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Expert Testimony Must be Relevant to be Admissible

Qualified expert testimony may be admissible by either side in a criminal trial in Tennessee when the trial court determines it may substantially assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or deciding a material issue. When determining whether scientific evidence is reliable enough to be of assistance, trial courts in Tennessee consider how the evidence has been tested, whether it has been subject to peer review, whether a rate of error is known, and whether it is generally accepted in the scientific community. It of course also must be relevant to be of assistance to the trier of fact. In the recent case of State v. Adams, M2014-00501-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 6-19-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling disallowing a DUI defendant's offered expert testimony concerning the effect of freon contamination of the blood on a preservative used to preserve a blood sample for testing alcohol content.

Fight to protect your rights after a drunk driving arrest

If you feel overwhelmed and frightened after a DUI arrest, you are not alone. It is normal to feel daunted by the Tennessee legal system and the potential consequences that can come from a criminal conviction. Whether this is your first drunk driving charge or you have a history of DUI arrests, it is important to protect your rights at every stage of the process. 

Woman charged with vehicular homicide after drunk driving crash

A Tennessee woman is in serious trouble with the law the after causing an accident that eventually claimed the life of a teenage boy. The boy died from his injuries just one day after he was supposed to graduate from high school. The suspected drunk driver also had a small child in the car with her at the time of the crash and was officially charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and endangerment of a child. 

Woman has accident at a school, charged with drunk driving

After crashing in a Knoxville school's parking lot, a woman was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. At the time of the accident, the woman was driving with two young children in her car, ages 7 and 10. The children were released into the custody of the school after their mother was arrested for drunk driving. 

The importance of a lawyer when facing drunk driving charges

After an arrest for drunk driving, Tennessee defendants may assume that they can confront these charges and navigate the legal system on their own. However, securing legal counsel as soon as possible after a drunk driving arrest will be very beneficial. Even a first-time DUI charge can result in serious penalties if convicted.

Can you contest a failed sobriety test?

After a stop for suspected drunk driving, a driver will likely be asked submit to a series of tests administered by law enforcement in order to determine the potential impairment of a driver. A failed sobriety test can ultimately result in arrest and charges of drunk driving. As with any test subject to human error, it is possible that these test results may be incorrect.

Repeated drunk driving charges in Tennesee topic of new bill

New legislation has been proposed in Tennessee with regard to the purchasing of alcohol after being convicted of DUI multiple times. The bill was introduced in February by Representative John Holsclaw. He stated that he hopes a new law will help reduce the number of repeated drunk driving offenses in the state.

Failed sobriety test leads to DUI arrest and other charges

A Tennessee man was arrested after a law enforcement officer pulled him over for making an illegal turn on Interstate 40. Upon approaching the vehicle and speaking with the driver, the officer reports that the man had blood-shot eyes and was displaying behavior that is often associated with intoxicated driving. After a failed sobriety test, the driver was arrested. 

Woman faces severe punishments in vehicular assault case

Tennessee readers may be aware of a case that has garnered a great deal of media attention in recent days. A woman from Blount County has been arrested after an incident in which two parked cars and a pedestrian were struck. Authorities allege that the woman fled the scene of the accident and was eventually discovered attempting to hide in a nearby doghouse. She now faces a range of punishments in the matter and has been charged with multiple crimes.

Prolonged Detention to Await Backup Was Reasonable

A detention by a police officer accomplished by a show of authority (as opposed to simply a consensual encounter) requires only reasonable suspicion that the detained person has committed or is about to commit a crime. However, the duration of the detention should also be no more than reasonably necessary for its purpose. The Tennessee Supreme Court, in the recent case of State v. Montgomery, M2013-01149-SC-R11-CD (Tenn. 3-27-2015), reversing a previous ruling by the trial court and the Court of Criminal Appeals, has determined that a ten to fifteen wait for backup in a DUI investigation was not unreasonable.

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