Georgia Legal Issues Blog

Suspects in child sex cases may assert criminal defense theories

Georgia authorities recently executed a four-day dragnet focused on internet sex crimes occurring mainly in Bartow County. The total operation spanned several months of planning, according to authorities. In the four-day period beginning on Nov. 1, 2018, the police arrested 20 persons, ages 20 to 59, who allegedly traveled to parts of Georgia to meet a child for sex. Whether a suspect can assert a criminal defense to the charges depends on the unique facts of each case. 

The suspects allegedly first cultivated contacts online with a purported underage child and then arranged for a personal meeting to take place. In addition to the sexual exploitation charges, some of the suspects were also arrested for possession of illegal drugs. There was one gun charge and the police reportedly seized 24 mobile phones as evidence. The authorities say that these so-called online child predators visit chat rooms and websites to seek out and meet children with the intent of luring them into having sex.

Top state court hears personal injury claim in product case

A product liability case in a Georgia state action will be handled and decided much like similar product cases that are litigated throughout the country. Such claims generally are decided by application of the doctrine of strict liability in tort; however, negligence and warranty principles can come into play. A worker's estate in another state sued PACCAR Motors Co., the maker and provider of a "glider kit" that contains the actual components to assemble a full semi-tractor trailer. The estate sued for wrongful death and personal injury damages on behalf of its decedent, who was a worker on a construction site.

The employer, W&W Transport, ordered the kit from PACCAR and assembled the truck. The truck was taken to a utilities plant that was under construction. The driver backed it up without seeing a construction foreman, who was killed. The driver could not see the worker, apparently because the kit sent by PACCAR did not have a rear window or backup camera.

Causation may prove deceptive in motor vehicle accidents

The true cause of a vehicular accident may be hidden by the gloss of first impressions. That lesson in the causation of motor vehicle accidents may be instructive in the events surrounding a recent fatal accident occurring on Ga. Rte. 13. The Georgia State Patrol  reported that a 22-year-old female was making a right turn from a side road onto Ga. 13 when she failed to yield the right of way to a vehicle driven by a 30-year-old female who was driving south on Ga. 13.

The car going southbound hit the side of the right-turning car and knocked it off the road. The southbound car then rebounded into the oncoming northbound traffic where it collided with another vehicle. The operator of the car that originally failed to yield died at the scene.

What's required to prove a drug possession charge?

Imagine you were enjoying some time riding in the car of a friend, who you didn't realize was in possession of marijuana under the passenger seat of his vehicle. As it happens, the police pull your friend over for speeding and decided to search the vehicle. That's when they found marijuana under your seat which they suspected was yours, and now you're facing marijuana possession charges in criminal court.

Whether it relates to a bottle of pills that aren't properly labeled with your name and prescription, a small stash of marijuana or a smaller amount of cocaine, a drug possession charge is a serious criminal allegation. Therefore, if you've been accused of a crime like this, you'll want to understand a little bit more about these charges to ascertain whether a conviction is likely in your case.

Motor vehicle accidents decline after Georgia passes law

Despite opposition from some, Georgia lawmakers recently passed a law prohibiting drivers from using mobile devices unless they are hands-free. Calling and texting behind the wheel is thought to be a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents, and safety advocates have been vocal about the need for strong legislation to discourage drivers from taking these chances. Recent statistics show that the new law in this state may be doing its job.

In just one month after the implementation of the new hands-free law, reports showed an immediate effect with crashes decreasing almost 9 percent. Data from the month of September shows that fatal accidents across the state are down 11 percent, more than any other decrease in the past decade. For the first time in several years, car insurance companies in Georgia handled fewer accident claims than in previous years.

Personal injury claim follows a pattern to settlement or trial

Innocent victims of car accidents in Georgia are generally entitled to collect monetary compensation for injuries suffered from the negligence of one or more drivers who caused the accident. Some highlights of the settlement procedure are outlined below, but one should be cautioned that a claim can only be properly managed by an experienced personal injury attorney. Many things can go wrong when one is unrepresented, including the prospect of receiving a "lowball" or "nuisance" settlement from the insurer.

Another mishap may occur by neglecting to pursue all available sources of insurance that may be available. Furthermore, if the case contains legal complexities, a layperson will likely be confused and even misdirected into a quick settlement for a greatly reduced value. The matter is started by submitting a claim to the insurer for the tortfeasor.  The company sends a response back and assigns a claim number, which remains with the case until it is settled.

Breach of contract, injunction sought in business litigation case

Contractual disputes between business entities is commonplace in the courts of Georgia. There are many different disputes and factual scenarios that can be imagined between companies that are doing business together, and they don't always end up with an uneventful outcome. Business litigation in the state and federal courts located in Georgia often deal with a wide variety of breach of contract complaints.

One recent example in another state involves a lawsuit by a motel against a cable company. The complaint is being litigated in a federal district court on a claim by the motel that the cable company breached its contract, improperly threatened to cut of the motel's cable and misrepresented the status of the matter to the motel owners. The plaintiffs are also requesting injunctive action to preclude the defendant from cutting off the cable service to the motel, which plaintiffs claim could destroy the business.

Business litigation often arises over construction contracts

Georgia businesses have many different types of contract disputes that sometimes end up in court litigation. One area of prolific lawsuits often involves small or middle-size construction companies that have obtained a contract to construct or repair a public property. One recent example of a case that may resort to business litigation involves a contract for a company to construct a taxiway at a local airport. The City Commission controlling the project voted recently to declare the contractor in default of the contract.

The city already put out for bids to finish the work and awarded the new contract to the second lowest bidder. The city declared that the original contractor, JMMC, had failed to complete enough work to be done by the November deadline in the contract. The president of JMMC said that he had not even been given the information on the meeting in which the contract was passed over for a new one. He stated that the city's interpretation was incorrect and that the company did not breach the contract.

Motorcycle accidents: Driver's failure to yield injures biker

Bikers in Georgia risk their lives whenever they take to the roads. Although advanced technology allows automobile manufacturers to improve vehicle safety with every new model that is introduced to the market, motorcycles remain extremely dangerous. Bikers have no protection apart from helmets and protective riding gear, hence the fact that many motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic or fatal injuries to the riders.

Following a two-vehicle accident that occurred in Cherokee County on a recent Tuesday, a motorcycle rider was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. According to the county's sheriff's office, a vehicle with a 26-year-old driver was northbound on the highway, and a 50-year-old Daytona resident was heading south on a motorcycle. Reportedly, the vehicle driver turned without yielding for the biker.

Nursing home sexual abuse leads to personal injury claim

Georgia and other states are confronting an increasing concern over the sexual abuse of nursing home residents. Advocates of long-term care residents recently announced that the problem requires institutions to set up procedures and safeguards for promptly reporting suspected abuse. A resident who is abused by a nursing home employee will have a personal injury claim for damages suffered.

If the abused resident dies as a result of the institutional neglect associated with the sexual abuse, the family of that resident will have a wrongful death claim for damages. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care recently conducted a seminar on the subject and at the same time released a related issue brief. There was great interest expressed in the subject, according to the executive director for the group.

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