“An Overview of Criminal Offenses under Tennessee Law”

John M. Scheb II
Department of Political Science
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

This document provides an overview of the substantive criminal law found in the Tennessee Code.  Tennessee’s criminal code was revised and thoroughly modernized in 1989.  The organization of this overview basically follows the categories of offenses found in Title 39 of the Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.): general offenses, offenses against the person, offenses against property, offenses against the family, offenses against the administration of government, and offenses against the public health, safety and welfare.  The overview also includes brief discussions of defenses recognized by Tennessee law and the statute of limitations.

Gradations of Criminal Offenses

Like all jurisdictions (federal and state), Tennessee distinguishes among offenses based on their seriousness.  These offenses range from minor misdemeanors to capital crimes.  The table below shows the gradations of criminal offenses under Tennessee law.  See T.C.A. § 40-35-111, “Authorized terms of imprisonment and fines for felonies and misdemeanors.”

Level of Offense

Punishment(s)

Capital Crime

Death; life imprisonment

Class A felony

Not less than fifteen (15) nor more than sixty (60) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), unless otherwise provided by statute

Class B felony

Not less than eight (8) nor more than thirty (30) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), unless otherwise provided by statute

Class C felony

Not less than three (3) years nor more than fifteen (15) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), unless otherwise provided by statute

Class D felony

Not less than two (2) years nor more than twelve (12) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless otherwise provided by statute

Class E felony

Not less than one (1) year nor more than six (6) years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000), unless otherwise provided by statute

Class A misdemeanor

not greater than eleven (11) months twenty-nine (29) days in jail or a fine not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute

Class B misdemeanor

not greater than six (6) months in jail or a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute

Class C misdemeanor

not greater than thirty (30) days in jail or a fine not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute

Note: Corporations convicted of crimes are subject to higher fines. T.C.A. § 40-35-111(c).

General Offenses

Inchoate Offenses.  Tennessee law recognizes the three classic “inchoate crimes” of attempt, solicitation and conspiracy.

39-12-101. Criminal attempt.

  1. A person commits criminal attempt who, acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for the offense:
    1. Intentionally engages in action or causes a result that would constitute an offense if the circumstances surrounding the conduct were as the person believes them to be;
    2. Acts with intent to cause a result that is an element of the offense, and believes the conduct will cause the result without further conduct on the person’s part; or
    3. Acts with intent to complete a course of action or cause a result that would constitute the offense, under the circumstances surrounding the conduct as the person believes them to be, and the conduct constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of the offense. [emphasis added]
  2. Conduct does not constitute a substantial step under subdivision (a)(3) unless the person’s entire course of action is corroborative of the intent to commit the offense.
  3. It is no defense to prosecution for criminal attempt that the offense attempted was actually committed.

CASE-IN-POINT. In State v. Reeves (1996), the Tennessee Supreme Court interpreted the “substantial step” language of T.C.A. § 39-12-101(a)(3):We hold that when an actor possesses materials to be used in the commission of a crime, at or near the scene of the crime, and where the possession of those materials can serve no lawful purpose of the actor under the circumstances, the jury is entitled, but not required, to find that the actor has taken a “substantial step” toward the commission of the crime if such action is strongly corroborative of the actor’s overall criminal purpose.”

39-12-102. Solicitation - Defenses disallowed.

  1. Whoever, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, directly or through another, intentionally commands, requests or hires another to commit a criminal offense, or attempts to command, request or hire another to commit a criminal offense, with the intent that the criminal offense be committed, is guilty of the offense of solicitation.
  2. It is no defense that the solicitation was unsuccessful and the offense solicited was not committed. It is no defense that the person solicited could not be guilty of the offense solicited, due to insanity, minority, or other lack of criminal responsibility or incapacity. It is no defense that the person solicited was unaware of the criminal nature of the conduct solicited. It is no defense that the person solicited is unable to commit the offense solicited because of the lack of capacity, status, or characteristic needed to commit the offense solicited, so long as the person soliciting or the person solicited believes that either or both have such capacity, status, or characteristic.

39-12-103. Criminal conspiracy.

  1. The offense of conspiracy is committed if two (2) or more people, each having the culpable mental state required for the offense which is the object of the conspiracy and each acting for the purpose of promoting or facilitating commission of an offense, agree that one (1) or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such offense.
  2. If a person guilty of conspiracy, as defined in subsection (a), knows that another with whom the person conspires to commit an offense has conspired with one (1) or more other people to commit the same offense, the person is guilty of conspiring with such other person or persons, whether or not their identity is known, to commit such offense.
  3. If a person conspires to commit a number of offenses, the person is guilty of only one (1) conspiracy so long as such multiple offenses are the object of the same agreement or continuous conspiratorial relationship.
  4. No person may be convicted of conspiracy to commit an offense unless an overt act in pursuance of such conspiracy is alleged and proved to have been done by the person or by another with whom the person conspired.
    1. Conspiracy is a continuing course of conduct which terminates when the objectives of the conspiracy are completed or the agreement that they be completed is abandoned by the person and by those with whom the person conspired. The objectives of the conspiracy include, but are not limited to, escape from the crime, distribution of the proceeds of the crime, and measures, other than silence, for concealing the crime or obstructing justice in relation to it.
    2. Abandonment of a conspiracy is presumed if neither the person nor anyone with whom the person conspired does any overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy during the applicable period of limitation.
    3. If an individual abandons the agreement, the conspiracy is terminated as to that person only if and when the person advises those with whom the person conspired of the abandonment, or the person informs law enforcement authorities of the existence of the conspiracy and of the person’s participation therein.
  5. It is no defense that the offense which was the object of the conspiracy was not committed.
  6. Nothing in this provision is intended to modify the evidentiary rules allowing statements of co-conspirators in furtherance of a conspiracy.

