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When can a Georgia Police Office Make an Arrest

augustagacriminallawyerA police officer may arrest you if (1) the officer observes you committing a crime; (2) the officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by you; or (3) the officer makes the arrest under the authority of a valid arrest warrant.

Generally if a police officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, the officer may make an arrest without an arrest warrant.

The police can stop you, and ask questions, without “arresting” you. Upon seeing suspicious activity, the police may perform what is called a “Terry Stop,” and may temporarily detain people to request that they identify themselves and to question them about the suspicious activity. The scope of a “Terry Stop” is limited to investigation of the specific suspicious activity, and if the police detain you to question about additional matters, the stop can turn into an “arrest.”

For their own safety, the police can frisk you and if they feel something that may be a weapon, they may remove it from you for further examination. However, they are not entitled to remove items from your pockets that do not appear to be weapons, even if they believe that the items are contraband

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Resisting Arrest in Georgia

pjcampanaro-augustaduilawyersIn Georgia, if you resist arrest, you will be committing a misdemeanor. You must co-operate with a police officer who is trying to arrest you. If you do not co-operate or try to prevent your arrest in any manner including taunting the officer, lying about your identity, struggling with the officer, trying to hurt or escape from the officer or otherwise resisting his or her efforts to take you into custody.

Even interfering with a police officer’s attempt to arrest another person can result in you being charged for resisting arrest. An officer may use force that is reasonable and necessary to overcome resistance when making a lawful arrest. An officer cannot use excessive force unless warranted under the circumstances. The police officer is supposed to give a 5th Amendment warning after he arrests you. Often, however, they do not. The only consequence is that the prosecution cannot use any of your answers to questions asked by the police after the arrest.

A police officer may arrest you if (1) the officer observes you committing a crime; (2) the officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by you; or (3) the officer makes the arrest under the authority of a valid arrest warrant.

Generally if a police officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, the officer may make an arrest without an arrest warrant.

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Georgia Drug Illegal Drug Laws

Georgia has strict drug laws. If convicted, you can face long prison sentences and heavy fines. In Georgia if a police officer finds that you have illegal drugs, you will be charged with drug possession even if you weren’t actually holding the drugs in your hand.

You are considered to be the owner of drugs found in your pockets or clothing, car or home, or any place over which you have control. If an officer finds drugs in your briefcase or purse, you would be considered in possession of those drugs. You can also be charged with drug possession if police find the materials to make a drug or the equipment to use it.

If you are found with a certain amount of drugs or you are caught trying to sell drugs or if an officer finds you with a scale, or even wads of money in certain circumstances, you will be charged with possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

It is a more serious charge than simple drug possession. The amount of drugs required for this charge depends on the drug involved. If you are caught trying to sell drugs to children, the penalties are more severe.

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What to Do If You are involved in a Vehicle Accident

If you have been involved in an accident, never leave the scene of an accident. It is a crime. You must follow certain procedures if you are involved in an accident If anyone is injured in the accident, you must report the accident to the police and wait for the police to complete the formalities. You are also duty bound to help the injured and call for an ambulance or the paramedics.

You may be guilty of a felony – hit and run- if you flee the scene before the police arrive and if someone dies as a result of the accident, even if you didn’t cause the accident. If the accident results in property damage, you must make reasonable effort to contact the owner of the property.

If a police officer orders you to stop but you don’t, then you will be guilty of fleeing and eluding. Fleeing is a criminal offence. If a police officer orders you to stop, you are required by law to stop. You must stop when the officer driving behind you activates his or her lights and siren. If you injure anyone while fleeing or leave the state of Georgia, you will be guilty of felony no matter how fast you were driving.

Our DUI and criminal defense attorneys are based in Augusta, GA. If you have been charged with DUI in Augusta or anywhere throughout the CSRA, including Columbia County, Richmond County, Lincoln County, McDuffie, Jefferson and Burke Counties, then contact us.

 

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Violent Crime in GA: What is Battery?

Battery is an intentional unpermitted act causing harmful or offensive contact with another person. Generally, battery is divided into the following subtypes:

  • Simple battery: any nonconsensual, insulting, or hurtful contact
  • Sexual battery: battery in the context of a sexual situation
  • Domestic violence battery: battery that occurs in the home between partners
  • Aggravated battery: an offense that results in serious bodily harm

A battery charge reflects the severity of the damage caused by the act.

As a tort, a battery is a harmful or offensive touching of one person by another. If you touch someone or you come in contact with some part of another person without the other person agreeing to it, you may be committing battery. The law does not require any harm or damage. The person committing the battery may have meant no hatred or ill will.

The gravity of a battery accusation may vary; sometimes the corporal damage can be minimal, even insignificant, nevertheless when it is produced in a severe manner it is determined as a grave battery injury.

To determine if somebody is guilty of a battery crime it is required to demonstrate the purpose of the attacker; sometimes the person who commits this crime can be absolved of the charges if he/she presents evidences of suffering an unbalanced mental condition.

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What is a Charge Bargain in Georgia?

In a “charge bargain” the prosecution will let you “plead guilty to a lesser charge,” or to only some of the charges that have been filed against you. If you are charged with Drunk Driving and Driving With License Suspended, you may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to just the drunk driving charge.

In a “sentence bargain”, you will be told in advance what your sentence will be if you plead guilty.
Pleading guilty to a felony will result in a felony conviction. In a plea bargain, you do not have a trial. Rather you have a sentencing. At your sentencing, you will learn of the punishment for the crime you admitted to and shortly after, start serving your jail time or whatever punishment has been assigned to you.

A convicted felon may not be eligible for federal assistance. This may include the ability to receive food stamps and pursue higher education, as convicted felons are not eligible to receive grants, loans, or work study. A criminal conviction can have major repercussions. It can affect the individual on a more basic level when he attempts to seek employment.

