July 1: Stolen Valor Act, public photography some of new laws for Tennessee

Becky Campbell • Updated Jun 10, 2018 at 4:41 PM

A wide range of new laws affecting crime victims and defendants go into effect next month, including one to protect a military member’s valor.

Criminal Offenses

• Tennessee Stolen Valor Act — A person commits criminal impersonation if they pretend to be an active duty member or veteran of uniformed service by wearing a uniform, rank, medals, devices, or insignia of a uniformed service if the person is not a member of that service or has not been awarded the medals, or presents false identification as if they were a member of an armed force.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months 29 days in jail, plus fines and court costs.

• Public photography — Establishes what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy for purposes of the offense of unlawful photographing in violation of privacy. A person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, regardless of the location where a photograph is taken if:

(1) The photograph is taken in a manner that would offend or embarrass a reasonable person; and

(2) The photograph depicts areas of the individual's body, clothed or unclothed, that would not be visible to ordinary observation but for the offensive or embarrassing manner of photography.

• Second Degree Murder — This law classifies the killing of another by unlawful distribution or unlawful delivery or unlawful dispensation of fentanyl or carfentanil, when those substances alone, or in combination with any scheduled controlled substance, including controlled substance analogs, are the primary cause of the death of the user as second-degree murder.

• Incest — Prohibits a person charged with incest from participating in judicial diversion.

Law Enforcement 

• When making an arrest, law enforcement officers are now required to ask the person if they are the parent or legal custodian of any children that will be left unattended by the person's arrest.

• Privacy, Confidentiality — Protects residential information of county corrections officers, and punishes violations of release of such information, in the same manner the residential information of law enforcement officers is protected.

• Sexual Offenders — Anyone convicted of a sex offense against a minor cannot knowingly establish a primary or secondary residence or any other living space, nor may they accept employment, within 1,000 feet of the property line of a public, private or parochial school, licensed daycare center or other child care facility, public park, playground, recreation center or public athletic field available for use by the general public.

To view all the new laws taking effect July 1, click here.

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