39-12-104. Renunciation defense.

It is an affirmative defense to a charge of criminal attempt, solicitation or conspiracy that the person, after committing the criminal attempt, solicitation or conspiracy, prevented the successful commission of the offense attempted, solicited or conspired, under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of the person’s criminal purpose.

Racketeering and Organized Crime.  Like most states, Tennessee has a statute patterned after the federal RICO Act, entitled the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act of 1989. See T.C.A. § 39-12-201 et seq.  The following is a excerpt from the statute:

39-12-204. Unlawful activities.

  1. It is unlawful for any person who has with criminal intent received any proceeds derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity or through the collection of an unlawful debt to use or invest, whether directly or indirectly, any part of such proceeds or the proceeds derived from the use or investment thereof, in the acquisition of any title to or any right, interest, or equity in, real or personal property or in the establishment or operation of any enterprise.
  2. It is unlawful for any person, through a pattern of racketeering activity or through the collection of an unlawful debt, to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, an interest in or control of any enterprise of real or personal property.
  3. It is unlawful for any person employed by, or associated with, any enterprise to knowingly conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in such enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity or the collection of any unlawful debt.
  4. It is unlawful for any person to conspire or endeavor to violate any of the provisions of subsection (a), (b) or (c).

Offenses against the Person

Assaultive Offenses. The assaultive offenses under Tennessee law include the “classical” crimes of assault, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. See T.C.A. § 39-13-101 et seq.  More “modern” offenses in this area include “female genital mutilation,” T.C.A. § 39-13-110, and “criminal exposure to HIV,” T.C.A. § 39-13-109.  Tennessee law permits a viable fetus to the victim of any of the assaultive offenses. T.C.A. § 39-13-107.

CASE-IN-POINT.  State v. Trusty (Tenn. Sup. Ct. 1996): “The question in this case is whether one indicted for attempted first-degree murder may be convicted of aggravated assault.  Aggravated assault, as defined in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-13-102, is neither a lesser grade or class of attempted first-degree murder nor a lesser included offense of first-degree murder.  Under Tennessee law, a conviction for an unindicted offense that is not a lesser degree of the offense charged or a lesser included offense may not stand.”

Criminal Homicide. Tennessee law recognizes six distinct forms of criminal homicide: first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular homicide, and reckless homicide. See 39-13-201 et seq.  State law also criminalizes assisted suicide, T.C.A. § 39-13-216, and considers a viable fetus a victim of a homicide, except in cases where it is lawful to abort such a fetus. T.C.A. § 39-13-214.

CASE-IN-POINT.  In State v. Bryan (1999), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals discussed the premeditation element of the offense of first degree murder: “In order to convict the Defendant in the case…, the State was  required to prove that he committed an unlawful killing, both intentionally and with premeditation. … Premeditation requires that the act be committed after the exercise of reflection and judgment, but the purpose to kill is not required to have pre-existed in the mind of the defendant for any definite period of time. … Whether a defendant has acted with premeditation is a question for the jury to determine, and it may be inferred from the manner and circumstances of the killing. … The use of a deadly weapon upon an unarmed victim, the declarations of a defendant of his intent to kill, the infliction of multiple wounds, the defendant’s prior relationship with the victim, and the fact that the killing was particularly cruel are all factors which the jury may consider in determining whether the murder was premeditated.”…  

False Imprisonment and Kidnapping. In Tennessee, one commits false imprisonment when he or she “knowingly removes or confines another (person) unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with the other’s liberty.” T.C.A. § 39-13-302.  Kidnapping is defined in the same way as false imprisonment with the additional element that it must be committed “under circumstances exposing the other person to substantial risk of bodily injury.”  One is also guilty of kidnapping where “confinement of another is in a condition of involuntary servitude” (i.e., slavery). Aggravated kidnapping consists of kidnapping committed “(1) To facilitate the commission of any felony or flight thereafter; (2) To interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function; (3) With the intent to inflict serious bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another; (4) Where the victim suffers bodily injury; or (5) While the defendant is in possession of a deadly weapon or threatens the use of a deadly weapon.” T.C.A. § 39-13-304. Note that in Tennessee kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping do not require asportation (movement) of the victim.

Robbery. “Robbery is the intentional or knowing theft of property from the person of another by violence or putting the person in fear.” T.C.A. § 39-13-401. Aggravated robbery is robbery that is “(1) Accomplished with a deadly weapon or by display of any article used or fashioned to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a deadly weapon; or (2) Where the victim suffers serious bodily injury.” T.C.A. § 39-13-402

CASE-IN-POINT. State v. Harvey (Tenn. Crim. App.  1999). “The victim, who was seventy-eight when the robbery occurred, testified that the defendant grabbed his billfold from behind.”…

“While the term ‘violence’ is not defined in our criminal code, this court has previously approved the definition set forth in Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Desk Dictionary (1977): ‘physical force unlawfully exercised.’  See State v. Black, 745 S.W.2d 302, 304 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1987); see also Black’s Law Dictionary 1570 (6th ed. 1990) (defining ‘violence’ in part as the ‘[u]njust or unwarranted exercise of force’).”

