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Author Archives: Jim Michael

Georgia’s “Porch Piracy” Law Makes Package Theft a Felony

In June 2021, Georgia joined a handful of other states that have enacted laws meant to tamp down on the growing problem of packages being stolen from front stoops of homes after being delivered. The new law makes “porch piracy” a crime distinct from federal mail theft. Porch piracy is defined as removing three or… Read More »

What Are Your Rights and Obligations When Pulled Over for DUI?

Being stopped on suspicion of drunk driving can be scary, but it’s important to remember that you have rights, and if those rights are violated, you may be able to have your charges dismissed or reduced. On the other hand, you have to follow certain procedures and police officer requests during the stop. If you… Read More »

Raising the “Stand Your Ground” Defense in a Georgia Criminal Case

Unfortunately, the day may come when you need to defend yourself against someone you believe is about to injure or kill you. Georgia law gives you the right to protect yourself from such attacks, but your defensive actions must be reasonable in light of the severity of the threat. Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law is… Read More »

Sharp Increase in Georgia Violent Crime Leads to Calls for More Mandatory Minimum Sentences

As a result of an alarming rise in violent crimes, Georgia law enforcement officials are urging legislation that would impose mandatory minimum sentences for a wider range of crimes than are prescribed under current law. Police and sheriffs across the state seek to bar early release for any crime involving use of knives or firearms,… Read More »

Georgia Sex Offender Registration and How to Get Off the List

Being convicted of a sex crime can have severe long-term consequences. Besides probation and possible jail time and parole, you will likely end up on Georgia’s Violent Sexual Offender Registry. This will have a significant impact on your life, as it restricts your access to residences, jobs, schools and certain public places. You must register… Read More »

Drug Trafficking That Causes Overdose Can Lead to Felony Murder Charges

On October 15, 2021, prosecutors in Gwinnett County obtained a felony murder conviction of an accused drug dealer for distributing drugs that caused a fatal overdose. The man, Eric Denver Moore, pleaded guilty to charges of selling heroin laced with fentanyl, which caused the death of the drug user. Moore was sentenced to life in… Read More »

Are Embezzlement and Conversion the Same Crime in Georgia?

Embezzlement is a crime with a long history in common law. It is defined as legally receiving someone else’s property under an agreement and then exercising control over that property in violation of the agreement. Yet, the term “embezzlement” does not appear in Georgia’s criminal statutes. Instead, the same crime is called conversion. The elements… Read More »

How Georgia’s “Second Chance” Law Makes Expunging Convictions Easier

There is good news for Georgians who wish to remove the stigma of a criminal conviction from their permanent record. The “second chance” law, which became effective on January 1, 2021, allows people who were convicted of non-violent misdemeanors to petition a court to order the conviction expunged. Under Georgia’s prior law — which was… Read More »

Proposed Gun Law Would Loosen Restrictions on Open and Concealed Carry

Pending legislation in the Georgia General Assembly would greatly expand the number of people who can legally carry a firearm without a permit. The Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2021, introduced by Rep. Emory Dunahoo, would make carrying a firearm the right of any “lawful weapons holder” — defined in the bill as any person… Read More »

Differences Between Drug Possession and Drug Trafficking in Georgia

When people hear the phrase “drug trafficking,” they may think of cartels and major dealers moving mass quantities of narcotics from country to country or state to state. Drug trafficking charges are typically brought against someone who was caught in the act of smuggling or selling drugs. But in Georgia, it’s not what you were… Read More »