Skip to main content
William C. Head
Avvo
Pro

William Head’s Legal Cases

79 total


  • Real Estate Broker involved in Accident has 0.23 Blood Test, Case Dismissed

    Practice Area:
    DUI and DWI
    Date:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Outcome:
    Bench Trial set; Arresting Officer Fails to Appear
    Description:
    Buckhead accident caused by Client. DUI officer investigates and arrests. Breath test was 0.23. Case called for trial, and officer's non-appearance resulting in case dismissal.
  • Lil Wayne's Felony Drug Possession Case Dismissed

    Practice Area:
    Criminal defense
    Date:
    Mar 03, 2009
    Outcome:
    Felony Drug Possession Charges Totally Dismissed
    Description:
    In a widely publiciced news story, Hip Hop Superstar, Lil Wayne, had been arrested in an Atlanta hotel room that was part of the block of rooms his music company had rented for a multi-day photo and video shoot in Atlanta in August of 2006. The August 14th, 2006 charges were initially dismissed by a Magistrate Judge for lack of evidence. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard's office "revived" these charges in late summer of 2007. Using a driver's license address, a court notice was mailed to Mr. Carter at his former address in Louisiana, but that home had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Even though the court notice had been returned to the Fulton County District Attorney as "undeliverable" for more than 30 days, and the copy was in the clerk's file, an arrest warrant was issued for Lil Wayne by attorneys in DA Howard's office, and the entertainer was arrested in Boise, Idaho on October 6, 2007. Mr. Head obtained the superstar's release on that same day (as Saturday) by obtaining a modification of the arrest warrant, at about 6 PM EST. Then, Mr. Head filed numerous motions challenging the legitimacy of the search of Rooms 401 and 402 of Twelve Hotel, Atlantic Station. Moreover, the Motions challenged the authority of police to enter these rooms without a warrant. The connecting rooms were used as Lil Wayne's dressing rooms, and occupied by one of the workers who was hired for the photo shoot. Judge Michael Johnson heard the motions on November 22, 2008, and issued a written order that was filed March 3, 2009. In that order, the Fulton Superior Court Judge found a lack of a proper search, and found the testimony of police officers to have been inconsistent (on certain key points) and "not credible". All evidence from the search was suppressed for violations of the Fourth Amendment, effectively ending the prosecution. See these NEWS LINKS for more details: ARREST: http://www.absolutely-not-guilty.com/lilwaynesarrest.html DISMISSAL: http://www.expertclick.com/NewsReleaseWire/default.cfm?Action=ReleaseDetail&ID=25740 http://www.hiphoprx.com/2009/03/04/lil-waynes-felony-drug-charges-dropped-rapper-extends-i-am-music-tour/
  • Estate Planning and Labor Attorney Freed of All Charges

    Practice Area:
    DUI and DWI
    Date:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Outcome:
    Motion to Suppress Granted, Dismissing All Charges
    Description:
    A Roswell, GA arrest that started with a lane violation with twin breath readings above 0.160. We appeared for our Motion to Suppress (and other motions) to be heard on February 25, 2009. Judge Roy Roberts, a Magistrate Judge from Fulton County, was filling in for Judge Jay Roth, who had to cover another courtroom. Upon hearing that the officer had opted to go to training instead of attending the scheduled Motion Hearing, Judge Roberts granted the Motion to Suppress, which effectively ended the case. The State could not produce a properly filed return of a subpoena showing proper service on the officer, and under the Georgia Code, Section 24-10-25(b), no continuance was authorized for the Prosecutor to seek a reset until another day.
  • Speeding Physician Gets Arrested for DUI

