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Lannom Williams Law Group - Providing criminal defense and civil trial practice for Wilson County, Tennessee

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Lebanon, TN 37087
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Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerAbuse of Our Liberty By Authorities Reflected In Murfreesboro Roadblock Video

When we citizens are subjected to having our liberty taken away and abused by government authorities for simply questioning the authority of our government, it is time for citizens to take notice.  Videos of police abusing the rights and dignity of citizens abound on the internet, but one that was taken over the 4th of July weekend, right here in Middle Tennessee, really brings it home.  Take a look at this video.  If this can happen in Murfreesboro, it can happen in Wilson County, Sumner County, and anywhere.

The ridicule of this young man by the police, when he simply asks if he is being detained and why, is insulting to me but unfortunately is very common. By mentioning freedom and the Constitution and asking by what authority the person of power in the government had to question him, he endured further ridicule and invasion of his rights as a U.S. citizen. This is wrong and unless people begin saying this is too much as a whole, the individual does not stand a chance. The landslide of government power over individual rights will continue.

If you think you have any privacy, one drug dog on what an officer knows is a "weak hit," or a made up one, can literally destroy your automobile, letting the dog scratch your paint and the allowing the officer to take out your back seat and also rifle through your belongings.

 This is wrong and I, for one, will fight to stop it.

In defense of the citizen accused,
Frank Lannom
Lannom & Williams Attorneys
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerDrug Sniffing Dogs Used In Illegal Warrantless Searches in Tennessee

In the past few months, an increasing number of folks have retained me for criminal defense against drug or narcotic charges brought by the Mt. Juliet Police, Lebanon Police Department, the Wilson County Sheriff's Department, or other Drug Task Forces in and surrounding Wilson County.  

A common thread in many of the stories related by citizens charged with drug offenses is the apparent or actual constitutional violations of their rights. The United States Supreme Court has sided with the rights of its citizens when by ruling that law enforcement's use of a "drug sniffing" or narcotics detection dog at the front door of the citizen’s home was in fact a search pursuant to the protections of the Fourth Amendment which requires probable cause.  The Court held that law enforcement may not use these enhanced search technologies to intrude upon the private spaces of the citizen without a warrant.

In America, citizens are held on the road side and threatened with being held until a drug sniffing dog is available, unless they consent to give the police the right to search their automobile for drugs or narcotics.  Many citizens give in to these abusive civil rights violations. It is important to not surrender your constitutional rights when confronted by the police and it is clearly appropriate to not surrender your rights in the face of this intimidation.

In order to defend these cases, you need the best criminal defense attorney you can obtain.  If I can provide you help or simply answer questions related to drug or narcotic offenses, give me call for competent and professional legal representation.

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

~ Frank Lannom
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerWilson County Sheriff’s Department and Lebanon Police Department Conducting DUI Checkpoints on May 17th and 18th.

There will be more DUI Saturation Checkpoints around the Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Wilson County this weekend. Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan says they will be setting up their roadblocks on Friday May 17th on Highway 70 and Highway 231. He said in addition to the checkpoints there will be “saturation patrols” throughout the weekend where extra officers will be on patrol duty to look for impaired drivers or anyone committing a traffic violation. The Sheriff’s Department is also readying their Boat Patrol and will be on the Cumberland River and Old Hickory lake throughout the summer looking for boaters operating their craft while under the influence of alcohol. Sheriff Bryan warned Wilson County drivers and boaters that DUI charges carry heavy fines and jail time. While we haven’t heard directly from the Lebanon Police Department, their checkpoints usually coincide with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, but are conducted within the Lebanon city limits.
The Wilson County DUI Checkpoints will be in addition to the ongoing “Click It or Ticket” THP checkpoints that will continue to be set up around Wilson County. These checkpoints are intended to ensure seatbelt use, but officers obviously check for other violations or impairments as well.
representing hundreds of clients accused of DUI in the past 20 years, I have seen the laws governing DUI charges in Tennessee, and related driving offenses such as violation of the Implied Consent law, increase in severity and citizens charged with DUI face life altering penalties including heavy fines, loss of their driver’s license and jail time. If you have been charged with a DUI in Lebanon, Watertown, and Mt. Juliet or anywhere in Middle Tennessee, give me a call for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you protect your rights and preserve your freedom.

Frank Lannom
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerDrug Dogs Are More Often Wrong Than Right

In Florida v. Harris, the United States Supreme Court gave a green light to the wholesale use of a drug sniffing dog's wide latitude to determine the constitutional right of Americans to be free from unwarranted search and seizure.  The best criminal defense lawyers have long argued that a "drug sniffing dog", who cannot be questioned or cross examined, should not alone be sufficient cause to disregard a citizen's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.  Instead of requiring the police to prove a dog's reliability, a small task indeed, the decision flips the burden to the accused citizen to prove a dog's unreliability.  In 2011, The Chicago Tribune  sifted through three years of police reports and found that drug dog alerts on vehicles, which resulted in searches of citizens and their vehicles, were incorrect 66% of the time.  In addition to mistakes being made by the dog, experts questioned in the probe cited mistakes made by handlers who can cue the dog to alert on something that isn’t there by leading the dog too slowly or too many times around the vehicle.

