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February 2015 Archives

How to challenge a failed sobriety test

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it is likely because of a failed sobriety test, probably administered during the course of a traffic stop. A drunk driving conviction can have a long-term impact on your life, so it is important to approach these types of charges seriously by enlisting the help of a drunk driving attorney. It is possible that there were issues with your arrest, and you may be able to challenge the failed sobriety test. 

Multiple Tennessee drivers charged with drunk driving

Several drivers were pulled over by Tennessee law enforcement and charged with drunk driving over the course of one weekend. The specific drunk driving charges vary from case to case, but include second-offense DUIs and drug charges. While the consequences for these different charges can vary, any individual who has been arrested has the right to defend him or herself against the charges he or she faces.

State Breached Plea Agreement in Opposing Judicial Diversion

Plea agreements are how the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved. Professionals representing the person accused and professionals representing the State can often evaluate the facts of a case and arrive at a negotiated resolution which is a fair compromise under those facts, sparing both sides the costs and risks of a trial. But a person entering into a plea agreement with the State must be able to rely upon the promises made in exchange for the guilty plea. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Spang, M2014-00468-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 2-6-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals remanded for specific performance of the State's obligations under a plea agreement, where it determined the State had breached the agreement.

State Breached Plea Agreement in Opposing Judicial Diversion

Plea agreements are how the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved. Professionals representing the person accused and professionals representing the State can often evaluate the facts of a case and arrive at a negotiated resolution which is a fair compromise under those facts, sparing both sides the costs and risks of a trial. But a person entering into a plea agreement with the State must be able to rely upon the promises made in exchange for the guilty plea. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Spang, M2014-00468-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 2-6-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals remanded for specific performance of the State's obligations under a plea agreement, where it determined the State had breached the agreement.

State Breached Plea Agreement in Opposing Judicial Diversion

Plea agreements are how the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved. Professionals representing the person accused and professionals representing the State can often evaluate the facts of a case and arrive at a negotiated resolution which is a fair compromise under those facts, sparing both sides the costs and risks of a trial. But a person entering into a plea agreement with the State must be able to rely upon the promises made in exchange for the guilty plea. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Spang, M2014-00468-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 2-6-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals remanded for specific performance of the State's obligations under a plea agreement, where it determined the State had breached the agreement.

Database Error Still Reasonable Suspicion for a Stop

Authorities must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity before they can lawfully seize a person to conduct an investigation. Stopping a motor vehicle by a show of authority is a seizure. But though the suspicion must be reasonable, that does not necessarily mean it must be accurate. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Meadows, M2013-01650-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 2-10-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals found that a vehicle stop which was based on incorrect information in a database was still reasonable, as it was reasonable for the police officer to rely on that information.

Database Error Still Reasonable Suspicion for a Stop

Authorities must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity before they can lawfully seize a person to conduct an investigation. Stopping a motor vehicle by a show of authority is a seizure. But though the suspicion must be reasonable, that does not necessarily mean it must be accurate. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Meadows, M2013-01650-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 2-10-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals found that a vehicle stop which was based on incorrect information in a database was still reasonable, as it was reasonable for the police officer to rely on that information.

What are your rights if charged with underage drinking?

Facing charges for underage drinking is a frightening prospect for a minor. A conviction can result in serious penalties, and the repercussions could have an impact for years to come. When charged with underage drinking, it is important that an accused individual seek legal assistance from a lawyer who understands both juvenile rights and drunk driving defense. 

Possible penalties for minors facing juvenile charges for DUI

When a minor is arrested for a drug- or alcohol-related offense, it can be daunting to consider the possible penalties that could result from juvenile charges. Those penalties can include the loss of driving privileges, fines and other various consequences. Although juvenile charges can have a long-term impact on the future of a minor in Tennessee, it is possible to present an effective defense.

Court May Not Revoke a Driver's License for DUI

Revocation of a driver's license is one of the mandatory statutory penalties in Tennessee for committing a first offense DUI. However, it is the Tennessee Department of Safety which revokes the license. A court imposing a DUI conviction must collect the offender's driver's license and forward it and the judgment to the Department of Safety. Though the court may prohibit an offender from driving as a condition of probation, that order cannot extend beyond the length of the sentence and is not in itself a revocation of the license. In the recent Tennesse case of State v. Teasley, M2014-00507-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-30-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court order prohibiting a DUI offender from driving for five years.

Court May Not Revoke a Driver's License for DUI

Revocation of a driver's license is one of the mandatory statutory penalties in Tennessee for committing a first offense DUI. However, it is the Tennessee Department of Safety which revokes the license. A court imposing a DUI conviction must collect the offender's driver's license and forward it and the judgment to the Department of Safety. Though the court may prohibit an offender from driving as a condition of probation, that order cannot extend beyond the length of the sentence and is not in itself a revocation of the license. In the recent Tennesse case of State v. Teasley, M2014-00507-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-30-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court order prohibiting a DUI offender from driving for five years.

Court May Not Revoke a Driver's License for DUI

Revocation of a driver's license is one of the mandatory statutory penalties in Tennessee for committing a first offense DUI. However, it is the Tennessee Department of Safety which revokes the license. A court imposing a DUI conviction must collect the offender's driver's license and forward it and the judgment to the Department of Safety. Though the court may prohibit an offender from driving as a condition of probation, that order cannot extend beyond the length of the sentence and is not in itself a revocation of the license. In the recent Tennesse case of State v. Teasley, M2014-00507-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-30-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court order prohibiting a DUI offender from driving for five years.

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