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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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“We make it better.” Often this is the most honest and accurate statement I make to my clients. I have done everything in my power over the past 25 years to provide the very best defense for every client and I believe I have raised the standard of defense received by citizens accused of crimes. Frank Lannom Law Group is the first law firm in our area to have full-time staff investigators, an innovation that helps us deliver the ultimate in case preparation. Our clients’ needs are promptly and professionally addressed by my staff of experienced support staff. We have multiple attorneys to ensure our clients are never in court alone when emergencies arise. The result has been what I sought from the beginning - to have the best and most professional criminal defense firm possible.

Many of you have entrusted your futures to us and then you’ve sent your family and friends to us for help. The number of cases and seriousness of the allegations we defend have increased. Due to your support, I have enjoyed professional recognition by being asked to train and teach criminal defense attorneys across Tennessee on how to better defend their clients. This privilege has extended to speaking at multiple seminars on DUI defense, defending seizures of property, and all types of felony cases. I have been honored to speak for citizens and clients before the United States Commission on Civil Rights about the abuses of property forfeiture by law enforcement agencies. Your response to my efforts to defend citizens accused of crimes, to help people preserve their homes, careers, and families from false allegations, bad decisions, and criminal charges, has allowed me to grow my practice by adding the best attorneys in the state and placed me in the position of heading the criminal defense section of our law firm. 

Melanie Bean joined my practice almost 20 years ago as a hard charging college student and law clerk. In addition to working with the criminal defense section of our firm, she is one of the leading Family Law attorneys in Tennessee. Recently, two more attorneys have joined the firm. Donnavon Vasek also trained in the firm as a law clerk and investigator and now works with me in the criminal defense section and aids in serious felony defenses. He is also meticulously growing our practice in Estate, Probate and Conservatorship law. Andrew Nutt, a top honors graduate and former investigator at our firm, is a talented and valued addition to our firm’s criminal defense section. Jeff Campbell, our newest addition, spent years training in a premier civil rights firm in middle Tennessee with extensive work in the federal courts and Tennessee civil litigation including family law. He now works with Melanie and is allowing her to grow her family law practice to meet the ever-increasing demands for her services.

Together we offer something unique - a law firm that can help fix the problems affecting our clients’ lives, even if their problems fall outside of criminal defense. I am truly proud of our team, our reputation, and the way we have carefully developed and trained the best people to help the best clients. I’d like to introduce you to the fine people who work with me over the next few weeks. While every member of the firm supports my role in leading the criminal defense section of our firm, we are continually enhancing other areas of law practice that our clients need. It is vital to us that our clients are not turned away if their problems fall outside the field of criminal law. Please keep an eye out for future articles to learn how what services we can provide when you and your family face difficulties.

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

Frank Lannom

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The definition of the word "Allegation" is "a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof."


 The news is filled to overflowing with allegations of sexual misconduct. The list of well known people whose lives are immediately and often irreparably derailed has increased dramatically in just a few weeks. Actors Kevin Spacey, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck, and Dustin Hoffman are accused of decades old allegations of sexual misconduct. Powerful people such as Amazon executive Roy Price, former Alabama Chief Justice and Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore, Congressman John Conyers, and Senator Al Franken have all been accused of alleged misconduct. The allegations have spread to National Public Radio Chief Michael Oreskes and long time writer and host of A Prairie Home Companion Garrison Keillor. TV hosts Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer have been fired over allegations. 


 As a criminal defense lawyer in Tennessee, I can tell you that the allegations aren’t limited to Hollywood, the power halls of Washington, or the studios of New York. Main Street America is not immune from allegations of sexual misconduct. The common thread of allegations made against the powerful and elite to those made against the common citizen is that the effects of a simple allegation has life changing effects on everyone accused. 


