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William C. Head
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William Head’s Legal Cases

79 total


  • Attorney with Two Prior DUIs Rear Ends Another Vehicle on I-285; Mr. Head Gets DUI Kicked Out

    Practice Area:
    DUI & DWI
    Date:
    Oct 07, 1998
    Outcome:
    DUI Tossed Out due to Violation of Client's Rights
    Description:
    Defendant, a local attorney, rear-ended a Jaguar on I-285 in North Fulton County in August of 1995. No one in either car was seriously injured. The case was first investigated by a regular patrol officer who (after administering field tests) made a determination that the Fulton County driver was intoxicated. She handcuffed him and was soon joined by a DUI Task Force officer. The second officer , Ed Smith, was a DUI training officer and had a specially-equipped vehicle, which had video and audio recording equipment. The tape showed the client trying to perform several field tests and failing all miserably. Even the ABC’s were beyond his ability. R.G. refused a blood test at Northside Hospital. The State would later argue that was understandable, since this was a THIRD offense in five years. Due to his prior record, the best offer from the State for a plea of "guilty" was six months to serve in jail. Pre-trial motions resulted in one pre-trial appeal seeking to dismiss the case on a technicality. Although this appeal prior to trial did not cause dismissal of the case, other pre-trial motions resulted in the following: (1) Exclusion of the second officer’s entire video and audio tape; (2) Exclusion of any mention of field sobriety testing by the second (highly trained) officer; (3) Exclusion of any mention of R.G.’s alleged "refusal" to submit to a blood test. After 38 months of battling and negotiating with the state, the case was called for trial on October 7, 1998. As a result of the elimination of almost all of the State’s evidence, the DUI charge was dismissed entirely. The "following too close" charge was "merged" into a new charge of "reckless driving". Because Georgia does not suspend licenses on reckless driving charges, no license suspension occurred. Fines totaled $1,150, but the client did not serve any jail time at all, and had no community service to perform.
  • Pre-Trial Motions Help Block Prosecutor from proceeding on DUI at Trial; DUI Dismissed

    Practice Area:
    DUI & DWI
    Date:
    Apr 14, 1998
    Outcome:
    State's Loses Late Attempt to Amend its Accusation
    Description:
    J.P.P. was arrested for speeding, lane violation, no proof of insurance, driving without a license and DUI. His test results for two breath tests were 0.137 and 0.126. The officer indicated (at pre-trial motions) that all field tests were performed improperly. The case was called for trial, with pre-trial matters being heard just prior to jury selection. Due to a backlog of cases in this court, the trial date was over two years after the arrest date. After hearing evidence at a pre-trial motion hearing. Mr. Head moved to discharge and acquit J.P.P. on all charges. The basis for the motion was that the arresting officer erroneously wrote the five traffic citations showing J.P.P.’s middle name as his surname (last name). This error occurred due to the officer calling dispatch for a "license check" once J.P.P. said that he had left his license at home. The State requested a continuance until the next morning, so jurors were sent home. The State sought to amend the charges by filing a formal accusation to take the place of the five uniform traffic citations. The Defense successfully opposed this late amendment attempt inasmuch as all misdemeanor offenses MUST be "accused" within two years. No such accusation against J.P.P. --- in the correct name --- had been filed by the State within two years. After considering numerous cases and statutes supplied by the Defense, the trial court was compelled to dismiss, fully and totally, all charges, with no chance for the State to reinstate criminal charges. J.P.P. was completely exonerated of the charges. J.P.P. had a prior DUI conviction, and faced significant punishment if he lost the case.
  • Vehicular Homicide [Felony] of a Pedestrian, 0.22 Blood Alcohol Test; Client Walks Away from All Charges

