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Author Archives: Jim Michael

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 »

Obtaining Release on a 90-Day Bond in Georgia

A bond in a criminal case is an assurance given by a defendant that he or she will come to court for further proceedings at a later date. In felony cases, the posting of bond requires a judge’s approval. Being denied bond can be a hardship, but there is still hope for release. Georgia law… Read More »

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 »