Lawrenceville Criminal Law Blog

Gwinnett charter bus driver charged with DUI after crash

The Masters golf tournament is one of the largest sporting events to hit the Gwinnett county area. People come to our little town from all over the world to watch some of the best compete for the chance to win the title. While it should be a joyous occasion, it wasn't for one man and 18 passengers on his bus when it overturned last month. The driver has since been charged with DUI related to the crash and several people were also hospitalized with injuries from the crash.

It occurred on Gwinnett county's I-20 when the charter bus the man was driving flipped around the mile marker 186. According to Georgia State Patrol, the bus ran off the side of the road on the right and then proceeded to overcorrect back to the left. This then caused the bus to overturn on the median. The driver has been charged with DUI-drugs and failure to maintain lane. It isn't known which drug allegedly impaired the man to safely operate the vehicle.

What are possible criminal defenses when accused of burglary?

Thinking back over a person's life, most are taught from a young age that theft and stealing aren't acceptable behaviors. Most people, at some point or another usually during childhood, experience a situation in which they steal or take something from a business or another person that doesn't belong to them and are then reprimanded for it. While we may all know that burglary, a form of theft, is a crime one may not know that there are legitimate defenses against such a criminal accusation. Criminal defenses stem from blowing holes in a prosecutions strategy to prove the three elements of burglary and thus that a crime was committed.

Elements that must exist to be convicted of burglary consist of the unauthorized breaking and entry into a building or occupied structure with intent to commit a crime inside. All of these elements must be present in order to convict a person of burglary. Two common strategies against burglary consists of actual innocence strategies or affirmative defense strategies. They are two very different strategies, so it's generally accepted not to mix the two strategies into one criminal defense of such a theft & property crime.

Did the cop who pulled you over have reasonable cause?

You've likely witnessed traffic stops taking place alongside the road during your travels in Georgia. Perhaps you have been the person behind the wheel on occasion. Maybe a police officer said he got you on his radar gun driving five or more miles over the posted speed limit or that he thinks you've been drinking alcohol because of something he allegedly witnessed you doing while driving. The latter would constitute reasonable suspicion to make a DUI stop.

Police officers can't simply pull you over because they feel like it. Especially if they're considering making a drunk driving arrest, they must be able to show that they had reasonable suspicion to make a particular stop in the first place. If you wind up facing DUI charges and you do not believe an officer established reasonable suspicion to pull you over, you can pursue a personal rights violation petition in court.

The serious nature of drug trafficking charges in Georgia

Drug trafficking charges are serious criminal charges that can carry harsh potential penalties and consequences for those accused of them. Drug trafficking and drug distribution charges are felony charges and felony charges are generally the most serious criminal charges an accused individual can face. By definition, felony charges carry potentially stiffer penalties including a year or longer in prison, steep fines and other penalties and consequences.

Drug trafficking charges carry mandatory minimum sentences and significant potential financial penalties including fines up to $100,000 and asset forfeiture. Felony drug charges apply to the possession of any amount of controlled substances including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or ecstasy; unlawfully obtained prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet or Vicodin; or an ounce of marijuana. If the drug possession is of a certain amount or the accused individual is alleged to have smaller amounts of several drugs, possession with the intent to distribute, a more serious charge than drug possession, may be charged.

Disney figurines in Gwinnett county found to contain $2M of meth

Cartoons and figurines are meant for kids or at the very least, to be family-friendly. These iconic figures, like Disney figures, are innocent and have a squeaky-clean reputation. However, that reputation is quickly tarnished when it is decided that a cartoon figurine is a good place in which to store or transport illicit drugs. Roughly $2M worth of methamphetamine was recently found in dozens of Disney figurines intercepted in Gwinnett county.

To be clear, these figurines are not suspected to be made in connection with Disney, they are likely replicas of the same designs. The wax figurines, approximately 500 in all, contained methamphetamine packed inside the figurine. These were intercepted by agents who claim that the methamphetamine was destined for the streets of Atlanta. Another shipment contained legitimate ceramic figurines which authorities claim were a decoy for the drug-laden figurines. Drug charges have yet to be filed but would likely contain charges related to intent to distribute or drug trafficking.

