Criminal Defense

Let my years as a prosecutor serve you! Whether you are facing a felony or misdemeanor, I am here to help.

Felony Charges
DUI
Misdemeanor Charges
Traffic Citations
Other Criminal Matters

If you have been arrested and/or charged with a crime do the following:
1. Don’t talk about your case to anyone that you don’t have to
2. Contact me - your experienced criminal defense attorney

Felony Charges

If you have been charged with a felony call me immediately!

What is a felony? A felony is any crime where the potential sentence carries more than one year in confinement. It is therefore much more serious than a misdemeanor which only carries up to one year in confinement.

Common examples include:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Criminal Street Gang Activity
  • Cruelty to Children in the First Degree
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Possession of Marijuana Over an Ounce
  • Possession of Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Ecstasy
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Trafficking
  • Sale of Drugs
  • Theft of property valued at $1,500.00 or more
  • Shoplifting of property valued at $500.00 or more
  • Interference with Government Property
  • Identity Theft
  • Financial Transaction Card Theft
  • Entering Auto
  • Crossing Guard lines with Contraband
  • Habitual DUI
  • Habitual Suspended License
  • Fleeing and Eluding (under specific conditions)
  • Criminal Damage to Property in the 2nd Degree
  • There are many other felonies that a person can be charged with, these are just a few examples

Should I only be worried about jail? No!

There are many other punishments beyond confinement which can be imposed through a probated (non-confinement) sentence. Without an experienced attorney at your side, you may unnecessarily be exposed to many of these punishments.

Examples include:

  • Fines
  • Community Service
  • Electronic Monitoring
  • Banishment
  • Clinical Evaluations
  • Drug Treatment
  • Mandatory AA/NA Meetings
  • Random Drug Screens
  • Mandatory Registry
  • Family Violence Intervention
  • Anger Management Classes
  • Curfew
  • No-Contact Provisions

No matter what you think about your case, if you have been charged with a felony your best possible outcome is going to be with professional representation. Do not jeopardize your freedom and call me today!

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

I am a former DUI prosecutor trained by law enforcement. Let me use my extensive experience to aggressively defend you.

Penalties: The penalties for DUI aggregate (become worse) depending on your driving history. Assuming a first lifetime offense, the statutory penalty under O.C.G.A. 40-6-371 is as follows:

  • A fine of not less than $300 and not more than $1000
  • Imprisonment of not less than 10 days nor more than 12 months
  • Minimum 40 hours of community service
  • Risk Reduction Program
  • Clinical Evaluation and Treatment if recommended
  • License suspension

A Second or Subsequent DUI

The penalties for a second or more DUI depend on the number and ages of the previous DUI convictions. The penalties can be quite severe. Essentially, everything goes up. If you are in this situation, get the legal defense you need and call me.

 

Do I have a defense? In almost every case, the answer is YES!

DUI defense is an area of extremely high technical expertise. It takes years of training to be able to properly assess a DUI case. Every single aspect of the stop, arrest, and processing of the individual must be scrutinized. In many instances, the police make errors in conducting their evaluations. Often these errors are significant and are very useful in defending the case. I have been trained to recognize whether the proper procedures were followed and what it means for the case.

Common Challenges to a DUI include:

  • Whether the officer had reasonable articulable suspicion to initiate the stop
  • The scope of the stop
  • The duration of the stop
  • Whether the officer had proper jurisdiction
  • The officer’s level of DUI training
  • Whether the officer gave proper instructions during evaluations
  • Whether the field evaluations were conducted properly
  • Whether the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) device was functioning properly
  • Whether the officer had probable cause to make an arrest
  • Whether the officer provided Miranda warnings/rights
  • Whether actual voluntary consent was given or not to the State Administered Test
  • Whether a refusal actually occurred
  • Whether the officer properly followed the implied consent law requirements
  • Whether the officer had the training and authority to operate the Intoxylizer (breath machine)
  • Whether the Intox machine was functioning properly
  • Whether roadblock procedures were properly followed
  • The validity of any searches
  • The validity of any warrants
  • The validity of any evidence taken
  • Whether the person arrested was actually driving
  • The sufficiency of any other evidence the State may have
  • These are just a few examples of what can be challenged, and there are more. I know this law and can help you get the best result possible by aggressively defending your case

I scrutinize every one of these things, and much more, in every DUI I handle. This ensures my clients don’t miss out on possible defenses.

