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Author Archives: Jim Michael

Busting Four Myths About Shoplifting in Georgia

Shoplifting continues to be a problem for U.S. retailers, one that has become more acute during the recession and unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 550,000 shoplifting incidents occur every day in the U.S., costing merchants an estimated $45 million daily. And in a recent Business.org survey of small-business owners, 40 percent said shoplifting… Read More »

Georgia’s New Hate Crimes Law — What Does it Do?

Until July 1, 2020, Georgia was one of only four states — along with South Carolina, Wyoming and Arkansas — that did not have a hate crime law on the books. Georgia’s new hate crimes law imposes enhanced sentences for those convicted of targeting a victim based on race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, national… Read More »

Georgia Now Allows Early License Reinstatement After a DUI Conviction for Drugs or Marijuana

A Georgia law that recently went into effect eases restrictions on people convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana or controlled substances. Prior to the passage of House Bill 799, those convicted of drug-related DUIs were subject to an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension with no possibility of early reinstatement. But the law, which… Read More »

New Georgia Law Bars Release on Recognizance for Defendants Charged With Violent Crimes

Those accused of certain felonies in Georgia will soon have no choice but to pay cash bail or remain incarcerated until trial, now that Governor Brian Kemp has signed a law that eliminates the use of signature bonds (also known as release on recognizance) for several felony charges. Signature bonds allow accused persons to be… Read More »

Georgia Courts Continue COVID-19 Closures, Though Relaxations Are Under Consideration

Reduced access to courts due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to hamper defendants’ ability to have their cases heard, but Georgia’s chief justice has hinted that he may soon modify some emergency procedures in an attempt to get cases moving again. Chief Justice Henry Melton has on five occasions extended the Statewide Judicial Emergency… Read More »

How to Resolve an FTA Suspension in Georgia

If you’ve been issued a traffic citation in Georgia, you may have every intention of going to court on the specified date listed on the ticket. But if you’re like many drivers, you may either misplace the ticket or simply forget to appear as the date comes and goes. You might forget about the ticket… Read More »

Is It a Good Idea to Enter the Atlanta PTIT Program?

If you’re issued a traffic citation in the Atlanta metro area, the city’s municipal court offers an easy way to resolve your case while saving you money and clearing your driving record. The Pre-Trial Intervention Program for Traffic Offenses, or PTIT, has allowed for the efficient monthly resolution of thousands of traffic tickets for Georgia… Read More »

Expunging Your Criminal Record in Georgia

Everyone makes mistakes — it’s a part of life. For some, these mistakes can lead to criminal charges and convictions, which can remain on their records for the rest of their lives. They could end up facing serious consequences, putting them at a disadvantage for finding a good-paying job, renting an apartment and pursuing higher… Read More »

What You Should Know About Hit-and-Run Laws in Georgia

If you are involved in a collision in Georgia and leave the scene of the accident, you can be charged with a hit-and-run offense. There are a variety of penalties for hit-and-run charges, including the possibility of probation and a jail sentence. However, there are clear distinctions in the law depending upon the type of… Read More »

Collateral Consequences of Georgia Drug Possession Convictions

Georgia’s drug possession laws are harsh, with penalties that can include years in prison, even for just possessing more than one ounce of marijuana. Whether the substance or substances were intended for personal use or for sale and distribution will affect the severity of the charge, but a major factor is the type and amount… Read More »