“Ms. Allen, the eye-witness to the crime, testified that the defendant and the victim struggled over the control of the billfold.  Although the victim could not remember how he injured his arm, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence that the injury occurred during the struggle.  Thus, the theft involved violence (‘physical force unlawfully exercised’) and, in our view, a rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime of robbery beyond a reasonable doubt.”…

“Because the robbery statute is written in the disjunctive, requiring the state to prove that the theft was accomplished either by violence or by putting the person in fear, the evidence is sufficient to establish the robbery.”

Carjacking. Prohibited by Tennessee law since 1995, carjacking is defined as “the intentional or knowing taking of a motor vehicle from the possession of another by use of: (1) A deadly weapon; or (2) Force or intimidation.” T.C.A. § 39-13-404.

Rape and Sexual Battery.  In Tennessee, rape is defined as the “unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; (2) The sexual penetration is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the penetration that the victim did not consent; (3) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or (4) The sexual penetration is accomplished by fraud.” T.C.A. § 39-13-503.  Aggravated rape consists of unlawful sexual penetration where: “(1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act and the defendant is armed with a weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim reasonably to believe it to be a weapon; (2) The defendant causes bodily injury to the victim; (3) The defendant is aided or abetted by one or more other persons; and (A) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; or (B) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.” T.C.A. § 39-13-502.

Under the statute, “sexual penetration” consists of  “sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of the victim’s, the defendant’s, or any other person’s body, but emission of semen is not required.” T.C.A. § 39-13-501(6).

Sexual battery consists of “unlawful sexual contact with a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; (2) The sexual contact is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the victim did not consent; (3) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or (4) The sexual contact is accomplished by fraud.” T.C.A. § 39-13-505.

Aggravated sexual battery is unlawful sexual contact where: “(1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act and the defendant is armed with a weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim reasonably to believe it to be a weapon; (2) The defendant causes bodily injury to the victim; (3) The defendant is aided or abetted by one (1) or more other persons; and (A) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act; or (B) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or (4) The victim is less than thirteen (13) years of age. T.C.A. § 39-13-504

“Sexual contact” is “the intentional touching of the victim’s, the defendant’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the victim’s, the defendant’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.” T.C.A. § 39-13-501(6)

In Tennessee, statutory rape is “sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by the victim when the victim is at least thirteen (13) but less than eighteen (18) years of age and the defendant is at least four (4) years older than the victim.” T.C.A. § 39-13-506.

Tennessee law permits a spouse to be charged with rape, aggravated rape, sexual battery or aggravated sexual battery under the following circumstances: “(A) The defendant is armed with a weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon; (B) The defendant causes serious bodily injury to the victim; or (C) The spouses are living apart and one (1) of them has filed for separate maintenance or divorce.” T.C.A. § 39-13-507.

Other Sexual Offenses.  In Tennessee, “sexual offenses” include crimes against persons such as rape and sexual battery, as well as offenses against public morality such as public indecency, indecent exposure and prostitution, all of which are Class B misdemeanors. See T.C.A. § 39-13-501 et seq.  Public indecency is defined by the following statute:

A person commits the offense of public indecency who, in a public place … knowingly or intentionally:  (i) Engages in sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation, flagellation, excretory functions or other ultimate sex acts;  (ii) Appears in a state of nudity; or
(iii) Fondles the genitals of such person, or another person.  T.C.A. § 39-13-511(a).

Under the statute, a “public place” is “any location frequented by the public, or where the public is present or likely to be present, or where a person may reasonably be expected to be observed by members of the public.” §39-13-511(a)(2)(B).  “Nudity” refers to

“the showing of the bare human male or female genitals or pubic area with less than a fully opaque covering, the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of the areola, or the showing of the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.” T.C.A. § 39-13-511(a)(2)(A).

“Indecent exposure” occurs when a person “who, in a public place or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises: (i) Exposes such person’s genitals or buttocks to one or more persons; or (ii) Engages in sexual contact or sexual penetration…” when the person “reasonably expects the acts will be viewed by another and such acts: (i) Will offend an ordinary viewing person; or (ii) Are for the purpose of sexual arousal and gratification of the defendant.” T.C.A. § 39-13-511(b)(1).

In Tennessee, “prostitution” is defined as “engaging in, or offering to engage in, sexual activity as a business or being an inmate in a house of prostitution or loitering in a public place for the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity.” T.C.A. § 39-13-512(5).

Offenses against Property

Theft Offenses.  In Tennessee, theft is divided into “theft of property” and “theft of services.” One is guilty of theft of property “if, with intent to deprive the owner of property, the person knowingly obtains or exercises control over the property without the owner’s effective consent.” T.C.A. § 39-14-103.  One is guilty of theft of services if he or she “(1) Intentionally obtains services by deception, fraud, coercion, false pretense or any other means to avoid payment for the services; (2) Having control over the disposition of services to others, knowingly diverts those services to the person’s own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled thereto; or (3) Knowingly absconds from establishments where compensation for services is ordinarily paid immediately upon the rendering of them, including, but not limited to, hotels, motels and restaurants, without payment or a bona fide offer to pay.” T.C.A. § 39-14-104. In Tennessee, “theft” includes embezzlement, false pretenses, fraudulent conversion, larceny, and receiving stolen property. T.C.A. § 39-14-101. 