 Some face criminal indictment, doors are kicked in, they could be handcuffed in front of their family, and taken to jail immediately facing bail bonds they can’t afford. Some are fired from jobs they've held for years, many are forced to leave their home and children in the face of threats from child protective agencies. Administrative allegations lead to firings from jobs related to children. The allegations are particularly harmful to those in the teaching and child care professions. While some allegations come soon after an alleged incident, some can come decades later. In the face of allegations carrying harsh penalties, perhaps even life sentences, deals are forced on citizens regulating where they can live, what children they can be in the presence of ,and even if they can be outside of their home on Halloween as a result of being placed on the Tennessee Sexual Offender's Registry.

I am a criminal defense attorney and my job is to defend those accused of crimes. Often my clients are also facing administrative sanctions, attacks to remove their children, being forced from their home, and being fired from their job - all based on allegations, not proven fact.


Some accused citizens may have done what they are accused of or parts of the story may be true but other parts are very false. Very often the allegations are completely fabricated. In future articles, I will explain the different and life altering effects of sexual misconduct allegations, the effects on peoples lives, and what we as defenders of those accused can do to prevent your life from being derailed from allegations.


In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

Frank Lannom

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Children in Wilson County Schools are being arrested at almost double the rate of only two years ago.


One of the most successful programs of the Wilson County Sheriff's Department is the very popular SRO or School Resource Officer Program. Every school now has armed deputies in the school providing security and law enforcement duties for both teachers and students. 

Wilson County Sheriff's Department arrests and citations in schools for students possessing drugs has increased from 32 in the 2014/15 year to 60 in the 2016/17 year for drug offenses.

Deputy Scott Moore is in charge of the SRO program for the Sheriff's Department under the authority of Sheriff Robert Bryan. Deputy Moore stated to local news “A lot of kids don’t realize, and a lot of parents don’t realize, that everything is subject to search by school administration." Deputy Moore points to the increase in searches of student's personal items and their persons as what has led to the doubling in the number of student arrests and citations for drug offenses in Wilson County and Lebanon schools over the last three years. He went on to say that a child with pills they don't have a prescription for will sometimes become so scared of an impending search that they will take all the pills at once which results in a life-threatening situation,"so we have to get them medical attention". The Lebanon Democrat article stated that most of the students given citations or arrested were high school age, but a significant  number were in middle school.



2014/2015: 32

2015/2016: 45

2016/2017: 60

(Source: Wilson Co. Sheriff’s Office)

A juvenile found guilty of possession of drugs generally faces three possible penalties in Tennessee: Mandatory Drug Counseling; Probation; or Detention (usually reserved for repeat offenders or if the drug possession is combined with robbery or a violent crime).


A child with a drug charge on their record can be excluded from school sports and activities, denied college scholarships and even entry into college, and could be prevented from serving in the armed forces.

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Holidays are great times to relax. But a little too much relaxation mixed with some alcohol and added to driving a vehicle can be a bad cocktail. The result is holiday celebrations can end with a stay in the county jail for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). I have defended DUI cases for 25 years and Labor Day, the accepted "end of summer" holiday, seems like a good time to list of the realities of and the law pertaining of a DUI conviction:

  1. If you're under the age of 18 the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is .02%. That is barely more than one good sized beer for the average person. Over the age of 18 is .08%;
  2. If you're charged with DUI, you will be locked up in jail for at least 4 hours if not more before you go to court (unless you are injured in an accident and must go to the hospital);
  3. If arrested, odds are you will spend $300.00- $500.00 to post bail; 
  4. If you refuse to permit your blood to be drawn, it is highly likely that officers will seek a search warrant that will allow the police to hold you down and take it by force (you will lose that battle in the emergency room);
  5. If you are sentenced to jail in Wilson, Smith, Macon or Trousdale Counties, you will serve your sentence in the regular county jail, not in an alternate facility;
  6. DUI convictions that involve any alcohol (as opposed to medications) will require an interlock device to get a restricted license. This device is sometimes difficult to use and will cost at least $100.00 per month for monitoring, plus installation fees;
  7. If you have had a prior DUI conviction in 10 years and you are arrested for a new DUI, you will only be released if a transdermal monitoring device that checks for alcohol is attached to your ankle. It makes it hard to get dates, keep jobs, will rub your skin, and it cost over $100.00 per week;
  8. Many employers who provide vehicles have contracts with their insurers to not have any employees with DUI convictions, which could result in lost job opportunities or losing your current job;
  9. Your insurance will go up, a lot;
  10. Having a prescription for the medication you are accused of driving under the influence of is not a defense;
  11. DUI convictions never go off your record and, for at least 10 years, they will make any future DUI arrests and convictions much more harmful and disruptive to your life;


