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 From an emotional standpoint, a case where someone is accused driving under the influence and killing another person is one of the toughest.  With the victim, you usually have someone who did not deserve to die.  They are often young, in the prime of their lives.  They are usually also close to the driver.  The victim is often a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or sibling of the accused.  Unfortunately, that person is not available to express forgiveness to the driver.
As for the driver, you often have a person who has never been in trouble in his life.  He may be college educated, have a great job, and a loving family.  But for this horrible incident he would have continued to be an upstanding citizen.
Recently, a San Jose woman pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing a 79 year old grandmother.  She is waiting to be sentenced by a Santa Clara County judge.  Her maximum possible sentence is 12 years in the state prison.  In fact, the judge is precluded from granting this woman probation unless he finds “unusual circumstances” where the interests of justice require it.  According to statements, the family of the victim has forgiven the defendant, and believes that the victim would forgive her as well.  Unfortunately, California DUI sentencing law provides somewhat less opportunity for the Court to forgive her. 

As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that, regardless of the outcome, nobody wins in these cases.  Regardless of what side you are on there is nothing but tragedy in these cases.  An innocent victim loses her life, and a contrite survivor is cast into the hell of the California prison system.  

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A DUI conviction in Georgia carries severe consequences.  DUI is considered a criminal offense and will therefore go on your criminal record.  That means every time you fill out a job application or apply for some type of license, you will need to disclose that you do in fact have a criminal past. 

The minimum sentences for DUI in Georgia are severe.  Even a first time DUI offense can land in you in jail for 10 days, but your jail sentence could be as long as 12 months.  If you are over the age of 21 and found guilty of drunk driving in Georgia, your first offense will result in a one year license suspension and a fine of up to $1,000.  In some jurisdictions, you will be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel.

If you are found guilty of a second DUI offense within 5 years, you may be given a jail sentence anywhere from 90 days to 1 year.  Your license may be suspended for 3 years and you may have to pay a $1,000 fine.  You will have to complete at least 30 days of community service and the local paper will print your photo with case disposition (and you have to pay $25 for it).

The more DUI convictions you have in Georgia, the worse your penalties become.  A third DUI offense in 5 years will result in a jail sentence of 120 days to 12 months.  Your license may be suspended for 5 years and you could face a fine up to $5,000.

If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you need to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately.


Category: Keyword Search: Georgia driving under the influence

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State troopers from the Georgia State Patrol’s Colquitt post and Sheriff’s deputies set up a DUI checkpoint at the intersection of Georgia 262 North and Georgia 97 North near the Vada community.

According to GSP Cpl. Kyle Duke, two vehicles, a passenger car and a SUV, started to approach officers before turning around.  This action caused suspicion and the two vehicles were stopped.  As a state trooper searched the SUV, he found several small plastic bags filled with suspected marijuana.  The SUV’s driver, Violet Argo, 40, of Douglasville, Georgia, was arrested for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and also for driving under the influence of drugs.  Her passenger, Ricky Lee Maxwell, 45, of Atlanta, Georgia, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Belinda Suzette Stewart, 47, of Brainbridge, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, driving under the influence of drugs in Georgia and having an expired vehicle tag.

Captain Chip Nix of the Sheriff’s Office went to a house on Swindell Road in connection with the same incident.  Nix conducted a probable-cause search and found additional marijuana, which resulted in another man’s arrest for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

According to Decatur County Jail records and the Georgia State Patrol, there have been a slightly higher than usual number of drug-related arrests made by local law enforcement over the past two weeks.

A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs in Georgia can carry significant consequences, including a loss of license, higher insurance rates, mandatory ignition interlock, travel limitations, and possibly jail time.


Category: Keyword Search: Georgia driving under the influence

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The Georgia immigration law from 2006 is going un-enforced.   The immigration law, which was meant to crack down on illegal immigration has been called one of the nation’s toughest because it orders local governments, contractors and subcontractors to confirm the legal status of new hires.  It also has a provision addressing illegal immigrants who have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia.

Based on this 2006 law, illegal immigrants arrested for DUI in Georgia, must be reported to immigration authorities.  However, supporters of this law do not feel confident that this provision is being taken seriously.  Proponents believe that the state government has not been enforcing the law and no one at the state level has checked to see whether governments and businesses are complying.

The DUI arrest provision of the Georgia immigration law, which requires jailers to check the legal status of anyone booked on a felony or a DUI, has had some problems.  For example, someone who has been arrested for DUI in Georgia may post bond to get out of jail before the feds are called to hold that person on immigration violations. 

“There is no state oversight of any of this stuff,” Terry Norris, executive vice president of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association said.

Some believe that this law has not been properly enforced because of a lack of accountability, as the Legislature never provided money to monitor the law.

“As far as any enforcement responsibilities under the law, we don’t have any,” said Labor Department spokesman Sam Hall.

Hall said that the agency offered to conduct random audits, if it received funding.  He even said that the agency posted guidelines on its website.  According to Hall, there is no central agency that has the authority to monitor who is complying with the law.

Category: Keyword Search: Georgia driving under the influence