Atlanta Legal Blog

Does your town depend on income from traffic violations?

Georgia residents may be surprised to learn that the Peach State was recently mentioned in an interesting article in Forbes Magazine. The article exposed a correlation between municipalities that have a consistently high number of traffic violations and the budget. Traffic tickets are meant to serve as a penalty to combat driver error, but the article exposes an ulterior motive. 

Forbes has revealed that many small towns and municipalities have become heavily reliant on the money made from traffic tickets and fines that are levied against drivers. For some towns, the funds collected in this way account for more than half the budget. This money is generally used to pay employees, make repairs and keep the local government afloat. 

Proof of marijuana possession faces challenge

Laws governing marijuana possession are changing in much of the nation. The state of Georgia recently passed a law called the Georgia Hemp Farming Act.  The law legalized the growing of hemp in Georgia. The hemp plant is virtually indistinguishable from the marijuana plant, but hemp contains far less THC, the ingredient that causes a high, than marijuana does. The law has created some confusion among law enforcement officials regarding marijuana possession.

The equipment currently used to test a substance to see if it is marijuana looks only for the presence of THC. It does not look for a certain amount. Therefore, a person could theoretically be accused of marijuana possession, which is illegal, even if the substance was actually hemp, which is legal under the new law.

More trouble for reality star accused of drug possession?

"Mama June" Shannon, a Georgia resident and star of several reality TV shows, continues to make headlines in the wake of her arrest last spring. Viewers were shocked when news outlets reported that Ms. Shannon had been arrested on several charges, including drug possession. Now trying to make some changes in her life, the reality star faces harsh criticism from friends, family and the public. 

If convicted, Mama June could face a year in jail. However, her case has not been adjudicated yet, and she is innocent unless proved guilty, like any defendant. Mama June has denied that she has a substance abuse problem, and she refused to seek help during an intervention staged by loved ones.

Fight a traffic ticket with evidence of your own

Fighting a traffic ticket is easier said than done, as the police officer has the natural advantage. However, with the right approach, you may be able to come out on top when your day in court arrives.

There are many types of traffic tickets in which an officer's judgment comes into play. With the right evidence backing up your claim, you put yourself in better position to win over the judge.

Wills preparation: Is your will valid?

Most people in Georgia know what a will is. These legal documents give people the opportunity to outline their wishes regarding their property after they die, including whether certain properties should be sold or what should be given to heirs. Parents can even select guardians for their minor children and include that information as well. However, wills preparation is not as simple as quickly jotting down a few wishes on a piece of paper and calling it a day.

In order to be upheld and enforced, a will must be valid. There are a number of factors that affect validity, including the age of the person making the will. In general, a person must either be at least 18 years old, although there are some exceptions to this limit such as service in the U.S. military. Being old enough is not always enough, though.

Confusion over new law regarding marijuana possession

In July 2019, a law was passed allowing farmers to legally grow hemp in the state of Georgia. Hemp has many industrial uses, and can also be used to produce consumables containing CBD oil. The medical benefits of CBD oil are becoming apparent, leading to a massive push on the national level to get CBD products on the market and make them available to the public. While many may benefit from the new law, it has caused some confusion, and law enforcement may now hesitate to arrest someone for marijuana possession

The confusion lies in the plant itself. Technically, hemp and marijuana are the same plant. They look the same and smell the same, often making it difficult to distinguish between the two variants. Hemp is legal, marijuana is not. If a person is found to be in possession of what appears to be marijuana, he or she may be unfairly accused of a crime if it turns out to be hemp. 

Should you get a lawyer to defend against shoplifting charges?

Georgia shoppers are busy stocking up on back-to-school supplies and making sure their wardrobes are ready for fall. Consumers shopping for clothing might see those little security tags affixed to certain items of clothing. Meant to be removed at the time of purchase by a cashier, these tags will sound an alarm if a shopper attempts to leave with a tag still on an item, an effort to prevent shoplifting

Recently, Georgia police made public photos of six individuals they suspect may have been shoplifting from Victoria's Secret. This chain store specializes in women's fashions and undergarments and can be found in malls across the nation. Police are now searching for these individuals.

Trust preparation: Are your affairs in order?

Georgia residents are enjoying the summer months, and as the old adage notes, "time flies." Summer is a good time for having barbeques, reaping the fruits of labor from a garden or taking a much-needed vacation. For each of these activities, a little planning can go a long way, and help prevent unexpected problems. Trust preparation follows the same line of thinking. 

Far from a grim plotting of one's demise, trust preparation is more like a gift to the family and friends left behind. With some solid advice and a bit of planning, loved ones can be taken care of when the time comes. On the other hand, failing to make the proper arrangements can cause one’s assets to become a point of stress or contention for surviving loved ones after the estate holder’s death.

New technology in place to combat speeding

Georgia families are enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation, but the state is already prepping for back to school. In an effort to keep students safe, traffic cameras have been installed in school zones in some parts of the state. These cameras are designed to catch drivers that may be speeding or committing another driving offense. 

The thinking behind the cameras seems to be that it is a good way to keep drivers from speeding without having to have police officers physically present in the school zones to patrol traffic. Though surely, there is some law enforcement presence expected to ensure the safety of students, teachers and parents at the schools, the cameras are strictly to enforce traffic laws. Tickets from the cameras may have slightly different penalties than if a traditional ticket were written by a police officer. 

You don't have to steal something to get accused of shoplifting

When people imagine shoplifting offenses, they typically picture a teenager slipping candy bars, make-up or sunglasses into a pocket or purse to avoid paying for it. Many people view shoplifting as a form of youthful rebellion and not a serious crime.

However, the government of Georgia does not share that perspective. Instead, the state takes issues related to retail fraud and theft very seriously. In fact, the legal definition of shoplifting or retail fraud in Georgia is broader than most people imagine.

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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When you have legal questions or concerns, contact our team at Teiger Law Center, P.C., by calling 678-374-7645, 800-780-2275 or reach us via email by completing our online contact form. From our Cumming and Alpharetta law offices, we represent clients in the Atlanta metro and throughout north Georgia.

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