While my law firm certainly specializes in defending alcohol related driving offenses, (DUI, vehicular assault, vehicular homicide) I would prefer for you to enjoy your holiday, your family, and little rest from your labor.


We'll be closed on Monday for Labor Day. If you are enjoying a long weekend, too, I hope you will be safe, enjoy yourselves, and be blessed!


In defense of the citizen accused,


Frank Lannom



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best mt. juliet dui attorneyFor most people charged with a crime the thought of having a whole  team of legal professionals to stand up for them is nothing but wishful thinking. These days, most criminal defense attorneys are  solo practitioners with a small staff and few resources to pull from if they are needed. The truth is the idea of solo lawyer to fight for you has limitations that leave you at a disadvantage when it comes to a real battle for your freedom. Legal defense is like most other services or good we purchase these days, you may find something “cheap” in the beginning but you always end of paying for it in the end.

Frank Lannom Law Group showed why it matters to have a team on Tuesday. On Monday visitors came to my farm to watch the Great American Eclipse and asked to see and ride our horses and ponies. The horse I was riding lost his footing and the result was the horse’s head and my head met on a collision course which left me wobbly, bruised, and battered.

Tuesday was a heavy court docket with DUI cases, multiple drug cases, and domestic violence cases on the docket. Within minutes of arriving at the office, it become clear to those around me that I had more than just a black and swollen eye. My team of attorneys and paralegals quickly determined that a concussion was likely affecting my speech and actions. Attorney Donnavon Vasek and my senior full-time investigator Andrew Nutt (Andrew has graduated law school and waiting to take the bar, after which he will become another valued member of my team of attorneys). While in court, Donnavon reviewed the extensive video tape reviews, client and witness interviews, and client statements in the file with my assistance. Melanie Bean, with 15 years of criminal defense practice, was also available to provide experienced input.

While continuances were certainly available to my clients given my injury, we decided to operate as a team on Tuesday. We used the day to reach agreements that ended the ordeals of two of our clients by avoiding a DUI conviction for one and felony drug conviction for the other. These results may not have been available on another day but, with a team available including investigators and office staff, we were able to take advantage of opportunities that presented themselves to the benefit of our clients.

Tuesday could have been a loss for my clients and it wasn't because they hired not only me but my staff of professional and skilled legal professionals. Years of experience combined with full team of lawyers, investigators, and paralegals meant the ordeal of a criminal prosecution ended for them that day.

Thank you to the team for their hard work. And, before you ask, the horse and I both are fine.


In defense of the citizen accused.

Frank Lannom


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The Tennessee State Supreme Court rejected the prosecutors' attempt to prevent former University of Tennessee standout AJ Johnson from obtaining social media posts and texts of a female who accused him of rape.

Johnson and former teammate AJ Williams contend their accuser is lying and what she and her friends said via social media on the Internet before and after the alleged November 2014 rape will help prove it. But the law didn't address that kind of "talk" and police didn’t preserve any of that Internet-based chatter.  When attorneys for the two ex-players tried to get that information from the accuser and her friends via a subpoena, the State balked saying the law didn’t allow it. To complicate matters for the defense, the victim and primary witness have reportedly disposed of their phones and deleted their social media accounts that were actice when the alleged crime took place. A Criminal Appeals Court agreed with Johnson and Williams and stated in their opinion that the "The record suggests that the state has gone to great lengths to avoid collecting any of the communications sought by the defendants," "(Judge James Witt, Jr). The Tennessee Attorney General then appealed that decision to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which upheld the Middle Court's decision.


