Lebanon Tennessee Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Attorneys practicing auto, trucking, motorcycle and all personal injury law and DUI, Assault, Seizure and all Criminal Law.
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Lannom Williams Law Group - Providing criminal defense and civil trial practice for Wilson County, Tennessee

137 Public Square
Lebanon, TN 37087
615.444.2900
FAX (615) 444-6516
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Frank and Melanie are attending the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Conference in Nashville today and have been getting briefed on new and changing laws in Tennessee. Frank sent the following on Vehicular Homicide. . .

As a general rule, Vehicular Homicide is a class B felony that carries a possible sentence of 8-20 years. However, in some instances there is the possibility of a fully probated sentence if the facts and circumstances warrant such a sentence.

The Tennessee Legislature has now set arbitrary minimum mandatory sentences for Vehicular Homicide:

  • If for a first violation of Vehicular Homicide, the sentence shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of (48) hours;
  • If the person has one prior conviction for an alcohol related offense, the person shall serve 45 days consecutive days of incarceration and is not eligible for probation until such sentence is served; 
  • If the person has a combination of two prior conviction for an alcohol related offense, the person shall serve 120 consecutive days of incarceration;
  • If at the time of sentencing, the person has any combination of three or more prior convictions for an alcohol-related offense they shall serve a mandatory minimum sentence of (150) days.


 This sentencing law takes effect July 1, 2015 .

Read More A potential client came by our office late last Friday very worried about a legal problem facing them. After spending some time with us, they left with peace of mind and the confidence to allow them to spend a long holiday weekend worry-free with their family. To say thanks, they brought us an apple pie on Tuesday - what a great way to start our week!

 Happy clients and a simple "thank you" are enough for us - but who are we to turn down pie?
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In 2016, our office closed several times due to icing conditions on the roads. The Wilson County and surrounding counties courts closed as well. But, it wasn't easy to get this information out to our clients and it understandably created a panic. Will there be a bench warrant issued for me if I don't show up for court even though I can't get out of my driveway? We heard that question alot! 2017 has been a cakewalk as far as bad weather, but we all know that's subject to change any minute.

We will put out a blog on weather conditions as early as we can and get it out on our Facebook sites as well, so follow Frank Lannom, Attorney and/or Law Offices of Lannom & Williams on Facebook. Additionally, someone on your team (either your attorney or paralegal) will call you as soon as possible to let you know. We do have a 24 hour a day/7 days a week answering service, so if you are concerned about the weather affecting your court date, call our office and leave a message and someone will call you back as soon as possible.

Weather is something that we humans can't do much about. A severe storm or icing can make our roads impassable or black out our power for several hours to days. We will do our best to stay in touch with you about the courts and what you need to do to comply with your obligations. Additionally, you can check local TV stations, WANT radio (local Wilson County radio), and county government websites and Facebook sites for updates.

 

View of Friendship Christian on Coles Ferry in the snow!

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     A great number of the criminal cases I handle are for younger people. While these younger clients are most often between 18-21, it is becoming more common to see youths under 18 charged with serious crimes.  I have often criticized the philosophy that young people in our society are considered too immature to make their own decisions, yet our legal system wants to hold them fully responsible when their actions break the law.

     As an example, society has deemed that people under the age of 21 are to immature to make appropriate decisions on the use of alcohol, yet if they are provided alcohol by another person or business, the young person is held fully accountable for crimes such as DUI, vehicular assault, or even vehicular homicide. The Supreme Court has delved into the often unbelievably harsh treatment some states have imposed on people that our society, outside of the criminal justice system, considers to be children.

    On June 25, 2012, the United States Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to place a mandatory life-without-parole sentence on a child who was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.  The ruling granted new sentencing hearings to two children, both of whom were automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole for crimes they committed at the age of 14.

    The Court held that imposing mandatory life-without-parole sentences on children imposed a state’s most severe penalties on juvenile offenders, as though they were adults and not children. Therefore, regardless of the crime committed, child status matters.

