Month: September 2011
Sometimes Color Matters in Search Warrants
Search warrants must specifically describe what property is authorized to be searched. Ambiguity can render the warrant invalid. In the recent case of State v. Spivey, W2010-01853-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-19-2011), a search warrant described a home with tan siding at a particular address. The search revealed crack cocaine, a digital scale, and a handgun. The problem was that
Defense Wins a Vehicle Search and Seizure Case
In the recent search and seizure case of State v. Donaldson, M2010-0069-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-15-2011), the State of Tennessee, appealing a trial court ruling excluding evidence, asserted that a police officer has unrestricted authority to order a motorist to exit a vehicle at any point during a valid traffic stop. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals disagrees.
State Loses Appeal on Double Jeopardy Issue
A person who violates a court order of protection in Tennessee may be prosecuted under criminal contempt provisions or under a criminal statute criminalizing violations of orders of protection. However, charging both criminal contempt and violation of the criminal statute may be double jeopardy, depending on the circumstances of the case. Though the Tennessee Attorney