Alfred Fargione
706-510-2802

Athens Criminal Defense Blog

You have defense options when you are charged with a crime

Facing criminal charges means that you need to strategize to come up with your defense plan. One of the first things that you have to determine is what direction your case will take. There are several possibilities for this.

Not all criminal defense options are based on claiming innocence. Instead, some defendants admit that they did the act at the center of the case but claim that they shouldn't be held responsible for their actions in court. This is known as an affirmative defense. These are used less than claims of innocence.

Hands-Free Georgia Act encourages safer driving techniques

One of the most dangerous things to do behind the wheel is text. Another is to make or answer calls on your phone. Georgian law enforcement officers now have the right to ticket individuals who are distracted behind the wheel by law thanks to a new hands-free law.

The new distracted driving law restricts drivers and prohibits them from holding their cellphones while they drive. The Hands-Free Georgia Act encourages those driving in our state to use other means, like Bluetooth and hands-free dashboard mounts, to make their calls or avoid distractions completely.

Follow these tips during a traffic stop

You never want to look in your rearview mirror and see a police car closing in on you. If the lights are on and the siren is screaming, pull your car to the side of the road, and prepare yourself for what's to come.

By taking the right approach, you improve the chance of getting through this experience with minimal impact on your life. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Don't wait to pull over. Once you see the lights, pull your car as far off the road as possible. You never want to give the officer reason to believe that you're trying to escape.
  • Be courteous. Regardless of how you are treated, it's imperative to remain courteous and respectful during the stop.
  • Don't give the officer reason to search your vehicle. This can quickly take things to the next level, so you want to avoid it at all costs.
  • Don't get out of your vehicle. There's a chance that the officer will ask you to get out of your vehicle, but you shouldn't do so unless it's requested of you.
  • Let the officer do most the talking. You're best off sitting back and listening, as you don't want to say anything that will complicate your situation.

Don't let alcohol get you kicked out of college in Georgia

College life is adventurous, rewarding, challenging and fun. Even if you rank at the top of your class, you may find it difficult from time to time to keep up with your studies. If you happen to be one of thousands of college students in Georgia or another state who include partying in your social activities, you may see a definite impact on your grades if your party time includes consumption of alcohol.

Providing you are age 21 or older, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with having a few beers in your free time on campus, as long as your campus isn't dry. However, even legally acceptable drinking can get out of hand, especially if you drink then get behind the wheel of a car to drive. Just like good study habits help you succeed in the classroom, responsible drinking choices can help you avoid legal problems outside of it. But if a problem arises, it's good to know where to seek support.

What does it mean to be in possession of drugs?

Drug crimes are difficult to face because they can have such a significant impact on your life. In many cases, this is due to nothing more than a mistake. This is especially true for drug possession cases.

You might not think that there is anything wrong with enjoying recreational drugs; however, the law might say otherwise. This means that you can face criminal charges just for having the drugs in your possession.

Don't lose hope when facing assault charges in Georgia

When facing charges revolving around violent crimes, most defendants in Georgia fear the loss of their freedom. As criminal defense attorneys, we understand this fear. The loss of freedom is one of the most severe consequences of a violent crimes conviction. The fear of losing that freedom can motivate defendants to fight against the charges, or it can paralyze them into inaction.

Assault is an example of a violent crime that carries severe penalties upon conviction. Because the allegations center on violence, prosecutors pursue conviction aggressively. What many defendants don't realize is that it takes proof on the prosecution's part to secure a conviction. Defendants sometimes also don't realize that a successful defense is a real possibility in many cases.

Will you avoid these mistakes at a DUI checkpoint?

The thought of approaching a DUI checkpoint is enough to make you cringe, even if you are 100 percent sober. There's something nerve-wracking about coming face to face with an officer who is trying to determine if you're under the influence of alcohol.

Your goal is simple: Approach the DUI checkpoint, answer any questions that are asked of you and move on without trouble.

What do I need to know about breath tests?

If you ever get pulled over for suspected impairment in Georgia, police will likely ask you to submit to sobriety testing. Officers commonly use breath tests, as they are supposedly quite accurate. What are some things you should know about breath tests before submitting to one?

Breath tests check for blood alcohol content in your breath. Giving a sample is easy, you just blow into the machine. The sample runs through a few different chambers filled with chemicals that can detect alcohol and determine how much is in your system. If your readout is high enough, that may be grounds for an arrest and the filing of criminal charges.

Georgians should know their rights regarding police searches

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits "unreasonable search and seizure" of people and their property. This means that law enforcement officers must have either a warrant or a reasonable assumption that a person is committing or has committed a crime in order to search him or her legally.

A judge must hear facts of a case from a police officer or other official under oath in order to approve a search warrant regarding illegal possessions or activity. The place, items and circumstances of a crime must be clearly stated in the affidavit for the warrant.

Is it worthwhile to fight a traffic violation?

While it is safe to assume that most police officers in Georgia have a good grasp of the law, they are still people, and people can make mistakes. To many, getting a traffic ticket is not that big of a deal. Alleged offenders simply pay the ticket because they think it is their only choice. However, this is not always the case. It is possible to fight traffic violations successfully in some situations.

The question you must now face is this: Will it benefit you personally to fight the ticket? Looking at your situation carefully and honestly can help you find the answer. Below are two scenarios to consider.

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Alfred Fargione
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Athens, Georgia 30605

Phone: 706-510-2802
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