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

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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
 

Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerDefending citizens accused of crimes is a profession that introduces me to people in some of the most difficult times of their lives. I meet and represent these folks all over the State of Tennessee. While the criminal laws of our State are equally applicable to every county and city, the application of these laws is different in each and every jurisdiction. In many counties, the application of the law differs greatly between different judges, courts and even city municipalities.

Over the next few blog entries I will attempt to lay out some differences that citizens charged with the crime of Driving Under the Influence can face in the different jurisdictions within Middle Tennessee.

One jurisdiction with unique differences is Rutherford County, Tennessee. The differences lie in the application of the DUI law spread across the General Sessions Court of Rutherford County, the Criminal Court of Rutherford County and the Municipal Courts of the Town of Smyrna, Tennessee.

Rutherford County, like many jurisdictions, does have very active and specialized DUI interdiction units within its different police departments. As a general rule, these departments and courts have learned that allowing criminal defense attorneys access to videotapes preserved by these units, before even the first court date, makes for a more efficient system. Therefore, a citizen charged with DUI and represented by my firm can expect to have access to the videotape of his or her arrest before having meaningful court appearances.

Rutherford County is most unique in its willingness to make reductions in DUI charges, primarily to the amended offense of Reckless Endangerment. Reckless Endangerment carries similar probation time requirements as DUI, but not a mandatory driver's license suspension. However, this willingness comes at a high cost, generally requiring far more than 48 hours in jail, with 7 to 10 days of incarceration being likely. For a citizen who has declined to take a requested Blood Test, this reduction generally requires a loss of driving privileges as well. This amendment can be beneficial to some clients, but our firm has found that the greatest benefit given our clients is in pursuing a true defense to the charges. Our efforts result many times in dismissal of charges either through hard fought motions or trials.

My most recent trial in Rutherford County resulted in a bitterly fought for judgment of not guilty. Pursing this strategy has resulted in our clients receiving no permanent criminal convictions, outright dismissals, and suppression of evidence which results in all charges dismissed and plea agreements that avoid reckless endangerment convictions, reductions in jail time, and not guilty verdicts.

Application of new laws requiring alcohol monitoring devices on the person of those on bail for DUI multiple offense is also handled somewhat differently in each jurisdiction. In the Municipal Court in Smyrna, Tennessee, while attempting to avoid the punishment of a DUI 2nd accusation for a client, we were successful in having the very expensive transdermal monitoring device removed from our client's leg and having it replaced by an interlock device placed on his vehicle. This saved as much as $100.00 per week in expenses for our client. The result of our defense resulted in a reduction of the charge from DUI 2nd Offense to a lesser crime and saving the client’s employment with the Nissan Corporation.

Rutherford County, Murfreesboro and Smyrna Courts also allow a person charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) to avoid jail time, even with when a conviction is inevitable, IF the case is handled appropriately. The newly named DUI Education Center in Rutherford County can, in some instances, be an alternative jail. I never underestimate the importance of keeping my clients out of dangerous, demeaning and potentially embarrassing jail stays!

Any individual charged with DUI needs an attorney who specializes in criminal law and has the specific knowledge of the jurisdiction. I have defended DUI cases in Rutherford County, Murfreesboro and Smyrna Tennessee for over 20 years. If you have need of experienced and specialized criminal defense, call me to discuss your case. I may have an answer to your problems.

~ Frank Lannom
Read More Keith Williams - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Injury and Disability AttorneyGround zero for the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis may be the State of Massachusetts, but Tennessee has borne the brunt of the explosion of cases. We have the most cases of infection and deaths due to it.  Early symptoms are headache, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. If left untreated, these progress rapidly to seizures, loss of hearing or sight, strokes and even death.  The only treatment for fungal meningitis is IV anti-fungal medication. Even after treatment, patients may still face months of at home anti-fungal treatment and the potential of debilitating side effects from the disease, such as seizures, loss of hearing or sight, paralysis or tremors.
 