Theft is graded as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of goods or services that are unlawfully obtained, according to the following criteria:

  1. A Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property or services obtained is five hundred dollars ($500) or less;
  2. A Class E felony if the value of the property or services obtained is more than five hundred dollars ($500) but less than one thousand dollars ($1,000);
  3. A Class D felony if the value of the property or services obtained is one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000);
  4. A Class C felony if the value of the property or services obtained is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more but less than sixty thousand dollars ($60,000); and
  5. A Class B felony if the value of the property or services obtained is sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) or more. T.C.A. § 39-14-105.

Tennessee law also criminalizes a number of other similar offenses, including extortion, T.C.A. § 39-14-112, forgery, T.C.A. § 39-14-114, illegal possession or fraudulent use of credit or debit card, T.C.A. § 39-14-118, issuing false financial statement, T.C.A. § 39-14-120, deceptive business practices, T.C.A. § 39-14-127, filing false or fraudulent insurance claims, T.C.A. § 39-14-133, passing worthless checks, T.C.A. § 39-14-121, and falsifying educational and academic records, T.C.A. § 39-14-136.

CASE-IN-POINT: State v. Davis (Tenn. Crim. App.  1999): “The defendant was convicted of theft of property.  This offense requires a person, with intent to deprive the owner of property, to knowingly obtain or exercise control over the property without the owner’s effective consent.  T.C.A. § 39-14-103.  An affirmative defense to theft of property is that the person “[a]cted in the honest belief that the person had the right to obtain or exercise control over the property . . . as the person did.”  T.C.A. § 39-14-107(2). The evidence presented at trial, when viewed in a light most favorable to the state, shows the defendant [Davis] picked up a bag labeled ‘Family Dollar’ outside of the Family Dollar Store.  The defendant took the property to Harris’ car while his wife exhorted Harris to leave quickly.  The defendant opened the bag and discovered it contained over $1,000 in cash and checks.  The majority of checks in the bag were made payable to the order of ‘Family Dollar.’  The defendant took a portion of the cash from the bag.  His wife then threw the bag out of the car window.  The defendant stated to Harris that the bag had been ‘stolen.’  The jury was charged as to the affirmative defense and, by their verdict, rejected it.  It was within their prerogative to do so. Unquestionably, the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict.”

Offenses involving Animals.  The Tennessee Code proscribes cruelty to animals, T.C.A. § 39-14-202, cockfighting and other animal fighting, T.C.A. § 39-14-203, as well as the intentional killing of animals belonging to other persons, except where necessary to protect oneself, T.C.A. § 39-14-205.  There is also a statute governing offenses involving farm animals and animal research facilities:

39-14-803. Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection.

  1. A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility, animal, or property and to disrupt the enterprise conducted at the animal facility.
  2. A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys an animal facility or damages, frees, or destroys any animal or property in or on an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility and the damage or loss thereto exceeds five hundred dollars ($500).
  3. A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys an animal facility or damages, frees, or destroys any animal or property in or on an animal facility and the damage or loss thereto is five hundred dollars ($500) or less, or enters or remains on an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility …

Arson. In Tennessee, a person commits arson if he or she “knowingly damages any structure by means of a fire or explosion: (1) Without the consent of all persons who have a possessory, proprietary or security interest therein; or  (2) With intent to destroy or damage any structure to collect insurance for the damage or destruction or for any unlawful purpose.” T.C.A. § 39-14-301. Aggravated arson consists of the conduct defined above when “one or more persons are present therein; or when any person, including firefighters and law enforcement officials, suffers serious bodily injury as a result of the fire or explosion.” T.C.A. § 39-14-302.

Tennessee law also criminalizes “reckless burning,” T.C.A. § 39-14-304, leaving fires near woodlands unattended, T.C.A. § 39-14-305, and setting fires at certain times without a permit. T.C.A. § 39-14-306.

Burglary and Related Offenses.  Under Tennessee law, a person commits burglary who, without the effective consent of the property owner:

  1. Enters a building other than a habitation (or any portion thereof) not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault;
  2. Remains concealed, with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault, in a building;
  3. Enters a building and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
  4. Enters any freight or passenger car, automobile, truck, trailer, boat, airplane or other motor vehicle with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault or commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault. T.C.A. § 39-14-402.

Aggravated burglary is burglary of a habitation. T.C.A. § 39-14-403. Especially aggravated burglary occurs where the victim suffers serious bodily injury. T.C.A. § 39-14-404.  Tennessee law also prohibits the possession of burglary tools. T.C.A. § 39-14-701.

Trespass offenses. In Tennessee, a person commits criminal trespass “who, knowing the person does not have the owner’s effective consent to do so, enters or remains on property, or a portion thereof.” T.C.A. § 39-14-405. That person commits aggravated criminal trespass if he or she “intends, knows, or is reckless about whether such person’s presence will cause fear for the safety of another.” T.C.A. § 39-14-406. “Any person who drives, parks, stands, or otherwise operates a motor vehicle on, through or within a parking area, driving area or roadway located on privately owned property which is provided for use by patrons, customers or employees of business establishments upon such property, or adjoining property or for use otherwise in connection with activities conducted upon such property, or adjoining property, after such person has been requested or ordered to leave the property or to cease doing any of the foregoing actions” is guilty of the offense of trespass by motor vehicle. T.C.A. § 39-14-407.

Vandalism. One who “knowingly causes damage to or the destruction of any real or personal property of another or of the state, the United States, any county, city, or town knowing that the person does not have the owner’s effective consent” is guilty of vandalism. T.C.A. § 39-14-408.  Related offenses include “destruction or interference with utility lines, fixtures or appliances, or property utilized by railroads,” T.C.A. § 39-14-411, “mailbox tampering,” T.C.A. § 39-14-412, and “throwing, shooting, etc., object, missile, etc., at trains, buses, motorcycles, vessels, etc.” T.C.A. § 39-14-413.

