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Your Survival Guide to DUI Roadblocks in Tennessee

Zack Lawson Attorney at Bone McAllester NortonZack Lawson Attorney at Bone McAllester NortonAfter the New Year’s Eve ball drops and the confetti falls, thousands of Tennesseans will file out of the establishment of their choice and pile into a vehicle. As you put 2017 in your rear view, don’t be surprised to see blue lights in front of you on your way home. Every year, law enforcement officers set up DUI roadblocks on New Year’s Eve. At these roadblocks, police will legally stop you without any cause or suspicion. Given the strict penalties for DUI offenses in Tennessee, the stakes are high.

Unless you like jail and hate money, keep the following in mind:

  1. Don’t be dumb—use your smartphone: As you leave your New Year’s Eve gathering, it will be 2018—act like it. Use your smartphone. If you have been drinking, catch a ride using the app of your choice. If that’s not an option, call a friend or a cab. It just simply isn’t worth the risk. The best way to avoid getting arrested at a DUI checkpoint is to not drive through a DUI checkpoint.

  2. Don’t be a hero—roll down your window: You’ve probably seen some videos online of people “owning” the police by “knowing their rights.” Often, these people have no idea what they’re talking about. Some of them refuse to roll down their window in an effort to “exercise their rights.” You have to roll down your window. If you don’t, you’ll likely have to buy a new window after your buddy bails you out of jail.

  3. Don’t try to get chummy: You have the right not to say anything at all. This doesn’t mean they can’t ask questions. If you want questioning to stop, you must unequivocally state that you are exercising your right to remain silent. If you choose to speak, don’t try to chum it up with the officer. Officers are trained professionals. They will be doing their job, and their job is to arrest people for DUI. The more you talk, the more likely they are to believe they smell alcohol on your breath and that your speech is slurred.

  4. Present requested documentation: As with any traffic stop, if you’re pulled over at a DUI roadblock, you are required to provide your license and registration. Probable cause is not a prerequisite to checking your ID. Pro tip: Before you reach for your glove box or console for these items, ask permission from the officer. This will signal to the officer that you intend to be cooperative while also keeping you safe.

  5. If requested, step out of the vehicle: A common misconception is that police must have probable cause before they can require you to step out of the vehicle. In reality, officers have wide discretion in taking safety precautions. This includes asking you step out of your vehicle. This does not mean you are under arrest.

  6. Refuse field tests: Although officers sometimes lead drivers to believe they will be free to go if they pass a field sobriety test, this is usually not the case. Typically, field sobriety tests are a no-win situation. They are designed to be confusing and to be failed. And passing a test will usually just result in more tests until you make enough mistakes to warrant an arrest. Plus, aside from breath, urine, and blood tests, there is no consequence to refusal.

  7. Refuse searches: Never consent to a search. Ever. Don’t be fooled by an officer’s friendly demeanor. There is nothing to be gained.

  8. Call a lawyer: Just because DUI roadblocks can be constitutional does not mean they are always constitutional. The roadblock must comply with certain criteria, and the officers must comply with a myriad of laws, rules, and procedures. If you are arrested, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your arrest was lawful and all your rights are protected.

Stay tuned for more information that digs deeper into each of these topics in addition to other subjects. If you have a question or you are arrested, call Zack Lawson directly at 615-238-6332 or reach him by twitter @Zack__Law.

Alex Little talks with FOX News on Clinton Email Probe

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Alex Little appeared Saturday, October 29th on FOX News talking to Neil Cavuto about the legal impact of the most recent Hillary Clinton email probe by the FBI. Little, a former prosecutor and a member of Bonelaw’s Criminal Defense and Government Investigations practice, said, “I think the entire statement is unprecedented, the letter, his subsequent email to the FBI is unprecedented. It’s entirely impossible to know what led Director Comey to do this without him saying more, I think he’s going to have to say more.”

https://youtu.be/-i0_khppIAs

Alex Little Discusses Murder Trial of Michael Dunn with Fox News

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Alex Little talked with Fox News anchor Jamie Colby this weekend about the continuation of jury deliberations in the Michael Dunn murder trial. Dunn was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder Saturday, but the jury was partially hung on the murder decision against him in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Citing self-defense, Dunn testified that the teenager threatened him and that he thought he saw a gun in the SUV Davis and his friends were driving.

“Self-defense cases are incredibly difficult because the instructions are complex, and I think jurors tend to think of themselves more in the place of the defendant in a self-defense case than in any other time...because you wonder what you would do in a similar situation. You’ve got 12 people in there, and you’ve got to convince all 12 beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn’t act in self-defense, and that can be very difficult to do,” he said.

To see the full interview, click here.