    Practice Area:
    Criminal Defense
    Date:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Outcome:
    Ex-College Student Watches GA-FLA Game & Drives
    Description:
    A former UGA student watched the 2003 Georgia-Florida game on television with friends, and then drove intoxicated. He was supposed to stay the night at the friend's home. The police found the vehicle (with the Client driving it) more than 2 miles away, and not traveling in the direction that would have been AWAY from the scene. The "911" calls had the driver's description and race wrong, as well as the type and color of the SUV wrong. More importantly, no one who was at the scene got a tag number to give to police. At pre-trial motions, the late Judge Rowland Barnes ruled that the traffic stop of Mr. Head's client was illegally made, because the police would have stopped any SUV. The entire case was dismissed.
  • Amorous Boyfriend Runs Red Light, Totals Two Vehicles and is Arrested for DUI & Refuses Breath Tests - Aquitted at Trial

    Practice Area:
    DUI & DWI
    Date:
    Aug 19, 1998
    Outcome:
    Not Guilty of the DUI-Alcohol Charge
    Description:
    B.F. had recently moved to Georgia from Virginia. On the day before Valentine's Day of 1998, he arranged for his girlfriend of two years to fly down from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta to meet him for a romantic weekend. Her 9:00 p.m. flight was delayed until 10:15 p.m. He met her at the gate (before security rules prohibited this). The couple went to a restaurant-bar, where he had two drinks (one wine and one gin & tonic) and she had one glass of wine. Leaving to go to B.F.'s apartment at about 12:45 a.m., he was traveling westbound when he stopped for the red light at the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. While waiting on the light to change, the B.F. and his passenger were "all over each other" at the light. They had not seen each other for six weeks, and the car provided some semblance of privacy. B.F. then drove his vehicle forward, thinking that the light had turned green. In fact, only the green left turn arrow had changed and cars in that lane next to his were moving, but he did not have the right-of-way to proceed straight through the red light. A head-on collision resulted, as another car with the right-of-way attempted a left turn and then tried to divert his path at the last moment to avoidn B.F.'s oncoming car. Both cars were totaled. An independent witness stopped and gave the police officer who investigated the accident a detailed account of what occurred. At trial, after sitting with the "victim" all day, his story became even more uncomplimentary of Defendant's driving. Unfortunately for the State, the original version was recorded in the police report by the arresting officer, who recounted the true facts. The police officer, while stating that he was of the opinion that B. F. was drunk, was instrumental in helping the defense refute the independent witness’s "new" version of the accident, and showing the jury that a tremendous amount of doubt existed in this case. Due to an error in the implied consent advisements given by the arresting officer, Mr. Head was able to obtain a court ruling prior to trial that no "refusal" evidence was allowed to be considered by the jurors. B.F. did not testify, but the girlfriend did. Furthermore, an expert witness established that B.F.'s maximum blood alcohol level would have been around .035, with the small amount of alcohol that had been consumed, the passage of time since the drinking began, and his 175 pound body weight. The trial lasted for two full days. The jury deliberated for six minutes before acquitting B.F. of the DUI charge. He was convicted of the red light violation and fined $200.00 by Judge Gino Brogdon, who has now returned to private practice.
  • College Student Misses Curve, Wrecks his Vehicle, Has 0.146/0.147 Breath Test Results and Gets Totally Acquitted

