NEW LAWS EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2019
Many new laws were passed this legislative session. Some are effective July 1, 2019 and some January 1, 2020. The most talked about change of course is the new cell phone prohibition. Other laws affect hairstylists and lemonade stands, but in a good way.
Handheld phone ban while driving
Perhaps the most talked about law this session. Come July 1, drivers 18 and older are prohibited from holding or physically supporting a cellphone with any part of one’s body while driving.
So what does this mean? You can’t talk on the phone while driving unless you use an “earpiece, headphone device, or device worn on a wrist to conduct a voice-based communication.”
Drivers could be fined up to $200. Drivers under 18 years of age are already prohibited from using phones while driving.
This law will allow online sports gambling but continue to prohibit gambling in physical locations.
March Madness and Fantasy Football
A win for March Madness!!! The March Madness and Fantasy Football Freedom Act will take effect. The regulation will decriminalize wagers on fantasy sports leagues and sports pools under certain circumstances.
Since many forms of gambling are prohibited in Tennessee, the law adds “low-level sports entertainment pools” to activities officially not considered gambling.
Death penalty appeals
The Sergeant Daniel Baker Act is named for Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Daniel Baker, who was fatally shot in 2018. The suspects in the crime have trials set for August, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty.
The new law would expedite the death penalty appeals process by sending death penalty cases to the Tennessee Supreme Court and removing a Court of Criminal Appeals step.
Criminal justice reform
This law affects those that are trying to expunge their records. A $180 fee will be removed for individuals petitioning the court for expunctions of certain criminal offenses and remove a $350 fee for a defendant applying for expunction of an offense after they complete a diversion program.
The law will remove the license requirement for “engaging in natural hair styling” as a job. Current laws define natural hair styling as hair techniques that cause tension in hair strands, including “twisting, wrapping, weaving, extending, locking or braiding of the hair by hand or mechanical appliances.”
Businesses operated by minors
Lemonade Stands are legal! Who knew we needed a law for this? The new law stops a county or municipality from requiring a license, fee, permit or any other kind of regulation for a business that is solely operated by a person under 18, is located on private property with the owner’s consent and grosses $3,000 or less in a year.
“Public place” is redefined to prohibit indecent exposure in restrooms, lockers rooms, dressing rooms or showers designated for multi-person, single-sex use. Critics have said the legislation targets transgender people.
Child abuse cases
Under this new law, victims have more time to pursue legal action. It also revises and tightens the penalties for persons who intentionally fail to report cases.
You cannot drop items or substances from an unmanned aircraft into an “open-air event venue” in which 100 or more people are gathered for a ticketed event.
This law clarifies that a marriage license cannot be issued for an applicant who is under the age of 17 and defines “parent” for purposes of parental consent to marriage of a minor.
Possession, owning, selling, transferring or manufacturing cock fighting paraphernalia with intent that the items will be utilized in promoting, facilitating, training for or furthering cock fighting is a Class A misdemeanor under this new law.
A person is prohibited from loitering or “conducting any commercial activity” in or close to the median of a state highway. Violation will lead to a Class C misdemeanor offense that requires a warning citation for a first offense.
There are many other new laws. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at (615) 567-7300 or by emailing Kelli directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.