Justia Lawyer Rating for Joseph W. Fuson
Top 40 Under 40
Super Lawyers
The National Trial Lawyers
Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education & Specialization
NORML Lifetime Member
Nashville Scene
Nashville Scene
Super Lawyers
NACDA 2023 Nationally Ranked Top Ten

Free Cops Talking to the Criminal About the Evidence Stock Photo
The “Miranda warning” is a statement given by law enforcement to a suspect in custody, informing them of their rights. The warning is derived from the United States Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), which established the requirement for law enforcement to inform suspects of their rights before interrogating them.

The Miranda warning must include the following statements:

  • The right to remain silent

A speeding ticket or traffic citation for a CDL driver can have a serious effect on their employment. While a non-CDL driver may be eligible for traffic school to keep a traffic citation off their driving record, there are some limitaitons on what Courts are allowed to do with citations for CDL drivers.

49 CFR § 384.226- Prohibition on masking convictions:

The State must not mask, defer imposition of judgment, or allow an individual to enter into a diversion program that would prevent a CLP or CDL holder’s conviction for any violation, in any type of motor vehicle, of a State or local traffic control law (other than parking, vehicle weight, or vehicle defect violations) from appearing on the CDLIS driver record, whether the driver was convicted for an offense committed in the State where the driver is licensed or another State.

Under TCA 55-10-406 any person driving a motor vehicle in Tennessee is deemed to have given implied consent to a breath test, a blood test, or both to determine the person’s alcohol or drug content of their blood. A refusal to submit to one of these tests is a civil rather than criminal offense. Therefore, drivers cannot be punished with jail time but will face mandatory suspension periods of their driver’s license.

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals clarified that “consent” under the implied consent statute is not voluntary consent to search but consent to certain consequences if permission to search is withheld from a driver. State v. Henry, 539 S.W.3d 223, 246 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2017).

Breath and blood tests are treated differently in Tennessee, so there are different standards and procedures prior to administering one of these tests.


What is Delta-8 THC? 

Delta-8 THC is one of over 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Like Delta9 THC and CBD, Delta-8 THC is a natural chemical found in cannabis plants. Delta9 and CBD cannabinoids derived from legal cannabis are much more prevalent in use in Tennessee. However, Delta8 is receiving a considerable amount of attention from cannabis consumers in the State of Tennessee who want to consume a legal product and receive the unique benefits that Delta 8 provides.  

Delta-8 THC is chemically different from Delta-9 THC by only a few atomic bonds and still offers a potent high of its own. While Delta-8 THC only exists naturally in fractions of a percent, companies are finding value in concentrating esoteric cannabinoids for their unique effects and applications.(1) Because it is not contained in large concentrations in the hemp flower, it usually sprayed on hemp flower or placed in vapes, concentrates, and edibles. 

Because of its molecular structure, Delta-8 THC bonds more to CB2 receptors than CB1 receptors, allowing it to have numerous benefits on the body with fewer side-effects influencing the CB1 receptors in the brain. Ultimately, this makes the health benefits of Delta-8 THC stand out while minimizing its psychoactive effects.  

 Is Delta-8 Legal in Tennessee? 

 In December 2018, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which lifted the controlled substance designation for hemp and all its extracts except for Delta-9 THC which must be in a concentration of less than .3% on a dry-weight basis. Under current Tennessee and federal law, marijuana (illegal cannabis) is cannabis that contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis, while hemp (legal cannabis) contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 is legal under both Tennessee and federal law. There is currently no limit on how much Delta-8 THC a product may contain in order to be considered legal cannabis so long as the Delta-8 THC is derived from the hemp.(2) 

DEA being the DEA 

 In 2020, DEA released the “Implementation of Agricultural Improvement Act 2018“, which outlined a very different interpretation of the 2018 Farm Bill as it relates to Delta-8 THC. According to DEA, Delta-8 THC was not covered under the 2018 Farm Bill as a derivative of hemp and is therefore illegal. Their interpretation of the plain language of the 2018 Farm Bill is based on the fact that Delta-8 THC is not present in extractable levels in hemp and must be synthesized from CBDThe DEA is thus proposing that Delta-8 be considered a synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols and listed as schedule 1 controlled substance.(3) This has been hotly disputed and has not been deemed final by the DEA or any governing body. 

Future of Delta-8 

Due to the benefits of Delta-8 THC and the minimal psychoactive effect it has on users, it will hopefully become more widely desired and produced by our Tennessee hemp farmers, manufactured by Tennessee businesses, and sold in retail CBD stores in Tennessee. Regulation is almost certain but not necessarily a bad thing. Responsible and informed regulation will allow the responsible manufacturers and retailers to provide consumers with safe and effective Delta-8 THC cannabis products. I only hope our conservative state legislature does not try to put the toothpaste back in the tube.  



