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.
Free Consultations New

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

137 Public Square
Lebanon, TN 37087
FAX (615) 444-6516
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Protecting your rights and preserving your freedom...

Your Solution is a click away:
Start Here

Unreasonable Search & Seizure DUI

Frank Lannom - Best Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Tennessee DUI and Criminal Defense LawyerUnited States Supreme Court Upholds Constitution In Unreasonable Search & Seizure DUI Blood Draw Case

Currently, under Tennessee law, a law enforcement officer is authorized to take a blood sample from a citizen, through force or otherwise, and without the requirement that the officer obtain a search warrant, if he or she has probable cause to believe the driver of a motor vehicle has committed any of the following crimes: DUI, vehicular homicide , aggravated vehicular homicide, and who has a prior conviction for any of the above offenses. Tennessee statutes permit the government to forcefully intrude into the body of the citizen and have the citizen’s blood analyzed for whatever purpose the government so decides, while by-passing the requirement that a search warrant be obtained. When the crime of DUI is suspected, Tennessee law also permits the intrusion into the body of its citizens without a warrant if a passenger in the motor vehicle is a child under the age of 16 or if the driver is involved in an accident resulting in even the slightest injury to another person.

Every year the legislature grants more authority to officers on the street, bypassing the constitutional protections of a search warrant.     

The Supreme Court of the United States has finally stepped in to at least stem the erosion of our personal freedoms in the decision released today of Missouri v. McNeely. The Constitution of the United States has long held that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that a search of a home or person without a warrant must fall into an exception to the warrant requirement mandated by the Fourth Amendment before being allowed. The Supreme Court today held that the dissipation of alcohol alone cannot avoid the warrant requirement mandated by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In Missouri v. McNeely the Court declined to adopt the government’s proposition that, in drunk driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream constitutes an exigency in every case sufficient to justify a blood test without a warrant or without the consent of the citizen. The Court considered the government’s request to adopt a per se rule that exigent circumstances necessarily exist when an officer has probable cause to believe a person has been driving under the influence of alcohol because BAC (blood alcohol content) evidence is inherently evanescent.  

Even though the Court recognized that blood alcohol levels do dissipate over time, this fact alone was not sufficiently urgent that the constitutional requirement demanding a search warrant unless exigent circumstances exist should be ignored. The Court strongly and correctly noted that this type of “search” involved a compelled physical intrusion beneath a citizen’s skin and into his veins to obtain a sample of his blood for use as evidence in a criminal investigation. The invasion of bodily integrity clearly implicates a citizen’s “most personal and deep-rooted expectations of privacy”. As search warrants are ordinarily required for a search of homes absent an emergency, no less should be required be before intrusions into the human body are allowed.

Since alcohol dissipates even more quickly than other types of drugs that can impair a driver, it logically follows that in cases where only drugs are suspected, the need to permit the warrantless search would be even less of an exigent circumstance and therefore a warrant would be required before allowing the government to intrude upon the human body on the suspicion of DUI based upon drugs, including prescription medications.

While attempting to present the best criminal defense to citizens accused of DUI, I am pleased to see the enforcement of the long held and trusted requirements of the Constitution to limit the power of the government to intrude upon the integrity of the body of its citizens. If you are charged with DUI in Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, Murfreesboro, or Gallatin or anywhere in middle Tennessee and have questions about the taking of blood as part of an investigation into DUI or vehicular homicide cases, please give me a call to discuss your rights: rights finally strengthened by the Constitutional holding today in Missouri v. McNeely* by the United States Supreme Court.

~ Frank Lannom

*Mo. v. McNeely, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 3160 (U.S. 2013)

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

Lannom & Williams Is Your Solution

No matter if you’ve been charged with a crime, injured at your job or in an accident, or if you’re facing the life-changing prospect of divorce, you need a team of experienced aggressive attorneys who will fight for your rights, your recovery, and your freedom.

Let us help you.

The solution to your problem is just a phone call or a click away. Give us a call at (615) 444-2900 or just complete this short contact form to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.

