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Roswell Georgia Criminal Law Blog

How to defend against domestic violence charges

Individuals of either gender can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. However, it is also possible that a person in Georgia or any other state will face a charge for a crime that he or she may not have committed. There are many defenses that a person can use against a charge of domestic violence such as asserting that someone else actually committed the crime.

The chances of this defense being successful may hinge on whether a defendant has a quality alibi. A person who has been charged with domestic violence may also assert that an action was taken in self-defense or to protect a child. It may also be possible to claim that the person who claims to be a victim consented to whatever he or she experienced. Defendants may also claim that they are the victims of false allegations against them.

What does it mean to be read your Miranda rights?

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right not to incriminate yourself. What that actually meant did not have a clear definition until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case of Ernesto Miranda in 1966. At that time, police interrogated him for two hours until he confessed to a violent crime.

When he signed a statement regarding the crime, police included language indicating that he signed the statement with the full understanding that the government could use the statements against him in court and that he understood his rights. However, he did not understand his rights, and no one had explained them to him.

Georgia councilman charged with drunk driving

Media outlets in Georgia have reported that a member of the Canton City Council was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol following a routine traffic stop during the early morning hours of May 14. Breath tests conducted after the 40-year-old man was taken into custody allegedly revealed his blood alcohol concentration to be 0.119. He was released from the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center later in the day after posting a $1,560 bond.

According to a Canton Police Department report, an officer pulled over the councilman's Tesla sedan on Reinhardt College Parkway at approximately 1:00 a.m. after observing it weaving between traffic lanes. The officer says that he took the councilman into custody after the driver performed poorly during a standardized field sobriety test. The officer claims that the councilman initially denied he had been drinking but later admitted that he had consumed two alcoholic drinks before getting behind the wheel.

What is a felony in Georgia?

If you watch crime dramas on television, you’ve likely heard the show’s characters refer to certain crimes as misdemeanors or felonies. You may think that a felony is a designation for the most severe crimes, like murder, and would be generally correct. Georgia law defines a felony as a crime that is punishable by one year more in prison.

In addition to murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were four of the most commonly reported violent crimes in 2017. Aggravated assault reports were more than twice as common as any other violent crime that year. What distinguishes aggravated assault from simple assault, a misdemeanor, is the presence of a weapon and the intent to kill, rob, or rape someone.

GBI seizes more than 97 pounds of marijuana

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has reported that more than 97 pounds of marijuana and an undisclosed number of THC vaporizer pens were seized at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on May 5. The operation was part of an investigation into interstate drug smuggling conducted by the GBI with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Corrections, and the Atlanta and Clayton police departments.

A GBI representative said that the drugs were found in the checked baggage of three individuals who had been identified as likely drug smugglers during the investigation. It is believed that the drugs were purchased in western states where the recreational use of marijuana is legal. According to the GBI, marijuana can be purchased from brokers in these states for about $1,000 per pound and then sold on the streets of Atlanta and other cities in Georgia for as much as $5,000 per pound. The GBI also seized a number of THC vaporizer pens. These are the same kind of devices that have been linked to the hospitalization of dozens of Georgia high school students in recent months.

Keto diet may contribute to inaccurate breath test results

There probably aren't too many people in Georgia who equate going on a diet with being at an increased risk of failing a field sobriety test. However, this is exactly what could happen for some individuals on a low-carb keto or ketogenic diet. Because of the way this diet affects processes within the body, a breath test may produce false positive results.

One reason for the possibility of inaccurate breath test results is because the keto diet triggers a metabolic process known as ketosis. When this happens, a byproduct called acetone is created by the liver. Some of this organic compound is released through the breath as isopropyl alcohol, which causes some breathalyzers to produce a high blood alcohol content reading. Inexpensive devices usually aren't able to tell the difference between common types of alcohol, but police typically use fuel cell-based models capable of making this distinction.

How authorities combat drugged driving

There is no single test that can determine if a driver in Georgia or anywhere else is driving under the influence of drugs such as marijuana. However, it may be possible to determine if a driver has THC or other controlled substances in his or her system. This may be done by drawing an individual's blood and checking for any substances that could cause impairment. Police officers may be able to obtain warrants for blood draws electronically.

Warrants are necessary in the event that drivers refuse to give a blood sample voluntarily. Electronic warrants can usually be obtained within minutes, which is important because drugs will metabolize as time passes. The sooner that a warrant is obtained, the more likely it is that an officer can obtain proof that a driver is impaired by one or more controlled substances.

Making bail can help improve outlook on trial, life

Though the bail reform acts passed in 1966 and 1984 were designed to prevent people charged with a crime from having to pay excessive bail while awaiting a trial, the opposite is often true. A new law set to go in effect in 2020 in New York aims to change this. Under the new law, no bail will be set for people accused of misdemeanors and non-violent crimes. Without bail, these individuals may have a better chance of winning their case.

When a person cannot make bail in Georgia, they have to wait in jail until the trial date. Often the time they wait in jail for trial takes a longer amount of time than the maximum sentence that is set for the alleged crime. Because of this, accused individuals may feel pressured to plead guilty to a crime he or she didn't commit in order to reduce their sentence.

Cops make $35 million marijuana bust in Atlanta

In mid-March, Georgia authorities raided and shut down five marijuana grow houses in the metro Atlanta area. The raids were the culmination of a criminal investigation that began in late 2018.

According to media reports, officers with the Gwinnett County Police Department received information in mid-October about suspected marijuana grow houses in Gwinnett County, Henry County and Clayton County. An investigation into the houses revealed that the locations were residential homes that had been converted into "elaborate" manufacturing setups. When investigators raided the properties, they allegedly found over 1,500 marijuana plants, 22 guns, six cars and $676,000 in cash. The estimated value of the marijuana was $35 million, making the bust one of the largest in Atlanta history.

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