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Details matter in all Tennessee criminal cases

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2020 | dui

No one wants to deal with a criminal charge for DUI, and especially in the state of Tennessee. State courts consider all cases of impaired driving as very serious legal matters, including when the cited defendant is a police officer themselves. This is actually the situation in one Tennessee town where a former police officer was involved in a motorcycle accident after losing control of his Harley Davidson in 2019 while supposedly riding under the influence. And the case was even further complicated when the officer refused to take a field sobriety test or a BAC analysis, instead opting for a blood test after being ordered to do so by the local district judge.

However, the tide turned when the case actually went to preliminary hearing when the defendant officer’s legal counsel uncovered a technicality in the prosecution. There were actually two of them. The officer had been charged with an implied consent violation along with a handgun charge, no proof of insurance, and a DUI. His attorney pointed out that he did indeed take the blood test because the state was using it as the only documentation in prosecution other than arresting officer testimony. The defense counsel then pointed out that the order was actually invalid because the judge never actually signed it.

The charges involving implied consent were summarily dismissed for a lack of material evidence. But the judge was not satisfied when being forced to dismiss the case, and instead issued “set aside” orders continuing the case for further review and evaluation. This effectively resumed the investigation even though the state admittedly stated they had no admissible documented evidence to continue with the prosecution. Instead, they moved forward with officer testimony only.

This case is a primary example of how details can impact the outcome of a prosecution. While they may have evidence that the suspect was indeed impaired, they still did not meet the standard of official documentation in prosecuting the case. Pointing out these types of issues in a case proceeding is one the basic reasons why it is always necessary to have aggressive DUI attorney representation in Tennessee when facing impaired driving charges.