William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

Lowndes County Law Blog

Federal crime and safety task force urges caution on marijuana

The presidential Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is urging caution before making any major changes to marijuana policy. It also recommends working collaboratively with the Treasury Department to make banking easier for legal marijuana businesses.

The task force’s recommendations were due July 27, but they have yet to be made public. A portion of the upcoming report was obtained by the Associated Press.

Study shows Georgia is especially hard on drunk drivers

If you've been accused of driving while under the influence, you should know that Georgia is one of the highest-ranking states when looking at how stiff DUI penalties really are.

This news comes from a new study that looked not only at all 50 states, but also at Washington, D.C. To determine which states had the toughest laws, the study utilized 15 key metrics. These included things like mandatory alcohol assessment, impound laws, minimum penalties for a first DUI and how potential punishments and jail time changed for a subsequent DUI. The two biggest categories into which these smaller sections fell were prevention rank and criminal penalties.

The expectation of privacy can lead to gray areas in the law

The police must get a warrant to carry out an official search in an area where you have an expectation of privacy. With only a few exceptions such as if they think evidence is actively being destroyed, for example, they must have a warrant to search your home.

However, they may be able to collect evidence without a warrant, and without officially carrying out a search, if you don't have a right to privacy.

Can I get a DUI on my own property?

Many drivers have a mental image of what a DUI arrest could look like. It may entail being pulled over after swerving on a highway. Others may picture a DUI checkpoint when driving home from a party at night.

These incidents both occur on public roadways. It makes sense that the police would be working to protect public safety by monitoring potential instances of people driving under the influence. If you’re driving on private property, can the police charge you with a DUI?

Fighting a traffic ticket in Georgia

No matter how careful you are when driving, it's still possible to be pulled over by a local law enforcement officer or state trooper in Georgia. There are so many traffic laws on the books that you are bound to break one eventually, even if you didn't do so intentionally. Here are some tips for fighting a traffic ticket.

Motorcycle safety tips for riders of all experience levels

Motorcycle safety is paramount when on the roads of Valdosta. Motorcycle riders are at a disadvantage because of the size of the bikes and how drivers of bigger vehicles have trouble seeing them. That's why drivers are told to look twice, save a life, for motorcycles. Here are some safety tips for motorcycle riders of all experience levels in Georgia.

New Takata airbag recall: Additional 2.7 mln inflators affected

Owners of Ford, Mazda and Nissan vehicles will want to take special care to ensure their airbags are not recalled, or if they are, that they take all the proper steps to ensure the problem is fixed right away. Unfortunately, that may not be as easy as it should be.

The stages of life for estate planning

The notion of estate planning evokes thoughts of drafting wills to designate how family heirlooms will be distributed, and creating trusts to manage estates worth millions of dollars. Indeed, only a small segment of society (e.g. the ederly) will seek to have those questions answered, but it does not mean that other people cannot draft documents to plan for the unexpected.

In Georgia, expect an increase in DUI arrests this summer

Every summer, Georgia law enforcement agencies step up their efforts to arrest drunk and drugged drivers. It's an admirable idea; between Memorial Day and Labor Day, fatal car wrecks involving teenagers increase as much as 15 percent - and many of these accidents result from DUI. Unfortunately, the increase in arrests also means there's a higher incidence of false or wrongful arrests. And those facing charges are often unsure how to assert their rights. 

What happens if you're accused of selling marijuana in Georgia?

Georgia has made some progress in terms of marijuana policy in recent years. There is now a limited medical marijuana program which allows for the treatment of a few severe medical conditions with a very specific form of marijuana oil. Unfortunately, the form of marijuana oil permitted, oils with THC levels of less than 5 percent, may not be medically sufficient for those with intractable epilepsy or other serious conditions. Worse yet, those who make and sell marijuana extracts and concentrates face severe penalties, as do those who sell marijuana in its natural state for illegal recreational use in Georgia.

While allowing for some medical use is a step in the right direction, the current law leaves a lot of people behind. Worse yet, it criminalizes those who provide critical medicine to some very sick people. Whether you're accused of selling small amounts of smokeable marijuana for personal use or high potency marijuana oils for those with severe illnesses, you could be facing felony charges and a long time in prison if you plead guilty or get convicted by a jury.