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September 2014 Archives

Conviction Reversed Due to Warrantless GPS Tracking Device

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, in addition to being a convenience to people who use it voluntarily on their mobile devices, can also be a useful tool in an investigation. But in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that law enforcement authorities installing a GPS device on a vehicle to track the vehicle was a search requiring a warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement. Prior to that decision (U.S. v. Jones), the law was not settled that attaching such as a device was search. In the recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals decision in State v. Phifer, M2013-01401-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-23-2014), the appellate court declined to apply a good faith exception where authorities installed a tracking device on a suspect vehicle prior to the ruling in U.S. v. Jones.

Conviction Reversed Due to Warrantless GPS Tracking Device

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, in addition to being a convenience to people who use it voluntarily on their mobile devices, can also be a useful tool in an investigation. But in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that law enforcement authorities installing a GPS device on a vehicle to track the vehicle was a search requiring a warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement. Prior to that decision (U.S. v. Jones), the law was not settled that attaching such as a device was search. In the recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals decision in State v. Phifer, M2013-01401-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-23-2014), the appellate court declined to apply a good faith exception where authorities installed a tracking device on a suspect vehicle prior to the ruling in U.S. v. Jones.

Tennessee man arrested for drunk driving accused of making threat

Alcohol consumption can cause people to do and say things that they would not normally even consider. Unfortunately, the stress of a drunk driving arrest may cause the accused to make statements with no intention of following through. Recently, a Tennessee officer reported that a man whom he arrested made threatening remarks towards him.

Country singer, Lynn Anderson, arrested on drunk driving charge

Those who have lived their life in the public eye may struggle to live up to the constant pressure created by their fans. Though some seem to avoid any negative publicity, the fact that they are still human beings may be overlooked by fans when a celebrity suffers a fall from the pedestal they are often placed upon. One woman may be currently feeling this pressure after her arrest in Tennessee on drunk driving charges.

Conviction Reversed Due to Erroneous Admission of a Photo

Photo evidence is often used in criminal cases and photography is a common element in criminal investigation. Crime scenes are photographed. Injuries are photographed. Suspects are photographed. Evidence is photographed. Photo evidence is frequently admissible at trial in criminal cases when relevant. Though rules of evidence allow for the exclusion of photo evidence when the danger of unfair prejudice outweighs the probative value of the evidence, the most important consideration is typically the probative value. Very relevant photos will typically be admitted even at the risk of prejudice. The recent Tennessee case of State v. Chesteen, W2012-01998-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-29-2014) is a rare example of where a criminal conviction was reversed due to the appellate court conclusion that the admission of photo evidence was in error.

Conviction Reversed Due to Erroneous Admission of a Photo

Photo evidence is often used in criminal cases and photography is a common element in criminal investigation. Crime scenes are photographed. Injuries are photographed. Suspects are photographed. Evidence is photographed. Photo evidence is frequently admissible at trial in criminal cases when relevant. Though rules of evidence allow for the exclusion of photo evidence when the danger of unfair prejudice outweighs the probative value of the evidence, the most important consideration is typically the probative value. Very relevant photos will typically be admitted even at the risk of prejudice. The recent Tennessee case of State v. Chesteen, W2012-01998-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-29-2014) is a rare example of where a criminal conviction was reversed due to the appellate court conclusion that the admission of photo evidence was in error.

House party leads to 26 arrests for underage drinking

When parents are away, their kids will play. This was true 50 years ago, and it is true today. Tennessee parents are well aware that their teenage children are likely to bend the rules from time to time; sneaking out, attending parties, and even experimenting with alcohol. The recent arrest of 26 teens at a Union County house party provides an example of how kids test the limits set out for them. Unfortunately, these teens could end up with serious punitive measures should they be convicted of underage drinking.

Confession and Accomplice Testimony Sufficiently Corroborated

An out of court confession in a Tennessee criminal case must have independent evidentiary corroboration before it can be sufficient to sustain a conviction. Accomplice witness testimony must also have independent corroboration to be sufficient. Of course, if you have both of these things independently, they can corroborate each other. This occurred in the recent Tennessee case of State v. Hall, M2013-02090-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-5-2014).

Confession and Accomplice Testimony Sufficiently Corroborated

An out of court confession in a Tennessee criminal case must have independent evidentiary corroboration before it can be sufficient to sustain a conviction. Accomplice witness testimony must also have independent corroboration to be sufficient. Of course, if you have both of these things independently, they can corroborate each other. This occurred in the recent Tennessee case of State v. Hall, M2013-02090-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-5-2014).

Confession and Accomplice Testimony Sufficiently Corroborated

An out of court confession in a Tennessee criminal case must have independent evidentiary corroboration before it can be sufficient to sustain a conviction. Accomplice witness testimony must also have independent corroboration to be sufficient. Of course, if you have both of these things independently, they can corroborate each other. This occurred in the recent Tennessee case of State v. Hall, M2013-02090-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-5-2014).

Tennessee youths facing juvenile charges deserve experenced help

This nation is governed by a system of laws and rules that are intended for the well-being and safety of all. Sometimes, young people may find themselves on the wrong side of those laws and facing juvenile charges. Some of them are not yet capable of making the responsible decisions that often come with age. It is imperative that these individuals are guided by experience and compassion when facing this scenario here in Tennessee.

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