Articles Posted in Criminal defense

What are the Georgia Hit and Run Laws

Hit & Run Depiction
Hit and Runs are essentially leaving the scene of any accident and you can be charged criminally as well as incur civil(money damages), as a result of a failure to stop. A driver in the State of Georgia has an affirmative duty to stop and render assistance during a traffic accident.  Failure to stop and render aid can lead to significant criminal felony or misdemeanor charges. Unfortunately there have a been a string of Hit and Run incidents recently in and around Atlanta:

Hit & Run on GA400 

What Are Valid Warrant Requirements

Search Warrant

Search Warrant

Recently Fulton County Prosecutors tried to obtain records of the ex-cop charged with murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.  Brook’s death lead to riots in Atlanta and Fulton County.  The State was oddly trying to obtain records of donations to a fundraising account set up by the Georgia Law Enforcement Organization, a non-profit organization, that set-up an account on it’s website to defend Rolfe against the murder charges.  To date, approximately $500,000 has been raised on the site.  The District Attorney argued they wanted the information from the fundraising site to argue that Rolfe may try to skip bail.  The judge the case found that the State lacked probable cause to issue a warrant and denied the prosecutions request for a warrant.  Here is an article by the Atlanta Journal Constitution detailing the warrant request by the Fulton County DA, the response by Rolfe’s criminal defense attorneys, and the judge’s reasoning in the warrant denial: https://www.ajc.com/news/fulton-da-is-denied-warrant-to-probe-garrett-rolfe-fundraising-site/RL2U53UULVET5NW5N2ESYJKDHI/

Decriminalization of Marijuana in Johns Creek, Georgia

marijuana-image
The municipal city of Johns Creek has taken steps to decriminalize marijuana possession according to this article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Public officials in favor of the municipal ordinance want to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.  Those who have less than an ounce of marijuana would face no jail time and a maximum of a $75 dollar fine.

The current simple possession of marijuana ordinance is up to one-year in jail and up to a $1,000 dollar fine.  It is important to note that this change would not legalize marijuana.  The State of Georgia does not allow for cities to legalize the possession of marijuana and you could still face State or Federal charges depending on whether you were arrested by State police, on Federal property, or if you were charged with a felony count as well.

What is Bail? Answers From an Atlanta, Georgia Criminal Lawyer

Georgia Bail Reform Picture
Bail is money and/or property paid to the Court that is intended to ensure a criminal defendant’s return to court for the alleged crimes.  It is a conditional release from jail, pending trial or resolution of a criminal matter.  Bail is required in almost all criminal cases in some form.  The more serious the crime, the higher the Bail.  In certain serious cases, where it is likely a defendant may try to skip bail and hide from prosecution, or after committing a new offense while on probation for a previous crime, Bail may be denied by a Judge. In some situations a defendant is unable to afford Bail and lacks the ability to pay a Bail Bondsman.  In these situations it is likely a person accused of a crime will sit in jail pending resolution of his/her criminal proceedings.  Some criminal cases can take years.  Thus, some criminal defendant’s end up languishing in jail for years awaiting a trial.  An important caveat to the above, there is no Bail in Family Court, and a child accused of delinquency can be held in detention or sent home with their parents pending court resolution.

How Much is Bail

What is Zoom-Bombing

Juvenile Computer Hacker

Zoom-Bombing Juvenile

Zoom bombing is real and new.  Many younger juveniles may consider it a prank.  It can have serious legal and criminal consequences.  Zoom bombing is a rather new phenomenon and an interesting problem for criminal defense attorneys.  In today’s new world, during the Covid-19 pandemic and with schools and workplaces utilizing more technology than ever, a prank on the SaaS Zoom platform can land you in real hot water with authorities.  And unfortunately, a Zoom-Bomb prank can have life-long legal ramifications.  In the last two weeks there have been at least two Zoom-Bombing incidents in local  Gwinnett County Schools:

In Georgia, anyone under the age of 17 is considered a juvenile offender and enters a separate system for juvenile offenders, rather than the adult criminal justice system. A judge reviews their cases and decides an outcome. In a worst-case scenario, the outcome of a juvenile case can result in long-term confinement in a correctional facility. However, in most cases, the goal is not punishment, but rehabilitation.

Under some circumstances, depending on the juvenile’s age, he or she can be tried as an adult, and his or her case can be transferred to adult court. In the past, too many kids wound up in a juvenile detention facility. The system didn’t work. More than half of the kids previously in the system simply wound up in the system again within three years. The old system was also tremendously expensive. Each bed in a juvenile detention facility cost $90,000 yearly, and this resulted in a budget for Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice that was at a high of $300 million.

In 2013, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2013 was passed as HB 242. This law not only reduced costs but also changed the philosophy of juvenile detention in Georgia. Under this law, only the most serious and dangerous juvenile offenders are kept in custody.
Continue Reading ›

The Georgia Constitution protects its citizens against multiple punishment for the same offense. This is known as double jeopardy, yet it does not forbid additional punishment for separate offenses which have been deemed to warrant separate sanctions.

There is protection against multiple or successive prosecutions for crimes arising from the same conduct. This mandates that different crimes arising from the same conduct and known to the prosecution at the time must be tried in a single prosecution. If several crimes arising from the same conduct are known to the proper prosecuting officer at the time of commencing the prosecution and are within the jurisdiction of a single court, they must be prosecuted in a single prosecution.

A person is not placed in jeopardy by having a preliminary, commitment or probable cause hearing even if the charges against him were dismissed at that time.

When multiple crimes occur within more than one county and one crime which is included within one of the multiple crimes as committed was done in only one of the counties, the defendant cannot be tried in more than one county for the same included offense.

In Georgia, jeopardy generally attaches when the jury is impaneled and sworn, or in a non-jury case, after the first witness has been sworn and the court begins to hear testimony. Entering a nolo contendere plea constitutes jeopardy even if entered before a jury was impaneled and sworn.

If the defendant was indicted for two charges arising out of the same transaction and the defendant pled guilty to one of the charges, the state can still attempt to try the defendant for the other charge and double jeopardy is not a valid defense.
Continue Reading ›

Contact Information