Littering. In Tennessee, a person commits criminal littering who:

  1. Knowingly places, drops or throws litter on any public or private property without permission and does not immediately remove it;
  2. Negligently places or throws glass or other dangerous substances on or adjacent to water to which the public has access for swimming or wading, or on or within fifty feet (50’) of a public highway; or
  3. Negligently discharges sewage, minerals, oil products or litter into any public waters or lakes within this state. T.C.A. § 39-14-502.

Computer and Telecommunications Offenses. Tennessee law prohibits the use of computers and/or telecommunications equipment for the purposes of:

  1. Obtaining money, property, or services for oneself or another by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations;
  2. Causing computer output to purposely be false, for, but not limited to, the purpose of obtaining money, property, or services for oneself or another by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises. T.C.A. § 39-14-602(a).

Tennessee law also makes it a crime to access any computer system without authorization and alter, damage or destroy computer files or software. T.C.A. § 39-14-602(b).  This includes the intentional introduction of computer viruses, which the Tennessee Code refers to as “contaminants.” T.C.A. § 39-14-602(b)(3).  Tennessee law also prohibits computer “hacking” for the purpose of “gaining access to computer material or to tamper with computer security devices…” T.C.A. § 39-14-602(b)(4). 

Money Laundering.  Section 39-14-903 of the Tennessee Code makes it an offense to knowingly:

  1. (a)    use, conspire to use or attempt to use proceeds derived directly or indirectly from a specified unlawful activity to conduct or attempt to conduct a financial transaction or make other disposition with the intent to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the criminally derived proceeds.
  2. (b)    use proceeds derived directly or indirectly from a specified unlawful activity with the intent to promote, in whole or in part, the carrying on of a specified unlawful activity.
  3. (c)    conduct, conspire to conduct, or attempt to conduct a financial transaction or make other disposition involving property or proceeds represented by a law enforcement officer, or by another at the direction of a law enforcement officer, to be the property or proceeds derived from a specified unlawful activity with the intent to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the criminally derived proceeds or with the intent to promote the carrying on of a specified unlawful activity.

Offenses against the Family

Under the Tennessee Code, “offenses against the family” include “nonsupport” (failure to pay child support), T.C.A. § 39-15-101, criminal abortion, T.C.A. § 39-15-201 et seq., bigamy, T.C.A. § 39-15-301, incest, T.C.A. § 39-15-302, child abuse and neglect, T.C.A. § 39-15-401 et seq., and various offenses involving the sale of alcohol or cigarettes to minors or the purchase of same by or for minors. T.C.A. § 39-15-404 et seq.

Abortion.  Tennessee abortion law is consistent with Roe v. Wade (1973) and subsequent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).  Women seeking abortions must give “informed consent” before the procedure can be administered.  Physicians are required to warn patients of the dangers of abortion and there is a two-day waiting period after this warning is given before the abortion can be provided. T.C.A. § 39-15-202.

After the first trimester of pregnancy, an abortion must be performed in a hospital. T.C.A. § 39-15-201(c)(2).  Abortion is outlawed after viability of the fetus except as necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother, as certified in writing by the attending physician. T.C.A. § 39-15-201(c)(3). Physicians and hospitals have the right to refuse to perform abortions. T.C.A. § 39-15-204. 

In 1997, the General Assembly adopted the following statute governing “partial birth” abortions:

39-15-209. Partial birth abortions.

  1. For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
    1. “Partial-birth abortion” means an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery; and
    2. “Vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus” means deliberately and intentionally delivers into the vagina a living fetus, or a substantial portion thereof, for the purpose of performing a procedure the physician knows will kill the fetus, and kills the fetus.
  2. No person shall knowingly perform a partial-birth abortion.
  3. Subsection (b) shall not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of the mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness or injury.
    1. A defendant accused of an offense under this section may seek a hearing before the state medical board which licenses the physician, on whether the physician’s conduct was necessary to save the life of the mother whose life was endangered by a physical disorder, illness or injury.
    2. The findings on that issue are admissible on that issue at the trial of the defendant. Upon a motion of the defendant, the court shall delay the beginning of the trial for not more than thirty (30) days to permit such a hearing to take place.
    1. Performance of a partial-birth abortion in knowing or reckless violation of this section shall be a Class C felony.
    2. A woman upon whom a partial-birth abortion is performed may not be prosecuted under this section for violating this section or any of its provisions, or for conspiracy to violate this section or any of its provisions.

Offenses against the Administration of Government

Bribery.  Tennessee law defines bribery as offering, conferring, or agreeing to confer “any pecuniary benefit upon a public servant with the intent to influence the public servant’s vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion or other action in the public servant’s official capacity.”  It is also bribery where a public servant “solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any pecuniary benefit upon an agreement or understanding that the public servant’s vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion or other action as a public servant will thereby be influenced.” See T.C.A. § 39-16-102.

Obstruction of Justice.  This is a broad category that includes the following offenses: resisting or evading arrest, obstruction of service of a legal writ or process, compounding a crime, escape from a penal institution, and failure to appear in court when required to do so. See T.C.A. § 39-16-602 et seq.