What concerns me is what manner of prosecutor, charged with duty of seeing justice done, would attempt to deny a accused person the opportunity to defend themselves? If texts or media posts had statements like "it was a great party last night" or "AJ is great guy, partying with a star"  the next morning, why would any person with conscience attempt to prevent access to that information?


Judges often review the information in the face of privacy concerns to see if there is any information that would help the defense or be exculpatory in nature. It isn't difficult or wrong to protect the innocent, but when the government actively fights to hide the truth nothing but injustice will occur.


With this ruling, the courts have pushed back on governmental attempts to prevent defendants from seeking the truth. Unfortunately, it is a rare occurrence.


In Defense of the Citizen Accused,


Frank Lannom

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The Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced a new policy directing law enforcement agencies to increase the use of asset forfeiture in the name of fighting the drug war. Sessions is appointed under a Republican administration that presumably represents the interest of citizens who desire to limit the power of the federal government. Increasing the power and willingness of the government to seize the property of Americans who haven't been charged with a crime is in contrast to the beliefs of most conservatives who want the power of government limited, who desire to preserve the right to a jury trial, and the right to personal property. Each of these principles are trampled by asset forfeiture. In asset forfeiture, citizen's property is seized without a hearing, they are forced to pay a fee to even contest the seizure, there is no jury trial, and the government does not have to prove the citizen guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The use of this fascist process is on the increase not only in the federal government but also in the State of Tennessee. Every citizen, conservative and liberal alike, should staunchly oppose this process.

I will be presenting the citizens' side to the United States Commission on Civil Rights on Monday in Nashville. I doubt anyone will listen but I will sound the trumpet in any event. I am afraid that Tennesseans, and all Americans, will continue allow law enforcement to take private property without a hearing - because no one cares until it is their property.

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,


Frank Lannom

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 The latest news reports tell us that Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American college student held by North Korea for 18 months, is now back in America surrounded by family and a team of doctors. It appears Mr. Warmbier has severe brain deterioration, possibly caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain. Mr. Warmbier was given a 15-year sentence for anti-government activities when it was alleged he took a sign with pro-government propaganda from a building as he was leaving the country.

Every person I have encountered is angered over the outrageous sentence, the mock trial and the mistreatment or lack of medical treatment that resulted in Mr. Warmbier's current condition. To be clear, the charge, the sentence, and his mistreatment were archaic and deplorable.

Yet, before we go to further, maybe we should examine what we do in America? We must remember that North Korea believes that its laws are appropriate, their trials fair enough, and their medical care is sufficient. Is the United States doing the same thing that we rightly accuse North Korea of doing?

At recent lawsuit in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, claims prisoners with serious mental illness are taken off their prescribed medicine, housed in inhumane sized cells, and housed with other seriously mentally ill inmates. If you deal with mental illness or family members with the mental illness, you are aware of what happens when medicines aren't taken or abruptly stopped - it is always a bad result.

Prisoners in many state prisoners are routinely raped and brutalized, generally by other inmates, due to lack of security (Terror in the Prisons: Rape and Why Society Condones It (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1974). Stories of brutality and death from guards were headline news in Wilson County, Tennessee just a few years ago. Is this fair and deserved treatment of inmates or unfair like Mr. Warmbier's cruel treatment at the hands of the North Korean regime?

