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Tag Archives: traffic stop

Tennessee Increases Jail Time for DUI Offenders with Six or More Convictions

Tennessee is again increasing penalties for multiple DUI offenders.[1] The 2016 Tennessee General Assembly amended Tennessee Code Annotated §55-10-402 to penalize more severely those who are convicted with six or more DUI convictions. This change applies to anyone committing an offense on or after July 1, 2016. As the law currently stands, a conviction for a 4th or subsequent DUI offense is a Class E Felony, which has a punishment range of 1-6 years. Accordingly, the law does not change ... Read More »

Citizen’s Arrest or Vigilante Justice?

A recent decision by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed that a private citizen may conduct a traffic stop on another private citizen. State v. Wilburn, (Tenn. Crim. App. 2015), was brought to the court’s attention on a certified question of law regarding the denial of the Defendant’s motion to suppress (make inadmissible) all evidence collected against him due to an unconstitutional traffic stop. The Wilburn case involved a driver being pulled over and eventually arrested by a ... Read More »

Why do I have to pay Virginia a “License Reinstatement Fee”?

Why do I have to pay a !@#$%^&* Virginia “License Reinstatement Fee” when I don’t even have a Virginia License? We’ve had a ton of these questions lately. Usually at least a couple of the caller’s favorite expletives are inserted as they rehearse all the costs they have already paid for a Virginia DWI: court fines & fees, ASAP & treatment fees, FR-44 insurance fees, and possibly even reimbursement of arrest costs to the city or county that arrested them ... Read More »

SCRAM:  Before and After a DWI Conviction in Virginia?

SCRAM – the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor – is becoming more popular in Virginia courts both before and after trial.  SCRAM is an alcohol tester that straps on to your lower leg.  It typically consists of two black boxes secured by a locking strap. The most common use of SCRAM continues to be as a condition of bond. If you want out of jail before trial – you have to wear SCRAM. While a number of judges across Virginia require ... Read More »

Ignorance of the Law is an Excuse

On December 15, 2014, the United States Supreme Court handed down a monumental case in the world of criminal justice. The U.S. Supreme Court declared in Heien v. North Carolina that ignorance of the law for a police officer is indeed an excuse justifying an otherwise invalid traffic stop. On April 29, 2009 shortly before 8:00 am, Sergeant Matt Darisse of the Surry County Sheriff’s Department pulled over Nicholas Heien on Highway 77 for having a brake light out. This ... Read More »

The DWI Exception to the Constitution is Alive & Well

There is no actual DWI exception to our Constitutional rights; however, DWI Attorney Lawrence Taylor popularized the term to describe numerous Supreme Court rulings that act as if there were. (See http://dwimanual.com/our-attorneys/what-motivates-us/ for more.) A number of DWI Attorneys have written excellent blogs about the Navarette case – but a previous Virginia case that was before the Supreme Court showed once again that the DWI Exception to the Constitution is alive and well. Harris v. Commonwealth of Virginia shared a ... Read More »

DUIs are Forever . . . in Virginia

Among the Top 10 Questions that I am asked:  “How long will a DUI be on my record?” Virginia makes the answer easy:  DUIs are forever. Virginia has no provision to erase or expunge any misdemeanor or felony conviction no matter how much time has passed.  It is true that a first or second DUI (both misdemeanors) will only “count” against you as a previous DUI for 10 years, but as of July of 2013 felony DUIs now count against ... Read More »

Loss of Concealed Carry for DWIs in Virginia

While the concealed carry law was NOT changed in Virginia this year, the very long concealed carry section was reorganized into a number of smaller sections.  The result:  courts are increasingly requiring defendants convicted of DWI to relinquish their concealed carry permits. And this is for people that were NOT carrying while DWI.  The penalty for concealed carry while intoxicated is another Class 1 misdemeanor with up to a $2500 fine and a year in jail.  Your weapon will also usually be confiscated ... Read More »

Paying Police to Arrest You! A growing trend in Virginia.

You decide to go it alone – skip hiring a DWI defense attorney – and you get convicted of a DWI.  You pay a $250 fine that becomes almost $500 with court costs.  You pay a $300 entry fee for the Alcohol Safety and Action Program and even more for treatment and classes.  You pay $600 to $800 for ignition interlock so that you can begin to drive again.  You pay a DMV reinstatement fee.                 You file for FR44 ... Read More »

McNeely and Forced Blood Draws in Virginia

Under the implied consent law in Virginia, you are required to give a breath or blood test if an officer arrests you for driving under the influence. If you’ve been in an accident and end up at a hospital, the officer will usually ask for a blood test. You have the power to refuse, but will then face a separate refusal charge with additional penalties. The officer then has a choice to obtain a warrant for a forced blood test, ... Read More »