Perjury. In Tennessee, perjury consists of (1) Making a false statement, under oath; (2) Making a statement, under oath, that confirms the truth of a false statement previously made and the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath; (3) Making a false statement, not under oath, but on an official document required or authorized by law to be made under oath and stating on its face that a false statement is subject to the penalties of perjury. See T.C.A. § 39-16-702. A person who, “with the intent to deceive, induces another to make a false statement constituting perjury,” is guilty of subornation of perjury. See T.C.A. § 39-16-705. 

Offenses against Public Health, Safety and Welfare

This is a diverse category of offenses that includes “handling snakes so as to endanger life,” T.C.A. § 39-17-101, “unlawful disposal of raw sewage,” T.C.A. § 39-17-102, “adulteration of food, liquids, or pharmaceuticals,” T.C.A. § 39-17-107, and “tampering with construction signs and barricades.” Tampering with construction signs and barricades,” T.C.A. § 39-17-108.

This category of offenses also includes offenses such as gambling, see T.C.A. § 39-17-501 et seq., unlawful manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, see T.C.A. § 39-17-701 et seq., obscenity, see T.C.A. § 39-17-901 et seq., sexual exploitation of children, see T.C.A. § 39-17-1001 et seq., and weapons offenses, see T.C.A. § 39-17-1301 et seq.

Offenses against public order.   In Tennessee, crimes against public order are classified as offenses against public health safety and welfare.  These offenses include “riot,” see T.C.A. 39-17-302, “aggravated riot,” see T.C.A. § 39-17-303, “inciting to riot, “ see T.C.A. § 39-17-304, “disorderly conduct,” see § 39-17-305, “disrupting a meeting or procession,” see T.C.A. § 39-17-306, “obstructing a highway or other passageway,” see T.C.A. § 39-17-307, and “public intoxication,” see T.C.A. § 39-17-310.

Stalking, harassment and civil rights intimidation.  Also classified as offenses against public health safety and welfare are the relatively new offenses of stalking, harassment, and civil rights intimidation.  In reality, these offenses probably should be classified as offenses against the person.  A person commits “stalking” when he or she “intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses another person in such a manner as would cause that person to be in reasonable fear of being assaulted, suffering bodily injury or death.” T.C.A. § 39-17-315.  A person commits “harassment” when he or she intentionally:

  1. Threatens, by telephone or in writing, to take action known to be unlawful against any person, and by this action knowingly annoys or alarms the recipient;
  2. Places one or more telephone calls anonymously, or at an hour or hours known to be inconvenient to the victim, or in an offensively repetitious manner, or without a legitimate purpose of communication, and by this action knowingly annoys or alarms the recipient; or
  3. Communicates by telephone to another that a relative or other person has been injured, killed or is ill when such communication is known to be false. Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-308.

“Civil rights intimidation” is committed when a person:

  1. Injures or threatens to injure or coerces another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another from the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee;
  2. Injures or threatens to injure or coerces another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another because that other exercised any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee;
  3. Damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property of another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another from the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee; or
  4. Damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property of another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another because that other exercised any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee. Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-17-309.

Drug Offenses. It is, of course, a crime in Tennessee for a person to knowingly manufacture a controlled substance; deliver a controlled substance; sell a controlled substance; or possess a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver or sell such controlled substance. T.C.A. § 39-17-417. Controlled substances are classified according to their potential for abuse, utility in medical treatment, and potential for dependency. The Tennessee Drug Control Act of 1989, T.C.A. § 39-17-401 et seq., establishes the following schedule of controlled substances:

Schedule I

High potential for abuse; no accepted medical use in treatment or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.

This includes certain opiates (e.g., heroin); hallucinogens (e.g., LSD) depressants (e.g., methaqualone) and stimulants (e.g., MDMA).

Schedule II

High potential for abuse; has currently accepted medical use in treatment, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions; abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence

Examples: cocaine, morphine, amphetamines, amobarbital.

Schedule III

Potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedules I and II; has currently accepted medical use in treatment; and may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Examples: Anabolic steroids.

Schedule IV

Low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III; has currently accepted medical use in treatment; and may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule III.

Examples: Phenobarbital and Fenfluramine

Schedule V

Low potential for abuse relative to the controlled substances listed in Schedule IV; has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and has limited physical dependence or psychological dependence liability relative to the controlled substances listed in Schedule IV.

Example: A medicine containing not more than two hundred (200) milligrams of codeine per one  hundred (100) grams;

Schedule VI

Tetrahydrocannabinols

Marijuana; hashish; synthetic equivalents

Schedule VII.

Butyl nitrite and any isomer thereof

The following table sets forth the basic levels of offenses involving manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession with intent distribute, the various levels of scheduled controlled substances.  However, one must understand that the law provides additional penalties for violations involving large amounts of numerous substances, including heroin, cocaine, LSD, morphine, peyote, barbiturates and amphetamines.

Level of Controlled Substance

Level of Offense

Schedule I

Class B felony

Cocaine (.5 grams or more)

Class B felony and an additional fine of no more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)

Schedule II, including cocaine (less than .5 grams)

Class C felony

Schedule III

Class D felony

Schedule IV

Class D felony

Schedule V

Class E felony

Schedule VI

Depends on amount; see table below

Schedule VII

Class E Felony

The following table sets forth the levels of offenses involving manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession with intent distribute, of marijuana and hashish (resin containing the active ingredient THC), based on quantities seized:

Marijuana

Hashish

Level of Offense (and additional fine)

Less than ½ ounce

--

Class A misdemeanor

1/2 ounce to 10 lbs.

up to 2 lbs.

