Atlanta Legal Blog

Would you pass the test when it comes to open container laws?

Socializing is a large part of the college experience here in Georgia and around the country. As such, many of the gatherings for college students tend to include alcohol. Violating the state's open container laws could jeopardize your college career and your future.

Perhaps you took precautions not to be driving that night because you knew that you would be drinking. However, as you walked with friends, you carried a beer to sip on as you moved from one destination to another. Without warning, a police officer approaches you, and before you know it, you are in police custody. Even if you decided to drive and were not drinking, if you are pulled over and a passenger has an open container in the vehicle, you, as the driver, could be the one riding in the backseat of a police car.

Suspected shoplifting leads to accusations of robbery

The laws of Georgia recognize varying degrees of theft. An individual may be accused of misdemeanor shoplifting, which ordinarily has less harsh penalties than the crime of robbery even though they each may share elements that prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a person can be convicted of either. Evidence of both types of theft will be necessary in a case of suspected shoplifting gone bad at a department store. 

According to reports, three individuals entered the department store. An employee allegedly witnessed the trio cutting security cords off purses. That employee then approached the three individuals supposedly in an effort to stop the shoplifting. An altercation ensued, and one of the three is accused of knocking down the employee.

The status of medical marijuana in Georgia

Earlier this year, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a new medical marijuana measure into law. The measure intended to expand our state's existing medical marijuana allowances to include the treatment of six additional conditions with a special kind of low-THC cannabis oil.

The six additional conditions treatable with cannabis oil are Alzheimer's disease, autism, AIDS, peripheral neuropathy, epidermolysis bullosa and Tourette's syndrome. The new law also allows patients in hospice care to possess cannabis oil. Previously, as the result of a 2015 measure, patients were only permitted to possess a max of 20 ounces of the oil for the treatment of severe Parkinson's, epilepsy, cancer and several other illnesses.

Several staying in a motel ended up arrested for drug possession

Was it a case of wrong place, wrong time? Only time will tell. Some Georgia motels seem to have an inordinate number of illicit activities going on in them, but that does not mean that every occupant partakes in them. Motels are public places, and previous occupants could leave behind any number of items. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible that unwitting guests could end up facing charges for drug possession or other crimes.

For instance, police in one Georgia city pay particular attention to at least two of the city's motels because they appear to host a large amount of alleged criminal activity, at least according to officials. This means that the locations are raided often and result in numerous arrests. Those arrests tend to substantiate the official claims that the motels' guests are there for drugs, prostitution and other illegal activities.

2 men in Georgia accused of drug crimes following traffic stop

For some people, a traffic stop in Georgia is a relatively routine procedure. They are pulled over, and depending on the reason for the stop, they receive a citation and continue with their day. However, a recent stop turned into something more, and now two men face accusations of drug crimes.

The two men were traveling on a Georgia interstate on a day in late October when they were stopped by Georgia police. According to police reports, the initial stop was prompted by an alleged  window tint violation. However, police say they discovered that both occupants in the vehicle had outstanding warrants for their arrest.

Mom accused of drug crimes in Georgia after police chase

For some people, an encounter with a police officer is anxiety-producing. Even seeing a police officer parked on the side of the road can prompt some drivers to respond in unexpected ways.  Unfortunately, police say that a mother in Georgia recently started a police pursuit after she fled when an officer attempted to pull her over. She is now suspected of drug crimes, among other accusations.

The incident that led to the woman's arrest began just before 10 p.m. one night in October. According to police officers, the woman executed a lane change that they described as both abrupt and unsafe. An officer turned on his lights and attempted to pull her over but claims she sparked a six minute chase.

Prescription drug charges may be more of a symptom than a problem

When it comes to issues of possession of legal pharmaceuticals, an arrest is often a symptom of a much larger problem. Many Georgia residents who are in possession of prescription drugs are no longer taking them for the purpose for which they were prescribed. In fact, the drugs may not even be for that individual. By the time he or she faces prescription drug charges, that person could be in crisis.

Some Georgia residents may not consider legally prescribed drugs to be of any concern. They may have heard of some people becoming addicted to them, but may not think it can happen to them. Then, they suffer an injury. They receive a prescription for an addictive medication that they cannot stop taking because they are hooked. In fact, the most widely abused doctor-prescribed drugs include pain medications, stimulants and tranquilizers, along with hypnotics and sedatives.

What is domestic violence in Georgia?

Family relationships can be challenging. At times, there is a fine line between an argument and a fight and between disciplining your children and abusing them. If you face accusations of domestic violence, it might help to understand what Georgia law says about it.

A crucial word to consider when disciplining your children is what would be considered "reasonable" under the law. Corporal punishment, such as spanking, detention or restraint, does not violate Georgia's domestic violence laws as long as they are carried out in a reasonable manner. If another person perceives that you "went too far," you could end up facing charges, but that does not mean you will be convicted.

Shoplifting laws: What's "shopkeeper's privilege"?

Shopkeepers in Georgia have the right to detain you if they have a reasonable suspicion that you've been shoplifting. However, the shopkeeper's right to detain -- otherwise known as "shopkeeper's privilege" -- is limited.

For example, the shopkeeper or employee needs to have probable cause to believe you were shoplifting. Also, the shopkeeper or employee needs to have seen you take the thing with your own hands, conceal it and start walking toward the exit and not toward the cashiers.

Did traffic offenses lead to bad arrests for DUI drugs?

A significant number of the arrests resulting from the subjective observations of police officers turn out to be erroneous. The alleged traffic offenses that precipitate police pulling someone over could easily end up in bad arrests if the officers fail to follow the proper procedures and protocols. This issue is at the heart of a federal lawsuit recently filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against one Georgia county and one of its officers.

The case highlights the importance of what occurs during traffic stops. In this case, an officer said to be a trained drug recognition expert evaluated three individuals. Based on his "expert observations," the three people were placed under arrest for driving under the influence of drugs.

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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