This decision is particularly timely in light of the recent article in The Lebanon Democrat about the new drug sniffing dog the Lebanon Police Department is purchasing to be used to search people, houses, and vehicles.

In defending citizens accused of drug crimes, I have constantly challenged the use of dogs to authorize a search for drugs and thereby permit a search of my client’s property without a warrant.  There are still many other methods to challenge these searches for drugs and to defend people charged with drug offenses in Middle Tennessee.  If you have questions about how an attorney can help defend you from a drug offense, please call my office for a free consultation.

Frank Lannom

~ Frank Lannom
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerWilson County Sheriff’s Department and Lebanon Police Department Conducting DUI Checkpoints on May 4th and 5th.
 
There will be more DUI Saturation Checkpoints around the Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Wilson County area for Cinco de Mayo holiday.  The holiday falls on Sunday, May 5th this year, but the police will be out in force on the night of the 4th to catch any partygoers who drink and drive.  While there will undoubtedly be increased DUI checkpoint saturation throughout Middle Tennessee, Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan says they will be setting up their roadblocks from about 10:00pm Saturday until around 2:00am Sunday in the Highway 231 South area, Carthage Highway, and Highway 109 area.  Lt. Brent Willett of the LPD advises that their checkpoints will be set up around the Highway 70 and Highway 231 areas, anywhere inside city limits.  He said in addition to the checkpoints there will be “saturation patrols” where extra officers will be on patrol duty to look for impaired drivers or anyone committing a traffic violation.  Both Sheriff Bryan and Lt. Willett warned Wilson County drivers that DUI charges carry heavy fines and jail time.
 
These Wilson County DUI Checkpoints will be in addition to the ongoing “Click It or Ticket” THP checkpoints that will continue to be set up around Wilson County, most recently on Trousdale Ferry Pike where several people were ticketed for not wearing their seatbelts and some were arrested for DUIs or outstanding warrants.  These checkpoints are intended to ensure seatbelt use, but officers obviously check for other violations or impairments as well.  
 
In representing hundreds of clients accused of DUI in the past 20 years, I have seen the laws governing DUI charges in Tennessee, and related driving offenses such as violation of the Implied Consent law, increase in severity and citizens charged with DUI face life altering penalties including heavy fines, loss of their driver’s license and jail time.  If you have been charged with a DUI in Lebanon, Watertown, and Mt. Juliet or anywhere in Middle Tennessee, give me a call for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you protect your rights and preserve your freedom.

~ Frank Lannom
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerTennessee DUI Laws Impacted By Supreme Court Decision

In a Tennessee DUI charge, the police can forcibly take your blood if you are under suspicion of certain crimes, specifically DUI and vehicular homicide, If you have ever been convicted of one of those offenses in the past.  They can do this without a search warrant and without your permission.  This “seizure” of your blood can also legally happen if there is a passenger in the vehicle under the age of 16 or if you are involved in an accident that causes even the slightest injury to another person.  I have been defending citizens accused of crimes for over 20 years now and am continually dismayed at the government’s ongoing and over-reaching intrusion into our privacy, and even bodies, in the name of “protecting us from ourselves”.  That’s not what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.

However, hope has been given to all of us who love and value the Constitution of the United States by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Missouri v. McNeely, the Court over-ruled the government’s attempted further intrusion into our lives and our bodies.  I have explained the Court’s ruling in an article in our Criminal Library.

If you have any questions about the taking of blood in a DUI or vehicular homicide investigation, or if I can help you with any of your legal needs, give me a call at 615-444-2900 or contact us through the website for your free consultation.

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,
~ Frank Lannom
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerFrank Lannom Discusses Prohibited Weapons Charges and Penalties In Tennessee

As a criminal defense attorney, the new wave of laws being created regarding weapon crimes can be a daunting maze to navigate.  Our firm has experienced a recent flood of cases from areas in Middle Tennessee including Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Gallatin, Murfreesboro and Nashville.
Each charge of carrying  prohibited weapons in Tennessee  reflects significantly different penalties, depending on which one you are charged with carrying. We have more information on these offenses and their possible penalties listed on the Lannom & Williams website.  Those weapons that are prohibited in general by state law include;

  • An explosive or an explosive weapon
  • A device principally designed for delivering or shooting an explosive weapon
  • A machine gun
  • A short barreled rife
  • A firearm silencer
  • A hoax device
  • A switchblade knife or knuckles
  • Any other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury or death that has no common lawful purpose

The first one, “an explosive or an explosive weapon”, is vaguely worded and especially severe in its penalties.  In one of my recent cases, which received a good bit of state-wide publicity, a local fireman used a simple piece of pcv pipe and some gun powder to form a homemade firecracker.  He threw it into an empty field, which resulted in his being charged with this offense. He was shocked to find out that such an allegation, if proven, carried an 8 to 30 year sentence and is a Class B Felony.  Each and every other weapon listed above is also a felony to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell, except for a switchblade knife or knuckles.