    Practice Area:
    DUI and DWI
    Date:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Outcome:
    Case Called for Trial, Pre-Trial Motions Conducted
    Description:
    After dinner with another couple, a local physican and his spouse were driving back to their Buckhead area condominium when he was stopped for driving 59 in a 35 mph zone. The State trooper smelled alcohol and and asked him to "exit the vehicle". When field tests were started, the physician started talking about the fact that their condo was 300 yards away, and asked the trooper to let them go home. The trooper declined to allow that, and continued trying to conduct his roadside sobriety evaluations. A video showed the manner of administering the horizontal gaze nystagmus evaluation (eye test) to the suspect, and the evaluation was done incorrectly by the trooper. In addition, the wife tried to step out to see what was happening, because she could hear conversation between the two men and that the trooper was raising his voice to Mr. Head's Client. This "threat" of the wife becoming involved in this investigation led to the trooper calling for back-up, and another trooper soon arrived for purposes of controlling the wife's actions, if she became agitated or tried to interfere. This trooper left his blue lights on during the entire HGN (eye exam), likely affecting this evaluation's reliability. The video also captured the trooper threatening to arrest the physician who was asking questions about the tests being offered, and about his right to call an attorney. Soon, the cuffs were placed on the doctor's wrists and the arrest was made. The suppression motion just prior to trial focused on one issue: the sufficiency of evidence obtained by the trooper prior to making a custodial arrest for DUI. As part of the hearing, the prosecutor conceded that the field sobriety tests would have to be excluded due to the fact that the trooper's wording that threatened arrest constituted "custody" under the holding of a Georgia case, State v. O'Donnell from 1997. When such custody has already been "announced" or started, Georgia case law requires that no voluntary field tests can be administered UNLESS Miranda advisements are given (right to legal counsel, right to remain silent, etc.) Mr. Head only asked 6 questions of the trooper after that point in time before asking the judge to dismiss the entire DUI charge due to lack of sufficient evidence to support the arrest decision. Mr. Head cited several similar appellate cases from the Georgia Court of Appeals, including Handley v. State from 2008, Sanders v. State from 2005 and State v. Gray from 2004. The judge agreed, and granted the suppression motion. That ended the DUI prosecution the same as if the jury had acquitted Client. Then, Mr. Head agreed to enter a guilty plea to the speeding offense, except for a speed lower that the "cutoff" for the case being reported to the Department of Driver Services (no points and no record being posted). The Client paid $100 fine plus $35 in surcharges, which ended the case.
  • Accident and 0.202/0.214 Breath Tests Gets Case Dismissal

    Practice Area:
    DUI and DWI
    Date:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Outcome:
    Case Dismissed after 2nd Reset of Trial
    Description:
    A February 16, 2008 collision between Mr. Head's client and a parked vehicle lead to a police investigation of the cause of the wreck. Both cars were totalled. The owner of the parked car was able to identify the driver as being Mr. Head's client. Two open containers of liquor were inside the vehicle (empty) when the City of Atlanta officer arrived. However, very few questions were asked by the arresting officer of either the Client or the passenger. No field tests were conducted due to the severe crash and after effects to Mr. Head's client. The trial had been set for late October, 2008 and was reset. The new court date was December 18, 2008, and the arresting officer was not present. She had earlier discussed the case with the prosecutor and one of the chief attacks Mr. Head was bringing (relating to the timing of implied consent rights being read only at the police station) was discussed. The two breath test results obtained, therefore, would be excluded at trial. This fact, coupled with the lack of field tests and the cursory investigation, likely led to the officer not appearing for the trial date. All charges were dismissed. Client's job was saved.
  • Georgia Department of Driver Services v. Client

