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Can I Get Off Probation Early?

hooded man checking in with parole officer

If you are convicted of a crime, one of the best things you can hope for, aside from being given no time at all, is to be sentenced to probation. Essentially, probation is a prison (or jail) sentence that you serve within the community. In other words, you get to stay home. Once you learn about all the conditions that surround your being placed on probation, the punishment can seem restrictive, to say the least. Keep in mind, however, that you are far less restricted than you would be if you were sentenced to time behind bars. Typically, a person will...

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What Happens If I Miss Jury Duty?

Seats of the jury box in a courtroom

If you have received a jury summons in the mail and been tempted to rip it up, throw it in the garbage or otherwise ignore it, you aren't alone. Jury duty means time off of work and a general upheaval to your schedule. Yes, it's your civic duty, but no one said you had to be happy about it. Before you take the lid off the trash can and toss it in, know that your jury summons is a legal order. People have a misconception that they can't get in trouble for ignoring the notice. The truth is that you could...

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Can Police Access Your DNA You Send to Ancestry Services?

Genetic engineering and gene manipulation concept

Millions of people have jumped on the ancestry bandwagon, so-to-speak. Most people are interested in learning more about where they come from, but now millions are getting the answers thanks to companies like Ancestry.com and 23andMe. Spit in a tube, send it off in the mail and you will find out where your ancestors called home. For many people, the act of spitting in a tube and sending off their DNA to a lab is a somewhat thoughtless process. We just do it. What people need to know, however, is that the DNA you provide could well end up in...

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Spit Test May Indicate Concussion Recovery

Boys in football uniforms

Researchers have discovered that a bit of spit could indicate whether or not a child's concussion symptoms will persist for only days or weeks. The test measures genetic material in the saliva and was close to 90 percent accurate in determining whether or not a concussion would subside quickly. At 90 percent, the new test beats what doctors have commonly used, which is only 70 percent accurate. Currently, doctors utilize a concussion survey. The new test is currently in its experimental states, but if it proves to be reliable, it could give pediatricians a new way to assess concussions in children. According...

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Victim Breaks Silence After Drug-Related Crash

Empty bed in busy hospital corridor, blurred figures with medical uniform working

A child survived an accident in the spring of last year and he is breaking his silence, talking to reporters in Atlanta about the crash that took the life of one of his friends. According to the child, he was walking to the store when he was approached by two friends. One was 11 and the other 9. The friends were brothers. The pair asked if they could accompany the boy to the store and did so. It was at just about the time the trio was having the conversation that a man had driven to his heroin dealer. He got high in...

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Do DUI Convictions Carry from State to State?

Driving Under the Influence. Male hand with bottle of beer

Being arrested for driving under the influence is certainly stressful. This is true no matter the number of times you've been arrested for that offense before, but it is especially true when it is your first offense. You don't know what to expect, and you may not know what comes next. Only adding to that stress if wondering if your conviction will carry over into different states. For example, if you are traveling for work or pleasure and are arrested for driving under the influence in your host state, you will eventually return home. You will have to answer for your...

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New Study Shows Racial Disparity in Sentencing Times

Close up of a prisoner hand's fettered with handcuffs

A new study released by the United States Sentencing Commission shows that African-American men are sentenced to more time when convicted of the same crimes committed by white men. An African-American man will spend, on average, 20 percent longer in prison than a white man, even if the crimes were identical. The study was controlled with a variety of factors, including citizenship, weapon possession, age, education and prior criminal history. The disparity in sentencing is not new. For example: Between 1998 and 2003, African-American men were sentenced to time with a difference of 11.2 percent Between 2007 and 2011, that percentage increased to...

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MARTA Officer Injured in Crash

Policeman and police motorcycle behind cordon tape at an accident or crime scene

A driver failed to yield at an intersection in the mid-afternoon on Friday, striking an off-duty Marta police officer. The accident occurred at the intersection of Thompson Drive and Fairburn Road at about 3:30 p.m. According to reports from Atlanta Police, the off-duty officer was leading a funeral procession on a motorcycle at the time of the accident. It was unknown why the man failed to yield at the intersection, but he was not cooperative with police when they arrived. It was also reported that the driver of the vehicle got into a fight with several witnesses. Due to the combative nature...

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Is It Actually Illegal to Give a Fake Name to the Cops?

man under arrest, in handcuffs

If you have been pulled over by the police and been tempted to tell them you were someone else, you aren't alone. Many of us have given thought at one time or another to giving a fake name or point our finger in someone else's direction. You may even hold on to the mistaken belief that giving the police a name that isn't your own will keep you out of trouble. The truth is, it could backfire. Officers are trained in the fine art of lie detection. Not only are most officers able to determine when someone may be providing them...

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Interstate Proves Dangerous for Pedestrians

Atlanta Georgia at night

In just five hours’ time, two people lost their lives while walking on a local interstate. Both accidents occurred on Wednesday. The first at approximately 6:30 p.m. and the second sometime around midnight. According to reports, a man was walking down the interstate at about 6:30 p.m. when he was struck by a motorist. That person lost his life as a result of the accident. Interstate 20 was closed for at least two hours as officials worked to determine the cause of the accident. The victim, a male in his 40s, was crossing the interstate for unknown reasons. The van that...

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