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 37 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

What To Do When the Feds Come Calling

By James Mackler

It is a harrowing yet increasingly common experience for healthcare providers to find themselves face-to-face with federal investigators. The U.S. Attorney’s office has announced that the investigation of healthcare fraud will continue to be one of its highest priorities. This means that you or your staff could literally have your relaxing evening at home interrupted by a knock on the door from a law enforcement agent. There are two key points to remember should you become the focus of an investigation: First, don’t talk to law enforcement agents without an attorney; second, preserve your documents but don’t alter them.

James Mackler is a member of Bone McAllester Norton’s Criminal Defense and Government Investigations group. He is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor at the firm. James has this very simple advice for the moment you are first confronted by an investigator: “Do not talk to anyone until you speak with your own attorney.” Although this advice is very easy to give, it can be difficult to follow. Most law-abiding citizens want to cooperate with the authorities. Moreover, people tend to assume that if they refuse to answer questions, it will look like they have something to hide. This could not be further from the truth. The fact is that investigators and prosecutors respect and, to some extent, admire people who can think clearly enough to assert their right to counsel.

This is not to suggest that you should forever refuse to assist in a law enforcement investigation. The point is you need to make sure that your rights are protected. Even if you are being interviewed as a witness, there is always a chance that, as the investigation develops, a prosecutor might begin to see you as an accomplice. If you have retained counsel, your lawyer may be able to protect you ahead of time from this possibility. Although you have every right to refuse to answer questions, it is a crime to impede an investigation or lie to authorities. An attorney can also help you navigate these treacherous waters.

You may be tempted to start reviewing billing or treatment records to make sure your files are in good order in case they are ever subpoenaed. While it is fine to review your records, be careful to neither create nor destroy documents in response to an inquiry from law enforcement agents. In today’s digital age, nothing ever goes away completely. The best approach is to preserve what you have without making any changes. It is much easier for a good attorney to deal with records that might portray you in a bad light than it is to deal with allegations of evidence tampering or obstruction.

You are also likely to begin trying to figure out what is really behind the questioning. The chances are that you will be given little or no information by the investigating agent. Furthermore, the agent does not have to be truthful or forthcoming with you. You might be a potential witness or, worse, a potential target. The investigation might be civil in nature, or it might be leading toward criminal prosecution. The reality is that these distinctions don’t really matter in terms of your response.

Now if a law enforcement official shows up at your door, you have the perfect reply to the question, “Do you mind answering a few questions?”

With all sincerity, you can say, “I have no problem speaking with you, but my attorney has told me never to answer questions without talking to him first. I will get back in touch with you.”

Alex Little Appears on Good Morning America

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Alex Little made an appearance on Good Morning America today, providing legal insight into a case involving a rapist in Montana who was released from prison after only 30 days and is set to be released today. The judge who handed down the sentence has since apologized for comments he made during the trial and tried to schedule a hearing to determine whether it can be increased by two years before the state supreme court stopped him.
“You don’t get do-overs in this way if you’re a judge,” Alex told reporter Anthony Castellano. The local district attorney has appealed the lenient sentence. “If the judgment at the end of that process is that he needs to serve more time, he’ll have to serve more time.”

Click here to see the full news story.

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 36 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Yarbrough and Little Join Bone McAllester Norton’s New Practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations

NASHVILLE – Charles W. Bone, founder and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, today announced that attorneys Ed Yarbrough and Alex Little have joined the firm. They, along with current firm member James Mackler, are creating a new practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations.

“Our new practice has been created to serve individuals and corporate clients facing criminal charges, investigations by federal and state authorities, regulatory enforcement actions, internal investigations and compliance audits,” Bone said. “Ed is a seasoned veteran and a champion of the courtroom, and Alex brings extensive knowledge of criminal law and technology. Together, with James Mackler, their experience and proficiency will be essential to the strength of our new division.”

Ed Yarbrough is a former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee appointed by President George W. Bush. He is an award-winning lawyer with more than 40 years of experience. He practices Criminal Defense and Government Investigations, Personal Injury Law and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

Mr. Yarbrough has tried more than 150 jury cases to verdict, including more than 40 homicide cases. He has served as both prosecuting attorney and defense attorney in matters involving white collar crime, wrongful death, personal injury, public corruption and a variety of criminal charges at the state and federal levels.

A former infantry lieutenant in the United Sates Army, Mr. Yarbrough’s desire to be on the front lines has served him well in his civil and criminal law practice. He has been recognized on numerous listings among the nation’s top lawyers, like SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers in America. He has been elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and received the first Criminal Justice Section Service Award from the Tennessee Bar Association in 2011.

Alex Little is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, where he prosecuted cases involving national security, white collar crime, drugs and violent crime. As a former prosecutor, he draws on extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts to aggressively represent clients facing investigations or defending against criminal charges.