Outrageous sentences are routinely handed out in our country. Life sentences are handed down in America for "drug conspiracies". This is when a defendant is convicted but the defendant never touched or sometimes never received a dime from proceeds from a drug sale. Sentences are set based on the drugs others sold but that the Defendant never touched. I have seen a decade added to the sentence of a defendant who did one act to further one drug transaction. His sentence was increased by 10 years because those he helped moved a lot of drugs over and above just the one transaction he himself was involved in (the judge thought it didn’t need to be proven). The law is clear that the punishment for the crime will be handed down even though the defendant didn't even know what they did. Is this fair and just treatment of our citizens or is it arbitrary and unfair like the 15-year sentence for the theft of a government sign given to Mr. Warmbier by a North Korean court?

Decades are added to sentences and parole eligibility denied in Tennessee for drug offenses "in school zones" even when the person is driving down an interstate and their car is stopped in an area close to a school zone that is off the interstate. The same for $10 drug transactions near schools, even ones permanently closed, just because they are still owned by the school board. This occurs in the United States of America. A fair sentence or unfair like Mr. Warmbier's?

We have trials where the attorney is paid far less than 3 weeks’ pay for McDonald’s high school employee for the investigation, trial and sentencing in a murder and other serious trials. A fair trial or a sham like Mr. Warmbier's?

We should be outraged at what happened to Otto Warmbier. The U.S is not North Korea, yet are we as blind to our injustices as they are? Do we equally see our actions as right and justify them as North Korea did? Our prisons are full of nonviolent criminals. Do those on the outside looking in judge us, or perhaps using us as the example we try to be to other governments, find us similar to North Korea or do they see much of a difference at all? A mentor of mine once told me, "you judge people by how they treat those that no one else cares about." (James Carter Martin, circa 1986).


My desire is for America to condemn North Korea while being able to say that we don’t do such unfair and unjust acts here, that we provide medical care, and don't have sham trials.

I wish it were true.


In the defense of those who cannot defend themselves,

Frank Lannom

Read More Our defense is frequently sought out when the State of Tennessee attempts to try children as adults for crimes, I have represented many juveniles facing delinquency charges in juvenile courts all over Middle Tennessee. Most people don't know that juveniles are subject to the same types of jails, incarceration, isolation and strip searches as adults. It was only in 2005 that the Supreme Court put an end to the death penalty for children in the United States.

The government often tries to transfer children from juvenile court to adult court where they can face decades or even life in prison. In defending these "transfer cases", it is crucial to completely investigate the history, mental status, physical health, and home life of the child in order to defend against the efforts to transfer the child to adult court.

Tennessee law attempts to mandate that certain crimes alleged against children be tried in adult court. This is a concept that fails to take into consideration any facts about the accused child. Any attempt to transfer our juvenile clients to the adult system is faced with a strong defense and investigation by our firm.  

Our society's attempts to judge crime with same severity whether committed by a child or adult can result in the cruelest of consequences. In 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States had to step in to prevent Florida's court system for sentencing a child to life without parole for a non-homicide attempt involving a burglary that did not result in a death {Graham v. Florida}. Children, like yours or mine, are not granted the rights of an adult in our society because they don't have the maturity or experience to make their own decisions. Under this reasoning, a child should not be given a life sentence for a decision they made as a child. But, over the last 7 years, the Supreme Court has had to stop states from this oppression and excessive cruelty to children. People who do not hesitate to organize protests and boycotts against companies for exploiting child labor stand aside and seem willing to accept and allow life or decades long sentences for chlldren.

Types of cases I have handled for juveniles accused of crimes include:
  • Underage drinking and/or DUI charges
  • Theft and burglary including shoplifting
  • Vandalism
  • Charges related to illegal drugs and prescription drugs
  • Alcohol possession
  • Assault or other violent acts or making terroristic threats
  • Traffic offenses
  • Juvenile sexual offenses
  • Trespassing
  • Truancy or delinquency
  • Bullying or harassment

If your family is under the gun of the prosecution of a child, give me a call. I have defended children accused of crimes for 25 years with the same zeal with which I defend adults.

