Dismissed – Now to expunge.

Having a case dismissed is only one part of the process of clearing someone’s arrest record. In Tennessee, once a case has been dismissed it is then eligible to be expunged from your record. Expunging a record removes the existence of the case altogether from your criminal history. It’s the difference between a record which reflects someone who has never been arrested, and someone who was once charged with a crime but later the charge was dismissed. For example, if you are charged with a felony drug offense and the prosecutor decides later to dismiss the case; anyone who runs your … [Read more...]

3 Legal Tips for Bonnaroo

How to Get There While traveling, avoid the Scenic Route. Take the interstates and ignore your GPS. The rural highways may be faster but the more rural counties surrounding Manchester, TN cash in, quite literally, on the opportunity to stop and cite those on the way to Bonnaroo. Your Rights You can expect if you are stopped the officer or state trooper will request to search your vehicle. You have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle. It’s your right under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Use it. Expect to be searched anyway but know that you saying "No", does … [Read more...]

11 Legal Situations Which Could Affect Your TN Carry Permit

Much like a drivers license, a handgun carry permit in Tennessee is not a right, but a privilege which can be taken away, or not granted at all, to individuals in certain situations. The following list are a few situations which individuals should be aware of when resolving a criminal case in Tennessee and how that cases resolution could affect their ability to either obtain a carry permit, or could result in the suspension or revocation of their carry permit in Tennessee. Please note that this list is not all inclusive, but does address most of the situations which could affect a person … [Read more...]

Scientists and legal scholars study ‘moral luck’

What can the structure of the human brain teach us about criminal law? Psychologist Fiery Cushman asks us to consider the following. Hal and Peter drink together in a bar. After becoming intoxicated from consuming identical amounts of alcohol, they drive separate cars home. Each man loses control of their car on an icy road. Hal’s car runs into a tree. Peter’s car hits a little girl and kills her. Hal will face some driving-related sanctions. Peter, on the other hand, has committed a homicide and will probably serve some time in prison. Why should two accidental outcomes of identical … [Read more...]

Technology and its impact on the Fourth Amendment

By Timothy P. O'Neill Let's set the Wayback Machine to 1983. You are in a law school classroom and are discussing a brand new U.S. Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983). The professor says, "This case holds that police use of a beeper to track a suspect's car to a drug lab is not a search under the Fourth Amendment. In order for police activity to constitute a search, it must intrude on the person's reasonable expectation of privacy. Here the car was always on public streets; theoretically, any person could have viewed the suspect's movements. Use of the beeper only aided … [Read more...]

Court takes on Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule

September 9, 2011 By  Timothy P. O'Neill Timothy P. O'Neill is a professor at The John Marshall Law School. He was a finalist for the 2010 "Peter Lisagor Award" for Exemplary Journalism in the area of Commentary. Let's talk about "The Biggest Loser." No, not the TV show. I want to talk about what Linda Greenhouse referred to as "The Biggest Loser" of the 2010 term of the U.S. Supreme Court: the Fourth Amendment. From a defense perspective, the result was scorched earth. For openers, the government won all three Fourth Amendment cases. Justice Samuel Alito wrote two of the majority … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Attorneys Explain: Reckless Driving in Tennessee

What is Reckless Driving in Tennessee? In Tennessee, you can be charged with reckless driving if you have driven a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people, or property. In addition, anyone who drives a motorcycle with the front wheel off the ground and in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others can be charged and convicted of reckless driving. What is the Punishment for Reckless Driving in Tennessee? Reckless Driving in Tennessee is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines not to exceed $500. How fast do I … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Attorneys Explain: Crackdown on Patronizing Prostitution

Recently, law enforcement around the city of Nashville has cracked down on prostitution related crimes, including patronizing prostitution. The street corner is becoming old school while websites like craislist.org and backpage.com have become a primary source of advertising prostitution related services. Tennessee is no different and law enforcement in the Nashville area has taken notice. ‘Sting’ operations have become the norm in an attempt to curb prostitution and patronizing prostitution in the Nashville area. Patronizing Prostitution in Tennessee is generally a Class B Misdemeanor, … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Attorneys Explain: Entrapment in Tennessee

Entrapment is now a valid defense in Tennessee, based on the premise that “public policy demands a purity of government and its processes which does not exist when law enforcement, in effect, manufactures the crime and the criminal as opposed to preventing the crime and apprehending the criminal.” (See State v. Jones, 598 S.W.2d at 216; State v. Shropshire, 874 S.W.2d at 638.) The defense of entrapment did not exist in Tennessee until the 1980 Tennessee Supreme Court Decision in State v. Jones.  In 1989 the Legislature set out the defense of Entrapment in Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-505 as … [Read more...]

Nashville Criminal Lawyer Explains Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant

Both the United States and the State of Tennessee’s Constitution guarantees defendants in a criminal case certain rights which are critical to the defense of your case. 1. Right against Self Incrimination. It’s the ‘right to remain silent’ of Miranda. It’s also your right to testify, or to not testify at trial. Because of this right it can’t be held against you if you choose not to testify. 2. Right to a Criminal Attorney. Whether you can, or can’t afford one, you are entitled to a criminal defense attorney to assist in the defense of your criminal case. 3. Right to Call Witnesses and … [Read more...]

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