There are, of course, significant exceptions to these laws for the government, people who sell to the government and some commercial uses and odd businesses that specifically swear to only sell knives to law enforcement officers or military personnel (so much for the rest of us just regular ol’ American citizens!).

In short, weapons offenses in Tennessee carry serious penalties and are vaguely written; therefore, one must be very careful in what items they possess or the long arm of law enforcement may be jut around the corner.

We at Lannom and Williams stay educated on the laws currently on the books as well as the method of implementation and enforcement of the laws that are currently being used.  This knowledge and expertise allows us to provide our clients with the best criminal defense possible for their weapons charges.

In the defense of the Citizen Accused,

~ Frank Lannom
Read More Keith Williams - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Injury and Disability AttorneyLannom & Williams Attorneys At Law Can Handle Your Disability Benefits Claim

Lannom & Williams Attorneys At Law in Lebanon Tennessee is expanding our practice of 20 years to include Disability Benefits Law.  In announcing this expansion, Keith Williams said, "With the staff of knowledgeable attorneys and paralegals we have, I feel confident that we can offer the best representation to those in need of help with their benefits.  Too many people work so hard just to be turned down for their benefits during their time of greatest need.  The red tape involved in filing for appeals once they have been turned down is overwhelming for most people and the arbitrary time constraints the government puts on the appeals makes it that much harder.  We are excited about growing our disability practice and, as always, we offer personal service to our clients and our promise that we will fight for their rights."
 
If you have any questions about your disability claim, visit our disability page on the website for information on filing for disability. From there, you can complete our Free Online Evaluation form and we will contact you to discuss the particulars of your case.

B. KEITH WILLIAMS

Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerWe have long trusted our County Judges in Tennessee to decide whether or not someone who has been convicted of a DUI will be granted a restricted drivers license.  These judges could reside in the same county as the accused, or the county in which the accused was convicted, and this resulted in decisions made by local judges for local folks.  Now, the Tennessee State Legislature has handed down mandates that take away the rights of citizens to be judged by local authorities and instead have assumed that right for themselves. In effect, legislators made laws governing the proper level of driving areas and times for a person who is employed to drive under a restricted license. That person, or their employer, can now be forced to install an expensive ignition interlock device on their, or their employer’s, vehicle.  Many employers are obviously concerned about this additional modification and this law has resulted in individuals losing their jobs.  The legislature obviously felt their ability to oversee this specific criteria was such that it was worth the citizens losing their right to have their cases decided on an individual basis by a local Judge.

For now, the legislature requires every driver in the following circumstances to install an ignition interlock device:
  1. If the driver of the vehicle is found to have a blood alcohol concentration of fifteen hundredths of one percent (.15%) or higher;
  2. If a person under eighteen (18) years of age is in the vehicle at the time that the driver is found to be driving under the influence;
  3. The impaired driver is involved in a traffic accident for which notice to law enforcement is required and the accident results from the individual’s intoxication;
  4. If the driver of the vehicle is found to be in violation of the implied consent law and has a conviction for Implied Consent, Underage Driving While Impaired, Open Container, or Reckless Driving, when the original charge was for Driving Under the Influence, that occurred within the last five (5) years of the instant implied consent violation.
  5. Upon conviction for First Offense Driving Under the Influence, a court may, in its discretion, order the person to only operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, for the entire period of the restricted license. (Effective 7/1/2012)

The crime of DUI is highly politicized. Changes to the law occur on a regular basis and at the whim of our elected officials.  For people charged with the crime of Driving Under the Influence or DUI, it is important to have an attorney who is on top of these changes and has the experience with DUI cases to help you if you find yourself accused of such a crime. For a free consultation on accusations of DUI or other crimes in the Middle Tennessee area, give me a call to get the best advice on your situation.