HEMP LAW GROUP is Tennessee’s first and only legal group dedicated to representing individuals and small businesses navigate the legal cannabis industry in Tennessee. Joey Fuson, partner at Freeman & Fuson, founded Hemp Law Group and is widely considered a leader and expert in the legal hemp and cannabis industry in Tennessee. To learn more, visit www.hemplawgroup.com.

Continue Reading

shutterstock_1134923861-1-300x200“Can my social security check be garnished for child support” is a question some parents may find themselves wondering. The answer to that questions depends on the type of social security benefit the parent receives. Two main types of benefits are Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).


The Tennessee Supreme Court in Tennessee Dept. of Human Servs. ex rel. Young v. Young, 802 S.W.2d 594 (Tenn. 1990) provides a detailed explanation of the comparison of SSI benefits to SSDI benefits.


THE GOLDEN TICKETgolden-ticket-v2-263x300

We all make mistakes and one mistake should not define a person. If this is the first time you’ve been charged with a crime or crimes, understandably you are worried. If you have gone a step further and researched the maximum punishments that accompany the crime(s) you are charged with, you are keeping yourself up at night worrying. Any criminal conviction on one’s record can have significant consequences on their ability to obtain jobs, housing, or loans. REST ASSURED. Fortunately, Tennessee has a program for one-time offenders called Judicial Diversion, although it could be more accurately described as Tennessee’s “Golden Ticket.”


Parents who have adopted a child in a foreign county may be surprised to find out they need to take additional steps once returning to the U.S. with their child. After working with foreign adoption agencies and foreign judicial systems for lengthy periods of time the process is not complete once you are home with your child. Citizenship and Birth Certificates are essential items in the adoption process, unfortunately neither of these are guaranteed to be automatically granted based on the foreign adoption alone. The good news is that these issues can be acquired much easier than the initial adoption process. T.C.A. §36-1-106 provides guidance on what steps to take in Tennessee to formalize the adoption of your child from another country.




On March 2nd and 3rd of 2020, a series of large tornadoes touched down in Middle Tennessee, resulting in widespread damage, injuries, and fatalities. Lives were lost, electric lines were toppled, and countless homes were damaged or destroyed.

In the weeks that followed the tornadoes, a new emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, has been forced to the forefront of everyone’s minds. As a result of “Stay at Home” orders all across the state and country, many people’s job security, and their ability to pay rent, is at risk.

In a recent Tennessee Court of Appeals decision, Luker v. Luker, M2018-00138-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App.2018), the Court addressed whether a respondent in an Order of Protection case had a right to conduct discovery in order to prepare for the hearing.  The typical Order of Protection case is set for a hearing within fifteen (15) days of the respondent being served.  Once served, typically an ex parte order of protection is issued, which many believed was intended to protect the petitioner from harm.

In Luker, the Court of Appeals stated, much differently, that the requirement of a hearing within 15 days was intended to protect the respondent from frivolous ex parte orders of protection and not intended for the protection of the petitioner.  The Court also stated that it saw no barrier to a respondent requesting that the hearing be put for a definite period of time in order to request reasonable discovery as long as the ex parte order remained in place.  The catch in the Court’s opinion is that discovery would be granted at the trial court’s discretion, meaning that the ability to conduct discovery in an order of protection case would be decided on a case-by-case and court-by-court basis.

This opinion is extremely important because of the nature of order of protection cases.  Respondent’s get served with an order and have a court date set in a matter of days.  The petitions for an order of protection are also notoriously vague and tend not to provide dates of incidents or name potential witnesses.  Discovery in such cases allows a respondent to request more detailed information in the allegations so that they may properly develop a defense to each specific claim.

Nashville is experiencing a significant increase in tourism. As reported by the Tennessean on January 25, 2018, “the Nashville area set another record for annual visitors in 2017, bringing in 14.5 million people and reaching a new high mark for hotel rooms sold.” While traditional hotel stays have been the staple of tourism for Nashville and most US cities, short-term rental services like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO have increased in popularity as a means of vacationing in a comfortable and private environment. Short-term rentals have become the desired method of traveling for a large portion of the population and it is only growing. Short-term rentals also provide a way for Nashville residents to gain income from their properties located near popular attractions. However, Nashville and other local governments have enacted zoning regulations that limit the potential gain of residents in renting short-term.

Freeman & Fuson has spent the last decade practicing in the area of land use and zoning.

While owning a short-term rental can be very profitable, the following is what you need to know before you use your property as a short-term rental unit:

Contact Information