    Justice Kagan said that sentencing should include consideration of a child’s chronological age and its hallmark features, such as immaturity, impetuosity and failure to appreciate risks and consequences as well as the family and home environment — from which the youth cannot usually extricate him or herself, even if it is brutal or dysfunctional.

    The Court also was clear that discretionary life without parole sentences should be rare. Justice Kagan wrote, “Given all that we have said in RoperGraham, and this decision about children’s diminished culpability, and heightened capacity for change, we think appropriate occasions for sentencing juveniles to this harshest possible penalty will be uncommon.”

    While it is far more common for the young people we represent to be charged with lesser crimes of possession of drugs , DUI, assault and harassment, the same principles of childhood, immaturity, difficult home life, and split families all are appropriate considerations on the level of punishment or second opportunities for children to avoid a lifetime of sanctions for a crime of youth.

    For the best criminal defense possible, please give me a call to discuss your young person and their criminal charges - to give them a chance to protect their future.

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

Frank Lannom

 

 

 



 

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    We are proud to announce that Keith Williams has been recognized for his work in injury law by the legal industry.

   Keith has been named a "Super Lawyer - 2014: Personal Injury: General - Plaintiff” by Super Lawyers, a division of Thomson-Reuters and he is also included in the national magazine, Super Lawyers - Mid-South 2014 Edition.  The selection process to become a "Super Lawyer" is extremely rigorous, with only 5% of the attorneys who are nominated by their peers making the final cut.  The process, designed by Thomson-Reuters, is so specific and intricate that it has been patented.

     Keith has been practicing injury law in Nashville and across the country for over 20 years. While his priority will always be to provide the best possible representation to his clients, Keith appreciates being nominated by his peers across the country and being selected to receive this award, stating: "Being a great Dad to my two girls and being the best attorney I can be are the two things in my life I am most passionate about. I am grateful for the award and recognition by my fellow attorneys and Thomson-Reuters, but the focus in my career has always been and will continue to be my clients".

 

 

 





 

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     As a parent, I cannot fathom the unbearable pain experienced from losing a child. On December 23, 2014, a Bardstown Mother experienced this pain after watching her twelve year old daughter cling to life in an intensive care room at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. 

    

     Such unbearable situations only cause an endless list of questions, the most often asked is a simple why”?  In the unfortunate death of twelve year old Reagan Carter, persistent instances of school bullying, occurring on campus and at school sponsored events and online, contributed to the horrific loss.  This is certainly not the first time such a disturbing story has caused local and national headlines. School Districts, including the Bardstown Board of Education, which governs the Middle School Reagan Carter attended, adopt policies purportedly to protect students from bullying. Bardstown had numerous policies supposedly to protect students like Reagan Carter, including “Bullying and Hazing”; “Assault and Threats of Violence”; “Harassment/Discrimination” and actions that “Disrupt the Educational Process”. Bardstown even used the words “[h]azing, bullying, menacing, or abuse of students or staff members will not be tolerated.”  Policies and rules, including the state and federal laws that require the implementation thereof to provide a safe environment for children, are not effective if not followed. It bears an important question in the death of Reagan Carter, “why was Reagan not protected by the very school that promised to do so?”

     Reportedly, Reagan's mother had met with school officials on three different occasions since August, 2014 regarding the tireless acts of bullying, ridicule, humiliation, and intimidation against Reagan by a particular group of students. Reagan’s mother had even addressed the pervasive bullying just five days before Reagan began her hospitalization at Kosair after a student came to Reagan’s classroom and threatened bodily injury to her. As a result of the inescapable bullying perpetrated upon Reagan, unchecked by the school, Reagan’s mother intended to change Reagan’s school at the winter break.
   
