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Nashville Criminal Defense Blog

Drunk driving charges can be defended

When the topic of drunk driving comes up, most people think the worst. They assume that the accused person is guilty before they even hear the particular circumstances involved in the case. Even though this flies in the face of "innocent until proven guilty," it is understandable in a way. Portrayals of drunk drivers have made it so that the public at large has nothing but disdain for them, even though extenuating circumstances could be involved in a DUI case.

Here are just a few example of potential DUI defenses that could be utilized to successfully help someone accused of driving under the influence of alcohol:

1,000-plus agents involved in major health care fraud sting

We stated in our immediately preceding blog post that, "In recent years, and with progressively growing momentum, media outlets are emphasizing white collar crime."

W also emphasized in our July 14 post entry that criminal investigators -- in both the federal and state realms -- "are devoting substantial amounts of time, energy and money to the task of identifying and making notable examples of criminal defendants in such cases."

White collar fraud allegations: truly, front-page stuff these days

When was the last time you picked up a newspaper (for those of you who even do that anymore in our digital world) and noticed a white collar crime-related tale buried on an inside page?

Truly, it was likely the case that, if you chanced on a media report regarding an alleged embezzlement, questionable Medicare billing or some other fraud-based behavior, it was the top of page 1 you were looking at.

Polarizing police program both lauded, condemned in Knox County

One prominent advocate of a law enforcement program that targets illegal immigrants lauds its alleged upsides, which he says include the positive results it will bring by lessening overcrowded jails and reducing outlays that local governments spend in crime-fighting efforts.

A spokesperson for a Tennessee immigrant and refugee rights groups views it as something else altogether, calling it a "disastrous program" that will erode the public's trust in law enforcement and instill even greater fear in a demographic that already feels under siege.

What penalties could you face for DUI in Tennessee

If you made a mistake and got behind the wheel of your car after drinking, you may face charges for drunk driving. A conviction could jeopardize job opportunities, college admission and college scholarships. Of course, you could also face criminal penalties.

Here in Tennessee, a breath test indicating a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher could land you in jail on suspicion of driving under the influence. A DUI conviction comes with numerous penalties that depend on how many prior convictions you have for this offense. Those penalties can increase if your BAC is .20 or higher. Laws regarding underage drinkers differ, but the information on potential penalties given below focuses on individuals age 21 or older.

TN judge points to effective, underutilized drug-fighting tool

Tennessee state court judge Seth Norman says that he "will continue to see the consequences" of a raging drug problem in Tennessee and nationally so long as misguided criminal law policies are routinely applied wholesale in drug-crime cases.

And that is truly tragic, he contends, given that a proven and far more effective sentencing alternative is readily available to prison incarceration for many defendants.

High-profile spotlight: U.S. Supreme Court to look at phone tracking

Allegedly, an individual targeted by police participated with a group in a string of robberies in multiple locales. In searching for an optimal way to link that person with the crimes, law enforcers seized upon the idea of tracking his movements over time through signals sent out from his mobile phone to cellphone towers.

Mission accomplished.

Tiger Woods tale underscores DUI-related reputational hit

There is an adverse list of consequences associated with a drunk driving conviction in Tennessee, and it is lengthy.

For starters, and as we note on a page of our website focused on Tennessee DUI charges and potential repercussions at the Nashville Law Offices of Thomas T. Overton, it includes entries like these:

Probable strategies to combat probable cause tactics

Is it legal for a police officer to pull you over in traffic, tell you to get out of your car, and then start rummaging through your seats and removing objects from inside your vehicle? The answer is absolutely not. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unlawful searches and seizures. Further, a Tennessee police officer (as well as those in other states) must have probable cause to suspect you of a crime before he or she places you under arrest.

Many people have a vague understanding at best when it comes to what probable cause actually entails. However, if you hope to avoid DUI and other criminal offense-related matters, or at least increase your chances of avoiding conviction if you are arrested and charged with a crime, you may want to brush up on state laws and develop a plan that includes knowledge of where to turn for help if a problem arises.

An age-old problem in criminal law: shaky eyewitness testimony

The witness -- a seemingly solid citizen with no overt reason to fabricate or otherwise manipulate material fact -- swears to tell the truth and then points squarely at the seated defendant, telling a jury panel and crowded courtroom that he personally witnessed that person's unlawful act.

That hypothesized scenario spells a slam-dunk case, right? Especially because, as one commentator in a recent Knoxville News Sentinel report discussing eyewitness identification and criminal convictions notes, "Juries believe eyewitnesses."

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