Juvenile courts in Tennessee have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear matters concerning the dependency and neglect of children. These can be brought by private parties, or by the State filing a petition. These are typically the result of an investigation by the Department of Children's Services ("DCS") upon a referall by private actors, medical institutions, or law enforcement. The recent case of In Re Antoine J., et al., highlights the issues involved when abuse or neglect is committed by the romantic partner of the parent.
In the recent 2019 case of State v. McElrath, the Tennessee Supreme Court adopted a good-faith exception to the requirement of a warrant when police officers make mistakes that are the result of negligence and not reckless disregard or a systemic error. Any evidence obtained under this exception will not be suppressed in court. So what does this mean?
If you are a parent looking to collect back child support but do not have a court order currently in place, you should act quickly.
In Tennessee, if you are in possession over a certain amount of marijuana, you will likely be charged with felony. You can also be charged if you possess less than the threshold amount, but other circumstances are present that indicate the manufacture of or intention to sell marijuana--such as plants, scales, and baggies.
There is a misconception that the U.S. Constitution applies only to U.S. citizens. Some passages and phrases in our laws explicitly state only "citizens" are afforded certain rights, such as the right to vote. When the terms "resident" or "person" is used instead of citizen, the rights and privileges afforded are extended to protect citizens and non-citizens alike. Moreover, protections under the 14th Amendment ensure that no particular group is discriminated against unlawfully.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") no longer prioritizes who they go after when seeking the removal of a non-citizen from the United States. Previously, there had been levels of priority, establishing a system that tried to ensure the limited and valuable government resources available were used to target criminals and terrorists first, before going after long-time undocumented immigrants with family ties and no criminal history. That is no longer the case.
Tennessee DUI laws provide mandatory minimum sentences, and sentence enhancement factors, for those who are convicted. A DUI first offense carries a minimum sentence of 48 hours in jail and a $350.00 fine, among other things. This minimum sentence however can be increased in several ways. For example, if your blood alcohol level is 0.20% or higher, the minimum sentence is raised to 7 days, even on a first offense. For those charged with DUI with a minor in the vehicle, the minimum jail time is substantially increased to 30 days. Read on to understand the different sentence enhancements and criminal charges that can be brought against you.
New protections are in effect for domestic violence victims in Tennessee under a newly enacted law.
Due process allows an individual in the federal sphere to exercise his or her legal rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution and laws enacted by Congress. In immigration court, it allows one to contest the proposed deportation by appearing before a judge.
A federal judge ruled that the state of Tennessee cannot revoke driver licenses for those who cannot afford to pay their court costs, and must reinstate those previously revoked. The State has appealed the decision.