 

What about my license? ALS (Administrative License Suspension) Hearing

In Georgia, you do not have to be convicted of a DUI to have your license suspended. The DUI arrest alone triggers an automatic 12 month license suspension through the Department of Driver Services (DDS). You have 30 calendar days from the date of arrest to request an Administrative License Suspension Hearing to fight this suspension. At this hearing the arresting officer must prove to the court’s satisfaction proper procedures were followed during specific times during the arrest. If the officer fails to appear or if the officer fails to meet this burden, your license will not be suspended unless you are later convicted of the DUI. If you fail to make this request your license will be suspended after 45 days.

Only an attorney experienced in DUI law should handle these matters. Contact me immediately to ensure you don’t miss the deadline to request the hearing.

Misdemeanor Charges

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor call me immediately!

What is a Misdemeanor? A misdemeanor is a crime where the maximum potential penalty is 12 months in confinement.

Common misdemeanors

  • Assault
  • Simple Assault
  • Battery
  • Simple Battery
  • Family Violence related offenses
  • Under Federal Law, if you are convicted of a crime designated as “Family Violence” you will be restricted from possessing any firearms or ammunition. This is true even though the crime is a misdemeanor. Never handle a family violence charge by yourself.
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Possession of Marijuana less than an ounce
  • Possession of Drug Related Objects
  • Theft of property valued $1,500 or less
  • Shoplifting of property valued $500.00 or less
  • Animal Cruelty
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Deprivation of a Minor
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Statutory Rape
  • Affray
  • Discharging a Firearm illegally
  • Disrupting Public School
  • Driving while License Suspended
  • Virtually all Traffic Offenses
  • There are many other misdemeanors you can be charged with, these are just a few examples.

Multiple Misdemeanors- the Effects of Consecutive Sentencing.

If you are convicted of multiple misdemeanors the sentence can run one count after another. This is called consecutive sentencing. This is substantially different than having the counts run at the same time. This is called a concurrent sentence. Of course, a concurrent sentence is better because it means less time under the sentence. People who choose to represent themselves often end up with years of probation because of consecutive sentencing. In many cases, charges are added simply to make the case “look” stronger. These charges are often dismissed as part of the negotiation process. This saves thousands in fines and removes years from a potential sentence. This is where an experienced attorney is needed.

The biggest mistake you can make is thinking “my charges are only misdemeanors so I don’t need an attorney". This attitude often leads to major regret. Never handle a criminal matter yourself even if it’s “only a misdemeanor”.

If you have been charged with any misdemeanor, you need an experienced defense attorney in your corner. Call me.

Traffic Citations

If you have received a traffic citation, you have found the highly qualified attorney you need. I spent several years as a prosecutor handling the entire spectrum of traffic offenses. Nobody knows traffic law like I do. I’ve practiced in most every traffic courtroom in the CSRA and know the ins and outs of these courts. My knowledge will save you time and frustration, as well as give you peace of mind.

Most traffic citations will affect your license in some way. Make sure you understand what you are doing and the potential consequences before simply pleading guilty or paying a fine. The conviction and fine are usually just the beginning, not the end of the matter.

 

Do I have to appear in court?
In many instances you can avoid coming to court so long as you have an attorney. This one of the many great benefits of hiring an attorney on a traffic citation.
However, different jurisdictions have different rules about what charges require a person to appear in court. If your charge is serious enough to appear in court, it is serous enough to have an attorney.

 

What about Points?
Georgia uses a point system for its drivers. Accumulating too many points in too short a period of time will result in a license suspension. Most traffic offenses carry points. And the more serious the charge, the more points it will carry. If you have a poor driving history or if your charge carries a lot of points, the risk to your license can be severe. Many people will plead guilty or pay a fine just to get it over with. Many times, it is only after the conviction takes effect, that they realize the consequence was more serious than a simple fine.

 

Drivers Under 21
If you are under 21, stop and call me now. You must be very careful with how you proceed when dealing with a traffic citation. You do not have the same protections as drivers who are over the age of 21. In certain instances, it takes a lower number of points to trigger a suspension. Additionally, if you are cited for speeding 24 or more over, your license will be suspended. Therefore, even if it is your first citation your license can be easily suspended. Never handle a traffic citation if you are under 21 by yourself.