During his time with the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Little developed a deep understanding of criminal law and technology, including the legal issues implicated by Title III wiretaps, GPS tracking, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), video surveillance and evidence obtained from social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Before his time as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Little worked on a broad range of foreign policy matters in the United States and abroad. He has served as a law clerk and consultant to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and as an adviser to former President Jimmy Carter in the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center. In those roles, he assisted in the development of the first indictments issued by the ICC for war crimes in Uganda, drafted intelligence briefings for senior U.S. policymakers and facilitated negotiations between governments and rebel groups in Africa.

Mr. Little also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School, instructing a course on “The Law of Secrets and Lies,” which covers everything from perjury, defamation and fraud to the Espionage Act, grand jury secrecy and the Fourth Amendment.

James Mackler, attorney with Bone McAllester Norton and a former Senior Trial Counsel in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, is a member of the newly created practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations.

The practice, made up of a former U.S. Attorney, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, and a former JAG Corps attorney, provides clients with the broad courtroom and trial experience of these attorneys, their first-hand knowledge of how state and federal agencies investigate cases and the reputation they have built as strong advocates of their clients' interests.

 

About Bone McAllester Norton PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 35 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 16 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit http://www.bonelaw.com.

Yarbrough and Little Join Bone McAllester Norton’s New Practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations

NASHVILLE – Charles W. Bone, founder and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, today announced that attorneys Ed Yarbrough and Alex Little have joined the firm. They, along with current firm member James Mackler, are creating a new practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations.

“Our new practice has been created to serve individuals and corporate clients facing criminal charges, investigations by federal and state authorities, regulatory enforcement actions, internal investigations and compliance audits,” Bone said. “Ed is a seasoned veteran and a champion of the courtroom, and Alex brings extensive knowledge of criminal law and technology. Together, with James Mackler, their experience and proficiency will be essential to the strength of our new division.”

Ed Yarbrough is a former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee appointed by President George W. Bush. He is an award-winning lawyer with more than 40 years of experience. He practices Criminal Defense and Government Investigations, Personal Injury Law and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

Mr. Yarbrough has tried more than 150 jury cases to verdict, including more than 40 homicide cases. He has served as both prosecuting attorney and defense attorney in matters involving white collar crime, wrongful death, personal injury, public corruption and a variety of criminal charges at the state and federal levels.

A former infantry lieutenant in the United Sates Army, Mr. Yarbrough’s desire to be on the front lines has served him well in his civil and criminal law practice. He has been recognized on numerous listings among the nation’s top lawyers, like SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers in America. He has been elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and received the first Criminal Justice Section Service Award from the Tennessee Bar Association in 2011.

Alex Little is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, where he prosecuted cases involving national security, white collar crime, drugs and violent crime. As a former prosecutor, he draws on extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts to aggressively represent clients facing investigations or defending against criminal charges.

During his time with the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Little developed a deep understanding of criminal law and technology, including the legal issues implicated by Title III wiretaps, GPS tracking, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), video surveillance and evidence obtained from social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Before his time as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Little worked on a broad range of foreign policy matters in the United States and abroad. He has served as a law clerk and consultant to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and as an adviser to former President Jimmy Carter in the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center. In those roles, he assisted in the development of the first indictments issued by the ICC for war crimes in Uganda, drafted intelligence briefings for senior U.S. policymakers and facilitated negotiations between governments and rebel groups in Africa.

Mr. Little also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School, instructing a course on “The Law of Secrets and Lies,” which covers everything from perjury, defamation and fraud to the Espionage Act, grand jury secrecy and the Fourth Amendment.

James Mackler, attorney with Bone McAllester Norton and a former Senior Trial Counsel in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, is a member of the newly created practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations.

The practice, made up of a former U.S. Attorney, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, and a former JAG Corps attorney, provides clients with the broad courtroom and trial experience of these attorneys, their first-hand knowledge of how state and federal agencies investigate cases and the reputation they have built as strong advocates of their clients' interests.

 
About Bone McAllester Norton PLLC
Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 35 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 16 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit http://www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler Speaks to Federal Public Defender Panel

Attorney James Mackler was one of several presenters invited to speak with the Federal Public Defender’s office and members of the Federal Public Defender Panel. The entire afternoon was devoted to military issues. James focused his presentation on the structure and operation of the military justice system and how it compares to the civilian system. The information was intended to give civilian lawyers a better understanding of their military clients.

James concentrates his practice in the areas of civil litigation, regulatory compliance, and criminal defense where he has fifteen years of experience defending and prosecuting criminal cases at the state, federal, and military level. He also leads the firm’s veteran and military law efforts, helping former military members transition to the civilian sector and representing soldiers and officers in disciplinary hearings. This includes helping them develop entrepreneurial strategies as well as ensuring that veterans receive the services they need and deserve.

 

New Faces, Wine in Grocery Stores and Payroll Tips for Employers

Our September 2012 newsletter includes a welcome message for Sean Kirk, an update on wine in grocery stores and payroll tips for employers.

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