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Monthly Archives: March 2024

BooksGavel

Federal Court Upholds 46-Month Sentence in COVID Fraud Case

By Hawkins Spizman |

Fraud-based crimes often carry more severe criminal penalties than people realize. Many crimes associated with fraud are subject not just to state but also federal prosecution. And the federal system takes fraud quite seriously, especially when the alleged victim is a bank or the government itself. Atlanta Prosecutors Nab 11 for Filing False Loan… Read More »

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PoliceSearch

Do the Police Need to Justify Prolonging a Traffic Stop to Conduct a DUI Investigation?

By Hawkins Spizman |

When a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation, they are not allowed to prolong the stop longer than is necessary to address the violation–i.e., to issue you a ticket. The officer may continue to detain you if they develop “reasonable suspicion” of some other criminal activity, such as DUI or possession… Read More »

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QuestionMark

How Does the Insanity Defense Work in Georgia?

By Hawkins Spizman |

Television crime dramas are often fond of portraying the insanity defense. In the eyes of many people, “pleading insanity” is seen as a loophole exploited by a guilty defendant to escape punishment for their actions. But the reality of the insanity defense in Georgia is far more complex. Take this recent decision from the… Read More »

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MedMal9

Georgia Court of Appeals Upholds $10.1 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict

By Hawkins Spizman |

In any Georgia personal injury case, the trier of fact must decide the plaintiff’s damages. When it comes to compensation designed to make the plaintiff whole, an award is divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are usually fairly simple to calculate, as they reflect a plaintiff’s out-of-pocket losses, such as the medical… Read More »

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DUI13

Georgia Supreme Court Declines to Address Constitutional Problems with DUI Implied Consent Law

By Hawkins Spizman |

Like most states, Georgia has an “implied consent” law that conditions a person’s right to drive on submitting to a chemical test if they are lawfully arrested on suspicion of DUI. A police officer will warn a DUI suspect that their refusal to submit to such testing can be introduced as evidence against them… Read More »

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CrimDef8

How “Constructive Possession” Can Lead to Drug or Gun Charges in Georgia

By Hawkins Spizman |

There are many criminal offenses, such as those involving drugs or firearms, where a person may be found guilty based solely on possession. And possession can mean either actual or constructive possession. Actual possession means you have direct physical control over the contraband. Constructive possession essentially means you have the ability to exercise control… Read More »

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PILawyer4

How “Loss of Consortium” Claims Work in Georgia Personal Injury Cases

By Hawkins Spizman |

When the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is married, it is not uncommon for their spouse to join the case as a co-plaintiff seeking damages for “loss of consortium.” This is a type of non-economic damages recognized under Georgia law. Damages for loss of consortium are meant to compensate the spouse for the… Read More »

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Injury6

Why Should You Never Directly Negotiate with an Insurance Company By Yourself?

By Hawkins Spizman |

“Why do I need a lawyer? The other driver’s insurance company will pay for my losses.” This is a common sentiment we hear from many people who have been injured in a car accident. There is an assumption that insurance will simply take care of any medical bills or other damages. So why go… Read More »

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Question

Can I Be Court Martialed for a DUI in Georgia?

By Hawkins Spizman |

A drunk driving arrest often has consequences that extend beyond any criminal charges. For example, if your boss learns of your arrest, you may be fired or face disciplinary action at work. And if your job happens to be an active duty member of the armed forces, you might even face a court martial…. Read More »

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Theft2

Is It “Burglary” If You Take Something From an Abandoned House?

By Hawkins Spizman |

The terms burglary and theft are often used interchangeably even though, legally speaking, they refer to different criminal acts. Burglary means entering (or remaining within) a building with the intent to commit theft or another felony. The theft itself is a separate crime. So you can be charged with burglary if you are caught… Read More »

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