January 2013 Archives

Attorney Thomas Nagel discusses police reports containing false allegations

January 29, 2013

You got arrested for DUI. You pick up your arrest report from the police department. As you read through the report you can't believe it what you are reading. You are in shock. Thats not what happened. The officer is lying! What do you do?

Most police officers are honest hardworking individuals just like you and me. As in every profession, there are bad apples. Most arrest reports are relatively accurate. Some contain exaggerated facts. Some are completely false. They contain language that bolsters the officers case in an attempt to secure a conviction.

The New York Times published an article about a decorated corporal who was doing just this. She was accused of falsifying dozens of arrest over a decade. She accused and arrested many drivers of DUI who were not impaired drivers. Many didn't even drink alcohol. Others were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs but blood tests revealed no drugs in their system. 20 cases alleging marijuana impairment revealed no presence of marijuana in their system.

A group of lawyers filed lawsuits suing the corporal and the highway patrol. Prosecutors were dropping cases made by the officer because of the allegations.

I have personally seen reports that an officer submitted where he merely changed the accused's name, date of birth, address, and identifying information and then submitted the identical arrest report. Those cases were dismissed. I also see many reports that contain "canned language". This occurs a lot in DUI arrest reports.

See below for the link to the complete article. If you have been arrested in the State of Georgia and you believe that you have been falsely accused of a crime, its imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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Georgia Super Speeder Law by Atlanta & Sandy Springs Georgia Attorney Tom Nagel

January 8, 2013

Since January 1, 2010, Georgia's Super Speeder Law has been in force. A "Super Speeder" is someone convicted of speeding 75 mph or more on any two-lane road OR speeding 85 mph or more on any other road in Georgia. A super speeder will pay a fine in court as a result of conviction of the speeding ticket. The Super Speeder law imposes an additional $200.00 penalty on top of the court fine although the additional penalty is not paid to the court.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services "GA DDS" is required to notify the convicted driver within 30 days of the date of conviction that failure to pay the imposed $200.00 fee within 90 days from the date of conviction shall result in the suspension of their privilege to drive in the State of Georgia. Failure to pay within the 90-day period results in a suspension of your Georgia license. After suspension occurs, the Super Speeder will be required to pay an additional $50.00 reinstatement fee on top of the $200.00 Super Speeder fee.

Payment of the $200.00 fee prior to the 90-day period avoids suspension of driving privileges.

It's important to stress that all drivers should ensure the address listed on their license is current. DDS will send notice to this address only. It is not a defense that you didn't receive notice of the Super Speeder violation because it went to the wrong address.

The Office of the State Treasury is required to separately account for all the money collected under the Super Speeder Law which was enacted to help fund trauma care in the State of Georgia because there is an average of one death a day that's related to speeding.

A plea of Guilty on a Super Speeder offense does not add any additional points other than the points associated with the speed on the ticket. A plea of nolo-contendere may result in avoidance of points but will not avoid the $200.00 penalty. Pleas of nolo-contendere are within the discretion of each individual judge.

A non-resident driver convicted under Super Speeder who doesn't pay the fee will have their privilege to drive suspended in the state of Georgia. Georgia cannot suspend the license of a driver from another state but it can suspend their driving privileges. The offense will be reported to the driver's home state who would then decide whether or not to suspend their license.