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Atlanta Georgia Criminal Law Blog

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.

Work with experienced defense attorney to fight sexual assault, rape charges

In recent posts, we’ve been looking at the issue of consent as it is defined with respect to sexual assault charges here in Florida. As we’ve noted, consent is an issue that has yet to be addressed in the context of the emerging trend of “stealthing,” but consent is often an issue in sexual assault cases.

Consent, of course, is not a defense to certain sex crimes, including rape or aggravated sodomy or rape of a female less than 10 years of age, or sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority. Consent is also not a defense to charges of rape or sexual assault in which the allegedly consenting party was impaired by drugs, intoxicated, asleep, physically disabled, or otherwise did not have capacity to provide consent. 

Issue of consent at center of debate around practice of “stealthing”

Previously, we began looking at the troubling practice of “stealthing,” which is becoming increasingly popular even as some are urging states to make adjustments to sexual assault laws to make the practice clearly illegal. At present, Georgia law doesn’t really address the issue of stealthing, but some criminal measures move in that direction.

Under Georgia law, those who cause bodily harm to or endanger the bodily safety of another person by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm may be found guilty of a misdemeanor. In such cases, the disregard must rise to the level of a gross negligence. This presumably encompasses sexual activity that presents risk of harm to another, though it isn’t clear if stealthing would fall within the definition of this measure. 

What classifies as drug paraphernalia?

You have seen stories about drug busts on the news and heard about them from your friends. You know that drug possession is illegal in Georgia and while you hope that your teenager is not engaging in those kinds of activities, you suspect that he might be smoking marijuana on occasion. You hope that he never gets caught with the illegal substance, but what if the police catch him with drug paraphernalia? Furthermore, what actually classifies as drug paraphernalia?

If the court has charged your child with drug possession or the possession of drug paraphernalia, it is important to remember that he still has rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney in the Atlanta area can help your child fight for his rights. Below is some important information on drug paraphernalia classifications.

Does “stealthing” fall within the definition of rape or sexual assault in Georgia?

An emerging trend in dating culture is not only raising alarm from a health and safety perspective, but also from a legal perspective. The practice involves a man secretly removing his condom in the middle of the sex act. The practice is known as “stealthing,” and it is even promoted in some circles. Specifically, the trend raises questions about the proper definition of sexual assault.

Does the practice of “stealthing” fall within the definition of rape or sexual assault in Georgia? First of all, rape and sexual are distinct under Georgia law. Rape involves carnal knowledge of a female forcible against her will, or of a female who is less than ten years old. Statutory rape involves sexual intercourse with an individual who is not a spouse and who is under the age of 16.

Bill expanding medical marijuana program in Georgia approved by both houses, P.2

Last time, we mentioned a bill recently passed by congress which would expand Georgia’s medical marijuana law. As we noted, the bill has yet to be signed by Governor Nathan Deal, but proponents of medical marijuana are hopeful.

Georgia’s current medical marijuana law is different than some other states in that it only allows for the possession and use of low THC cannabis oil. Patients who are eligible for medical marijuana use—and this is part of what would change under the proposed expansion—are able to possess up to 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil. 

Seeking the truth, even when no one else does

When charged with a crime, it can feel like nobody believes you. Sometimes, the evidence even points to you and it’s your word against them. We’ve heard the urban legends about how the crime lab confirmed guilt, even when it wasn’t the truth.

It does actually happen. There are crime labs where the people running DNA tests and looking over the scientific evidence aren’t experts themselves, and that affects anybody charged with a crime.

Bill expanding medical marijuana program in Georgia approved by both houses

Last week, Congress gave final approval to a medical marijuana bill that expands Georgia's medical marijuana law. The aim of the measure is to provide expanded access to marijuana treatment for those who have certain conditions.

Under the state's 2015 law, registered patients and families are allowed to possess as much as 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil to treat a total of eight severe diseases, a total of eight. These include Chron's disease, mitochondrial disease, and severe or end stage Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell disease and cancer. Current law limits the THC content of cannabis oil to a maximum of 5 percent.

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