The Tennessee Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision today in favor of attorney Ben Raybin’s client, who had been charged with a drug offense.
In the case, law enforcement surrounded Ben’s client home while looking for a wanted suspect. She finally came out at gunpoint and eventually agreed to let the officers search her home. Although they did not find the suspect, they did find drugs.
On appeal, Ben argued on behalf of his client that the “consent” was involuntary due to the extreme and coercive tactics used by the officers. After the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction, Ben first obtained review from the Tennessee Supreme Court, which accepts less than 10% of cases.
Last September, Ben had an oral argument with the Supreme Court in a Zoom hearing that is available to watch on YouTube.
After deliberations, the Supreme Court has now issued its decision concluding that the consent was not voluntary, so all of the evidence found in the house must be suppressed. As a result, the conviction has been overturned, and Ben’s client may have the case expunged from her record.