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Atlanta Georgia Criminal Law Blog

Georgia's 7 deadly sins and the 2, not 3, strikes law

A person who is charged with a felony has to think very clearly about what this classification means. There are serious life consequences that you have to think about as you are preparing your defense. The exact impacts of a felony conviction depend on your circumstances.

One thing that you have to realize is that Georgia does have a "three strikes" law that can come into the picture if you have prior felony convictions. In fact, Georgia's three strikes law is actually a misnomer because there are only two strikes allowed.

Penalties for heroin charges are very harsh

The heroin epidemic is something that has impacted the entire country. Georgia isn't any exception to this challenge that is plaguing the nation. This is one of the reasons why Georgia has taken such a harsh stance against all criminal cases that involve this drug.

Many people are surprised by just how much time in prison is associated with even possession charges for heron. They might also be surprised to learn that some heroin convictions can come with a life sentence. This is the reason why you need to plan your defense carefully when heroin charges are part of your case.

Watch for signs of injury after a car crash

The injuries that you suffer in a car crash vary greatly depending on the type of crash, the speed of the vehicles and many other factors. One thing that most of these car crash cases have in common is that the injuries can impact your life in a negative way.

Because there are so many injuries possible when you are involved in a car crash, you have to pay attention to the signs that your body is giving you. Here are some points to remember about the most common injuries that occur in a car crash:

Plan your parties carefully during this year's football season

As football season continues to march forward, Atlanta will continue to celebrate the wonders of Falcons football. This usually comes with parties to watch the games and events surrounding them. If you are planning on heading out to these celebrations, you need to make sure that you have a plan for getting home if you are going to drink at the party.

We recently discussed the cost of a drunk driving charge. If you recall, this is something that can quickly eat away at your bank account. Of course, the financial impact might limit what you are able to do for the rest of the season, as well as into the future. This is something that you likely don't want to happen.

Finances a big part of the DUI equation

The legal consequences of a DUI are very severe, and they can stick with a person for a long time. It can be difficult to get a job, find a new place to live, or to recover from the criminal history that follows you everywhere you go. However, there are also some severe financial factors to consider when it comes to a diving under the influence charge.

When you are pulled over under the suspicion of a DUI and arrested, the police will tow and impound your car. Those two things can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. When you go through sentencing, attend your court date, pay fines and associated fees with the whole process, pay for an ignition interlock and other costs, altogether it can cost you many thousands more.

What should you do if law enforcement mistreated or abused you?

Many people have this idea that anything that police do during an arrest or while a person is incarcerated is a necessary evil. That simply isn't the case. It's very easy for law enforcement to violate an accused person's civil rights or even the law while arresting someone. People who are already incarcerated can also face serious abuse, harassment and other mistreatment from law enforcement and corrections officers.

Regardless of whether a person gets convicted of a crime, he or she still has basic rights. No one should be subjected to physical, sexual or emotional abuse and harassment just because they are in state custody. It can be terrifying to stand up to law enforcement after abuse or assault, but doing so can protect you and others who could be abused by the same officers in the future.

Rape kits and the potential limitations of DNA evidence, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at the issue of rape kit testing, and the importance of working with experienced criminal defense counsel to careful scrutinize the reliability of rape kit testing in sexual assault cases. At the center of the issue is the principle of reliability.

In any criminal case, prosecutors are required to present sufficient evidence in support of each and every criminal charge against the defendant. To meet the burden of proof, the evidence presented must meet certain standards. It must, first of all, be relevant to material issues in the case. It must also not be unfairly prejudicial, meaning that its value for proving a relevant issue in the case must not be outweighed by some other factor, such as the risk of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, misleading the jury, wasting time, or presenting cumulative evidence. 

The importance of an attorney

In our last post, we mentioned the importance of working with an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend against charges under Georgia’s concealed carry law. Working with an experienced attorney is particularly important in cases where an individual is charged with using a firearm to inflict illegal deadly force upon another.  

As we previously noted, personal gun ownership is justified largely on the basis of personal defense, and rightly so. The law governing personal defense with firearms is important for all firearms owners to understand, and it has an important place in criminal cases where an individual is criminally charged for the death of another as a result of a deadly encounter. 

A quick look at Georgia’s campus carry law

The ability to carry a firearm for personal safety and protection is an important right, and every state recognizes this right in some way. Different states have different laws when it comes to concealed carry regulation. Some states allow anybody who is able to legally possession a firearm to carry that firearm concealed without a permit or license. Most, however, do not.

Georgia, like other states, requires a license for carrying a weapon when in public. Georgia honors concealed carry permits issued in other states that have reciprocity with Georgia. Special rules apply for those moving to Georgia with a concealed carry permit from another state. Both residents and nonresidents must, however, follow certain rules to remain in compliance with the law. 

Rape kits and the potential limitations of DNA evidence, P.1

One of the issues readers may have heard about in the news at some point is the backlog of rape kit testing in many states across the country. Organizations like End The Backlog (www.endthebacklog.org), are dedicated to spreading awareness about the issue and prompting initiatives to address the backlog.

Different states have different approaches when it comes to addressing rape kit testing and backlogs. Georgia law requires annual auditing of untested rape kits, and all rape kits are eventually supposed to be tested. Georgia law does not require law enforcement agencies to track rape kits, so it isn’t clear how many are left untested, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in January that there were over 10,000 rape kits awaiting testing at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. 

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