Georgia Legal Issues Blog

Both drivers seriously injured in car wreck

Car wrecks can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. So many different factors can affect the severity of the incident, but there are certain things all drivers should do in order to avoid causing harm. Though most drivers are well aware of safe driving practices, they may sometimes choose not to follow those practices, which can be deadly. This is what Georgia authorities believe may be to blame in a recent car wreck that sent both drivers to the hospital with serious injuries.

The wreck happened on a recent weekend evening at the entrance of a subdivision. Police say that a 17-year-old woman was driving south on a local road heading into the subdivision. Authorities allege that the young woman entered the intersection and was hit by another vehicle going east on the street she was attempting to cross over. Reports say that the second car was not visible because of another vehicle that blocked it from view.

Criminal defense: County's new procedure for marijuana possession

A drug possession conviction can significantly change a person's life. Punishments vary, depending on the exact drug in question and the amount, but those convicted may face jail time or a fine. Many people assume that marijuana possession is not a serious crime, but dependent on the circumstances, the punishment can still be significant. One city here in Georgia recently decided to change its policy around marijuana possession due the legalization of hemp, and it could change how criminal defense is handled in that area.

Athens-Clarke County police recently reported a policy change regarding how officers will handle possession of marijuana arrests. From here on out, officers will not arrest a person or issue him or her with a summons for marijuana possession. Because hemp is so similar to marijuana, it would presumably be difficult for officers in the field to distinguish it from marijuana. Now, officers will take the substance in question, file a police report and submit the substance to evidence.

Truck wrecks: Man charged with vehicular homicide

Sharing the road with large commercial trucks is something every driver has to manage. These larger vehicles present an increased risk to motorists who get into truck wrecks, since their sheer size can result in more significant injury. One Georgia family is likely dealing with that sad fact after a woman died when her vehicle was hit by a flying tire from a tractor-trailer. The driver of that tractor-trailer is now facing criminal charges.

Authorities say that the incident happened when the truck driver was heading north on I-75. Two of the tires came off of the rig and one allegedly flew over the concrete median, striking a vehicle heading south. Officials say the car hit the side of a different tractor-trailer, and that impact caused an SUV to hit the median. The woman driving that SUV died instantly.

What is excessive force during a police encounter?

Law enforcement officers have to deal with a lot of stress and danger as part of their daily job. Many times, stories make it to the media about when officers misjudge a situation and end up putting a person at unnecessary risk through the use of excessive force.

Officers have a duty to the public to use the least amount of force necessary for their own protection and the safety of others. Unfortunately, officers can and do violate the idea of appropriate levels of force when interacting with individuals, which may later give rise to claims against individual officers or entire departments.

Multiple drug arrests highlights need for criminal defense

When a person is convicted of a crime, some might assume that jail time or a fine is the only consequence. While those two possibilities are certainly serious, there are other results that may have a longer-lasting effect on that person's life. Many people convicted of a drug crime, for example, may have difficulty obtaining future employment or see their personal reputation damaged. This is why having a solid criminal defense strategy is important for anyone facing drug charges. This is what several people in one Georgia county may be facing after 26 recent arrests relating to a drug bust.

Local police conducted a months-long investigation, culminating in "Operation Crackdown." Three county SWAT teams jointed forces to serve search warrants and make arrests at six different houses. The resulting 26 arrests were connected to an organization that dispensed the overwhelming majority of cocaine in the affected county. Police also found methamphetamine and marijuana as part of the operation.

Motorcycle wrecks: Man fatally struck by SUV

Motorcycles can be a fun way to get around. Those who ride them often talk about how freeing it can be, despite knowing it can also be dangerous. In motorcycle wrecks involving another vehicle, the rider is generally at greater risk of injury, since he or she doesn't have the same protection that most other vehicles have. One recent example here in Georgia involves a young motorcycle rider who lost his life after being hit by an SUV.

According to police, the 24-year-old man was riding on a local highway on a recent early evening. An SUV in the midst of a left turn struck him. Officers reported that the driver of the SUV claimed she didn't see any other vehicles and that there was a bit of a glare on her windshield from the sun.

Former cop charged with sexual battery

Some of the most serious crimes a person can be charged with are sex crimes. No matter the surrounding circumstances, the punishment for convictions regarding sexual assault, sexual battery or other sex crimes can be severe. Some sex crime convictions here in Georgia have mandatory minimum jail sentences or require those convicted to register as sex offenders, thereby affecting future employment, voting rights and more. This may be what one former police officer is dealing with after he was accused of sexual battery.

The man recently faced indictment for an incident that happened last year at a gas station. Authorities say that an engaged couple who had known the man previously were filling their car up at the station. They say that they spoke with the man and that as they were leaving, he struck the woman on her rear end with his hand. She reports that she stated she did not want him to do that and that he asked her if she wanted him to repeat the action. She stated that she told him no once more and that when she attempted to leave, he touched her rear end again.

People over 50 more likely to have money problems after divorce

Many have heard that the divorce rate among older people has doubled in the last 30 years. What they may not realize is just what effect divorce can have on a person's finances. Though that can happen to anyone of any age, the difficulties can be particularly pronounced for people older than 50. Fortunately, experts have advice for anyone here in Georgia who falls into that category.

Researchers warn that people who divorce after age 50 could see their finances cut right in half. This is not only due to the division of assets, but also because income often drops after a divorce in that age demographic, especially for women. Women over 50 who get a divorce see their standard of living drop by as much as 45%, according to one study, which is twice as much as what younger women experience. Men are not entirely immune either, with older men losing 21% of their standard of living post-divorce.

Driver indicted in wreck that cost a man part of his leg

Sometimes it seems as if the wheels of justice turn exceedingly slowly. But justice is one step closer for a Georgia man who lost his right leg below the knee last year after a negligent driver wrecked her car, pinning him between it and another vehicle.

Recently, a Whitfield County grand jury indicted the negligent driver — a 20-year-old female — on charges of reckless driving and felony serious injury for causing the wreck that led to the man's amputation.

Criminal defense: Police task force makes DUI arrests

Many people across the country celebrated the recent Fourth of July holiday weekend. It is a time for families to get together, and these kinds of events often include consumption of alcohol. Local law enforcement was on alert for people driving under the influence. In one Georgia community, police specifically targeted drunk drivers, making numerous arrests. Those drivers may need a strong criminal defense to minimize the potential impact of an arrest on their lives.

The special police unit operated from the Wednesday evening before the fourth and throughout the entire weekend until Sunday morning. Twenty-five officers were tasked with watching for signs of impaired driving. They made 54 arrests for DUI over the course of the holiday weekend. They also gave out over 700 citations and started 17 drug cases in addition to making 92 overall arrests for various crimes.

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