Cumming Criminal Defense Law Blog

What crimes fall under the umbrella of theft in Georgia?

Theft is a crime that's been around for a long time. What's classified as this type of offense has evolved over the years. It includes shoplifting, identity theft and the theft of lost property or services. Anyone who takes something by conversion, extortion or deception may also be charged with theft in Georgia. This is why the penalties associated with committing such a crime can vary significantly.

Shoplifting occurs when someone takes possession of merchandise from a retail establishment that they haven't paid for. Anyone who switches the price tags on a product in hopes of paying a lower price for it may be charged with shoplifting as well.

Georgia lawmakers consider requiring IIDs for first-time DUIs

A bill currently being considered by the Georgia Senate would require anyone convicted of a DUI for the first time to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on any vehicle they drive for six months. Under current Georgia law, only those convicted for a second or subsequent DUI are required to have IIDs, which must remain installed for 12 months.

The legislation (SB 485) has been discussed in committee, However, no action has yet been taken to move it forward. If it passes and is signed into law, Georgia will join the majority of states that require IIDs after first-time DUI convictions.

How prescription drugs can land your teen under arrest

Alcohol and marijuana are still the most common substances used by teens. However, as it's become increasingly common for kids to be prescribed drugs like Adderall and various pain killers and mood stabilizers, more are becoming addicted to them. A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that a quarter of prescription drug abusers began using the drugs before they were even in their teens.

When their doctor no longer prescribes a drug they've become dependent on, teens may look for other sources to buy them. According to a site called StreetRx, which lists "street prices" for various prescription drugs by state, Adderall is the most widely-sought street drug.

Proposed law would give judges more discretion with DUIs

Under Georgia law, people who are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or who plead guilty to it have their driver's licenses suspended. So do those who are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol.

However, judges have the power to allow people with DUIs involving alcohol to have a "limited permit." With these limited permits, people are allowed to drive under specific circumstances that are determined to be necessary -- like to get to work or school.

Don’t say the wrong thing during a DUI traffic stop

A traffic stop for suspicion of driving under the influence is nothing to take lightly. Even if you're sober, it's not a good time to say or do the wrong thing, because the wrong approach can lead to serious consequences.

Many people struggle to find the right thing to say during a DUI traffic stop. They may ramble and share too much information with the officer. Here are some of the things you never want to do:

  • Place a number on how much alcohol you've consumed: Even if it's one drink, don't admit anything to the officer.
  • Tell a lie: It's okay to tell the officer in plain terms that you haven't been drinking (if you haven't). However, you don't want to create a story off the top of your head, as it'll come across as exactly that. And if the officer has reason to believe you're lying, they also have reason to believe you're hiding something.
  • Offer something in return for letting you go: Not only is this sure to result in your arrest, but there's a good chance that it'll lead to additional criminal charges. For instance, don't offer the officer cash in exchange for letting you leave the scene. A bribe is never the answer.

UGA football player arrested after altercation with girlfriend

Many people associate domestic violence-related charges with older people -- or at least those past college-age. However, relationships can become volatile at any age.

University of Georgia (UGA) football player Devonte Wyatt was arrested last month at a dormitory on campus and charged with family violence, damage to property and criminal trespass. All three charges are misdemeanors.

What’s the best defense of shoplifting charges?

Teenagers can and will make mistakes, with some of them more serious than others. For example, if your teen was arrested for shoplifting, you'll want to learn more about the circumstances and the next steps in the process.

To start, speak with your teen to better understand their side of the story. Implore them to share the truth, and nothing but the truth, as it'll allow you to better help them. Even if the truth hurts, it's a must to understand the facts of the case.

What penalties can your child face for a DUI?

Your teen had been dreaming about getting their driver's license for years. You logged countless hours with them in the car preparing for their road test. They know the rules of the road forwards and backwards. Then they did something they swore to you they would never do -- they got behind the wheel after drinking.

Georgia law takes driving under the influence by minors very seriously. Our state, like many others, has a "zero tolerance" policy for underage drinking and driving. That means that anyone under 21 can face a DUI charge if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .02% or more.

What does Georgia law say about CBD products?

Products containing CBD have become mainstream. Lotions, oils, coffee and even dog treats containing CBD are marketed as a treatment for pain and anxiety. CBD comes from hemp plants. Although marijuana comes from the same plant family, most CBD products contain little, if any, THC -- the ingredient in marijuana that produces the "high."

So, are CBD products that contain THC legal in Georgia? As one veteran law enforcement officer who works on a drug task force says, "There's a whole lot of confusion." Under federal law, which is harsher on marijuana than most state laws are, CBD products that contain no more than .03% are legal. Under Georgia law, however, CBD products that contain any THC are illegal.

Has a DUI put your child at risk of a suspended license?

Many people in Georgia and across the country see obtaining a driver's license as a rite of passage. When your child got to the age of 16 and could drive away on his or her own, you likely felt a number of mixed emotions. You probably felt proud, anxious, worried and other emotions as you watched him or her drive alone for the first time. 

Over the years, you may have kept a close eye on your child's driving habits, but when he or she went off to college, you knew there was little you could do to keep tabs on those driving habits any longer. As a result, you may have worried that your child would end up in a serious situation that could cause the loss of his or her license.

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