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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

CrimDef4

How “Criminal Attempt” Charges Work in Georgia

By Hawkins Spizman |

Can you be charged with a crime that was never carried out or completed? Absolutely. Georgia law refers to this as “criminal attempt.” Essentially, criminal attempt occurs when a person “performs any act which constitutes a substantial step toward” the commission of a crime. The state must prove three elements to convict a person… 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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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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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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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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CrimDef7

What Is an Alford Plea in a Georgia Criminal Case?

By Hawkins Spizman |

When a person is formally charged with a crime in Georgia, the court will ask the defendant to enter a plea. Normally, the defendant will plead either “guilty” or “not guilty.” In some cases, the defendant may enter a plea of nolo contendere or “no contest.” This basically means that the defendant does not… Read More »

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CrimLawyer2

How Exploiting a Software Bug Can Lead to Federal Fraud Charges

By Hawkins Spizman |

Fraud describes a number of criminal offenses where a person uses deception or trickery to obtain the property of another. This can include situations where a person deceives by lying about the nature of a proposed bargain. What matters is whether the person accused of fraud intended to deceive the other person. In addition,… Read More »

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DefenseLaw

What Is the Role of a Grand Jury in a Georgia Criminal Case?

By Hawkins Spizman |

When someone is charged with a crime in Georgia it takes the form of either an accusation or an indictment. An accusation–also known as an “information” in other jurisdictions–is where the district attorney or county solicitor’s office files a formal charge following a suspect’s arrest or citation by the police. Accusations are used in… Read More »

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CarAcc2

Can a Broken Taillight Lead to a Felony Drug Arrest in Georgia?

By Hawkins Spizman |

For many of us, getting pulled over for a traffic ticket is an inconvenience that leads to a misdemeanor charge at worst. Unfortunately, once the police initiate a lawful traffic stop–even on something as benign as driving with a broken taillight–that can lead to further investigation and potential arrest on a more serious felony… Read More »

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