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Should I Ever Choose a Bench Trial Over a Trial By Jury?

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When it is time to have your case heard in court, you may be given the option to appear in front of a judge or a jury of your peers. Many people wonder if it is a better idea to appear in front of a judge only or, in other words, to choose a bench trial. There are different reasons why it may be wise to choose a bench trial instead of a trial by jury. During a bench trial, a judge plays two roles. The judge is the person who makes sure that the law is abided by, and...

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Adding Property Damage On Top of a DUI

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Being involved in a drunk driving accident is frightening. Not only are you worried about being charged with driving under the influence, but you may have the additional fear that you hurt someone. Once you discover that no one was injured or killed in your incident, you can take a deep breath and relax a bit. But you aren't completely in the clear. Even causing property damage can add additional penalties onto your sentence if you are convicted. The Costs People who are convicted of a DUI find it to be expensive. There are fines, court costs and other expenses. If you...

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A Look at Credit Card Theft

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Credit card theft is a serious crime that has negative consequences for both the victim and the person charged with the crime. A credit card theft occurs when a person takes the physical credit card or account number of a person with an intent to defraud the issuer or the account holder of money, goods, services or anything of value. A person may also be charged with credit card theft if they knowingly use a credit card or account number they know has been stolen. It is illegal to alter a purchase ticket or charge ticket as well. A person who...

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How We Would Represent Paper Boi from “Atlanta”

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One of this season’s hottest new shows is FX’s Atlanta. If you are unfamiliar with the show, the premise is this: Alfred Miles, a.k.a. Paper Boi, is a small-time rapper from Atlanta, trying to make it big in the music business. His cousin, Earn, is trying to represent him so they both can get paid. For the sake of publicity, they make appearances in nightclubs, on public television and in other venues. The most recent episode, simply called “The Club,” revolves around one such appearance. In that episode, Paper Boi agreed to appear at one of Atlanta’s hottest (fictional) nightclub, Primal....

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What is Georgia’s “Castle Doctrine”?

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You are sleeping in your bed in the middle of the night. All of a sudden, you hear a noise. Your heart begins to race, your hair stands on end. There is someone in your house. Do you have the right to protect yourself? If you live in Georgia, the answer is "yes." The Castle Doctrine protects homeowners when they find it necessary to protect themselves against an intruder in their home. The law is so named because people consider their homes to be their castles, and people have the right to protect those castles. Other laws, like "Do Not Retreat,"...

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Why Do Prosecutors Offer Plea Bargains?

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Many people, especially victims of crime, wonder why prosecutors offer plea bargains. In truth, plea bargains are often offered to defendants in order to keep the justice system moving along and to keep prisons from becoming overcrowded. Judges simply do not have the time to hear every case that hits their docket. Here are just a few reasons why a prosecutor will offer a plea bargain instead of taking you to court. Overcrowded Prisons Jails in every state face overcrowding, as do prisons. When jails and prisons have more inmates than they can safely handle, judges may be forced to let inmates...

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Top 5 Most Notorious White Collar Criminals

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White-collar crimes, unlike blue-collar crimes, always involve money in some way or another. The goal of a white-collar criminal is financial gain at the expense of another. Embezzlement, fraud and other schemes aim to make the criminal wealthy while the victim experiences a loss. White collar crimes occur on a daily basis, but here are five of the most notorious cases of all time. 1. Martin Frankel Most investment bankers don't rely on astrology to inform their trading decisions. When this happens, you have issues on your hands. Martin Frankel used astrology to decide when to trade, eventually defrauding people of more...

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Atlanta Facing Escalated Rates of Guns Stolen from Cars

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According to Atlanta law enforcement officials, the city is experiencing a surge in vehicle break-ins. National reporting has found that the city is in the lead when it comes to firearms stolen out of vehicles. Over the last several weeks, there have been a total of 120 vehicles broken into during what officers are calling two separate sprees. In many of the incidents, there have been valuables left behind in cars. This is leading police to believe that the thieves are looking for specific items: Weapons. Out of the 120 vehicles, there were 15 firearms stolen. To date, there have been...

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How to Help Hurricane Victims in GA and Beyond

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Hurricane Matthew tore its way through Southern Georgia late last week, leaving disaster and turmoil in its wake. Residents continue to face challenges that a storm such as Matthew can bring. Power outages and flooding have changed the lives of Georgia residents, even if temporarily. Unfortunately, Matthew did claim four lives in Georgia. As people are able to assess damage, it is clear that some relief is needed. If you are interested in helping victims in Georgia, here are several options. American Red Cross The Red Cross set up 18 shelters in Georgia providing temporary housing to more than 2,000 people. The...

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What Constitutes Arson

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Most people know that arson involves fire, but many don’t know exactly what constitutes arson. There are many types of crimes that fall under the “arson” umbrella. These include setting fire to your own property with the intent to commit fraud. In most cases, arson is a felony due to its serious nature and the risk of injury or death. Degrees of Arson There are different degrees of arson. The manner in which a person is charged depends on several factors, including whether or not the structure was occupied and whether fraud was the intent. Lesser degrees of arson may be subject...

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