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Marietta Criminal Defense Blog

What happens if I refuse a breath test?

DUI laws in Georgia are becoming tougher to deter people from drinking and driving. One question that may be on your mind is if you can benefit from refusing a breathalyzer test. Living and operating a vehicle in an implied consent state means that you already agreed to provide law enforcement with a chemical sample of your breath, urine and blood. 

You may already be aware that breathalyzers test for the presence of alcohol. They are not always a reliable method for determining a person’s level of intoxication. Even if you have one drink, you can blow a positive, and that is enough for an officer to arrest and charge you with a DUI. You may think that by refusing to take the test that you can avoid the consequences, but you can still receive those penalties with a breathalyzer refusal

Could your social media posts be used as evidence of a crime?

Most people do not over-share on social media about crimes they might have committed, but did you realize that the police can use your social media posts to help solve crimes? Social media is becoming a valuable tool for law enforcement. In 2013, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that about 96 percent of agencies surveyed were using social media. 

Many law enforcement agencies are using social media to improve police-community relations. The NYPD asked Twitter users to post pictures of themselves with a police officer in New York City with hashtag #myNYPD as a way of creating an open forum of goodwill. Other agencies use social media as a way of gathering and spreading information; for example, Gloucester Township, New Jersey, has a Pinterest board for lost and found.

3 reasons why you need a criminal defense attorney

Being charged with any type of crime can result in long-term consequences that can impact your life tremendously. Even in the case of seemingly minor criminal accusations, it is always a good idea to hire an attorney for your defense to protect your rights and ensure due process. The law is very complicated, and the average person is not aware of the ways the prosecution can use it to sentence them to the harshest punishments possible. Instead of taking chances with the outcome of your case, learn the reasons why it is beneficial for you to use an attorney.

1. Reduce charges and sentencing

Understanding Georgia's DUI penalties

When driving in the state of Georgia, people are expected to know and follow all of the local traffic laws, whether or not they are residents. Everyone who plans to be driving on Georgia roads should know the boundaries and penalties outlined in the law. That means knowing the DUI laws and understanding the penalties that can come with either a charge or a conviction so drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence do not wind up with excessive penalties.

The use of cell phone records by law enforcement is coming under scrutiny

Over the course of the last decade or so, the use of cellular phone records by law enforcement has become routine for a variety of applications. Positioning data and the timing of calls, messaging, and other signs of activity are frequently used to reconstruct the timeline of events leading up to a crime, to substantiate alibis placing suspects outside of the physical proximity of the crime, and to gain background information about a person's movements and activities. Over the last couple of years, though, a couple of cases from around the country have begun to bring new scrutiny to the way cellular phone records are used by the police.

How accurate are breath test results?

If you are facing DUI charges in the state of Georgia, you probably understand just how high the stakes are. What you might not understand is how problems with the accuracy of the equipment used to make that determination could determine your future. Having an attorney with experience defending drivers accused of operating vehicles under the influence helps because it not only means you have the aid of someone who understands the law, it also raises the likelihood that you will be hiring an individual who understands just how deep the problems with breath tests run.

People suffering from addiction need treatment, not jail time

One of the biggest challenges of working within the criminal justice system is dealing with the fact that drug policy and law tend to lag behind the best science out there for treating addiction. To some extent, this has to happen because research needs to be tested before being implemented, and policy change is slow. At the same time, though, outdated policies can often do more harm than good, and one area where that has become very apparent is in the way the system handles nonviolent drug offenders.

Many drug addicts are self-medicating mental illness

While there have been studies testing the idea for over 20 years now, not many people realize that many, if not most, drug addicts are self-medicating for various conditions. In fact, some studies have found that as many as two-thirds of all people treated for addiction have some form of severe psychological trauma in the past. The exact findings vary from study to study, which is why it has been important for addiction research to find ways to conduct larger-scale investigations into the phenomenon.

Is a plea bargain a good deal in a drug case?

Prosecutors often offer plea deals in drug cases. They may also threaten the accused with a possible lengthy jail sentence if they refuse the offer.

A plea bargain  that includes minimal or no jail time may seem like a good deal in a drug case, when the alternative is years in prison. If the plea bargain includes a conviction, however, it may not be a good deal.

Civil asset forfeiture - or how the state can take your property

Some people are who are arrested for drug crimes in Georgia find they have more than a criminal case to worry about. Under Georgia's civil asset forfeiture law, they can also lose their vehicle, their money and other assets.

Civil asset forfeiture is a money-maker for police departments in Georgia and other states. The law is designed to deprive criminals of the profits of criminal activities. In many states, however, the person must at least be convicted of a crime before his or her assets can be taken away. In Georgia, that is not the case.

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