Timothy O. McCalep
Contact Timothy McCalep Today

Atlanta Georgia Criminal Law Blog

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. 

First steps you should take after a car accident

Car accidents happen every day and for multiple reasons. Whether another driver was speeding, texting, driving drunk or simply was not paying attention, there are many circumstances that can result in a car accident. Unfortunately, they also tend to happen when we least expect or at the most inopportune time. For example, imagine driving through Atlanta on your way to work on your first day at a new job when another driver runs a red light and slams into your car. Now you have a damaged car you cannot drive, some broken ribs, and whiplash. Furthermore, you are losing out on wages until your doctor clears you to return to work, but you are not 100 percent sure you will have a job to return to.

After a car accident, it is important to you follow certain steps. What you do immediately following an accident can make a major difference when it comes time to file a claim against the other driver. Read further to find out what you need to do right after a car accident.

New GA law requires high-BAC first-time DUI offenders to submit to ignition interlock

When a driver is charged with DUI, there are a number of potential consequences if the driver pleads guilty or is convicted. These consequences can include jail time, fines, alcohol abuse education, community service, and other conditions. In many states, use of an ignition interlock device for a period of time is another possible consequence.

Ignition interlock devices prevent one from driving until the driver provides a breath sample indicating he or she is not intoxicated. Ignition interlock devices also report BAC levels to law enforcement and thus allow for ongoing monitoring. Different states have different laws when it comes to requiring the use of ignition interlock devices, some stricter than others. 

Points in a drunk driving stop can impact your defense

With the holiday weekend here, people are going to be heading out to parties and firework displays. Many people will decide to drink alcoholic beverages, which is perfectly enjoyable and part of the revelry for many people. However, it is imperative that you do so responsibly.

Some people do not plan ahead and suffer the consequences. If you find yourself staring at a police cruiser's flashing lights and know that you have been drinking, there are some important points to keep in mind about a drunk driving traffic stop.

Work with experienced attorney to build strong defense against drugged driving charges

Last time, we mentioned the recent arrest of Tiger Woods and his subsequent statement that he was under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of the arrest. As we noted, DUI laws do not distinguish between illegal and prescription drugs, so drivers can be charged for DUI whenever they are found to be operating or in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug.

Because there are no clear biometric tests or legal limits to determine whether a drugged driver is impaired in his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle, police officers have to rely on secondary signs of impairment. These include things like: driving performance; smell, speech and demeanor; eye color; level of alertness; ability to follow directions; and overall appearance. 

Tiger Woods arrest highlights issue of DUI charges based on prescription drug use

Many readers may have heard that Tiger Woods was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence near his Florida home. Police reportedly found Woods asleep behind the wheel. Shortly after the arrested, Woods released a statement that he was not intoxicated at the time of the arrest, and that he had an unforeseen reaction to prescription medications.

Police based the citation on the observation that Woods’ speech was slurred and slow, that he was disoriented, and that he didn’t have a coherent story about how he got there and how he was headed. Woods’ explanation, though, was subsequently corroborated in a police report indicating that he had no alcohol in his system at the time of arrest, and that he did have several pain medications in his blood.

Don't let drug possession charges ruin your child's life

High school and college are often times when children grow by experimenting and making mistakes. Typically, these mistakes have short-term consequences that help inform better decision-making in the future. In some cases, like when students get arrested for drug possession, those small mistakes can impact the rest of the person's life.

Decriminalization and legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use has led to more teenagers and college students viewing use of the drug as "no big deal." Students may have to learn the hard way that law enforcement doesn't feel the same way.

Get the help you need when you've been wronged.

Call 404-692-7525 to speak to Timothy today.