     Despite her Mother’s attempts to demand a safe and abuse free school environment for Reagan, the bullying continued and at a school sponsored event on December 18, 2014, Reagan was scared and bullied to tears. Later that night, Reagan was rushed to Kosair in an effort to save her life. 

     State and Federal laws set requirements to mandate the adoption of policies and procedures “to ensure safe schools” and include adopting a “discipline code” and the development of a “district wide safety plan”. Failure to comply with state and federal laws may result in civil liability. If your child is bullied and subject to persistent ridicule emanating from school, it is important to document these incidents with the school and require compliance with policies, procedures, state and federal law, which may vary state to state. 

    

     The Law Office of Lannom and Williams extends deepest sympathy to the family of Reagan Carter. 

 

 

Melanie Bean

 

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 Being charged with a crime such as a DUI is frightening and can be overwhelming. As a criminal defense attorney with over 20 years experience representing citizens accused of crimes, I understand what my clients are feeling. Experience has taught me that anxiety is the number one issue people face. While the actual facts of the case may be intimidating, the unknown always produces the greatest fear with my clients. I have found that most of my client's anxiety can be largely reduced by getting honest answers to their questions. A face-to-face appointment is always the best thing to obtain answers, but sometimes the wait before our meeting can enhance anxiety, and the resolution to that is to call me to get some of your questions answered. I have found that just a few minutes of time dedicated to answering questions relieves a lot of anxiety for my clients and I am glad to talk over your case on the phone (615-444-3995).  In almost every circumstance, you will get a return call from us the same day. We have an answering service after business hours, on holidays, and on weekends and at attorney will usually get back with you within a few hours during those times as well. Don't worry if you don't have a lot of information about your charges, we can answer many of your questions on the phone and schedule you for an appointment generally within a week.

What about before we talk - how do you get yourself or a loved one out of jail? While legal advice is always good to have, an arrest in the middle of the night generally focuses the friends and family on one question.  How do we get our friends and family out of jail?  For first offenders accused of DUI, the answer is almost always the same. We advise contacting a bail bonding company immediately. Your friend or family member charged with DUI will generally have a relatively low bail bond generally requiring a bail bond fee or premium of less than $300.00. By paying this fee you obtain the services of a bail bonding company to speed along the process and minimize the anxiety of getting your family or friend released from custody.  In many middle Tennessee Counties, multiple offenders accused of DUI will require some type of monitering device as a bail condition for release. This generally will be a transdermal monitering device that can usually be installed by the bonding company. A fee for installation and the first months fee (generally $125.00) will be required. While it may proove somewhat embarrassing, it is likely a requirement that cannot be avoided for a quick release. If it is undesireable, have it installed as required and call our office  the next morning. We can likley provide a method of having it removed saving both expense and embarrassment.

For help in this area, call us at Frank Lannom Law Group  615-444-3995 for help with all aspects of a DUI charge.
  

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        I spent some time researching other Middle Tennessee attorney's areas of practice recently. You know - those things they represent to you that they handle with a high level of expertise. I have always found this to be a curious read when searching for an attorney and one that is clearly confusing to people who are trying to find the best attorney for their needs. Here’s a fact to help you evaluate an attorney’s claims - with few exceptions, any attorney can legally handle any type of case. But few attorneys, if any, can handle more than 1 or 2 areas with the expertise people deserve and expect. I wouldn’t go to a doctor with a specialty in heart disease if I had cancer, would you?  The doctor may be the best heart doctor in the world – but they would not fit my specific needs at that particular time.  
                 Some firms, like ours, have multiple lawyers specializing in different areas of law which allows us to handle almost any legal need in-house. If your particular legal need is not my specialty, I can confidently refer to you an excellent attorney in my own office who I know has extensive successful experience in your type of case. In the rare instance you require legal assistance in an area we can’t service in-house, our 20+ years of experience in the Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and entire Middle Tennessee area means we know an excellent local attorney to refer you to – “the one we’d use if we needed an attorney for that”.
                 In the future, when you review an individual attorney's claims of areas they handle and you see a laundry list of areas that look like this:

  • DUI
  • Personal injury cases
  • Tractor trailer wrecks
  • Contested estates
  • Divorce law
  • Business litigation
  • Contracts
  • Homicide
  • Bankruptcy
  • Real estate transactions
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Medical malpractice (etc. and so on) . . . .  and you don't see separate attorneys dedicated to developing their knowledge and skill in a specific area, it is time for you to question how one person can be an expert in all of those fields. The old adage, "jack of all trades, master of none" could likely be applied.

