Alfred Fargione

Athens Criminal Defense Blog

Use caution when celebrating the Bulldogs this weekend

Playing Auburn at home tomorrow night is sure to mean a night of fun for many Bulldogs fans. It is imperative that you ensure you are ready to take part in these activities if you are heading out to the game or a watch party. One thing to remember is that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Georgia so don't fall into the temptation of trying to drive yourself home if you've had a few drinks or have consumed drugs of any sort.

You know the police department is likely going to be out in full force this weekend in a bid to help keep the streets safe. With this in mind, you need to ensure that you are taking every step possible to stay out of legal issues. This means not driving impaired, but it also means not having drugs in your possession or having open containers in a vehicle.

College students tend to abuse Adderall more than anyone else

When you sent your child off to the University of Georgia to receive a college education, you may have discussed excessive drinking and taking illegal drugs. After all, you want to make sure that your new student takes advantage of the learning opportunities and doesn't do anything that could jeopardize his or her future.

Did you discuss not abusing prescription medication during those talks? If not, you may want to make a phone call or discuss the matter over a long weekend before it's too late. The abuse of prescription drugs on college campuses is rampant, and your student may heed your warnings.

Drug-induced impaired driving is very serious

Impaired driving doesn't necessarily mean that a person was consuming alcohol. It is possible to face a driving under the influence charge if you have taken drugs. This is because the standard is only if you are using a substance of some sort that impacts your ability to drive.

Around 10 million Americans reported driving under the influence of drugs classified as illegal during the previous year, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey. In all of these cases, the person put others at risk of suffering injuries or death in a crash due to the impaired driving.

Man flees from police over traffic violation

If you violate the traffic laws of Georgia, the typical response is to stop for the police when they pull you over. You'll likely end up with a ticket, but you retain the right to go to court and defend yourself.

Some people don't think through their actions, though. If you decide instead to flee from the police or to avoid paying tickets, you could end up in a more difficult and complicated situation. It's always better to follow officers' instructions. The last thing you want is to be fighting criminal charges as a result of mistakes made when police attempt to pull you over.

Domestic violence accusations are difficult to handle

Domestic violence is a serious matter. As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, it is important for people to realize that not all accusations of domestic violence are based on fact. This is one of the reasons why these cases are so difficult to handle. Many of them come down to a he-said-she-said scenario.

For the men and women who are accused of domestic violence, trying to prove that you didn't do the things you were said to have done becomes a priority. It can be hard to do this, but your future might depend on it.

Criminal justice cases must be handled carefully

One of the most important things that a criminal defendant can do is to define the purpose of their defense. There are two primary purposes that it can have. One of these is to try to have the person found not guilty of the charges. The other is to try to minimize the penalties the person will be given. Both of these are equally important in the criminal justice system.

We know that you might have some difficulties deciding which one is the right one for your case. In most instances, you can determine this by simply thinking about whether you committed the crime at hand. If you didn't have anything to do with it, you should likely pursue the avenue of trying to be found not guilty. This will involve going to court and presenting your case to the jury.

Teacher dismissed after indictments for drug crimes

No matter what you do, if you face a criminal conviction, you could lose your job. Since that's a reality, it's important that you do all you can to defend yourself if you face criminal charges. Charges alone can be enough for your employer to decide you're too much of a liability to continue working for them.

In Bibb County, a teacher was fired after being indicted on drug charges. The teacher, a Central High School faculty member, was fired on Oct. 9, following the Bibb County School District's recommendation.

Posting bail to secure your release from jail

One of a person's primary concerns when they are arrested for a criminal charge is getting out of jail. Having to remain incarcerated from the date of your arrest through the final outcome of the case means that you will likely remain there for a long time. As an alternative, the court can set a bail amount for you, which is the amount of financial surety that you can provide to the court as an assurance that you will come back for your court dates.

When the court sets bail, it considers several factors about your case, including the type of charge you are facing and your criminal history. It will also look at your ties to the community since this can have an impact on whether you remain in the area so you can make it back to your hearings. These ties include things like whether you have a job or not, what family members you have in the community and how long you've lived here.

Affirmative defense strategies must be carefully considered

All criminal defendants have the right to fight the charges in court. For some, the desire to tell their side of the story about the matter comes strictly from wanting to minimize the penalties that they will face. These individuals might admit that they did the action at the center of the case, but they may want to explain why they did it. This is called an affirmative defense. We know that this won't apply to all cases; however, it is very important that a person who is going to use this option knows exactly how this choice might impact them.

One thing to remember is that you might be able to work out a plea deal with the prosecutor if you are willing to admit that you committed a crime. These negotiations can lead to several outcomes for you.

Are you fully aware of Georgia driving regulations re alcohol?

What if you are driving several friends to a party or a favorite Georgia restaurant to watch the game on a big screen TV while you toss back a few cold ones and enjoy a good meal? Let's say one of your friends wants to start the party early and gets into your car with an open container of alcohol? You don't think much of it because he or she is not the driving – you are. 

At times like this, it is critical that you clearly understand all state laws regarding operation of a motor vehicle and alcohol. If you don't know what the statutes are regarding open containers of alcohol, you could land yourself behind bars before the night is over. If a problem arises, it doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to resolve it; however, you may definitely have your work cut out in trying to avoid conviction if a police officer arrests you for suspected drunk driving.  

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Alfred Fargione
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Athens, Georgia 30605

Phone: 706-510-2802
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