Summer Crime in Atlanta – Don't let fun Turn Into Misfortune
June 29, 2013
Well we are definitely in the heart of festival and concert season in Atlanta. From Braves games, to beer fests, to neighborhood events like the Inman Park festival, Sweetwater 420 Fest, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Highlands Summerfest, the 4th of July, and many others, spring and summer in Atlanta means hundreds of opportunities to celebrate good times with family and friends. It also means hundreds of opportunities to get in trouble.
No one ever plans on being in a situation where they face being arrested. But let's be realistic. Alcohol, drugs, sunshine, loud music, and general vacation revelry put police especially on edge and make them ever vigilant and on the lookout for situations that get out of hand.
Among the most common offenses that people get arrested for during these times include,
- possession of marijuana and other drugs
- DUI and other traffic violations
- Public Drunkenness
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Shoplifting and other theft crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Simple battery
- Criminal Trespass
- Disorder Conduct
- Obstruction of a law enforcement officer
A few of these offenses are especially open to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. I talk to people every week who have had a loved one arrested for battery and/or domestic violence, or disorderly conduct and obstruction of a law enforcement officer when the only purpose for the 911 call was to calm or quiet a volatile situation that may have been getting out of hand. I talk to many people who were acting as the responsible designated driver for their group of friends and yet still found themselves arrested for DUI.
There are numerous other offenses. Many of these are misdemeanors, requiring you to appear in municipal and traffic courts. These are still very serious offenses that could have very severe consequences. Depending on the severity of these offenses, however, some of them can rise to the level of being considered a felony. This will create a host of other problems. Either way you face possible drivers license suspensions, jail time, probation, fines, loss of the right to own a firearm, banishment from certain locations, deportation (if you are not a United States citizen), and permanent criminal records.
If you get arrested, or if you are reading this and you are currently facing charges, but you have never before been in trouble, there are many alternatives in most jurisdictions to resolve your case other than a plea deal or trial. I represent a lot of first time offenders and have had considerable success in guiding them through the process and helping them take advantage of pretrial intervention and diversion programs (if available), and making sure the rest of their lives are not negatively affected. Even if a pretrial intervention and diversion program is not available to you, Georgia has the drug first offender conditional discharge statute and the non-drug crime first offender statute that you may take advantage of.
If you do not live around here, in many cases that is not a problem. I have many non-resident clients. I represent people visiting the Atlanta and surrounding area for vacation, work, or just fun, and i represent people just passing through. My main goal is these cases to help you resolve your case without the need for you make a return trip. Unless you just want to.
Atlanta in the spring and summer is definitely the place to be. But you need to be careful. Fun can quickly turn into misfortune. If this happens to you, call me right away. 678-561-0411. We'll talk about how i can help you.