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Georgia code section 16-8-14 addresses shoplifting.  In Georgia, shoplifting items $500.00 or less is generally a misdemeanor that carries up to $1000 fine and/or one year in jail. It can also be a felony depending on your record and other circumstances.  Shoplifting can come in many forms. The act of shoplifting is committed when a person (or people) appropriate merchandise for their own use without paying for it, or they take the item from its rightful owner.

Acts that are considered shoplifting include:

  • Concealing or taking possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or retail establishment

Georgia Gun possession and Federal Regulation
On a regular basis, I get questions regarding a persons right to possess a firearm. Many cases I defend have direct implications regarding my client’s right to possess firearms.
Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm in 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) also called the Gun Control Act.

I routinely get calls regarding issues involving Georgia licensed drivers under the age of 21. In Georgia, if you are under the age of 21, different laws apply regarding when The Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend your license. For example, if you’re over 21 and are convicted of a traffic offense that carries four or more points, in most cases, your license will not be suspended. Conversely, if you are under the age of 21 at the time of conviction of a traffic offense that carries four or more points, your license will be suspended for six months or longer depending on your driving record and current charges.

If you possess a Georgia drivers license and are under 18, different laws apply. A conviction of a four point traffic offense will result in suspension of your of your Georgia drivers license. However, the accumulation of four points will also result in a suspension of your Georgia drivers license. For example, if you are convicted of speeding 14 miles an hour over the speed limit but less than 19 miles an hour over the speed limit, that would put two points on your record. Then you get pulled over a month later and you’re convicted of the same thing, or possessing an open container of alcoholic beverage while driving or any another two point offense, that’s another two point violation. You’ve accumulated four points and the Georgia Department of Drivers Services, also known as Georgia DDS, will send you notice of their intent to suspend your privileges to drive.

If you were under 17 years old at the time of the offense, your case will be transferred to the juvenile court in the county where the offense occurred. Different laws and procedures apply in juvenile court.

Attorney Thomas C. Nagel has been representing clients charged with Traffic Violations for over 25 years. If you have recently been charged with a traffic violation, Call us NOW. Our goal is to keep your record clean!

We regularly represent clients in Fulton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County and Gwinnett Counties as well as all cities in each county. We regularly appear in Sandy Springs Municipal Court, Roswell Municipal Court, Marietta Municipal Court, Atlanta Municipal Court, Dunwoody Municipal Court, Alpharetta Municipal Court and Smyrna Municipal Court.

Depending on the facts of each case, you will have several options. My initial consultation will lay out all of your options. Plain language, case strategy, education of the law and reasonable fees….. I will help you resolve your legal problems. Don’t wait any longer. You need to be well prepared for court.

Bonding out of Jail in Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and Dekalb County Georgia

I received a call regarding someone arrested for driving without a Georgia driver's license. 
This is a misdemeanor in the State of Georgia and carries the same penalties as driving on a suspended license.

He was in the City of Atlanta jail.  At his first court appearance, he was advised of his charges 
and told there was no bond set. Court was continued for a week. He would lose his job if he was
in jail for another week. His friend googled Atlanta Georgia suspended license charges in the City of Atlanta with no bond and found my criminal defense law firm. He called me for help.  

My client was out of jail that afternoon. 

If you've been arrested and remain in jail with no bond, I can file a petition with the the court to 
set bond in your case.  Arrests that occur on weekends, holidays and 
when courts are closed can be much more difficult to get bond 
 In this specific case, the person was arrested, was not giving a bond when he was processed at the jail.  He went to court and his case was reset for one week for a judge to address bond. This case involved the city of Atlanta Municipal Court and the city of Atlanta Detention Center. (ACDC) 

Every city and county jail has different rules and procedures regarding no bond cases. Each 
situation is very fact specific. It could take a week or more to see a judge who can set a bond. 
Serious misdemeanors and felonies may require an appearance in front of a Superior Court Judge.Violent felonies could take 30 days or more to get bond.  If you are on active probation, you may not get a bond. If you were arrested without a warrant, the law requires that you must be brought before a judge judge within 48 hours of arrest. If you were arrested by a police officer or detectivewith an warrant, you must be brought before a judge within 72 hours from the time of your arrest.Failure to follow these time frames could result in your release form jail.