    Practice Area:
    DUI & DWI
    Date:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Outcome:
    Air Bag Deployment Affected Breath Test "Numbers"
    Description:
    K.B., a 21 year old student, was driving a 21-year old passenger home at 4:25 AM on November 29, 1997 after having dropped off two other friends at their homes. K.B. had been the "designated driver" (he was supposed to moderate his consumption). As he proceeded to the home of the last passenger (who was passed out drunk), he was unfamiliar with the roadway leading to the young man's home, having never approached from that direction. Seeing the turn at the last minute, he attempted to veer to the left at a speed too great to negotiate the maneuver. He sideswiped a telephone pole, flattened a brick mailbox, and then came to rest against a tree in the front yard of the home located at the intersection. K.B. and the passenger got out and tried to silence the horn, which was blaring. Neither was seriously injured thanks to dual airbags and seat belts in the vehicle. The two of them then jogged over to the friend’s house some 300 yards away (this was a few years before everyone in America obtained at least ONE cell phone). There, K.B. called his mother and father and told them he "had a wreck and tore his car up" and asked how to stop the horn from blaring and waking up the neighborhood. No mention was made that he had been drinking or that he was at all concerned about being under the influence. The parents told him to return to the scene and wait there for them. The parents immediately dressed and came to the scene, arriving just as the police officers arrived. The police officer smelled alcohol on the driver and immediately began giving K. B. field tests. After attempting the field tests, K.B. was arrested. He was later tested on the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath testing device and had readings of .146 and .147, at 5:44 AM. Mr. Head selected a "bench" trial for this case, because the issues that the defense sought to assert were compelling, and the Judge assigned to the case was extremely fair. The arresting officer was called by the State first, as occurs in almost all DUI trials. With no videotape available to demonstrate the actual reading of the implied consent advisement, the arresting officer carefully read the implied consent advisement on the witness stand perfectly. Hence, no challenge to the accuracy of the advisements was available. However, after the close of the State’s case, both of K.B.’s parents testified about what they observed and heard at the scene. Their opinions concerning K.B.’s sobriety countered the two police officers’ opinions that Defendant was impaired. The parents had also taken photos of the scene the next day and identified these photos of the sharp curve, the lack of signs warning of the curve & the roadway. Also, Dr. Richard Jensen of Minneapolis was qualified as an expert on the Intoxilyzer 5000, and in the field of analytical chemistry. He gave expert testimony about the possibility of interference with the breath test results due to the release of talc and other powdery substances (such as corn starch) when the airbags deployed during the accident. The powdery substances were used to pack the airbags and make them slide out easily. He stated that an alternative forensic test (blood or urine) should be utilized when airbags have deployed so that the "interference" from suspended particles (the "Tyndall effect") would not compromise the breath test results. The Defendant did not testify. After a lengthy bench trial, Judge John Mather found Defendant not guilty of both the per se and the less safe DUI charges. He stated that Dr. Jensen's testimony created reasonable doubt. There was no accusation of "too fast for conditions". The "lane violation" charge also resulted in a not guilty verdict based on the lack of any skid marks and the presence of copious amounts of pine straw along the roadway. An expert on accident reconstruction, Bill Taylor, also testified about the likelihood that the straw could have contributed to the car losing traction and leaving no skid marks.
  • Appellate Reversal of Medical Malpractice Ruling by Trial Court Handled by Mr. Head Changed Georgia Law in 1983

    Practice Area:
    Medical Malpractice
    Date:
    Oct 20, 1983
    Outcome:
    Trial Ruling Denying Malpractice Claim Overturned
    Description:
    Mr. Head has handled litigation of all types in his 33 years or practice. This appeal from a quarter century ago was handled for a friend's daughter who had obviously received very poor medical care from a doctor near the middle school where she taught in Elbert County, Georgia. The complete unwillingness of the Elbert County doctor (who is apparently no longer in practice) to admit any responsibility for harming Ms. Killingsworth through medical negligence led to the filing of a civil suit for malpractice (attempting to inject a muscle pull in her shoulder blade area of her back, and (instead) puncturing her lung. The case is reported at Killingsworth v. Poon, 167 Ga.App. 653, 655, 307 S.E.2d 123 (1983). The holding of the case was that some OBVIOUS acts of medical malpractice do not require the inclusion of an opinion of expert medical testimony that defendant-doctor failed to exercise requisite “degree of care and skill.” Dr. Norman Johnson issued an opinion letter saying that it appeared that Dr. Poon had punctured her lung based on the immediate pain, loss of breath and collapsed lung that folloed his treatment of this young, healthy physical education teacher.
  • Moore v. City of Athens