Class E felony + $5,000 fine

10 to 70 lbs.; 10 to 19 plants regardless of weight

2 to 4 lbs.

Class D felony + $50,000 fine

20 to 99 plants regardless of weight

4 to 8 lbs.

Class C felony + $100,000 fine

70 to 300 lbs.; 100 to 499 plants regardless of weight

8 to 15 lbs.

Class B felony + $200,000 fine

More than 300 lbs.; 500 or more plants regardless of weight

15 lbs. or more

Class A felony + $500,000 fine


CASE-IN-POINT: State v. Tuttle (Tenn. Crim. App.  1996).  “The appellant argues that there was simply no proof on the issue of whether he intended to sell the Dilaudid.  We disagree.  Intent to sell may be inferred from the quantity of the controlled substance possessed, together with other relevant facts surrounding the arrest.  …  In this case the appellant possessed 126-1/2 pills of Dilaudid, each in the strongest form available, four milligram tablets.  The appellant had the pills stashed under the dashboard of his truck.  Furthermore, the pills were found in an unlabeled pill bottle, leading to the clear inference that the pills were not obtained through a lawful prescription.  All of these facts taken together could have reasonably led the jury to infer that the pills were possessed by the appellant for resale.  Accordingly, this issue is without merit.”

Simple possession or casual exchange of controlled substances is treated less severely than possession with intent to distribute.  The following is Tennessee’s statute regarding simple possession and casual distribution of controlled substances.

39-17-418. Simple possession or casual exchange.

  1. It is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of professional practice.
  2. It is an offense for a person to distribute a small amount of marijuana not in excess of one-half (1/2) ounce (14.175 grams).
  3. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e), a violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
  4. A violation of subsections (a) or (b) where there is casual exchange to a minor from an adult who is at least two (2) years such minor’s senior, and knows that such person is a minor, is punished as a felony as provided in T.C.A. § 39-17-417.
  5. A violation under this section is a Class E felony where the person has two (2) or more prior convictions under this section.
    1. In addition to the other penalties provided in this section, any person convicted of violating this section for possession of a controlled substance may be required to attend a drug offender school, if available, or may be required to perform community service work at a drug or alcohol rehabilitation or treatment center.
    2. Any person required to attend a drug offender school pursuant to this subsection shall also be required to pay a fee for attending such school. If the court determines that such person by reason of indigency cannot afford to pay a fee to attend such school, the court shall waive the fee and the person shall attend the school without charge. The amount of fee shall be established by the local governmental authority operating the school, but such fee shall not exceed the fee charged for attending an alcohol safety DUI school program if such a program is available in the jurisdiction. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be used by the governmental authority responsible for administering the school for operation of such school.

Judges and juries are permitted infer from the amount of a controlled substance possessed by an offender, along with other relevant facts surrounding the arrest, that the controlled substance was possessed with the purpose of selling or otherwise dispensing. T.C.A. § 39-17-419.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.  In Tennessee, driving under the influence is committed where an individual “drive[s] or [is] in physical control of any automobile or other motor driven vehicle on any of the public roads and highways of this state, or on any streets or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park or any apartment house complex, or any other premises which is generally frequented by the public at large, while . . . [u]nder the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system….” T.C.A. § 55-10-401.

CASE-IN-POINT: State v. Kelly (Tenn. Crim. App.  1999). “The defendant contends the proof of his intoxication is insufficient based upon a vigorous attack on the reliability of the blood alcohol test result.  We disagree. …[T]he defendant admitted having a martini and two other mixed drinks.  He was driving at a grossly excessive rate of speed on an interstate highway.  When he was stopped by Officer Cash, he smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and did not perform field sobriety tests satisfactorily.  The defendant was, as described by Officer Cash, “very intoxicated.”  All of this evidence is strong, probative evidence of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt of driving under the influence. … The fact that the defendant’s blood alcohol content was .14 percent only 40 minutes after his arrest only further adds to the certainty of his guilt.…” 

Defenses Recognized by Tennessee Law

Mistake Duress, and Entrapment.  Tennessee law recognizes these defenses, defining in fairly typical fashion.  See. T.C.A. § 39-11-502; T.C.A. § 39-11-504; T.C.A. § 39-11-505, respectively.

The Insanity Defense.  Tennessee follows the M’Naghten Rule, as evidenced by the following statute:

  1. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of such defendant’s acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense. The defendant has the burden of proving the defense of insanity by clear and convincing evidence. [emphasis added]
  2. As used in this section, “mental disease or defect” does not include any abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.
  3. No expert witness may testify as to whether the defendant was or was not insane as set forth in subsection (a). Such ultimate issue is a matter for the trier of fact alone. T.C.A. § 39-11-501.

Intoxication.  Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a criminal charge, but involuntary intoxication may be, as the following excerpt from the statute indicates.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (c), intoxication itself is not a defense to prosecution for an offense. However, intoxication, whether voluntary or involuntary, is admissible in evidence if it is relevant to negate a culpable mental state.
  2. If recklessness establishes an element of an offense and the person is unaware of a risk because of voluntary intoxication, the person’s unawareness is immaterial in a prosecution for that offense.
  3. Intoxication itself does not constitute a mental disease or defect within the meaning of T.C.A. § 39-11-501. However, involuntary intoxication is a defense to prosecution if, as a result of the involuntary intoxication, the person lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the person’s conduct or to conform that conduct to the requirements of the law allegedly violated. T.C.A. § 39-11-503.