                At Lannom and Williams Trial Attorneys, we have attorneys who specialize in particular fields. I handle all types of criminal charges, Keith Williams handles all types of injury cases and business litigation, Melanie Bean handles divorce and child custody (as well as assisting in the criminal practice), and Jim Stocks handles workers compensation and Social Security Disability law (as well as assisting Keith with personal injury cases). Each attorney spends time furthering their knowledge with Continuing Legal Education. Keith and I have spent quite a bit of time over the past few years training other lawyers as presenters at legal seminars across the state and, in Keith’s case, across the country. Melanie Bean has served as an Adjunct Professor at Cumberland University for the past several years teaching Constitutional Law.  It's better to hire the teacher than the student.
                 Take the time to look at our attorney's profiles and their case results to see their level of experience in the areas of law we each practice. Then head over to our client testimonials to see how our dedication to providing the best legal representation possible to our clients works out for real people in the real world.
                 If we can help you with any legal needs, just let us know.  Even if you need help in an area of law in which we don’t primarily practice, we’ll be happy to refer to on to a qualified attorney in your area who we know endeavors to help their clients as passionately as we do!

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

Frank Lannom

 



  

  

 

       
Read More frank door openOnce again substantive changes have been made to the Tennessee DUI Laws:

Operating an Employer's Vehicle. Under prior Tennessee Law, individuals with a restrictive driver's license, which required the use of an interlock device on their vehicle, could drive an employer's vehicle WITHOUT the requirement of an interlock device on the vehicle, as long as the employer acknowledged in writing they were permitted to do so.  The 2014 changes to the DUI law remove this provision in total from the restricted driving statute.

Another area impacted by the 2014 DUI law changes is sentencing credits for in-patient and out-patient treatment for DUI offenses.  Prior law allowed sentencing credits for substance abuse treatment of up to 28 days of a sentence for those convicted of a DUI 2nd Offense and only permitted sentence credits for inpatient treatment programs. The changes to the statute in 2014 only allow sentence credits after a mandatory minimum service of 25 days.  

However, for the first time, those convicted of DUI 3rd Offense may receive in-patient treatment credits after serving 65 days of the mandatory minimum of 120 days. While a defendant may receive this credit whether treatment is received prior to or after the conviction, prior to the participation in a treatment program, the defendant must have a clinical substance abuse assessment conducted by a qualified and licensed alcohol and drug abuse treatment professional. An individual must fully complete the program recommended to receive the sentence reduction credits.

Major strides were made toward financially responsible methods of fully treating addiction by allowing sentencing credits for inpatient treatment if deemed appropriate by certified substance abuse treatment counselors. While the standards are strict, many offenders who can't complete inpatient treatment due to employment and financial obligations or simply need longer term outpatient programs to fully treat their issues, will be permitted one (1) day credit for every nine (9) hours of successfully completed intensive outpatient treatment.

While the above statutes are applicable to offenses occurring after July 1, 2014, those who were after July 1, 2014, but who were charged with the offense prior to July 1, 2014, may request that the judge sentence them under this new provision of the law.