    Practice Area:
    Car Accidents
    Date:
    Mar 20, 1979
    Outcome:
    Athens Police Officer Injured by City's Negligence
    Description:
    Before sunrise on a Monday, an Athens Police Officer S. Moore, was traveling from home to work. As he crested a hill, he saw what appeared to be a very large truck sitting in the middle of the roadway directly in front of him. The truck had no emergency blinkers on, and no type of illumination of rear lights. Moore tried to stop before striking the large commercial truck, but could not. The impact caused severe cuts to his face and damage to his teeth, and knocked him unconscious. He was rushed to emergency care and sutured up. As a result of the crash, he lost time from work, and had to have additional surgery. The truck belonged to the City of Athens. It was a garbage truck that had "broken down". The driver abandoned the truck when it would not proceed on its own power. Mr. Moore was the unfortunate victim of this negligence. Although a lawsuit was filed, the case settled for a 6-figure sum prior to trial. Mr. Moore made a full recovery, and moved from Athens to Atlanta where he went into business for himself.
  • Roadblock Set Up By City of Doraville Ruled to Be Illegal - Mr. Head Handles Client's Win at Trial Court and then Wins Appeal

    Practice Area:
    DUI & DWI
    Date:
    Jul 12, 1999
    Outcome:
    Roadblock in Doraville Ruled Illegal
    Description:
    Mr. Head filed a challenge to a Roadblock established late at night along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The Motion to Suppress basically said that the roadblock was not established according to existing constitutional standards. Mr. Head received a favorable ruling and the Prosecutor appealed the ruling. Mr. Head handled the appeal, and the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's determination that the warrantless stop of J.M. was illegal. The case is cited at 237 Ga.App. 699, 516 S.E.2d 548 (1999).
  • City of Atlanta v. M.I.

    Practice Area:
    DUI & DWI
    Date:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Outcome:
    Court Lacked Jurisdiction for Jury Trials
    Description:
    The City of Atlanta underwent an efficiency ananlysis in 2002 and 2003. As a result of the study, a recommendation was put forward to shut down their special constitutional "state" court, which was called The City Court of Atlanta. This court was given special constitutional authority to conduct misdemeanor JURY trials on any traffic law cases that arose in the City of Atlanta. The legislation was sponsored by the Mayor and Council and was passed in the 2004 Legislature. The wording of the statute was horrific, but Mr. Head came to the conclusion that the City Court of Atlanta ceased to exist December 31, 2004. Nevertheless, the prosecutor of the court kept sending out court notices for jury trials, and M.I. (one of Mr. Head's clients) was notified to be ready for trial in January of 2005. Mr. Head filed numerous challenges to the legality of this Court continuing to try jury trials, and requested that the case be bound over to the State Court of Fulton County, GA. The motion was denied. Mr. Head sought an emergency discretionary appeal to the Court of Appeals, which was first granted his request to hear the appeal, but later was withdrawn. Mr. Head was then confronted with either going to trial and LATER appealing the decision if his client was convicted, or pleading guilty to DUI. The problem with fighting the DUI at trial for M.I. is that if Mr. Head risked exposing his defenses, and WON, the Prosecutor had the ability to argue that the City Court of Atlanta lacked "subject matter" jurisdiction, and START OVER in the State Court of Fulton County. Mr. Head decided that only one path would work: do nothing at trial, and guarantee (that if the appeal did not work) M.I. would be granted a new trial due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The local legal newspaper made the case front page news, because Mr. Head was considered to be a tenacious litigator. Here, Mr. Head did absolutley nothing to defend M.I., all with M.I.'s prior approval. Naturally, M.I. was convicted. Mr, Head immediately appealed the loss, which was a matter of right, not discretion. Mr. Head then hired former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers and his Partner Josh Archer (both of the firm Balch & Bingham) to sue the City of Atlanta on behalf of M.I. and about a dozen other clients of Mr. Head's. On June 30, 2005, Judge Stephanie Manis ruled that Mr. Head was correct, and that the City Court of Atlanta ceased to exist December 31, 2004. M.I.'s conviction was vacated (overturned) and he walked away with no DUI conviction. Mr. Head's strategy was successful, although the local legal rag, The Fulton County Daily Report seemd to revel in the fact that the DUI specialist did nothing to defend his client. When Judge Manis made her ruling, Mr. Head took a certified copy to the Fulton County Daily Report, to ask them to repot the conclusion of that case. They refused to publish even ONE LINE of print to show that the City was wrong, and Mr. Head was correct. Since that time, Mr. Head has refused to subscribe to, read or give interviews with the Fulton County Daily Report. All of Mr. Head's clients won all of their cases, due to the Prosecutor of the City Court of Atlanta's intractable and arrogant attitude about "their interpretation" of the 2004 Legislation.
  • City of Atlanta v. W.K.