 

Traffic Citations I commonly defend:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Improper Lane Change
  • Failure to Maintain Lane
  • Driving while License Suspended-- this charge carries mandatory jail time (even on the first offense). The jail time gets worse and worse the more times a person is convicted and may even be treated as a felony. It will usually resuspend your license as well- call me immediately
  • Suspended Registration- this charge carries mandatory jail time and may resuspend your license- call me immediately
  • No Insurance- This charge carries a mandatory license suspension. However, under certain circumstances this suspension can be avoided when handled properly. Experience counts
  • Failure to Appear Suspensions- In most jurisdictions, if you failed to come to court in the past, your case will not be addressed without an attorney advocating for you. Usually, these suspensions and the underlying tickets can be handled fairly quickly. This is a very common situation. Call me if it applies to you

Other Criminal Matters I Regularly Handle

Bench Warrant Issues
Probation Revocation Hearings
Juvenile Offenses
Local Ordinance Violations
Record Restrictions
Restoring Driving Privileges

If you are facing any of these issues call me.

Personal Injury

I help victims of personal injury and their families find justice so they can begin to rebuild their lives. My number one focus is getting my clients the compensation they deserve. I don’t shy away from a challenge and fight hard for everything that my clients are entitled to.

What you should do if you are the victim of an accident.

1. Do not provide information about what happened to bystanders. Try to remain as composed as possible at the scene of an accident. If you do not know what happened, do not speak with bystanders about how it may have occurred. Talking about the incident in the immediate aftermath may cause unnecessary confusion. Wait for law enforcement and other first responders to arrive. Allow them to gather the necessary evidence and put the facts together. It is not helpful for you to discuss what happened otherwise. As your personal injury attorney, my primary job is to make sure your story is told and the facts are presented so that you get the justice you deserve.

2. Seek Medical Attention. Even if you believe it is not a serious injury, you should seek out professional medical care. If you have experienced an internal injury, matters could become worse over time. If you do not seek medical care after your accident, the settlement will often be reduced, and in many cases by a significant amount.

3. Contact Law Enforcement and File a Report. The outcome of your case can be negatively affected if you do not take the proper steps and call the police. A police report is important because it serves as an unbiased record made shortly after the incident of what happened. Law enforcement will speak with everyone necessary including witnesses who may otherwise be unknown to you. Failure to take this step can make your case much more difficult to prove and is often a costly mistake.

4. Keep Records of all costs and expenses, and of your overall recovery. Record every expense. This includes any medical treatment but also any other expenses you have experienced because of the incident. This information often creates the baseline of your claim. Record any lost time at work. All of this is very valuable to ensure you get the best settlement. Keep records of your recovery. A simple journal will allow you to document how much pain you are experiencing from day to day and will be useful to chart the progression of your recovery when presented to the insurance provider.

5. Do not sign any anything unless a professional has told you to. When an insurance company tells you “we need you to sign this form, it’s just a formality” what they are trying to do is get you to agree to settle your case in a way that is favorable to them without you knowing. Usually, they are trying to trick you into agreeing to mediation. Never sign anything unless someone who is representing your interests has reviewed it.

6. Do not try to settle the case on your own. Insurance providers have lawyers on their side, and so should you. Never forget, from the insurance providers perspective, the less you recover the better. I’m here to make sure you have the best opportunity to recover the settlement you deserve.

Call me if you were the victim for any of the following:

  • Car Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Boating/Watercraft Accidents
  • Tractor Trailer Accidents
  • Slip and Fall

Don’t get stuck with a financial mess you did not create. There are many sources of loss which may be recovered for:

  • Medical expenses- present and future
  • Loss of wages- present and future
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Property Damage

If you are not sure whether you need a lawyer, please call for a free consultation and evaluation of your situation.

Civil Litigation

I specialize in civil litigation and can lead you through the system to get you the relief you need.

Nobody likes the idea of having to file a lawsuit. However, if you are in a situation where an agreement was broken, you don’t have to just accept it. Once efforts to work the situation out fail, you should consider legal action. Aggressive legal action. When you’ve had enough, give me a call.

No one wants to be sued. However, if you are in a situation where you have been served with a lawsuit you need to take action. You risk default if you do nothing. As unpleasant as this is can be, the first thing you need to do is find an experienced attorney to handle your case.

Every situation is different, please call me to discuss your situation.