In the defense of the citizen accused,
~ Frank Lannom
(Handling criminal cases in Lebanon, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, Gallatin, Lafayette, Smyrna and all other Middle Tennessee areas)
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerI spent some time researching other Middle Tennessee attorney's areas of practice recently. You know - those things they represent to you that they handle with a high level of expertise. I have always found this to be a curious read when searching for an attorney and one that is clearly confusing to people who are trying to find the best attorney for their needs. Here’s a fact to help you evaluate an attorney’s claims - with few exceptions, any attorney can legally handle any type of case. But few attorneys, if any, can handle more than 1 or 2 areas with the expertise people deserve and expect. I wouldn’t go to a doctor with a specialty in heart disease if I had cancer, would you?  The doctor may be the best heart doctor in the world - but they would not fit my specific needs at that particular time.  

Some firms, like ours, have multiple lawyers specializing in different areas of law which allows us to handle almost any legal need in-house. If your particular legal need is not my specialty, I can confidently refer to you an excellent attorney in my own office who I know has extensive successful experience in your type of case. In the rare instance you require legal assistance in an area we can’t service in-house, our 20+ years of experience in the Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and entire Middle Tennessee area means we know an excellent local attorney to refer you to – “the one we’d use if we needed an attorney for that”.

In the future, when you review an individual attorney's claims of areas they handle and you see a laundry list of areas that look like this:
  • DUI
  • Personal injury cases
  • Tractor trailer wrecks
  • Contested estates
  • Divorce law
  • Business litigation
  • Contracts
  • Health care liability
  • Bankruptcy
  • Real estate transactions
  • Nursing home liability
  • Medical malpractice (etc. and so on)...

and you don't see separate attorneys dedicated to developing their knowledge and skill in a specific area, it is time for you to question how one person can be an expert in all of those fields. The old adage, "jack of all trades, master of none" could likely be applied.

At Lannom and Williams Trial Attorneys, we have attorneys who specialize in particular fields. I handle all types of criminal charges, Keith Williams handles all types of injury cases and business litigation, Melanie Bean handles divorce and child custody (as well as assisting in the criminal practice), and Jim Stocks handles workers compensation and Social Security Disability law (as well as assisting Keith with personal injury cases). Each attorney spends time furthering their knowledge with Continuing Legal Education. Keith and I have spent quite a bit of time over the past few years training other lawyers as presenters at legal seminars across the state and, in Keith’s case, across the country. Melanie Bean has served as an Adjunct Professor at Cumberland University for the past several years teaching Constitutional Law.  It's better to hire the teacher than the student.

2014-10-30-1Take the time to look at our attorney's profiles and their case results to see their level of experience in the areas of law we each practice. Then head over to our client testimonials to see how our dedication to providing the best legal representation possible to our clients works out for real people in the real world.

If we can help you with any legal needs, just let us know.  Even if you need help in an area of law in which we don’t primarily practice, we’ll be happy to refer to on to a qualified attorney in your area who we know endeavors to help their clients as passionately as we do!

In defense of the citizen accused,
~ Frank Lannom
(Handling criminal cases in Lebanon, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, Gallatin, Lafayette, Smyrna and all other Middle Tennessee areas)
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keith williams-sm As most of our friends, family, and former clients know, we don’t usually dabble in politics at Lannom & Williams Trial Attorneys. While we all have passionate personal opinions, which result in frequent and lively discussions, we don’t let any political differences get in the way of our friendship, professional respect, or our assertive representation of our clients.

We did break tradition this year by strongly urging Tennesseans, through our e-newsletter and social media, to vote to retain the judges who were up for a Retention Vote this August. We were alarmed that state government and special interest groups, with the help of millions of dollars from unnamed donors who weren’t even in Tennessee, were trying to interfere and fundamentally change the judicial branch in Tennessee. District Attorneys, public defenders, and attorneys across the state came together in vocal opposition to the vicious and personal attacks waged against these judges.