    Practice Area:
    DUI & DWI
    Date:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Outcome:
    Mr. Head Sits in Silence & Wins DUI Case
    Description:
    The City of Atlanta underwent an efficiency ananlysis in 2002 and 2003. As a result of the study, a recommendation was put forward to shut down their special constitutional "state" court, which was called The City Court of Atlanta. This court was given special constitutional authority to conduct misdemeanor JURY trials on any traffic law cases that arose in the City of Atlanta. The legislation was sponsored by the Mayor and Council and was passed in the 2004 Legislature. The wording of the statute was ambiguous, but Mr. Head came to the conclusion that the City Court of Atlanta ceased to exist December 31, 2004. Nevertheless, the prosecutor of the court kept sending out court notices for jury trials, and W.K. (one of Mr. Head's clients) was notified to be ready for trial in January of 2005. This client was the first to approve of Mr. Head sitting silent through trial, and this trial was followed a week later by the trial on M.I., which is reported just before this case. Mr. Head filed numerous challenges to the legality of this Court continuing to try jury trials, and requested that the case be bound over to the State Court of Fulton County, GA. The motion was denied. Mr. Head sought an emergency discretionary appeal to the Court of Appeals, which was first granted his request to hear the appeal, but later was withdrawn. Mr. Head was then confronted with either going to trial and LATER appealing the decision if his client was convicted, or pleading guilty to DUI. The problem with fighting the DUI at trial for W.K. is that if Mr. Head risked exposing his defenses, and WON, the Prosecutor had the ability to argue that the City Court of Atlanta lacked "subject matter" jurisdiction, and START OVER in the State Court of Fulton County. Mr. Head decided that only one path would work: do nothing at trial, and guarantee (that if the appeal did not work) W.K. would be granted a new trial due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The local legal newspaper made the case front page news, because Mr. Head was considered to be a tenacious litigator. Here, Mr. Head did absolutley nothing to defend W.K., all with W.K.'s prior approval. Naturally, W.K. was convicted. Mr, Head immediately appealed the loss, which was a matter of right, not discretion. Mr. Head then hired former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers and his Partner Josh Archer (both of the firm Balch & Bingham) to sue the City of Atlanta on behalf of W.K. and about a dozen other clients of Mr. Head's. On June 30, 2005, Judge Stephanie Manis ruled that Mr. Head and W.K. were correct, and that the City Court of Atlanta ceased to exist December 31, 2004. W.K.'s conviction was vacated (overturned) and he walked away with no DUI conviction. Mr. Head's strategy was successful, although the local legal rag, The Fulton County Daily Report seemd to revel in the fact that the DUI specialist did nothing to defend his client. When Judge Manis made her ruling, Mr. Head took a certified copy to the Fulton County Daily Report, to ask them to repot the conclusion of that case. They refused to publish even ONE LINE of newsprint to show that the City was found to be in the wrong, and Mr. Head was correct. Since that time, Mr. Head has refused to subscribe to, read or give interviews with the Fulton County Daily Report. All of Mr. Head's clients won all of their cases, due to the Prosecutor of the City Court of Atlanta's intractable and arrogant attitude about "their interpretation" of the 2004 Legislation.