Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Hanson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

March 2, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
WILLIAM WAYLON HANSON

          Assigned on Briefs May 10, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Marshall County No. 2015-CR-97 Forest A. Durard, Jr., Judge

         A Marshall County Circuit Court Jury convicted the Appellant, William Waylon Hanson, of violating an order declaring him to be a motor vehicle habitual offender, failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility, and passing another vehicle in a no passing zone. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the trial court erred by granting the State's motion in limine to prohibit the Appellant from collaterally attacking the order declaring him to be a motor vehicle habitual offender, by limiting the defense's closing argument, and by admitting the Appellant's driving record into evidence through an employee of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit Court Affirmed

          M. Wesley Hall IV, Unionville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Brian M. Griffith, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the Appellant, William Waylon Hanson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard and Drew Wright, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Norma McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          NORMAMCGEEOGLE, JUDGE

         I. Factual Background

         The Appellant was indicted for violating an order declaring him to be a motor vehicle habitual offender (MVHO), a Class E felony; failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility, a Class C misdemeanor; and passing another vehicle in a no passing zone, a Class C misdemeanor. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 55-10-616; 55-12-139; 55-8-121.

         On September 11, 2015, the State filed a motion in limine asking the trial court to prohibit the Appellant from collaterally attacking the validity of the MVHO order. Citing State v. William Tony Wright, No. M2001-01418-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 1336655 (Tenn. Crim. App. at Nashville, June 19, 2002), the State contended that any argument or testimony suggesting the Appellant had no notice of the MVHO order was misleading because the Appellant had been convicted of violating the MVHO order on three prior occasions; therefore, such argument or testimony was inadmissible.

         On September 30, 2015, immediately prior to trial, the trial court granted the State's motion. Defense counsel informed the trial court that he did not plan to collaterally attack the MVHO order. Instead, the defense strategy was to show that the State did not introduce proof the Appellant had notice of the MVHO order and that, accordingly, the State could not prove the Appellant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violated the MVHO order. The State then suggested that the easiest way to establish the Appellant's awareness of the MVHO order was to introduce proof of the Appellant's prior convictions of violating the order. Defense counsel responded that the State could prove the Appellant had notice of the order without informing the jury that the Appellant had prior convictions of the same crime, which were "more prejudicial than probative." The trial court warned that if the Appellant proceeded with the argument he did not have notice of the MVHO order, it would allow the State to rebut the claim by introducing "documents regarding service of process and awareness of court dates." The State again noted the Appellant's three prior convictions of violating the MVHO order and argued that because of those convictions, the Appellant was prohibited from asserting he had no notice of the order according to case law. The trial court agreed that the State could not "try the case with its hands behind its back like that, " and reiterated its warning that if defense counsel raised the issue of notice, it would allow the State to rebut the defense's claims. Nevertheless, the trial court stated that it would not allow the State to introduce proof of the prior convictions until the Appellant "opens that door."

         At trial, Chapel Hill Police Officer Andrew Kon testified that at 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, he was driving his marked patrol car north on Highway 31-A in the area of Henry Horton Park when he saw a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo that was traveling southbound pass a blue Ford Expedition. Officer Kon saw the headlights of the Monte Carlo two or three hundred yards in front of his car "coming toward" him. Officer Kon said that although it was dark, the double yellow line indicating it was a no passing zone was clearly visible. Officer Kon made a U-turn and activated his patrol car's blue lights to initiate a traffic stop.

          The red Monte Carlo stopped in a Dollar General Store parking lot. Officer Kon parked and approached the Appellant, who was the driver. Officer Kon advised the Appellant that he had been stopped for passing another vehicle in a no passing zone. He asked for the Appellant's driver's license, automobile registration, and proof of insurance, but the Appellant did not produce the documents. Officer Kon requested the Appellant's name and date of birth, then he conveyed the information he obtained to the police dispatcher. After receiving a response from the dispatcher, Officer Kon arrested the Appellant for driving on a revoked license, violating a MVHO order, failing to provide proof of financial responsibility, and improper passing. Officer Kon recalled that other vehicles were on the roadway when the Appellant passed the Expedition.

         On cross-examination, Officer Kon acknowledged that the Appellant did not cause an accident and that no one was injured.

         Nicholas Kiefer testified that he was a deputy clerk in the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk's Office and that he was a "keeper of the records." From the Appellant's file, Kiefer identified a certified copy of an "Order to Appear . . . in an habitual offender matter." Kiefer explained that according to the order, the Appellant was ordered "to appear before the criminal court on the 19th of January, 2005, to show cause why he should not be declared an habitual traffic offender." Kiefer said that on the second page of the order was a "certificate of service from the deputy sheriff."

         Kiefer identified another order by the Davidson County Criminal Court, which stated that the Appellant was declared to be an habitual traffic offender. The order, which was dated January 20, 2005, prohibited the Appellant from driving for three years and ordered that he surrender his license to the court. On the second page of the order was a signed certificate of service reflecting that a "true and exact copy" of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.