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Chattanooga Criminal Law Blog

Grandmother facing drug and weapons charges

A Tennessee grandmother who was babysitting two toddlers is facing felony drug and weapons charges stemming from a July 26 drug raid according to a report from the Memphis Police Department. The 52-year-old Barton Heights woman was taken into custody shortly after officers arrived at her East Rollins Road residence to serve a drug warrant. A records check is said to have revealed that the woman entered a plea agreement in 2013 after being charged with cocaine possession.

Police say that drugs and money were hidden all over the house. Stolen handguns were allegedly found in a nightstand and shoe box, and a search of the kitchen is said to have led to the discovery of opiate pills in a purse and an unidentified yellow powder in a jar. Officers also say that they recovered 24 bags of marijuana, three sets of digital scales and more than $2,000 in cash. Police believe that the money was earned by selling drugs.

Defending yourself against a Tennessee shoplifting charge

Being accused of shoplifting can be a very upsetting and stressful situation to be in, and it can also be a difficult situation to navigate. If you believe that you were not guilty of the crime of shoplifting, it is important to know how to defend yourself.

In learning what your possible defenses are, it is important to know about how the law works when it comes to the definition of the crime of shoplifting. By doing this, it will become easier to see how you can make a convincing argument that will convince the courts of your innocence.

Drug policy reform could improve health outcomes

Racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system are concerning to many in Tennessee and across the country. This kind of inequality not only reflects bias in police and prosecution behavior but also can have long-lasting effects in other areas of society. By reforming the criminal penalties for drug possession charges, health outcomes could be improved and inequalities decreased, according to researchers.

When drug charges lead to felony convictions, they can have an impact on a person's ability to access many spheres of life, from immigration status to public housing to student loans. The subsequent effects can contribute substantially to social and economic inequality, especially when there is a strong racial or ethnic disparity in the use of felony drug charges. Social and economic factors play a major role in achieving positive health outcomes, noted the researchers. They urged that drug possession felonies be reclassified as misdemeanors in order to stem the tide of negative economic repercussions that can be reflected throughout a larger community.

State wins case involving warrant error

A woman who had been taken into custody in a DUI case in Tennessee had her blood drawn after a judge granted a warrant to do so. However, the defendant in the case had not been given a copy of that warrant. Therefore, a trial court ordered evidence related to the blood draw to be suppressed. This ruling was affirmed by an appeals court before the case went before the Tennessee Supreme Court.

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that a good faith exception clause applied in the case as the blood draw was performed in an otherwise constitutional manner. It also said that the Exclusionary Rule Reform Act violated the Tennessee Constitution. In making its ruling, it also provided guidance as to how it should suppress evidence under the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure.

2 men arrested in Sweetwater drug bust

Two Tennessee men are facing drug charges after police raided a home in Sweetwater on July 7. The defendants are accused of having methamphetamine and marijuana in their possession.

According to media reports, narcotics officers from the Sweetwater Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at the house of a male Sweetwater resident. Upon entering the home, officers located the resident named in the warrant, age 33, and two other men in a bedroom. The resident allegedly had three bags of suspected marijuana, an unnamed quantity of loose marijuana, digital scales, drug paraphernalia and cash sitting near him in the room. Officers also allegedly found suspected methamphetamine in a green container and additional cash in the resident's wallet. Marks on some of the cash showed it came from Monroe County's drug fund.

Stolen rental car leads to drug bust

Two men are facing drug charges after they allegedly tried to return a stolen vehicle to a car rental company at a Tennessee airport. One of the defendants had multiple outstanding arrest warrants.

According to an affidavit, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department learned about the defendants when it was contacted by employees from the Thrifty Car Rental branch at the Nashville International Airport. Apparently, the pair had returned a stolen car and taken another vehicle out in its place. Officers executed a traffic stop on the vehicle and found the two defendants inside. The passenger had diazepam pills and 4 grams of suspected methamphetamine in his possession. He also had several outstanding warrants for his arrest in Kentucky. Officers asked the driver for permission to search the vehicle, but he allegedly declined. A K9 officer was brought to the scene, and the dog signaled the presence of drugs. Police then searched the vehicle and allegedly uncovered 21 grams of methamphetamine, 30 small baggies, six needles, a glass pipe and burglary tools.

16 people facing meth distribution charges

On June 12, 16 people, most of whom are Tennessee residents, were indicted on drug-related charges. This followed an investigation that lasted several months into methamphetamine trafficking in the northeast part of the state. Several federal and local law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation. Among those that participated were the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspector, the Third Judicial Drug Task Force and several sheriffs' departments.

The people indicted ranged in age from 25 to 48. All were charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 or more grams of meth. A number of the individuals are also facing additional charges such as possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime and money laundering.

Drunk driving: Avoid a conviction with these tips

You wanted to have a good time out with coworkers, and you planned to stay sober that night. After a while, your thoughts changed. You thought you could get away with a single drink here and there and still have the ability to get home safely.

Around a block from your home, you saw an officer turn on his lights and head your way. He said your rear tail light wasn't working, but then noticed that you smelled of alcohol. He asked you to take a field-sobriety test and to take a breath test, where you failed at the .08 percent limit.

Man charged with selling drugs while pushing baby stroller

One Tennessee man was arrested near a school in Nashville in June as he pushed a baby in a stroller. The 21-year-old man was outside an elementary school when, police say, he was found to be selling cocaine and carrying a gun. Police say that the gun was stolen property as well.

The man is now facing drug charges, including possession or casual exchange of a controlled substance, possession of cocaine in a drug-free school zone and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is also accused of aggravated child endangerment and gun possession with the intent to commit a felony.

Police step up arrests on drug charges

Over 30 people were arrested on drug charges by a number of police agencies, including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Riply Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In a series of arrests in mid-June, people throughout the Ripley area were targeted for arrest. On June 7, 19 people were arrested in the early hours of the morning, and 4 were already in police custody. Police said on June 11 that they were still seeking another 8 people as part of their investigation.

The police agencies said that over the past year, they had engaged in an intensive drug investigation that included the purchase and sale of illegal drugs. Among the drugs involved in the local trade were crack cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription pills. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation stated that its operation was focused on drug sales in both large and small quantities, saying that drug dealing had been detrimental to the rural areas of the state. In addition, police officials said that heavy prosecution of drug crimes was a local priority.

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