New DUI Law Would Lower Legal Limit in Texas to .05

From Your Nashville Attorney: That’s right, .05. Texas lawmakers have proposed new legislature which would make it a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of between .05 and .07. The new law, a DWAI or Driving While Ability Impaired, which will be up for debate during January 2011 legislative session, has the support of the Austin Police Chief as well as Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD). Based on an examination of blood alcohol charts, it would take anyone who weighs less than 140 lbs approximately two drinks in the course of an hour to reach .05 and … [Read more...]

Happy Thanksgiving from your Nashville Criminal Lawyers

Your Nashville Criminal Lawyers would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanskgiving. It is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the appreciation we have for our family and friends. Our offices will be closed on Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th. In the event of an emergency please use our contact page to send us an email and we will do our best to contact you as soon as possible. Again, Happy Thanksgiving from your Nashville Criminal Defense Attorneys, Michael Shipman and Joel Crim. … [Read more...]

Nashville Judge Rules Tennessee Execution Method Unconstitutional

Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Claudia Bonnyman has ruled unconstitutional the method the State of Tennessee uses when implementing the death penalty. Tennessee utilizes a three drug method for lethal injection comprised of: Sodium Thiopental - a very fast acting barbiturate which knocks the prisoner unconscious within seconds.  This is the primary drug which is at issue in the recent ruling. Pancuronium – fast acting muscle relaxant which causes complete paralysis. Potassium Chloride – causes cardiac arrest and is the ultimate cause of death for the prisoner. Stephen Michael … [Read more...]

Can I be convicted of a DUI in Nashville even if I haven’t been drinking?

Yes. DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence which includes intoxicants other than just alcohol. In Tennessee, if a police officer has probable cause to believe a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the driver may be placed under arrest and charged with a DUI offense. As with all criminal charges, they must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and the lack of some objective test (such as blood or breach tests) creates an additional hurdle for prosecutors. If you have been charged with a DUI in the Nashville or Middle Tennessee area, consult with a former Davidson … [Read more...]

What is the Open Container Law in Tennessee?

Tennessee Open Container Law (T.C.A. 55-10-416) — (a)  (1) No driver shall consume any alcoholic beverage or beer or possess an open container of alcoholic beverage or beer while operating a motor vehicle in this state. (2) For purposes of this section: (A) “Open container” means any container containing alcoholic beverages or beer, the contents of which are immediately capable of being consumed or the seal of which has been broken; (B) An open container is in the possession of the driver when it is not in the possession of any passenger and is not located in a closed glove … [Read more...]

Common Questions for Nashville DUI Lawyers

Q: What is the legal blood alcohol content level (BAC) in Tennessee? A: You can be convicted of driving under the influence, per se, if your blood alcohol content level is .08 or greater. Q: In Tennessee, can a police officer force me to submit to a DUI breath test or perform field sobriety tests? A: No, an officer cannot force you submit to a breath test nor perform a field sobriety test. You should always be aware of the consequences, such as the possible loss of your driver’s license, for refusing to cooperate. Conversely, you may be providing evidence which could be potentially … [Read more...]

Out On Bail: The Function And Enforcement Of Bail In America

There is a certain mystique surrounding bail bondsmen and the bounty hunters hired to enforce bail. Most of the public perceives this line of work as shady, and straddling the line between legitimate and criminal. Bail bondsmen are thought to associate with criminals, exploit those in need, hire trigger happy bounty hunters, and operate above the law. These are common misconceptions fueled by inadequate knowledge of the bail bonding system and the incorrect portrayals of bondsmen and their agents in Hollywood films and television shows. In reality, most bondsmen are not ex-cons or felons. They … [Read more...]

Different Types of Bond in Tennessee

Different Types of Bond in Tennessee: Cash Bond (Is returned provided you show for all required court appearances) Property Bond (The property must be equal to 1.5 times the amount of bond set) Surety (Through a bail bondsman and requires ten percent of the bail by the individual who has been charged) Release on Recognizance (The court determines the individual charged is not likely to flee and no bond is necessary) In Tennessee, if the bond set exceeds $75,000.00 and the individual charged has the ability to post the bond, he must also show the court how he was able to pay the … [Read more...]

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

I’ve been charged and arrested for a crime in Nashville. I’ve been to court once and now they are talking about my preliminary hearing. What is a preliminary hearing? In Tennessee and across the United States, a preliminary hearing is a proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient probable cause that 1.) a crime has been committed and 2.) the individual who has been arrested likely committed that crime. A finding of probable cause at the preliminary hearing allows the case to proceed to trial. The preliminary hearing must occur within ten days of the initial appearance if the … [Read more...]

What Does a DUI Mean in Nashville?

How is a DUI charge defined under Tennessee law? Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-401 provides: Driving under the influence of intoxicant, drug or drug producing stimulant prohibited — Alcohol concentration in blood or breath. — (a)  It is unlawful for any person to drive or to be in physical control of any automobile or other motor driven vehicle on any of the public roads and highways of the state, or on any streets or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park or any apartment house complex, or any other premises that is generally frequented by the public at … [Read more...]

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