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Memphis Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Neighbors defend Tennessee Trooper arrested on domestic violence charge

When they report on arrests or indictments, it is rare for the news media to do more than echo what they are told by law enforcement officials. We saw a welcome departure from that approach recently when a TV station reported on the arrest of a Tennessee state trooper who has been charged with domestic violence.

Rather than simply regurgitate the official explanation for the arrest, the reporter talked to neighbors who know the trooper and were home when the 29-year-old lawman was arrested.

Tennessee cop fired for lying is now accused of excessive force

It happens every day: people see a news report about an arrest and automatically assume that the accused is guilty. In reality, police officers are human beings, too. They sometimes make mistakes, and in the worst cases, are sometimes dishonest and even violent when making arrests.

We read recently of a Tennessee police officer who was fired for lying and is now facing accusations in a federal civil rights lawsuit that he used excessive force when making an arrest for an alleged drug violation.

More than 140 new Tennessee laws are in effect

Tennessee ushered in more than 140 new laws a couple of days ago. A couple of attention-getting measures affect cell phone usage and a very particular form of drunk driving.

The new law likely to affect the greatest number of Tennesseans is the hands-free cell phone measure that aims to curb distracted driving. It is now a class C misdemeanor to hold your phone in your hand (or any other part of your body) while driving in the state. Fines for this new traffic offense start at $50.

When it is legal for law enforcement to search your vehicle?

Many people think of law enforcement officers as civil servants who uphold the letter of the law. Although that is true for some, others may have more questionable motives for some of the tactics they use. Specifically, law enforcement officers have a financial incentive to find evidence of drug crimes, especially if the individuals suspected of such crimes have substantial assets or cash on hand.

During a roadside traffic stop, officers may profile a driver and attempt to fabricate a reason to search their vehicle in the hope of finding contraband. If they do, they may be able to seize the cash that the individual has, as well as the vehicle, in some cases.

Memphis-area couple facing charges in drug overdose death case

Just a few minutes northeast of Memphis is where you’ll find Bartlett. The suburb is home to a couple who were recently arrested on drug-related charges, according to a recent news report.

Law enforcement officials say the couple recently sold an unspecified opioid to a McEwen, Tennessee, woman. The woman later overdoses on the opioids and died. The Humphrey County Sheriff said the drugs were then traced back to the Memphis-area couple.

Operation Spring Cleaning results in hundreds of Memphis arrests

The Memphis Police Department recently announced that it had completed a six-week “proactive enforcement detail” in the city. Dubbed “Operation Spring Cleaning,” it focused on three particular types of illegal activities, MPD said: possession of illegal drugs, illegal possession of firearms and violent crimes.

Operation Spring Cleaning began in late April and ended a few days ago. Law enforcement officers from the MPD’s Organized Crime Unit and TACT joined the Multi-Agency Gang Unit in making 190 felony arrests across Memphis. In addition, they reported making 129 misdemeanor arrests.

Tennessee man faces DUI charge and more after lawn tractor crash

It is about a 500-mile drive east of Memphis to get to Rogersville. It is the kind of modest Tennessee town in which a 60-year-old man could regularly drive around the city streets on a lawn tractor. The man usually pulled a small trailer behind the lawn tractor, often carrying a 58-year-old woman around on his excursions.

A few days ago, the local newspaper reported that the man was arrested for DUI after he reportedly crashed the lawn tractor while he was intoxicated. The woman was apparently thrown from the trailer and sustained a “massive” head injury.

Do these things if pulled over for suspicion of DUI

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous, which is why police are doing whatever they can to crack down on anyone who breaks the law.

Even if you're sober, a police officer may pull you over for suspicion of DUI. Regardless of the circumstances, sober or not, you must know the steps you can take to protect your legal rights and hopefully avoid an arrest.

  • Pull over right away: Once you see police lights in your rearview mirror, put on your hazard lights, slow down and move to the side of the road. Also, upon stopping, put your hands on the steering wheel and stay where you are.
  • Be respectful to the officer: You may be frustrated with the situation, but that doesn't mean you should act out. Acting respectful from the get-go is a must, as anything but this will raise suspicions.
  • Don't say too much: You should do your best to cooperate with the officer and comply with their requests, but this doesn't mean you have to answer every question. You have the right to remain silent if a question makes you uncomfortable.
  • Don't lie: Police officers have heard every story imaginable, so lying isn't likely to get you off the hook. In fact, it may make things worse, as the officer realizes you're trying to hide something.
  • Stay calm: If the officer puts you under arrest for suspicion of DUI, remain calm and follow direction. Also, don't say anything that could be used against you in the court of law.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes drug, weapons arrests

If you drive east of Memphis for about three hours, you will find yourself in sparsely populated Hardin County. Though less than 30,000 people live in the rural area, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies conducted an operation in which 28 people were arrested on drug and weapons charges.

Officers said reported confiscating illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, three firearms and a vehicle while executing search warrants and conducting traffic stops and parole compliance checks.

Tennessee police seize pounds of meth and heroin, arrest two

If you drive about 400 miles east of Memphis, you will arrive in Athens, Tennessee. The town of about 13,000 residents was recently the site of a law enforcement raid on a home that authorities believed was used to make illegal drug sales.

Two people in the home were arrested on drug charges, local law enforcement said. About $21,000 in drugs were seized after officers served a search warrant.

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Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law
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Memphis, TN 38103

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