As a criminal defense attorney who handles a lot of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases, I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about DUIs over the last 14 years. The most common questions I get surround a person’s ability to drive. They include questions like: “Can I still drive after my DUI arrest?” “Will I automatically lose my license?” “Can I get a permit to drive to and from work?”
While some people know that under Georgia law, threatening to commit a crime of violence is a crime, few of them realize that even making a threat with no intention or means to follow through can also be a crime in some instances. It is also a crime under Georgia law for a person to make a threat of violence in reckless disregard of the risk of:
• causing terror to another;
• evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation; or
• otherwise causing a serious public inconvenience.
As of May 10, 2019, hemp and hemp products, as defined by Georgia law, are no longer a violation of Georgia’s Controlled Substances Act. In Georgia law hemp is defined as “the Cannabis sativa L. plant and any part of such plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with the federally defined THC level for hemp or a lower level,” while hemp products are defined as “all products with the federally defined THC level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts that are prepared in a form available for legal commercial sale, but not including food products infused with THC unless approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.”
Many students do not realize the potential impacts of carelessly leaving a weapon in their pocket, backpack, or vehicle. This article is intended to focus on educating students and parents on situations where a student might violate the law, not to provide a full analysis of every scenario where carrying a weapon at a school would be allowed or not allowed.
While teen sexting continues to increase in prevalence, many teens are unaware of the potential legal consequences of these acts.
Depending on the ages, types of images, and other factors, these types of offenses can have penalties ranging from a felony conviction with up to twenty years in prison and registering as a sex offender for the rest of a person’s life to misdemeanors, which can also remain on a person’s record for the rest of his or her life.
The Hands-Free Georgia Act became effective July 1, 2018. While Georgia previously had laws against distracted driving and texting while driving, this law increased the restrictions regarding the use of certain devices while operating motor vehicles and increased the potential punishments for those violations. The new law has additional specific prohibitions for commercial vehicle drivers, but this article focuses on impacts of the law on non-commercial drivers while driving a motor vehicle on the public roadways of Georgia.
Often times people think that a person can only be guilty of shoplifting when leaving a store with something without paying for it, but that is not actually the case.
Legally, the offense of shoplifting is committed the moment a person picks up an item in a store with the intent to steal it. The most common question that people ask is, “How can they prove a person had the intent to steal it?”
The Georgia legislature passed laws in 2014 to help save the lives of individuals who might experience a drug or alcohol overdose. However, these laws can only help save lives if everyone is aware of them.
One of the biggest concerns that most people have about calling for help when they are with someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose is the fear that they could get in trouble with the law. The Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law was designed to prevent this concern.
Many people make mistakes and, if given the opportunity, are willing to take responsibility for those mistakes to show they are not likely to reoffend. Recognizing this, many Georgia courts have created programs designed to benefit first time offenders. These programs take many forms and can result in your charges being dismissed and restricted from your criminal record. The most common three forms these take in Georgia are pretrial diversion, conditional discharge, and the First Offender Act, all of which are the focus of this article.
Every October, many teens and young adults start looking for haunted grounds to go visit around Halloween. The problems that arise when looking for these locations usually fall in to two categories: who the properties belong to, and the people they go with.
While there are many places you can look online for a list of places that are believed to be haunted, they rarely provide any information about the site other than the stories of the why the location is haunted and where to find the location. Whether these locales are haunted or not, they almost always are someone else’s property. Many of the properties that are “known” as haunted locations have warnings not to trespass, security systems, and more frequent police patrols. Going on someone else’s property could result in criminal trespass charges.
Having an attorney prior to scheduling an interview with law enforcement can protect an individual by having the attorney assess whether they believe the person is at risk of being charged. The attorney can contact law enforcement or prosecutors on the individual’s behalf to determine if it makes sense to move forward with the meeting. If it does make sense to move forward with the meeting, an attorney can be present at the meeting to help make sure the person being interviewed has all their rights protected. In the event that it appears charges will be filed against the person, an attorney may be able to work with law enforcement to schedule a mutually convenient date, time, and location for the person to turn themselves in, with a plan to get the person out of jail as quickly as possible.
One area of the criminal justice system that can often be confusing is the offenses that are alleged under Georgia’s Family Violence Act. The intention behind this legislation is to help protect victims of domestic violence and punish perpetrators of acts of domestic violence. This is certainly a noble endeavor. However, Family Violence Act (“FVA”) laws, which are sometimes referred to as Domestic Violence (“DV”) laws are broad in their written scope, and in their sweep, and can have unforeseen and lasting impacts both inside and outside of the criminal court process. People are often unaware of these potential impacts.
When an adult (17 or older), who has been charged with a crime, has their case dismissed, one of the most common questions is: “who will know about this in the future?” or “what kinds of records will exist about this?”
One issue that people who have experienced a run-in with the law tend to encounter is how to honestly answer a job or college application. For the purposes of this article we are addressing run-ins with the law in Georgia after an individual turns 17 years old.
A common question that has come up recently is whether an offense is serious or not, when a person receives a ticket from the officer for the offense. Historically, officers would routinely arrest individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses like underage possession of alcohol, possession of marijuana, possession of drug related objects, or shoplifting.
There is often a look of shock and surprise on an individual’s face when they find out that being convicted for a traffic offense they are charged with can lead to a suspension of their driver’s license. To know whether someone is likely to be at risk for a driver’s license suspension, there must be a determination of which one of three categories they are in.
In Georgia, a young person who is charged with most crimes is treated as a juvenile if they are 16 years old and younger. These juvenile criminal cases are referred to as juvenile delinquency cases. Juvenile delinquency cases can track many different ways through our judicial system, but this article should serve as a guide for the typical path of a juvenile delinquency case.
There has been recent media coverage regarding projects to prevent criminal histories from affecting employment opportunities for individuals. This includes “Ban the Box” and other projects intended to help individuals who have a criminal history be able to get back in to the workforce and be productive members of society.
While criminal cases can track many different ways through our judicial system, this article explains the typical path of a criminal case.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is a booking?
After an arrest, you will be taken to a police station where you are “booked.” A booking refers to the process of officially entering your arrest in the police records. You will be asked your name, date of birth and address. You will be searched, fingerprinted and photographed. Personal property such as wallet, money and jewelry will be catalogued and stored.
How we help You
We help to minimize the impact that the accusations against you have on your life by creating a customized plan that best serves you.
We do not offer one size fits criminal defense.
We help protect the futures of Georgia teens and young adults accused of crimes.