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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 7, 2015

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Herbert Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; and John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

G. Michael Davis, University of Tennessee Legal Clinic Attorney; Wade V. Davies and Valorie K. Vojdik, Supervising Attorneys, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Latickia Tashay Burgins.

Judge(s): LEE

We granted review in this case to determine whether Tennessee?s bail revocation statute, Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-11-141(b), is constitutional, and if so, to establish the procedure to be followed in bail revocation proceedings. A Knox County grand jury returned a presentment against the defendant for simple possession of marijuana. The defendant posted bond and was released. Subsequently, a Knox County grand jury issued a nineteen-count presentment against the defendant, charging her with multiple crimes, including attempted first degree murder, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, attempted especially aggravated robbery, attempted carjacking, and aggravated assault. The trial court, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-11-141(b), granted the State?s motion to revoke the defendant?s bail. The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed, holding that the statute violated article I, section 15 of the Tennessee Constitution. We hold that the Tennessee Constitution guarantees a defendant the right to pretrial release on bail, but this right is not absolute. A defendant may forfeit her right to bail by subsequent criminal conduct. Before pretrial bail can be revoked, the defendant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing. We remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.