    Practice Area:
    Administrative law
    Date:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Outcome:
    DUI Arrestee Successfully Attacks ALS License Loss
    Description:
    A Marietta officer captured on a police car video all of Mr. Head's Client's alleged bad driving that occurred September 10, 2008 shortly after midnight. This tape was introduced by Mr. Head as part of the administrative license suspension hearing. The arresting officer did not offer it as part of his case, despite the fact that he had the burden of proof at this administrative license suspension hearing. Mr. Head cross-examined the officer about the legitimacy of the traffic stop. The officer claimed that the video evidence "did not capture" all that he saw occur on the roadway. Mr. Head argued to the ALS judge that "videotapes do not lie", and that the tape was crystal clear. When the officer approached the vehicle, Client was talking on her hands-free cell phone. The officer told her to hang up. He then stated that he had stopped her for traveling "too slow" (between 28 and 32 miles per hour.) Next, he got the Client to admit to drinking wine at an earlier time that same evening. During the hearing, Mr. Head obtained the officer’s admission that there was no minimum speed limit on this roadway. Furthermore, the officer never testified (during his presentation of the facts supporting his traffic stop decision) to what the posted speed limit on this roadway was, so no proof of a violation of any law relating to speed was shown. Plus, Georgia has favorable case law that says driving at a speed below the speed limit is no crime. On the video, the officer then ordered Client out of the vehicle. She was then asked to perform standardized field sobriety tests, which she hesitated to do because she has epilepsy. She advised the officer of her "neurological deficits", yet he persisted in asking her to attempt the evaluations. Her protests of inability to perform such testing were ignored. After the horizontal nystagmus evaluation [HGN] (an eye test), the officer tried to get her to attempt some balancing (agility) exercises, which Client declined, telling him her epilepsy prevented it. He immediately arrested her, despite her verbal protestations. He pushed her inside the back seat, causing bruising of her wrists. This was captured on the videotape, which had a second, back seat camera operating. To challenge the legality of this arrest based on field testing, Mr. Head submitted the video and also called (as Client's witness) a true expert on standardized field tests, Mr. Tony Corroto [www.DUIexpertwitness.com]. Mr. Corroto, a retired police officer and field sobriety trainer of the TRAINERS, refuted the propriety of offering field tests to a person who is on medication for epilepsy. This testimony by Mr. Corroto negated the validity of the "6 out of 6 clues" the officer claimed to have gathered for HGN. Mr. Corroto also disputed the arresting officer's claim that she was a "proper candidate" for the HGN test, citing every NHTSA field test manual since 1992. Mr. Corroto also noted that the officer failed to note that Client's right pupil was between 1.5 and 2 mm larger than the left, indicating traumatic brain injury. Mr. Head displayed this condition to the judge, who stated "I can see it." By order dated the next day, December 17th, 2008, Client's full driving privileges were restored. The judge ruled that no valid basis for the DUI stop and arrest existed.
  • Serious Injury Felony Dropped for Accused DUI Offender with a Prior DUI Conviction and a 0.164 Blood Test in the Current Case

    Practice Area:
    Criminal defense
    Date:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Outcome:
    Case Reduced to Three Misdemeanors from Felony
    Description:
    Mr. Head was recommended by P.P.'s family attorney when P.P. was involved in a collision in 2006 one of with two vehicles that had collided minutes earlier. A passenger from the vehicle that caused the collision was trying to assist the female driver of the overturned vehicle when P.P. hit the underside of the disabled vehicle, The incident occurred on Peachtree Parkway in Gwinnett County. The serious injury of the "Good Samaritan" caused the misdemeanor prosecutor to transfer the case to the District Attorney for felony prosecution for "serious injury by vehicle" by virtue of P.P. allegedly being DUI-alcohol. This changed the case from a misdemanor-level DUI (second lifetime offense) to a felony that had a 15 year maximum sentence in State prison. Mr. Head filed numerous challenges to the admissibility of the evidence against P.P., primarily challenging the procedure by which P.P. was forced to have bood drawn when he had adamantly refused to be tested. P.P. also refused to submit to any roadside (field sobriety) evaluations or a hand-held alcohol sensor test following the collision. As the case neared trial, Mr. Head began negotiating with the Assistant District Attorney handling this case. The problems with the forcible collection of P.P.'s blood concerned her, and a negotiated plea was finally negotiated. As part of Mr. Head's negotiations, the felony charge was dropped. P.P. was permitted to enter a guilty plea to three misdemeanor charges (DUI, reckless driving and too fast for conditions). This meant 36 months of probation and a short county detention term, but this was a "win" for P.P. The judge his case was assigned to was notorious for rendering harsh sentences in such cases, and a 7 to 10 year prison term was realistic for this case. If P.P. had been sentenced as a felon, his driving privileges would have been totally gone. As a result of this negotiated settlement, he was able to continue driving. Since he was a sole proprietor (auto mechanic) he could not risk a conviction for a felony.
  • 0.275/0.285 Breath Test Case Won on Morning of Trial