~ 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’ve spent the last 20 years defending citizens accused of DUI in Tennessee and it’s brought me face-to-face with the dangers associated with alcohol related driving offenses. I’ve sat with young and old alike as they discussed a close friend or relative being killed in a wreck in which they were driving.  In almost every city surrounding my office in Lebanon, I have seen the effects of DUI offenses including Mt. Juliet, Nashville, Gallatin, Watertown, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The tragic effects of drinking and driving were recently all over the national headlines as Josh Brent, a member of the Dallas Cowboys, was arrested and taken to jail, having been the driver of an automobile that wrecked and killed his teammate Jerry Brown.  Clearly, Josh Brent cared for his friend and is reported to have been trying to pull his friend from the burning car.  He is alleged to have been impaired at the time of the accident and his blood was drawn for analysis at a local hospital.  In addition to mourning the loss of his best friend and roommate, Brent had to make $500,000 bail after being charged with intoxication manslaughter. Brent is further reported to have had a prior DUI conviction.  Under Tennessee law, a prior conviction can result in a subsequent charge of vehicular homicide being increased to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a class A felony, which carries a sentence of up to 25 years.

As part of my defense of citizens accused of DUI in Tennessee, I go to great efforts to see that they receive as much education and information as possible to prevent any future allegations of DUI.  These attempts range from inpatient rehabilitation, DUI school, alcohol and drug assessments, and attendance of a Mother's Against Drunk Driver's (MADD) Victim Impact Panel.  Even in cases where my clients are clearly not impaired drivers or other defenses are applied, it is vital that my clients and all drivers understand the dangers of drinking and driving.  The punishments and long term consequences of DUI convictions, and the horrendous effects of vehicular homicide on the victims, as well as those accused of the crime are devastating for those charged or victimized as well as their families.

If you have any questions about programs available for DUI offenders, please to call our office to speak with me at any time.  We can provide information for DUI education programs in Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Cookeville, Gallatin and other cities across Middle Tennessee.

~ Frank Lannom
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerLebanon Attorney Frank Lannom warns Wilson County residents that the good old days of DUI checkpoint “saturations” being rolled out just around holidays are over.  Instead, we can expect DUI checkpoints across the county every weekend. In 2009, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department received a grant from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Program and that grant has been given to them every year since.  They have used these funds to create the Wilson County DUI Intervention Program. Every weekend in areas throughout Wilson County, the DUI checkpoints are set up and average about three to five people charged with DUI per weekend.  While they focus most of their attention outside of Mt. Juliet, Watertown and Lebanon city limits, Wilson County deputies can make arrests inside those areas. In fact, they try to go into every bar in Wilson County every weekend to check IDs and for excessively intoxicated people.

Tennessee DUI laws have been strengthened to make it an easier offense for prosecutors to prove. If the police have any suspicion that there is alcohol in a person’s body, they can obtain a search warrant to draw blood.  If the driver has a child under 16, or if they have ever had a prior DUI, they cannot refuse to take the test.  That means the authorities can remove your blood without your consent.  Even if the driver has never been charged with a DUI, if they refuse to take the blood test, they can lose their license for a year.

As of December of 2012, Wilson County has arrested 112 people for DUI.  They arrested 134 in 2011 and expect to match or exceed that number this year.  The Sheriff’s Office says their viewpoint is very simple, “if you drink and drive in Wilson County – you are going to jail”.

If you think the above sounds like law enforcement holds all the cards, you’re right when it comes to the stop and arrest, and in some instances, blood draws. However, where you can take the control back and start protecting your rights and preserving your freedom and future is deciding which attorney you hire to represent you from these serious charges.  I am proud of our DUI case successes at Lannom & Williams in defending citizens accused of crimes and we would be happy to talk to you about your case.  We always offer free consultations, so call us if you should need us on your DUI charge.

~ Frank Lannom
Read More Melanie Bean - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet TN Divorce and Custody AttorneyMelanie R. Bean, attorney at Lannom & Williams and member of the Legislative Committee for the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL), advises that Tennessee’s DUI laws are targeted to be strengthened and streamlined this year by Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons.
 
Commissioner Gibbons has been vocal about his desire to implement what he calls a “two step process” regarding DUI laws.  He proposes to streamline the process by making it more understandable for citizens, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.  He points out that the State of Tennessee’s DUI law is currently 58 pages long, as opposed to the 18 page death penalty statute, making it confusing to navigate for prosecutors and defense attorneys.  Commissioner Gibbons used the possibility of requiring DUI convicts to undergo mandatory alcohol abuse treatment as an instance where the law might be strengthened.  He also said to expect increased DUI enforcement by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
 
Ms. Bean advises that the Legislative Committee for TACDL will push to have the rights of citizens protected in the face of this comprehensive “re-working” of the DUI laws in Tennessee.  For instance, legislation is expected to be proposed that will expand the new law for expungement of certain convictions, including DUIs, by increasing the fine limits from $1,000 to $2,000, and allowing for expungement of more than one conviction if plead on the same date, from the same indictment, or set of circumstances.
 
2013 promises to be a pivotal year for DUI laws and law enforcement in Tennessee.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding DUI charges in Tennessee, you’ll want to speak with an attorney with expertise defending this area of the law.  If we can help you, please give us a call. In the meantime, you can check out our website or “like” us on Facebook for updates on your rights.  


Melanie R. Bean
 


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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