X Close Window
Read Full Article

Local attorney offers thoughts on air crash

wilson-post-logoThe Wilson Post | March 28, 2014

Read the full article at www.WilsonPost.com - Click Here!

Local attorney offers thoughts on air crash

Families and friends of the victims who lost their lives in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crash have a long road ahead of them in learning what caused the plane to crash into the Indian Ocean on March 8, a Lebanon attorney said.

Keith Williams of the Keith Williams Law Group in Lebanon and Nashville has practiced aviation law for more than 20 years and has represented a number of victims and/or their families in legal matters regarding plane crashes. He noted that in his practice, “I have seen firsthand the harms and losses of the families like those of the passengers aboard the lost Flight 370 as they agonize over not knowing the fate of their loved ones.”

He said he hopes the finding of debris floating in the southern portion of the Indian Ocean will lead to the location and recovery of loved ones and at the same also lead to an investigation into the cause of the plane crash.

Although this accident occurred in another part of the world – the flight took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia en route to Beijing, China. Most of the passengers onboard were from China, but others were from Malaysia and three were from the U.S. There were a total of 239 people on board the plane, including flight personnel.

Williams has experience in dealing with a lawsuit involving a foreign airline. He represented the daughter of an Iranian man who was killed in the Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 that occurred in July 2009. The daughter resided outside of San Francisco.

The differences between representing someone in an international air disaster versus one that occurs in the U.S. are dramatic, he said.

Those that occur in foreign lands, or waters, generally fall under the 1999 Montreal Convention, signed by more than 100 countries. Prior to that, such matters were handled through the Warsaw Convention which dated from the 1920s-1930s. Not as many countries were part of the Warsaw Convention. Williams noted that Iran, in the case of the Caspian Airlines crash, was not one of the countries that signed the Montreal Convention.

The Montreal Convention, he said, essentially provides the rights and remedies for family members who lost a loved one as a result of a plane crash.

Keith Williams and Jim Stocks discuss plane crash lawThe treaty, as it is also called, allows for “determination of the venue where a lawsuit may be brought against Malaysia Airlines and limits on the airline’s liability,” he said.

It also provides choices for venues for damage claims to be filed. The claims can be filed, he said, “where the airline has its principal place of business, where the ticket was bought, where the final destination was and where the passenger resided.”

Williams began practicing aviation law some years ago after representing a family in a medical malpractice case in Kentucky. The family had a friend who died in a plane crash, and they referred the case to him.

And, no, Williams is not a pilot, something he is often asked, he said.

What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will take a long time to determine, but more often than not, he noted, such matters are “almost always a products liability case.” And if it is determined that something on the plane was defective in some way, then “there’s going to be a lot of lawsuits. Malaysia Airlines will point at Boeing, Boeing will point at Honeywell. It gets to be a big mess,” and more than one court will sort it out.

In the meantime, families have two years to file a lawsuit under the provisions of the Montreal Convention – that is, two years from the date of the crash.

Williams serves as vice chair of the Aviation Section of the American Association for Justice. Through that organization, he is also in regular contact with a number of aviation experts who have been appearing on national TV news shows discussing Flight 370.

There is much speculation about what happened, he said, ranging from something done intentionally to the loss of cabin pressure.

Regarding reports that one of the pilots had a flight simulator at his home, Williams said that was not unusual and was a way for pilots to keep up with changing technology.

“There are programs for lawyers to practice objections,” he added, so pilots practicing flying with the use of a simulator was not out of the question.

Among other cases Williams has been involved in, he represented a number of plaintiffs and was on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in multi-party complex litigation concerning the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Ky., in August 2006. He represented passengers on an American Airlines flight that involved an in-flight engine fire and emergency landing, represents several passengers injured in the Southwest Airlines Flight 345 hard landing at LaGuardia Airport and represented the parents of a deceased helicopter pilot against the helicopter manufacturer, owner and fixed based operator following the crash of the helicopter.
X Close Window Visit The Lannom & Williams Press Page