The Necessity Defense.  Under Tennessee law, conduct that would otherwise be criminal is justified if it is immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm.  Moreover, the need to avoid harm must outweigh the harm to society or the interests of others brought about through the defendant’s act. T.C.A. § 39-11-609.

Self-Defense.  The following statute set forth the defense of self-defense under Tennessee law.  Note in particular the italicized provision, which represents an important change in the law.

  1. A person is justified in threatening or using force against another person when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The person must have a reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. The danger creating the belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury must be real, or honestly believed to be real at the time, and must be founded upon reasonable grounds. There is no duty to retreat before a person threatens or uses force. [emphasis added]
  2. Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury within the person’s own residence is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury to self, family or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence, and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.
  3. The threat or use of force against another is not justified if the person consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other individual.
  4. The threat or use of force against another is not justified if the person provoked the other individual’s use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:
    1. The person abandons the encounter or clearly communicates to the other the intent to do so; and
    2. The other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the person. (e) The threat or use of force against another is not justified to resist a halt at a roadblock, arrest, search, or stop and frisk that the person knows is being made by a law enforcement officer, unless:
      1. The law enforcement officer uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest, search, stop and frisk, or halt; and
      2. The person reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary to protect against the law enforcement officer’s use or attempted use of greater force than necessary. T.C.A. § 39-11-611.

CASE-IN-POINT.  In State v. Renner (1995), the Supreme Court expounded on an important recent change in Tennessee law as it relates to self-defense.

Birch, J. …

Until recently, Tennessee has traditionally followed the common law “duty to retreat” rule.  Under this rule, one is required to retreat, “if reasonably feasible, except in defense of one’s home or habitation or in the discharge of official duty.” 

In 1989, the General Assembly added a “no duty to retreat” rule to the law of self-defense. … With this enactment, Tennessee joined the majority of jurisdictions which adhere to the “true man” doctrine. …

Under the “true man” doctrine, one need not retreat from the threatened attack of another even though one may safely do so.  Neither must one pause and consider whether a reasonable person might think it possible to safely flee rather than to attack and disable or kill the assailant.

… As in all cases of self-defense, the force used must be reasonable, considering all of the circumstances.  Moreover, the “true man” rule implies no license for the initiation of a confrontation or an unreasonable escalation of a confrontation in progress.

Whether the “true man” rule applies in a particular case is a matter to be determined by the jury. The jury determines not only whether a confrontation has occurred, but also which person was the aggressor.  It also decides whether the defendant’s belief in imminent danger was reasonable, whether the force used was reasonable, and whether the defendant was without fault. …

Related Defenses. In Tennessee, a person is also justified in using force against another person to defend a third person who is in immediate danger. T.C.A. § 39-11-612.  One is also justified in using force to prevent a suicide of self-infliction of serious injury. T.C.A. § 39-11-613. 

Protection of Property.  Tennessee law permits a property owner to use force to prevent or terminate a trespass to land, but deadly force is not permitted. T.C.A. § 39-11-614.  This extends to the use of devices, as long as they do not carry a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily harm. T.C.A. § 39-11-616.

The Statute of Limitations

In 1989, Tennessee revised its criminal code.  The following year the statute of limitations was revised to conform to the format of the revised criminal code. The statute requires prosecution for a felony to begin within: fifteen years for a Class A felony; eight years for a Class B felony; four years for a Class C or Class D felony; and two years for a Class E felony. See T.C.A. § 40-2-101. The state must commence prosecution for a misdemeanor within twelve months after the offense has been committed. See T.C.A. § 40-2-102.

The statute of limitations serves two primary purposes. First, it serves to assure that stale charges are not brought necessitating the use of stale evidence.  Second, it provides an incentive for swift governmental action in prosecuting criminal cases. State v. Pearson, 858 S.W.2d 879, 886 (Tenn. 1993).

CASE-IN-POINT. State v. Messamore (Tenn. Crim. App. 1995). “The defendant contends that the state failed to commence prosecution within the limitations period. … The misdemeanor offense in this case occurred on December 17, 1992.  The indictment was filed on January 3, 1994.  The state contends that prosecution was ‘commenced’ within the limitations period.  A prosecution is commenced by finding an indictment or presentment, the issuing of a warrant, binding over the offender, or making an appearance in person or through counsel in general sessions or any municipal court for the purpose of continuing the matter. …  The defendant was bound over to the grand jury of Jefferson County on October 13, 1993.  The arrest warrant in the record indicates that a continuance was granted three times before October 13, 1993.  A bail bond was filed with the sessions court on the same date.  Contrary to the defendant’s contention, the state timely commenced prosecution of the defendant. …”

Questions for Discussion or Essay Examination

  1. How does Tennessee law distinguish between criminal attempts and conspiracies?
  2. What is the meaning of the language “substantial step toward the commission of the offense” in the criminal attempt statute?
  3.  What are the six distinct forms of criminal homicide recognized by Tennessee law?
  4. How does false imprisonment differ from kidnapping under Tennessee law?
  5. What is the difference between rape and sexual battery?
  6. What specific offenses are embraced by the broad term “theft”?
  7. Is the Tennessee statute criminalizing “partial birth abortions” constitutional?
  8. How does perjury differ from obstruction of justice?
  9. Who carries the burden of proof when the insanity defense is raised?  What is the test for determining whether a defendant was insane at the time of the crime?
  10. When, if ever, can intoxication be a defense to a criminal charge?
  11. What is the “necessity” defense?  Give an example of how it might be employed.
  12. When is a homeowner justified in using deadly force against an intruder?