In the Defense of the Citizens (even children) Accused,

Frank Lannom


Read More Tiger Woods said an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications was to blame for his early-morning DUI arrest near his Jupiter Island home in Florida on Monday. The former golf champion was found asleep behind of the wheel of his car, with his seatbelt on and the motor running. According to the arresting officer, Woods' speech was slurred and he was confused about where he was. He was arrested for DUI and released several hours later on his own recognizance. Woods said in a statement released by his spokesman that alcohol was not a factor in his arrest. Woods apparently willingly supplied urine and blood samples.

Similar to Florida, Tennessee DUI law makes it illegal to be in physical control of a vehicle if your ability to drive is influenced by ANY substance, whether alcohol, illegal drugs or legal prescriptions. It is illegal to drive on prescribed medications if they impair your ability, even if they are taken as prescribed.

The State may face a more challenging prosecution when only prescribed medications are found in a person's system, but it still often results arrest, incarceration and an expensive and hard fought battle to avoid conviction for the citizen accused.

Prescription drugs most often associated with DUI arrests include the painkillers Loritab, Hydrocodone, Percocet and similar drugs. Also making the list are benzodiazepines such as Xanax and sleep medications such as Ambien.

Just because it is a prescribed drug does not prevent a DUI arrest if your ability to drive is allegedly affected. Alway be safe and determine the effects of a drug might have on you before getting behind the wheel.

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

Frank Lannom

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Memorial Day weekend means cookouts and swimming, but it also means increased patrol  by law enforcement for people operating vehicles under the influence. We have one published roadblock for tonight in our area: a sobriety checkpoint at Central Pike and John Hagar in Mt. Juliet. But every county, including Wilson, will have what is called "saturation patrol" all weekend through Monday at midnight. That means they will have called in all available staff for each shift and will be out looking for people driving under the influence. 

That includes the lakes in our area. Both Lebanon Police and the Wilson County Sheriff's Office have patrol boats and they will be out on Old Hickory along with Davidson County and Sumner County patrols and the TWRA patrols. TWRA and local law enforcement will be out on every waterway in Middle Tennessee this weekend. Anyone found operating a boat under the influence can be charged with a BUI (boating under the influence).

We hope you have a great long weekend and please be safe this weekend! Happy Memorial Day!

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Probation Violation is the single criminal charge that will most likely to result in incarceration and routinely the only charge for which a citizen will usually be held without bail. Probation violations are truly a local issue and especially dependent on the custom or practice of a particular county. Even within a county, probation violations are treated differently by judges of the various courts and that is the case in Wilson County, where the General Sessions Courts and the Criminal Courts treat violations differently. 

Most probation violations in the General Sessions Court are issued with bail as an option. This means that someone with a probation violation in those courts will likely be able to post bail immediately and go home. This is in stark contrast to probation violations issued from the Criminal Court Judges in the 15th Judicial District including Wilson, Trousdale, Macon, Smith, and Jackson Counties. Almost exclusively, these probation violations are issued with a "no bail" connotation that often means those charged will not be able to post bail. These judges are generally covering 5 counties and are not usually easily available to address bail for days or weeks, which greatly complicates the situation.

Effective lawyering includes getting a judge to grant bail on a probation violation from the Criminal Court. It is always vital to be able to post bail as this allows time for the person charged to begin rectifying mistakes they have allegedly made while under supervised probation. Even if bail is posted and the accused is released, it is important to understand that the courts do not have to prove you guilty of a violation beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution can simply prove the violation “likely occurred” and a sentence of up to 10 years can be implemented.

Probation violations take the freedom of more Tennesseans than any other criminal allegations. If you are facing a violation, please contact us as quickly as possible so that no time is lost in preparing your defense to keep your freedom.


In defense of the citizen accused,


Frank Lannom


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


511 Union Street, Suite 1850 Nashville, TN 37219
Via Phone: (615) 313-3999

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