    Practice Area:
    DUI and DWI
    Date:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Outcome:
    Breath Tests Tossed, DUI Dropped Entirely
    Description:
    After fighting the case for 16 months and over 20 hours of motion hearings, we announced "ready" for trial. Our objective was to finish the case so an appeal to the pre-trial rulings could be taken. Because the case was so "old" and needed to be closed, both parties agreed on the specially-set trial date. On the Friday before the Monday trial, the prosecutor called to offer a reduction of the DUI case to reckless driving. Because the Client needed a non-DUI disposition, she accepted that offer. The prosecutor had learned on the Friday before trial that the Intoxilyzer breath test operator was not going to be available for trial, due to a family trip he had planned for his daughter. Without the tests, the other evidence was fairly weak for the State because the Client declined field sobriety tests and never took a roadside breath test. Client was a state-licensed professional, and this resolution saved her ability to work in her chosen field. In Georgia, a reckless driving for a driver age 21 and over does not cause a license suspension. If trial had not been demanded, no appeal of the pre-trial rulings would have been possible. Therefore, the strategy of being ready for trial was the secret to winning the case.
  • Man with 0.266 Blood Test Drives Car Through His Garage Door, out Back Wall of His Home and Off Elevated Deck, Hitting Tree

    Practice Area:
    DUI and DWI
    Date:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Outcome:
    Not Guilty on All Charges
    Description:
    Client drove home with his wife after having dinner and alcoholic beverages to drink. As he entered his driveway, the car (a 1995 BMW 325 4-door) suddenly lurched forward and crashed through the garage door at high speed, proceeded at full throttle through the back wall of the home and onto a wooden deck, through the wooden railing and sailed off the deck into the back yard where the car launched itself a distance of over 27 feet and dropped 12 feet before landing on the ground and then striking a tree, where the vehicle stopped. Both the wife and Client were injured, but client was more seriously injured (broken back). Neither one was still in the vehicle when the police and EMTs arrived. The wife had managed to get into a lawn chair at the front of the house, and the driver (Client) was outside the wrecked vehicle on the ground, lying on his back. Police reported "an overpowering odor of alcohol" as they came into the back yard area. Client asked the arresting officer to help him stand up, and extended a hand for him to assist him to his feet. The police officer declined to allow him to get one his feet (due to his likely injuries from such a disasterous crash) and waited on EMT personnel to move him. The officer questioned him. The arresting officer, at trial, admitted that upon seeing the auto damage and where the car ended up in the back yard, that he called for ambulance BEFORE ever even locating my Client. Client admitted to the arresting officer that he had two glasses of wine, but officer never established a timetable of WHEN the alcohol was consumed. Client told officer "the accelerator stuck" multiple times, but otherwise was disoriented and talking about fear of coyotes and skunks that may attack him. The officer testified that he came to the conclusion that Client was drunk but NOT seriously injured before he read the implied consent advisements to him, but wanted him checked out for possible head and neck trauma due to the circumstances of the crash. The officer READ the "implied consent" to my prone client in the ambulance but never said "I am arresting you for DUI" nor stated in any way that he would be charged with DUI. Implied consent was read again at the hospital, but still NO ARREST. Later, officer "drops off" a copy of the DUI ticket to Client's wife, who was also at hospital being treated, and says he started to explain the charge to Client who told him he was familiar with the warning. Then, I had to get around the hurdle of our "serious injury" exception (see Hough), and got the officer to admit that he did not assess it that way. The judge slowly and reluctantly agreed to eliminate the blood test results of 0.266 grams percent based on appellate case law in Georgia. See Hough v. State, 620 S.E.2d 380 (Ga. Supreme Ct. 2005) Once the Prosecutor "rested" its case with no blood test in evidence and no field evaluations in evidence, we put two witnesses on the stand. Our two witnesses, Dr. Joe Citron, MD (for purposes of explaining the manifestations of head trauma mimicking DUI, plus citing a well-known scientific article by Burns, Moscowitz and Ferguson that studied the ability of experienced police officers to accurately predict high blood alcohol levels from smelling the "strong odor" of alcohol on a person's breath. The study concluded that officers were not able to reliably correlate strong odors with high BAC levels. Next, an experienced accident reconstruction expert Robert (Bob) Awtrey of www.southeasternsafetyassociates.com (who covered the sudden acceleration issues with this model of BMW [all 418,000 sold in the United States had a defective throttle control sleeve], as well as explaining the LIKELIHOOD that the vehicle defect launched the vehicle through the house and out into the yard.) Judge Randolph Rich, hearing the case without a jury, was compelled to find Client "not guilty" of all charges.
  • Porsche Driver Clocked at 117 m.p.h. & With 0.192/0.194 Breath Test Readings Acquitted of DUI at Trial

