Atlanta Legal Blog

Confusing laws regarding marijuana possession

Georgia, like many states, has passed laws allowing people with legitimate ailments to use medical marijuana to treat the problem. Medical research continues to show that, when properly administered and taken under the care of medical professionals, marijuana can alleviate many symptoms without the harsh side effects often associated with other pharmaceutical drugs. Unfortunately, unlike other states, Georgia has failed to provide a way for patients to access the medicine, leaving patients at risk to be charged with marijuana possession

Patients across the state of Georgia are crying foul. Though patients must jump through hoops to get the card allowing the use of marijuana for medical treatment, the card is actually useless. It is still illegal for Georgia residents to grow or purchase marijuana. Patients have no way to access the medicine they need.

Woman faces drug possession charges in Georgia

A 28-year-old woman is in police custody in Floyd County after being accused of attempting to sell methamphetamine. Georgia police arrested the woman at 11 p.m. the night of March 9 after a traffic stop. She now faces charges including drug possession and intent to distribute. 

According to the limited information available in the report, the woman was pulled over for reasons unknown on Martha Berry Highway by a Georgia State Patrol trooper. It is unclear what transpired during this traffic stop, but apparently it led to the trooper searching the woman and/or her vehicle. The trooper said that a bag containing what is believed to be methamphetamine was found, along with digital scales coated in residue also believed to be the powerful stimulant. 

2 charged with marijuana possession in Georgia

The Floyd County Jail has reported two individuals being remanded to custody following a drug-related arrest. Police in Floyd County, Georgia, arrested a 25-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman for alleged synthetic marijuana possession. Both of these individuals now face felony charges for possession and are currently awaiting trial. 

Apparently, the arrest was predicated by an incident at a local convenience store. The woman is believed to have stolen and eaten a hot dog from the store, at which point management detained them and called police. When officers arrived on scene and began processing the duo, the man allegedly hugged the woman. Police believe he took an unknown quantity of synthetic marijuana from her clothing during the hug. 

Shoplifting accusations against teens

In Georgia and elsewhere, the older a child gets, the more a decision-making process shifts from the parent to the offspring. When a child reaches the age of 18, he or she is considered an adult in the eyes of the law. Though certainly, a person at this age can do his or her best to make good choices, it is not uncommon for some teens and young adults to find trouble in the form of petty crimes, such as shoplifting.

Recently, a Georgia teen found himself facing shoplifting charges. Initial reports say that the young man was accused of stealing two ties from a clothing store at the local mall. Though police did not indicate that he stole anything else, he was charged with shoplifting and banned from the mall for a a period of two years. 

3 areas of life impacted by a drug addiction problem

For some people, the news that they are being charged with a drug crime is shameful. They might be worried about what other people are thinking of them when they find this out. As difficult as it is to face this situation, the underlying issue that has to be addressed is the addiction.

A drug addiction impacts the entire family. In some cases, the addiction doesn't come to light until they are facing the charges. This is a difficult situation for the family members, but it is one that can be addressed.

Potential change may help those accused of marijuana possession

Under current Georgia law, a person accused of having marijuana on his or her person can face stiff penalties if convicted, such as hefty fines, probation or even jail time, even if a person is caught with less than an ounce of marijuana. Proponents of a new bill think these penalties are unfair to those convicted of marijuana possession. Though some members of law enforcement agencies have spoken out against the legislative proposal, many Georgia residents support these changes. 

The new bill, which was recently presented to the Georgia Senate, would not legalize the use of recreational marijuana, but would change the penalties that a person convicted might face. Especially for first-time offenses, this is good news. If the bill is enacted into law, offenders will merely be fined if they are found to be in possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana. Some Georgia municipalities already have similar laws in place on a local level. 

Trust preparation for those with no children

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate limitations people place on estate planning is that it exists for families to leave an inheritance for their children. This is only a small portion of the good an estate plan can do. While Georgia parents can certainly improve the lives of their children with a well-planned estate, those without children can also benefit from careful will and trust preparation.

A person or couple with no children may have specific intentions for their estate, such as leaving it to a favorite niece or nephew, donating it to charity, or dividing it among friends. Without a will or trust, the court will handle one's estate according to state law. This may mean the estate will go to relatives the couple has never met or had no intention of including in an inheritance.

Reports of shoplifting may not tell the whole story

Georgia residents may be among the millions of Americans who enjoy reading the daily news. Whether it's a newspaper or online, reading the local news can be a good way to keep up with what's going on in the community. Many local news sources include a police log, which usually gives a brief description of crimes that have allegedly occurred in the area. Unfortunately, these snippets do not give the full story, and many times, people who are not actually guilty of a crime must suffer the embarrassment of being accused in a police log, which can remain online or in print for many years, with no follow-up to attest to his or her innocence. A recent police log gives a bare bones description of a supposed shoplifting crime, but the accusation may very well be a misunderstanding. 

A Georgia news source states that a man was arrested after an incident at a shopping mall. The police log does not mention why law enforcement suspected that the man committed a crime. It merely states that he was discovered with multiple types of clothing items under his first layer of clothing and could not prove that all the items belonged to him. 

Hotel stay leads to drug possession charges for Georgia couple

Georgia couples may book rooms in hotels for any number of reasons. Sometimes, hotel stays provide convenience to travelers who are either taking a break amid a longer journey or are visiting family in the area and do not wish to impose on their relatives for a place to stay. Not every hotel stay is innocent, however -- at least, according to police who claim one couple was arrested for drug possession and child endangerment due to their illicit hotel activities.

Things are not always as they seem. If police search a hotel room and seize items from that room, it does not necessarily mean the items belonged to the current guests of the hotel who are staying in that room. A prior guest could have easily left behind personal belongings.

What's involved in a plea bargain?

Most Georgia criminal defendants want to get their charges dropped or dismissed; or, they want to achieve a verdict of "not guilty." But sometimes, these results are either not possible or extremely unlikely.

When a "guilty" verdict is likely, defendants should explore the possibility of reaching a plea bargain. A plea bargain usually involves pleading guilty to lesser charges in exchange for some kind of benefit -- like a reduced sentence or a reduced punishment. Some defendants can use a plea deal to avoid jail time or gain other types of benefits.

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

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