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The Supreme Court in the case of Riley v. California held that police must obtain a warrant before going through people’s cellphones. In a unanimous decision, this ruling is at the soul of privacy rights and marks a win for more American privacy in the ever changing technology era.

This ruling arose from two different cases Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie. In both cases police seized the defendant’s cell phone, incident to arrest, looked through it for information and that incriminating information found was used against the defendants in court.

The Police argued that searching through data on cellphones was no different from asking someone to turn out his pockets, but the justices rejected that, saying a cellphone holds the most personal and intimate details of someone’s life and falls squarely within the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections.

The Supreme Court went on to say, “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the unanimous opinion. “Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple – get a warrant.”

SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) went even further to say law enforcement cannot check a cellphone’s call log because it could contain more information than phone numbers, and examining the call log is a violation of privacy that can be justified only with a court-issued warrant.

If a warrantless search was conducted on you or a family member leading to a criminal charge please contact MDH & Associates for a free consultation 615-308-5405. It’s good to know your rights!
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WE HAVE MOVED!!!

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The law office of M. Don Himmelberg & Associates has moved to a new location. We are now located inside the Higgins Firm on 525 4th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee. Same great people, now in a great new building a couple blocks from our previous location.

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Our location may have changed, but our consultations are always free! Please don’t hesitate to call 615-353-0930 or 615-308-5405.
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Suppression of Evidence for a criminal defense attorney is pivotal in some major cases. Evidence that the District Attorney has obtained such as a search warrant, wiretap, video, and photos all can be challenged for its admissibility. Evidence is suppressed when a judge decides that the evidence in question was illegally obtained. This is known as the “exclusionary rule.”

Tennessee Code 50-4-108; states the following for suppression of evidence,

(a) Any person aggrieved by an unlawful inspection of premises named in an administrative inspection warrant may in any judicial or administrative proceeding move to suppress any evidence or information received, or moves for the return of any item seized, by the agency pursuant to the inspection.

Sex offender registration violations in Tennessee have been elevated from misdemeanor to a Class E felony. If you fail to comply with any of these regulations, you may find yourself facing time behind bars a. Please don’t hesitate to contact Attorney Don Himmelberg if you or anyone you know would like more information about sex registry violations, or to setup your free consultation.
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New Law on K2 and other Synthetic Drugs

Tennessee has started to crack down on K2 and other synthetic drugs that were commonly sold over the counter at tobacco and convenience stores state-wide. As of July 1, 2012 the amended law makes it illegal to possess, produce, or distribute any forms of these synthetic drugs. Tennessee legislature has made it a felony to produce any form of K2, synthetic marijuana, bath salts or other designer drugs for production, manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to produce, or distributes the synthetic cannabinoids. Also, the bill states that stores selling these synthetic drugs can be padlocked as public nuisances. As enacted, it is Class E felony for manufacturing or selling an imitation controlled substance and the Class A misdemeanor for ingesting an imitation controlled substance and possessing an imitation controlled substance for the purpose of ingesting it. A Class E Felony is a serious offense and carries jail time along with up to a $5,000.00 fine. Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by 11 months 29 days in jail and up to a $2,500.00 fine. If you or anyone you know have been charged with possessing, producing, or distributing these synthetic drugs please contact Attorney Don Himmelberg.

Commonly known names of synthetic drugs: Nightmare Herbal Incense, Purple Diesel, Bang Bang, Cloud 9 Mad Hatter, Skywalker Herbal Potpourri XXXX-tra Intense Blend, Charlie Edition, Diablo, 7H Kush, 7H Hydro and K4 Lou.

Call and schedule your free consultation!
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In Tennessee and in many other states across the country when drivers get behind the wheel when they have been drinking or doing drugs, they endanger not only themselves but the other drivers on the road as well. A certain law known as the implied consent law means that when a driver operates a vehicle in a state with this law, they have given implied consent to be subject to a chemical test if they have been driving under the influence. If you have questions about how this law applies to your case and just want to know more, then you should speak to a Tennessee DUI lawyer right away. They will help answer any questions you may have about this law and whether or not it applies to your case.

According to National DUI laws, it is believed that revoking an offender’s driving privileges keeps the offender from driving and that it is effective. However, many times revoking a person’s driving privileges only means that the person can no longer drive legally. As a result of this, many states, including Tennessee have started license suspension programs for failing a chemical test and for refusing to take a test.

This implied consent law though may be in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment to Constitution because the Fourth Amendment says that, the right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,” and the Fifth Amendment says that, no person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” However, some states, including Tennessee, have made refusing to take a blood test a misdemeanor because the privilege of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments only protects an offender from being compelled to testify against themselves or provide the state with evidence and the blood test and analysis of it in a DUI case does not involve compulsion according to these Amendments.
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This week marks the tenth annual Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee, and law enforcement officers throughout the state will be out in full force as you make your way to the show in Manchester this weekend.

 

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This week marks the seventh annual Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee, and law enforcement officers throughout the state will be out in full force as you make your way to the show in Manchester this weekend.

 

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Be wary of law enforcement officers requesting to search your vehicles as you make your way to the show. They may bring out their K-9 units (drug sniffing dogs) to walk around your car as well. These dogs are typically trained to sniff out drugs such as marijuana (marihuana), cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. If a dog is called to sniff around your car, you need to pay attention to the particular actions of the dog. Make sure to record the amount of time you are held by the officer before the dog is brought to your car as well.

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In 2005, the State of Tennessee passed a law requiring persons to pay an excise tax on illegal substances. The Tennessee unauthorized substance tax, or “drug tax” or “crack tax”, applies to controlled substances like marijuana and cocaine, and also illicit alcoholic beverages like moonshine. It allows someone to anonymously purchase stamps in person from the Department of Revenue based on the type and amount of the substance ($3.50 for a gram of marijuana, $50 for a gram of cocaine, etc.) with the understanding that doing so cannot be used against them in a criminal court. Possessing drugs is still illegal – the tax works completely outside the criminal justice system. A stamp cannot provide immunity from criminal prosecution, and a conviction of possession isn’t required for the Department of Revenue to assess the penalties.

Opponents to the tax say allowing authorities to levy illegal drugs allows officials to bully people not convicted of crimes into paying thousands of dollars. The opponents of the Tennessee Illegal Substance Tax, and there are many, include a wide variety of groups.

In July, 2006, Chancellor Richard Dinkins ruled that the tax was unconstitutional stating that the tax violates an individual’s right against self-incrimination and to due process.

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Despite this fact, the Tennessee Department of Revenue continues to attempt to collect these taxes. One of the biggest targets for these tax collectors are Bonnaroo concert goers.
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