Lawrenceville Criminal Law Blog

Drug possession, intent to distribute are two different charges

Every person has their faults. For some, drug use may be a part of their lifestyle. While there are many reasons one may want to avoid drugs, the law may be one of the biggest reasons. There are laws, both state and federal, that mandate how drug charges like drug possession and intent to distribute are handled.

To prepare a defense against drug charges, one should know the difference between drug possession and intent to distribute. Intent to distribute can be charged as a felony, whereas drug possession can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. This, of course, depends on the specifics of the alleged incident.

What are 'schedules' when it comes to drug charges?

Possession of illegally obtained prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs can land a person in legal hot water. Most people know that allegations that one is in possession of illegal drugs can lead to drug charges. The penalties associated with drug possession laws in Georgia are based upon what "schedule" the drug falls under (aside from marijuana possession).

Schedule I drugs are the most serious. These are drugs that have a great capacity for abuse and have no medicinal purposes. Schedule II drugs are the next most serious. These are drugs that have a great capacity for abuse and dependence, but do have very restricted medicinal uses. Schedule III drugs are those that have less of a capacity for abuse and a low to moderate capacity for dependence, but do have accepted and recognized medicinal uses.

Is your rage out of control behind the wheel?

Deep down, you know you do not own the road. However, it may be hard to resist the feeling that some other drivers really shouldn't be behind the wheel. It may seem more obvious when you are trying to get to work, eager to get home from work or in a hurry to be somewhere important, which is almost every time you are driving.

If you lose your temper from time to time, you are no different from most people. However, in Georgia and most other states, aggressive driving and road rage can lead to legal trouble as well as the potential for serious trouble on the road.

Avoid future impacts of theft and property crimes charges

There is more at stake than just your reputation when accused of a crime. While word may spread quickly in a small town, word can spread even quicker by those who have access to the internet. Since arrests are a matter of public record, you may be wondering what other potential impact a charge of theft and property crimes could have on you and your family.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, a charge related to theft & property crimes could be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony conviction could mean jail time of one year or more, while a misdemeanor conviction could result in a one-year sentence. Beyond that, this criminal charge becomes a matter of permanent record if a person is convicted.

What is required to plead self-defense to criminal charges?

Not many Georgia residents will stand by when someone threatens them with harm. In fact, it is often natural for a person to experience the sensation of "fight or flight" when faced with potential danger. If a person does not believe that they can outrun the threats to their safety they may be forced to face down their attacker and defend themselves.

It is an unfortunate reality, though, that in some cases individuals are charged with assault, battery or other crimes when all they were doing was trying to protect their own security. When facing a criminal charge a person may be able to use a self-defense strategy to overcome the legal challenges to their freedom.

Battery and other charges filed against Gwinnett county teacher

The Fourth of July holiday is usually filled with sun, fun and good times for many Gwinnett residents. However, an alleged incident is making residents uneasy as a Gwinnett county teacher has been charged with battery and charges related to sexual assault in an underage girl. It happened at a nearby lake by Lanier Islands on the fourth of July. According to the complaint, the girl was allegedly bitten on the buttocks while swimming in the area by the accused. He is currently being held on bond over $6000 at the Hall County Jail.

According to complaints, the man was visibly intoxicated at the time of the incident. It's concerning that this man is employed in the Gwinnett county school system as a teacher at Snellville Middle School. He also has a previous record including DUI and marijuana possession. Both of these aspects could have an impact on his future, both with the law and with his line of work. Officially he has been charged with battery, felony second-degree cruelty to a child, public drunkenness and sexual battery against a child under the age of 16.

How diabetes, diet soda and exercise can lead to DUI charges

You may be one of thousands of other Georgia residents who enjoy drinking an ice-cold diet soda on occasion. You may also be among those who try to go to the gym a few times a week or even just take long, brisk walks around your neighborhood in your free time. If you're health is not in excellent condition, you may relate to those who deal with the challenges of living with diabetes or some other chronic ailment.  

Do you know these issues can cause you test positive for alcohol on your breath, potentially leading to drunk driving charges? A police officer may pull you over, stating your vehicle was veering over the yellow line. He or she may arrest you and ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer to determine your blood alcohol content level. Hypoglycemia, a condition that results in numerous ways, including the examples given at the start of this post, can cause a breath test device to register false results. 

Drunk driving and the walk-and-turn test

Those who have been accused of drunk driving may be in for quite a fight if they hope to protect their finances, their ability to drive and their freedom. This is because the penalties associated with drunk driving can be quite harsh. However, before penalties can be imposed, prosecutors must obtain a conviction. This requires them showing competent evidence that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In drunk driving cases, this often involves putting forth evidence related to blood-alcohol content and field sobriety test results.

One common field sobriety test depended upon by law enforcement and prosecutors is the walk-and-turn test. This standardized test requires an individual to receive directions from a law enforcement officer who tells him or her to take nine steps, heel-to-toe, in a straight line. Once complete, the test subject is required to pivot and take nine return steps in a straight line, again making each step heel-to-toe in nature.

Georgia DUI laws and potential punishments if convicted

Driving under the influence and other intoxicated driving behaviors have been high on law enforcement's radar for the last several decades. Even within the last several years, new specific and in some cases, stricter legislation has been released in connection with drunk driving accusations and convictions. Whether it be in the way law enforcement detects or suspects drunk driving, the process by which they arrest or file charges or the penalties a person could face, if convicted, DUI laws have changed rapidly over the years.

This could be especially apparent for a person who would have been facing drunk driving charges in 1980 versus facing them now. In general, the accused would find that the process is more regulated.

How does one work their story into their criminal defense?

Georgia laws and ordinances are in place with the hope of keeping citizens happy, safe and healthy. However, these laws do not account for every possible situation that may befall a person. Sometimes, the law does not account for those discrepancies. When accused of a crime, each person has the right to build a criminal defense against criminal charges.

There are a few criminal defense strategies that can be applied to a variety of different crimes and circumstances. While the details will differ, the strategy can be applicable in a many situations, such as assault charges, drug charges and even domestic assault. These criminal defense strategies should be crafted as soon as possible.

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