    Practice Area:
    DUI and DWI
    Date:
    Dec 08, 2006
    Outcome:
    Not Guilty to DUI Charge; Nolo to Speeding
    Description:
    A late night business meeting for client led to an Atlanta area Posche owner being pulled over for speeding on I-75 northbound. The video of the Client's encounter with the police officer showed atrocious manifestations, and the Client was clearly impaired. The officer even laughed at the condition of the driver as he attempted to respond to questions and to perform field sobriety evaluations. Predictably, the arrest for DUI, reckless driving and speeding followed. The Client met with Mr. Head who immediately identified several excellent issues in the case. One significant issue was that the uniform traffic citation only identified one type of DUI, the per se-alcohol offense for being over the legal limit of 0.08 grams percent. This could have been amended prior to trial, in order to add "impaired driving", but it never was done by the prosecutor. Mr. Head asked for a bench trial because the judge handling the case was extremely fair about ruling on motions and trial issues where the State's evidence fell short. On the morning of trial, Mr. Head offered to have his Client plead nolo contendere to either the reckless driving or the speeding, but not both. Mr. Head also offered the maximum fine of $1000 and also offered 40 hours of community service, The prosecutor accepted the speeding charge, leaving only the single "count" of DUI over the legal limit. The arresting officer testified, and stated that the Client AGREED to take a breath test at the station after he had been placed under arrest and given his advisements of the consequences of either submitting to the official test or refusing the test that would be available at the police station. The prosecutor never introduced the video tape, and rested his case without showing the video. Mr. Head began the cross-examination of the officer, and focused immediately on the claim that the driver had said he would take the State-administered test at the station. Mr. Head then requested that the video be played for the judge. The Prosecutor objected, claiming it was "the State's tape" and that the defense had no right to it. In this jurisdiction, the prosecution only allowed defense counsel to view the tape, not get a copy of it. The Judge immediately detected a problem because this videotape was NOT anyone's "property", and it was now claimed to be exculpatory evidence of a possible complete defense to the two breath test readings of 0.192/0.194. After a protracted time, the Prosecutor reluctantly turned over the tape pursuant to the Judge's demand for it to be played in court. As Mr. Head told the judge, the tape showed the Porsche driver TWICE say he was not going to submit to any test. Because a Georgia Court of Appeals decision by the name of Howell v. State from 2004 was directly on point, the Judge was compelled to exclude the breath test results. He then found the Porsche driver NOT GUILTY on the sole DUI charge, despite Mr. Head's Client being absolutely hammered on the videotape. The Client paid the fine and provided proof of the 40 hours of community service, which terminated the case with 0 points on his driving history and his full driving privileges.