Accusations of credit card theft can result in criminal charges

When a person thinks about stealing, or taking something of someone else's without permission, they often think about physical items or physical property. However, the 21st century has unleashed an entire inter web of possibilities in how property is available to us and utilized. Much of a person's day-to-day activities will consists of online transactions. Whether completed by credit card, bank transfer or other electronic means, these transactions and monetary property is just as real as any physical property.

If someone is accused of unauthorized use of credit cards or other electronic payment methods, this could result in serious criminal charges. Beyond the actual unauthorized use of a credit card, there is another level of theft known as identity fraud. Identity fraud is more serious, but often goes hand-in-hand with accusations of credit card theft, especially if a person's secure and private information was accessed without permission. Theft charges are determined by the severity of and frequency and are based in Georgia state law.

Are you facing experiences related to domestic violence?

Conflict is a part of life. Whether it's conflict at home or at work, sometimes two sides or more have opposing views on how to approach something or in how they react to a situation. While conflict is sometimes unavoidable, the way in which a person approaches conflict is key to handling the situation with ease and grace. Conflict incorporating allegations of domestic violence isn't a positive or acceptable form of conflict resolution.

Beyond that, it can also result in criminal charges or other long-lasting impacts for those accused or convicted of domestic violence. Domestic violence is categorized as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner. This can manifest physically or emotionally. The effects of domestic violence can also be felt by others living in the home, like children or other family members.

Did a radar gun say you were speeding? Don't rush to plead guilty

If you are like most Georgia residents, you don't always keep your eye on the speedometer while driving. You've probably driven the same roads so many times that you do it without thinking. You more than likely even know what the posted speed limit is on those roads, so you don't really pay too much attention to the signs anymore.

Until, one day when you see a police car sitting on the side of the road with a radar gun sticking out of the window. As you pass, you see the patrol car turn around to follow you. Before you realize it, you find yourself sitting on the side of the road waiting for the officer to approach. You end up getting a speeding ticket. You may be tempted just to plead guilty and pay the fine, but that might not be a good idea.

Man arrested in Gwinnett county for DUI and more after crash

The law exists for many reasons, but one of the most important is to benefit the safety of Gwinnett citizens and to promote their health and well-being. DUI and laws related to drunk driving have become increasingly more strict in hopes of preventing incidents of drunk driving as it has a proven to be linked to an increase in car accidents and other motor-vehicle related incidents that can cause serious injury. Because of this, a DUI or drunk driving related conviction can have a big impact on a person's life.

One man was accused of DUI in Gwinnett county after he and his passengers were involved in a car accident with a police car parked on Interstate 85. According to Georgia State Patrol, the accused was driving a 2003 Ford Expedition south on I-85 in the sixth lane from the center median wall while texting. A marked Gwinnett County Sheriff patrol car was parked in the gore area between the sixth lane from the center median wall and the entrance ramp from Steve Reynolds Boulevard. The driver of the Expedition, who is accused of texting and driving, failed to maintain his lane of travel and left the roadway onto the right shoulder. Once on the right shoulder, the Expedition entered the gore area and struck the patrol car in the rear bumper with its front end.

Traffic felonies and misdemeanors: knowing the difference

Can a traffic-related violation result in a serious crime? The answer is yes. Gwinnett residents may be aware of the potential consequences a speeding ticket or similar traffic violation can bring, but many may not be aware that a traffic-related violation could result in a felony charge. Felonies are more severe in comparison to a misdemeanor as they could result in a punishment of one year or more in prison if convicted.

Like other charges, traffic violations can be compounded in severity if convicted on other previous traffic-related charges or if the charge is made in conjunction with other accusations or criminal charges. Many mild traffic charges result in citations or fines that do not breach the threshold of misdemeanor or felony charges. This is usually true in relation to the average speeding ticket or possibly if a person were accused of running a stop sign or red light. However, driving with a suspended or revoked license or in connection with intoxicated driving behaviors. If faced with a misdemeanor traffic charge, a person could face up to a year in jail if convicted.

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