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How “Proximate Cause” Affects a Georgia Personal Injury Case

By Hawkins Spizman |

In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff has the burden of establishing not just that the defendant was negligent, but that negligence was also the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Put simply, proximate cause means that “but-for” the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff would not have been harmed. That harm must also have been… Read More »

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DUI Law

How Long Can Georgia Police Detain You While Investigating a Suspected DUI?

By Hawkins Spizman |

When a law enforcement officer pulls you over for a traffic stop, they cannot detain you indefinitely. The United States and Georgia supreme courts have made it clear that an “investigative detention” should last “no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop.” Even if the officer develops a reasonable suspicion… Read More »

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?

By Hawkins Spizman |

A personal injury lawsuit allows the victim of a negligent or intentional act to sue the wrongdoer for monetary damages. This assumes, however, that the victim survived the injury. To put it bluntly, a dead person cannot sue. But certain parties can file a Georgia wrongful death lawsuit against the person or legal entities… Read More »

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JuryBox

Can a Jury Convict You Without Any Physical Evidence or Eyewitness Testimony?

By Hawkins Spizman |

Decades of television crime dramas like CSI, Law & Order, and NCIS have perhaps left many people with the incorrect impression that police and prosecutors always have overwhelming evidence of a criminal defendant’s guilt. The harsh reality is that many criminal convictions are based on purely circumstantial evidence only suggesting the defendant’s guilt. Indeed,… Read More »

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CrimJustice

Georgia Supreme Court Orders New Trial in Fatal Car Accident Case

By Hawkins Spizman |

Car accidents are an unfortunate everyday occurrence in Georgia. Many people are seriously injured or killed in such accidents. Yet in most cases, the person who caused the accident only faces civil liability, such as a personal injury lawsuit filed by the victim. The mere fact that the accident occurred is not necessarily a… Read More »

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DUI22

What Are the Grounds for Challenging a Search Warrant in a Georgia DUI Case?

By Hawkins Spizman |

In Georgia drunk driving cases, the police will often apply to a magistrate for a search warrant to gather evidence in support of the arrest. The most common reason for such search warrants is to compel a DUI suspect to submit to a blood or breath test. Such tests are used to determine the… Read More »

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Gavel

Is “Mutual Combat” a Valid Criminal Defense in Georgia?

By Hawkins Spizman |

As a general principle of law, a person is entitled to defend themselves against the imminent use of unlawful force. In simple terms, if someone threatens you with a gun, you have the right to stop them using force of your own. You cannot be held criminally liable if your attacker is injured due… Read More »

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Criminal

Supreme Court Bars Georgia from Retrying Mentally Ill Defendant

By Hawkins Spizman |

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides an important constitutional protection for anyone accused of a crime. In simple terms, the state cannot retry a person if they have already been “put in jeopardy of life or limb”–i.e., a trial has begun–and found not guilty. Put another way, the state does not… Read More »

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Airbnb Guest Injured by Falling Vine Can Sue Property Owner

By Hawkins Spizman |

If you are injured while an invited guest on someone else’s property, you have the right under Georgia law to sue the owner for damages. This is known as premises liability, and it covers situations where the owner failed to keep both their property–and any approaches to that property–in reasonably safe condition. In this… Read More »

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Is Being in the “Presence” of Drugs a Crime in Georgia?

By Hawkins Spizman |

You probably know that it is against the law in Georgia to possess certain controlled substances, such as marijuana or methamphetamine. But what exactly does “possession” mean? Obviously, if a police officer finds drugs on your person during a lawful search, that is evidence of actual possession. Yet Georgia law also permits a jury… Read More »

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