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Lawrenceville Criminal Law Blog

Reasonable suspicion and probable cause: what's the difference?

If you are facing charges for drunk driving in Georgia, you could be facing penalties that may alter the course of your life. Even a first-time offense can result in penalties that may include expensive fines, loss of driving privileges and much more. It is in your interests to fight back through a strong and thoughtful DUI defense strategy. 

One of the most important elements of a DUI defense is a careful examination of the factors that led to the initial traffic stop and arrest. Officers must have a valid reason, called reasonable suspicion, to stop a driver, and law enforcement must have probable cause to arrest a driver. You may benefit from understanding more about these terms and how they may affect your case. 

Graffiti and other vandalism leads to criminal charges in Georgia

While there is no denying that graffiti artists are often quite creative and skilled, there are consequences to their actions. Under Georgia law, graffiti, also known as street art, is considered a form of vandalism. Any person defacing property without consent of the owner can be charged with criminal trespass, if the damage to the property totals less than $500. This is a misdemeanor offense, and is punishable by up to one year in jail and imposed fines. The state also considers the defacement of grave markers, plaques, memorials and monuments of service members in any manner to warrant a criminal trespass charge, regardless of the monetary amount of damage.

Criminal damage, a more serious charge of the two vandalism types, is classified in two degrees. First-degree criminal damage is considered to endanger human life by a malicious act. It includes damage to public works structures, including gas, water and sewer lines. This offense can result in a felony charge with a punishment of up to 10 years in prison and steep fines. A first-degree charge is not determined by any monetary amount of damage.

Buford woman indicted on murder charges after shooting husband

A 39-year-old Buford woman had been indicted on charges stemming from the shooting of her husband. Additional charges have also been added.

On August 25th, 2018, Gwinnett police officers responded to calls of a man down in the middle of Apple Grove Road in Buford around 1 a.m. Upon arrival, the man was found dead from a single gunshot wound. Just a few hours later, his wife was arrested and charged with his murder.

How is a robbery charge different from a burglary charge?

It's somewhat commonplace to hear the terms robbery and burglary in the news. Many may think the terms are interchangeable, however, that is not the case. There are key differences between burglary and robbery that one facing these accusations would want to know and fully understand.

Understanding the charges will help a person defend themselves to the best of their abilities. While both accusations of robbery and burglary include the theft of personal property, the circumstances and means of the alleged crime are different. Robbery may include physical harm or the threat of physical harm, sometimes with a weapon. However, burglary is a theft in which a person suffers actual harm. Basically, robbery is theft that is accomplished with violence or the threat of violence.

Gwinnett county teen charged with DUI after wreck

Teens are somewhat notorious for causing trouble and misbehaving. However, there are different levels of troublesome behavior and when teens are accused of breaking the law or of injuring someone, these accusations can carry a lot of weight for everyone involved. Recently, a car full of teens was involved in a wreck in which the 3 passengers were seriously injured. The driver, also a teen, is facing criminal charges in relation to the crash.

According to reports, the crash happened on Hamilton Mill Road near the intersection of Tuggle Road. The Gwinnett County Police Department claim that the teen was trying to pass a double yellow line on a west-bound curve when he lost control of the vehicle. The three passengers suffered serious injuries after the vehicle crashed into a group of trees and one even had to be extracted from the vehicle after being trapped inside. The driver incurred superficial injuries.

Domestic assault can be accompanied by battery, assault charges

For anyone who has ever had a disagreement with a loved one, they know that arguments can escalate quickly. It isn't unusual for quarreling couples to say something they don't mean in the heat of the moment. However, what happens when a person has done something they can't take back? If it has to do with domestic assault allegations, it could have multiple potential consequences.

If a loved one or spouse has accused you of domestic assault, this is a serious allegation. If a person has decided to cooperate with police and press charges, the prosecutor assigned to handle the case could potentially seek criminal charges for things like battery or assault. Aside from the immediate ramifications, domestic assault charges could impact divorce proceedings or child custody proceedings at a later date if the allegations are proven or further prosecuted.

The right way to fight back against your Georgia DUI

A criminal charge of any kind could affect your future and your personal freedom, including a drunk driving charge. Georgia drivers face steep penalties and consequences for a DUI conviction, even if it is a first-time offense. If you are facing DUI charges, you would be wise to move quickly to learn about your potential defense options.

It is possible to fight back against a DUI charge. A conviction or guilty plea is never your only option, even if you are unsure of how you could fight back. When there is so much at stake, it is helpful to take steps to make sure you know about all of the defense possibilities available to you. Your future interests and right to drive are worth protecting.

What does the 4th Amendment protect during a police search?

Drug charges often stem from an incident where drugs or drug paraphernalia are found on a person or on their property. Authorities, like police officers, are granted permission to search and seize a person's property if illegal activity is suspected. Under the Constitution, the search of a person and their property is governed by the 4th Amendment.

So, how does one know if the search and seizure they endured was legally permissible? The 4th Amendment protects all citizens from illegal searches by providing safeguards and prevents unlawfully seized items from being used as evidence in criminal cases. The degree of protection available in a particular case depends upon the nature of the detention or arrest, the characteristics of the place searched, and the circumstances under which the search took place.

Vandalism charge could have lasting impact

Have you or a loved one been accused of vandalism? Vandalism can be defined in two ways in Georgia, as criminal trespass or as criminal damage to property. If the damage caused by vandalism exceeds $500, it could result in a felony charge. Most wouldn't consider vandalism a felony, but it can be tried that way in this state.

For this reason, a vandalism charge could have a lasting impact on a person's life. Vandalism is often thought of as graffiti, or some other large display on another's private property. However, vandalism accusations could emerge from a variety of ways, including any alleged intentional trespass and damage to property. Think of this, a person could be cutting through a neighbor's backyard and accidentally step through their pool cover, blowing a hole through the top. This could be considered vandalism if the neighbor decided to press charges.

Man charged with DUI, related charges after fatal accident

An Atlanta man recently lost his life in a motor vehicle accident that claimed his life. As the details of the crash started to unfold, it appeared that the other vehicle he was involved in the accident with was suspected of impaired driving behaviors. After an investigation, police have officially charged the man in the other vehicle.

The morning of the accident, the deceased was headed to his job at Chick-Fil-A around 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning. At some point during the man's morning commute, the vehicle driven by the accused t-boned the man's vehicle. The injuries resulted in the man's death. According to reports, the accused was just leaving a nearby strip club. In addition, a personal injury suit was filed against the business where the man allegedly left intoxicated claiming they are responsible for the man's death as they knowingly let the 'noticeably intoxicated' leave the building in his valeted vehicle.

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