Federal law and most state agencies now requires background checks and allow disqualification based on conviction in a wide variety of employment areas including education, healthcare services, child and eldercare, financial institutions and transportation. A prior conviction will play an important role in the outcome of all future criminal charges.

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What is a Sexual Assault in Georgia?

Sexual assault includes any unwanted sexual contact and may involve physical force, pressure, manipulation and/or threats. Some rapists use alcohol or other drugs to take advantage of a victim. Sexual assault is a criminal offence, whether it is committed by a boyfriend/girlfriend, family member, acquaintance or someone else.
If convicted for sexual assault, you could face

  • Prison
  • Substantial fines
  • Probation/parole
  • Loss of rights
  • Court ordered rehab

Sexual harassment is any unwanted and unwelcome sexual behavior, which can include verbal (e.g., derogatory comments, tales of sexual exploits) and/or physical harassment (e.g., leering, inappropriate touching, asking for sexual favors), displaying derogatory posters or art, and other advances or inappropriate conduct. In order to be considered illegal, the conduct must be unwelcome and offensive to the victim.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, you need to act fast. Hire a qualified and aggressive lawyer to ensure your legal rights and interests are fully protected. A conviction can carry a wealth of hidden consequences that can come into play under a variety of circumstances..  A criminal conviction can have major repercussions. It can affect the individual on a more basic level when he attempts to seek employment.

Federal law and most state agencies now requires background checks and allow disqualification based on conviction in a wide variety of employment areas including education, healthcare services, child and eldercare, financial institutions and transportation. A prior conviction will play an important role in the outcome of all future criminal charges.

Our Criminal Defense attorneys are based in Augusta, GA. If you have been charged with DUI in Augusta, GA (Georgia) and throughout the CSRA, including Columbia County, Richmond County, Lincoln County, McDuffie, Jefferson and Burke Counties, Evans, Appling and Waynesboro.

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How is a Federal Criminal Sentence Determined?

In federal criminal law, prior sentences, including misdemeanors where incarceration is not imposed, play an important role in determining the sentence. The criminal history score affects the sentencing of repeat offenders when they are convicted of a new crime.

Pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, sentences for misdemeanors and petty offenses are included when calculating the criminal history category for sentencing. A minor misdemeanor charge could, in fact, transform into a felony and result in a permanent strike, and if there are any prior felony convictions bring an even more severe penalty.

If you have been convicted, you generally have the right to appeal. An appeal asks the higher court to overturn the trial court’s decision based on legal or procedural error. The judges on appeal are looking for errors which may have changed the verdict.

A conviction can carry a wealth of hidden consequences that can come into play under a variety of circumstances..  A criminal conviction can have major repercussions. It can affect the individual on a more basic level when he attempts to seek employment.

Federal law and most state agencies now requires background checks and allow disqualification based on conviction in a wide variety of employment areas including education, healthcare services, child and eldercare, financial institutions and transportation. A prior conviction will play an important role in the outcome of all future criminal charges.

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Does a Georgia Convict Have the Right to Appeal?

If you have been convicted, you generally have the right to appeal. An appeal asks the higher court to overturn the trial court’s decision based on legal or procedural error. The judges on appeal are looking for errors which may have changed the verdict.

In a appeal, you submit written “briefs” to the appellate court, along with a copy of the trial court transcript and any exhibits that were used at trial. Oral arguments may be scheduled. Arguments are typically very short in duration, and tend to be academic in nature, focusing on legal issues.

In an appeal, the higher court looks for errors in the decision of the trial court. If the higher court finds errors in the trial court’s decision, the appeal court may order a re-trial or set aside the conviction.

Sometimes the higher court may find errors in the trial court’s decision but the errors might be insignificant and the higher court may feel that the errors did not affect the outcome of the case. The higher court may also find that there are no errors in the trial court’s decision. In both these cases, the trial court will dismiss the appeal and the decision of the trial court will be upheld.

Our Criminal Defense attorneys are based in Augusta, GA. If you have been charged with DUI in Augusta, GA (Georgia) and throughout the CSRA, including Columbia County, Richmond County, Lincoln County, McDuffie, Jefferson and Burke Counties, Evans, Appling and Waynesboro.

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What is Probation in Georgia?

augustagacriminallawyerProbation is an effort to allow first-time and minor offenders a second chance. Probation is part and parcel of the offender’s initial sentence. Probation is handed down by the judge at trial. It may be in lieu of jail time or in combination with some jail time. The judge will specify restrictions on the prisoner’s activities during the probation period.

If you are convicted, you may be placed on probation. If you are on probation you must ordinarily meet with your probation officer every month, and at times more frequently. Sometimes, you will be placed on “non-reporting” probation. In such cases, you need not meet with a probation officer.

Typically, at the end of your probation, you will be asked to demonstrate that you complied with the terms of probation, and your record will be checked for any further criminal activity. Sometimes, you will be allowed to report by mail. This usually happens in cases where you have been on probation without any problems for a long time, but your probation officer still wants periodic information on your activities.

If you have been convicted of a drug conviction, you may have to report to the probation office frequently for drug testing. A court may also order drug or alcohol counseling, or attendance of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcaholics Anonymous meetings. During probation, you must typically seek permission from your probation officer before moving or changing jobs. You may be restricted from leaving the state without the probation officer’s permission.

Our criminal lawyers defend DUI and criminal allegations in Augusta, GA and throughout the CSRA, including Columbia County, Richmond County, Lincoln County, McDuffie, Jefferson and Burke Counties, Evans, Appling, Waynesboro, Louisville, Thomson, Lincolnton, contact us.

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