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Lawrenceville Criminal Law Blog

Is the Pretrial Diversion Program applicable for drug charges?

If you have been charged with drug-related crime in the state of Georgia, you may be wondering what the future holds if you are convicted. While many people facing drug charges may face time in prison and significant financial penalties, there are alternatives available for first-time, non-violent offenders.

The Pretrial Diversion Program requires participants to complete counseling, community service, drug screenings and other activities during a set amount of time. People who have been convicted of drug-related offenses may be required to stay in the program for a longer period of time and may have to submit to additional and more substantial drug testing and counseling.

Defending against a drug possession charge in Georgia

Drug possession charges can result in serious consequences for the accused and their family, which is why it is so beneficial to develop defense strategies immediately after being charged, especially when one faces drug charges. The defense strategy used will vary depending on the facts of one's case, but there are a few defense strategies that are used time and time again.

One of the most common drug possession defenses is to establish that the officers who found the drug evidence performed an unlawful search and seizure prior to arrest. Generally, if an officer sees drugs in plain view (e.g., on the backseat of the accused's vehicle), they can perform a search of the vehicle and admit the drugs found into evidence to be used against one in court.

Georgia man faces criminal charges after overdose death

Most of us are aware that selling illicit substances is illegal in the state. However, many people are unaware that drug dealers may face various drug charges and even a felony charge for murder if the person they sold the drugs to overdosed on the drugs they received from the dealer.

An alleged drug dealer was recently charged with felony murder, as well as drug trafficking and violating the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, after a 22-year-old man he sold heroin to overdosed and died. The deceased apparently overdosed on heroin that was laced with opioid fentanyl.

Miranda rights not needed before DUI arrest in Georgia

Based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 1966 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona, any person taken into police custody must be read their "Miranda" rights before questioning. Essentially, the Miranda rights are based on the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens from self-incrimination.

Police must advise anyone in custody that they have the right to remain silent, anything they say can and will be used against them in court, they have the right to an attorney and an attorney will be appointed to them, if they cannot afford one. If police fail to read one's rights, anything one says is considered involuntary and any evidence stemming from that involuntary statement will probably be thrown out in court.

Can a police officer search my vehicle at a traffic stop?

If a police officer stops you for speeding, an improper lane change, or running a stop sign, chances are they will issue you a traffic ticket and you will be on your way. However, in some cases, the officer may ask to search your vehicle. Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. In other words, Georgia police officers cannot search your home, vehicle, luggage, or any other place where you have a legitimate expectation of privacy without probable cause or a warrant to do so.

In many cases involving a traffic stop, the officer does not have a warrant and, therefore, must rely on probable cause to search the vehicle. Probable cause refers to a reasonable suspicion that you were involved in criminal activity or a reasonable suspicion that your vehicle contains evidence of a crime. An officer merely having a hunch is not enough to constitute probable cause.

Rapper faces criminal charges for alleged gun possession

Convicted felons do not always have the same rights they did before. Under the Constitution, as well as under Georgia law, anyone who has been convicted of a felony is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. If a convicted felon is caught with a firearm, they may face criminal charges.

A rapper was recently arrested in Atlanta and is facing criminal charges for drug and weapon possession. He was apparently pulled over by police for driving a vehicle with tinted windows. Officers reportedly searched the vehicle and found a firearm, as well as marijuana. The rapper had previous drug and weapon-related felonies on his criminal record. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a weapon during a crime, possession of marijuana (one ounce or less), and an improper lane change.

Teacher charged with battery for allegedly yanking student's hair

Battery is a serious crime, particularly when the victim is a minor. A middle school teacher in Georgia has been charged with battery after she allegedly pulled a student out of class and into the hallway by grabbing her by the hair.

According to the 14-year-old, the student asked the teacher to use the bathroom for a minor emergency. The teacher said no, but the student got permission from another teacher and left. When the student returned, she allegedly felt someone pulling her braids from behind. A school resource officer saw a video of the incident and filed a battery charge against the teacher. The teacher contended that it was an accident, however, the student said the teacher had acted this way towards other students, but they were too afraid to report her.

Rapper and former NFL star facing drug charges

Many drug possession cases arise out of traffic stops. Police pull over a driver for speeding, running a stop sign, or perhaps something as simple as a malfunctioning tail light. The officers then use the opportunity to search the driver's person and vehicle for illegal drugs.

Louisiana rapper, Boosie Badazz, whose legal name is Torrence Hatch Jr., is facing drug and firearm charges following a traffic stop in Newnan, Georgia.

Having a prescription for a drug may not prevent DUI charges

Most Georgia residents need to take some type of prescription medication from time to time. You may have gotten sick recently and needed a prescription antibiotic or found out that you have high blood pressure and need a prescription to address it. Whatever the reason, you understand the importance of taking your prescription exactly by the provided directions.

What you may not understand, however, is that, even after taking your prescription as directed, you could wind up facing criminal charges for DUI. This possibility may seem outlandish to you, but in reality, certain medications can affect your abilities, putting you and others at risk if you get behind the wheel.

Refusing Breathalyzers and field sobriety tests

If an officer pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, they may request you to take a Breathalyzer test and various field sobriety tests. However, drivers should be aware that they have the right to refuse these tests, although the refusal may come with consequences.

Based on Georgia's implied consent laws, drivers are required to submit to chemical testing if they are lawfully arrested for drunk driving. Refusing a roadside Breathalyzer test may constitute an implied consent violation and could cost you your driver's license for up to one year.

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