While most fungal meningitis infections happen when a person inhales infected material (such as old moldy leaf spores), this infection happened in an entirely different and alarming way.  The New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts is a “specialty drug” pharmacy.  It does not manufacture drugs; it takes combinations of drugs and mixes them for medical facilities to use.  In this case, they mixed a batch of about 18,000 vials of methylprednisolone acetate and sent it to hospitals and clinics across the United States.  The steroid was then injected into the spinal canal, shoulder, hand, knee or any other area needed in order to help alleviate pain. The drug was tainted with at least two types of fungus, which can cause some patients to fall ill with fungal meningitis. The largest number of doses given in Tennessee was through the Howell Allen Neurology Outpatient Center at St. Thomas Hospital, but other clinics in Oak Ridge and Crossville are known to have received the tainted medication.
 
The outbreak continues to grow daily with increasing numbers of infections and deaths.  It was first thought that no one who received an injection of this medication from this pharmacy before July 1, 2012 could be at risk. However, it has been proven that a victim in Florida, who has since died, did receive a dose of this tainted medication.
 
Even though the company behind this particular outbreak has closed down, there are hundreds more “specialty drug” pharmacies still in business. We have every right to expect them to be as rigorously governed as our drug manufacturers are.  We also have every right to expect them to provide clean uncontaminated drugs to our healthcare providers. If you or a loved one has been exposed, you will need experienced legal advice to protect your rights and your recovery.

 — Keith Williams
 
Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerRecently, I appeared in the General Sessions Court of Davidson County, Nashville Tennessee representing a client on the charge of DUI 2nd, (second offense). The prior conviction was in another county in Middle Tennessee in 2003.  The surprise to the client, and many citizens accused of DUI, is that if there is one prior within the last 10 years preceding the present offense, the state may then search back an additional 10 years, up to a maximum of 20 years from the date of the preceding conviction to see if there are any other DUI related convictions.  In this instance, the client had an additional conviction 13 years ago, thus exposing them to a charge of DUI 3rd (third offense) conviction. This amended charge raised the minimum sentence from 45 days to 120 days and the driver's license suspension from 2 years to 6 years.

It is a commonly held misconception that the time frame in which prior convictions can be used to enhance a sentence is limited to 10 years.  As I explained above, that is incorrect and additional information can be found at T.C.A. 55-10-403.

G. Frank Lannom
 

Read More Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerThe Tennessee Legislature has enacted a law effective July 1, 2012 that might allow you, under certain circumstances, to have your criminal convictions expunged. Eligibility for expungement is applicable to some misdemeanors and felonies, however there are strict restrictions on what convictions qualify. Given the severe consequences a criminal conviction has on you and your family, from job opportunities to home buying, you should embrace the opportunity to attempt to have your record expunged.

This law is one that truly awards those individuals that have made a mistake, but have since acted in accordance with the law.

One requirement is that the individual has never been convicted of another criminal offense. However, if you are charged with more than one offense at the time of the offense for which petition is being sought and it is a nonviolent qualifying offense, you may still be eligible. The defendant must have also satisfied all of the conditions of the court, such as paying court costs and restitution and have maintained compliance with their probation. Finally, the law requires that a minimum of five (5) years have passed since the completion of all court requirements before expungement can be sought.

Additional restrictions, which can be found under T.C.A 40-32-101, are that the offense does not involve a firearm, the offense does not require that the defendant register as a sex offender, and that the victim did not sustain a loss of more than twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00). Another requirement of eligibility is that the offense be one that is "nonviolent" in nature meaning that "the offense does not have as element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another."

The complete wording of the new law can be found at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/SB3520.pdf

If you meet the requirements for expungement under the new law, a well drafted petition is vitally important. Since the government has the option to oppose the petition, qualified representation is a must and Frank Lannom and his team at Lannom & Williams have the experience to provide it for you.

The legislature has passed a reasonable and fair law to help citizens, but don't count on it lasting very long. This applies to residents of Tennessee only! If you live in another state, please contact an attorney in your state to explore the possibility of expungement.

Call Frank Lannom at (615) 444-3995 today to have your case reviewed to see if you can take advantage of this life changing opportunity!

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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