Caught Red Handed with Meth - Resolved in Client's favor due to suppression issue
The client had mailed meth from out of state to a UPS store here in Tennessee. Well, that did not turn out so well for him and law enforcement was tipped off. They waited for him and when he came to pick up the package he was arrested after paying for it. There were several 4th amendment issues related to the search. Case law seems to indicate that when a private individual is acting on behalf of law enforcement, 4th Amendment protections apply. Unfortunately, there was not much case law here in Tennessee, but there were in other jurisdictions and at the federal level. I worked tirelessly to draft a killer suppression motion and after sending it to the Assistant District Attorney, it was enough for him to give us a great offer of settlement. We went from 8 years to serve to 6 years on probation. He was looking at 20 years if convicted at trial.
Additionally, it was clear that my client was an addict, as he had recently moved to Tennessee to get away from drugs, but immediately went back to it. We applied for the local drug court and were accepted. Some drug courts are truly life changing. My client was on the fence about it, but decided it was in best interest when I asked him if he wanted to return home an addict or return home addiction free. Truly a watershed moment in this man's life.
Practice area(s): Criminal Defense
John Ballard is a third generation attorney following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Jack Butler, and his father before him, Howard "General" Butler. Born and raised in Williamson County, John has spent his life in Middle Tennessee. Upon graduating with a Philosophy degree from Samford University, enrolled in Nashville School of Law where he went to school at night while working at his grandfather's law practice in Nashville. After learning the law from one of Nashville's legendary attorney's John spent two years as Judge Seth Norman's court officer in Davidson County Criminal Court Division IV. Working for Judge Norman gave John a unique opportunity to get to know attorneys as well as criminal defendants before graduating Law School in 2014, wherein he was awarded the Moot Court Award.
John began his law practice at 1308 Rosa L Parks Blvd with over a dozen of Nashville's best criminal defense attorneys. While developing a criminal defense practice, John learned that there was a need for a robust law practice that could serve many different legal needs of the community. In addition to needing contracts, civil litigation, document generation, often times the community needs someone to help them jump hurdles and cut through red tape. It may be dispute regarding insurance, employment, codes, local government, or regulations, and knowing the right people and how to navigate seemingly complex issues is important. Working to find a solution without litigation is important, but sometimes the only way to resolve an issue is to let the judge decide. John has spent most of his career in court arguing and winning cases in front of juries and judges on a myriad of issues. His background means that he is familiar with not only the courts but the judges, attorneys, and court staff as well. He is comfortable in the courtroom litigating complex issues because he comes prepared and outworks the other side.
John has recently moved his main office to Franklin, Tennessee and brings with him the experience, knowledge, and reputation from Nashville, but also as a native to Williamson County.