, in many cases the newly discovered evidence at issue is not discovered until after the beginning of that limitations period. So there is also a due process argument for tolling of the limitations period when the grounds for relief arise after the finality of the judgment, and strict application of the limitations period would deny a reasonable opportunity to present the claim.

Guilty verdict in 2012 vehicular homicide case in Tennessee

It has been demonstrated countless times that youth, speed and alcohol should not be mixed. Many horrifying car accidents have been the result of mixing those three elements. Tennessee residents may be aware that such accidents often result in fatalities and subsequent vehicular homicide charges.

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