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Criminal Law Archives

Things to know when planning to claim self-defense

If being convicted of a charge such as assault or domestic violence, it is always a viable option that in committing the act, you were doing so in defense of personal safety. This is universally accepted as a valid reason for acting violently, as long as your actions were appropriate given the situation.

New state law creates more bills in Tennessee

Last week, a local judge based in Hamilton County, Tennessee, questioned a new state law brought into effect by the Tennessee Attorney General's office. He said the new state law forces him to bill for orders of protection; however, in many cases, these are laws of protection that people don't want.

What are plea bargains?

Around 90 percent of all criminal cases in the U.S. involve plea bargains. This is notable because many countries in the world do not allow plea bargains since those countries consider them unethical.

What incentives exist for false domestic violence allegations?

Many domestic violence allegations are true, but there certainly is the possibility that the accusations are false. While accusations need to be taken seriously, it's important to remember that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty -- and not the other way around.

Miranda rights protection depends on invoking them right

Some months back we reminded readers about the rights suspects have when questioned by authorities. Understanding basic Miranda Rights is considered so critical that police in Tennessee and every other state are required by law to inform those they arrest about them. You have the right to remain silent and to know that anything you do say could be used against you in court. Also, you have a right to call an attorney before answering questions.

Underage and charged with public intoxication: What can happen?

Who reading this right now ever took a drink of alcohol before they were old enough? Underage nipping is not a rarity in Tennessee or any other state. Every state outlaws it, though some states provide some exceptions depending on location or whether parents or guardians give their consent. In Tennessee, though, there are no exceptions.

The problem with eyewitness identifications

Long-time fans of "Law and Order" will know the character Det. Lennie Briscoe, portrayed by actor Jerry Orbach. Many's the time he had confrontations with superiors and attorneys as he worked to build his case. He often would say, "Yeah, but we got an eyewitness," as if that was some sort of trump card.

How does Tennessee view identity theft?

When you think of thieves in the night, the image that probably comes to mind is a burglar who breaks into your home and makes off with a few material items. The take might consist of computers, televisions, loose jewelry, silverware, or maybe a handgun. In Tennessee, the estimated total value of all the goods determines what the possible theft charge will be – a misdemeanor or felony.

In the digital age, your car could squeal on you

A few weeks back, we observed how the move into the "smart" world presents some risks to our personal privacy. The story shared was about how police in a neighbor state of Tennessee are working to mine data from one of the growing number of computerized devices that make up the so-called internet of things as part of efforts to build a case against a murder suspect.


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