As my law partner, Frank Lannom, put it: “If the Supreme Court, after ending the practice of Jim Crow laws in the 50's and 60s, had been up for a retention vote, I am sure they would not have been retained. It took courage, and Justices with true judicial freedom, to enforce the Constitution to prohibit the inhumane actions that were being inflicted on American citizens.” The process that has been used to appoint Supreme Court Judges in Tennessee for over a century is exceedingly fair and impartial. The judicial branch of the government must remain free of the taint of politics and big money influence. Tennesseans took charge of their right to an impartial court when they voted overwhelmingly to RETAIN the judges this year.

I think a statement from New York University’s bi-partisan Brennan Center for Justice sums it up well, “We see judges or justices being targeted for unpopular and controversial decisions that they make on the bench, and that’s concerning because you want judges to decide cases based on the law and on the Constitution and not on popularity.” I am hopeful that Tennesseans, and all Americans, will continue to see through big money corporate lobbyists’ lies and deceitful claims, and that we will continue to vote on the side of liberty and personal freedom!

~ Keith Williams
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        What's on your cell phone and whose business is it? 

       The huge rise in the number of smart phones and the personal information contained on them has grown exponentially over the past 10 years. The Government has (predictably) used the ability to carry our personal information in our hand as a way to invade our privacy by searching indiscriminately any aspect of our life they desire. Law enforcement had adopted a policy that, if you were arrested for any crime such as possessing one marijuana joint, DUI or any criminal offense, they have the right to search anything on your phone without obtaining a search warrant. I have seen the police keep a citizen’s phone for weeks, and even months, perusing them at their leisure without judicial authorization.

        Our Constitution, bought and paid for with the blood of patriots, has long held that a warrantless search is presumed unlawful and that a government search requires obtaining a judicial warrant, unless there is a specific exception to the warrant requirement. This requirement has been routinely ignored for many years by law enforcement both on the federal level and in Tennessee.   

        In the case of Riley vs. California, the United States Supreme Court has now held that law enforcement must get a search warrant before searching the content of your phone, unless the narrow and specific exceptions to the search warrant requirement are found. Bi-partisan appointed Justices formed an alliance to reign in this invasive practice of law enforcement.  In holding that  search war-rant requirements are an important part of how our government operates, the Justices stated "that the warrant requirement is more than an inconvenience to somehow be weighed against the claims of police inefficiency". In short, freedom and the Constitution matter more than the police enforcing one more law. The Court recognized  that  almost every aspect of a citizen’s personal life is located on their cell phone  from internet browsing history, apps for political parties, pregnancy charting, aspects of romantic life, religious beliefs including the bible or religious literature one reads, medications, banking information and list goes on . . . If the Supreme Court had not held the police to the high standard of the Constitution, all the personal information aforementioned would still be subject to police browsing without a warrant. 

       The Court also shut down law enforcement  and the Government’s argument that searching cell phones without a warrant was no big deal - that it was the same as searching your pockets or a book you had on your person. The same government, who refuses to turn over emails, donor's lists, and timing of their phone calls related to government affairs, felt every aspect of your life was fair game for their search. The Court also dispelled other emotionally charged arguments, such as a terrorist plot could be foiled or a child abductor’s phone might hold the location of child, by pointing out that emergency exceptions have always existed when there is a reason to believe that disaster is imminent or lives are in danger.     

     The Supreme Court, in adopting freedom over a police state, beautifully stated, "Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans "the privacies of life". The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand, does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to arrest is accordingly simple, get a warrant."



        I  can add  nothing to that  eloquent  defense of personal liberty except to point out that those who follow us on Facebook will recognize  “get a warrant!” as being at  the heart of some of my more passionate blogs and posts!

       This recognition of the importance of protecting our Constitutional Rights from over-reaching Government and law enforcement is encouraging, but we must be ever-vigilent because the Government does not give up easily - if ever!  

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

Frank Lannom


LANNOM & WILLIAMS
137 Public Square Lebanon, TN 37087
Via Phone: (615) 444-2900 Via Facsimile: (615) 444-6516 Toll Free: (866) 820-4457

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Via Phone: (615) 313-3999

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