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Posted by: Landry Butler on Apr 5, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Senior Counsel; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Matthew Gilbert, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Dawn Deaner, District Public Defender; Jeffrey A. DeVasher, Assistant District Public Defender (on appeal); Jared Mollenkof, Assistant District Public Defender (at hearing), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Helkie Nathan Carter.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

Helkie Nathan Carter (“the Defendant”) was indicted for the following counts: (1) driving under the influence (“DUI”)—third offense; (2) driving with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) of .08 or more (“DUI per se”)—third offense; (3) violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender statute; and (4) driving on a revoked license. The Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during a mandatory blood draw was granted by the trial court. The State sought and was granted permission to appeal, arguing that the Defendant gave both actual and implied consent to the blood draw and that, if the good-faith exception is adopted in Tennessee, it should apply to this case. Upon review, we concluded that the Defendant's actual consent was not freely and voluntarily given; that Tennessee's implied consent law did not, by itself, operate as an exception to the warrant requirement; and that the Tennessee Supreme Court had yet to recognize a good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule and it was not the role of this court to do so. State v. Helkie Nathan Carter, No. M2015-00280-CCA-R9-CD, 2016 WL 3044216, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. May 20, 2016). Accordingly, we affirmed the trial court's granting of the Defendant's motion to suppress. Id. On March 8, 2017, the Tennessee Supreme Court granted the State's application for permission to appeal and remanded the case to this court for reconsideration in light of the supreme court's recent opinion in State v. Reynolds, 504 S.W.3d 283 (Tenn. 2016). Upon reconsideration in light of Reynolds, we conclude that the good-faith exception to exclusionary rule applies in this case and that suppression of evidence derived from the testing of the Defendant's blood was not required. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court suppressing the results of the warrantless blood draw is reversed, and the case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.