If you've been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony and have a scheduled court 
date to appear in any Georgia court; city, county, state, superior, magistrate, or recorders court, 
call me now. I offer a free initial consultation and will answer all your questions and explain your options. 

You might not have to wait in jail for your next court date to get a bond.  If you or someone you know is in trouble with the law, don't waste precious time!
Start your defense.
Thomas C. Nagel
Attorney at Law
5855 Sandy Springs Circle
Suite 150
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
404-255-7373 fax

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Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta Georgia

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime that requires you to appear in a city court, traffic court, recorders court, magistrate court or municipal court or anywhere else in the State of Georgia, you have several ways to resolve your case. Your basic options include pleading guilty, not guilty or nolo contendere.

If you plead not guilty, your case will be scheduled for a bench trial in that court where the judge will hear the evidence in your case and decide if you are guilty or not guilty. There are no jury trials held in city court.  Your case must be bound over to state or superior court if you decide to have a jury trial. (O.C.G.A. 15-7-1

I got a call today from a parent whose child was charged with minor in possession of alcohol in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court. He was driving his parents car. There was a passenger, also under 21, in the car and they were pulled over by the police. The passenger admitted drinking one beer and there was one empty beer can on the floor. He was arrested. The driver said he did not drink anything, took field sobriety tests and took a breath test and tested 0.00. He was still arrested and charged with minor in possession of alcohol because he admitted drinking 1 beer earlier in the evening. Had he invoked his right to remain silent, he would not have been charged with a crime.

In the state of Georgia this is a very common situation. If you are under the age of 21, it’s illegal to possess alcohol. There are however several exceptions to the law such as if you’re at home, your parents provide the alcohol and they supervise you. There is also an exception for religious services.

A minor in possession charge can result in a license suspension in certain factual scenarios. There are also Georgia statutes which can be used to get your case dismissed. The majority of clients that I represent who are charged with minor in possession that have not been in trouble before end up with their charges being dismissed and their arrest being expunged/restricted.

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.
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Shoplifting is illegal in Georgia. Shoplifting can be charged when the defendant performed actions with the intent of taking merchandise without paying or of depriving the owner of possession of merchandise or its value. Shoplifting includes altering price tags, switching labels, transferring merchandise between containers, or otherwise causing less to be paid for a particular item. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how much was stolen and whether there were any aggravating circumstances.

In a recent appellate decision, a Georgia jury found the defendant guilty of shoplifting. The defendant had entered guilty pleas in four earlier shoplifting cases, and the government presented these so that it could ask for recidivist punishment under OCGA § 16-8-14 (b)(1)(C). Under this code section, when somebody is convicted of a fourth or subsequent shoplifting offense, and the earlier convictions were either misdemeanors or felonies or a combination, the defendant commits a felony and must be punished with imprisonment for 1-10 years without suspending or deferring the first year of the sentence. The defendant is considered a recidivist or repeat offender and sentenced accordingly. In this case, the trial court sentenced the defendant as a recidivist.

The defendant appealed. He argued that he shouldn’t have been sentenced as a recidivist because the government didn’t establish he had waived his right to counsel in two of the prior shoplifting convictions.
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In Prigmore v. State, the defendant was arrested for a hit and run under OCGA § 40-6-270. He was also arrested for vehicular homicide, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of drugs.

Under the hit and run statute, a driver of any vehicle that is involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to anybody is required to stop the car at the scene. If the driver can’t stop right at the scene, he or she must stop as close to the scene as possible and go back to the scene to give help to the victims. For a first conviction, the defendant must be fined between $300 and $1,000, which may not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation, or imprisoned for up to 12 months.

In Prigmore v. State, the defendant was driving along Lawrenceville Highway, crossed a lane of traffic, left the road, drove along the sidewalk, and struck and killed a woman and her six-year-old daughter. After hitting the pedestrians, the defendant came back to the roadway and kept driving for about a quarter of a mile, then parked in a business drive-thru. Witnesses told the police where he was.
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