William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

Lowndes County Law Blog

How long can marijuana be detected in your system?

Marijuana is a fairly short-term drug. It is only going to decrease your ability to drive for about three hours, which may not even be as long as a night of drinking alcohol would. Typically, experts agree that the effects wear off in an hour or two. In some specific cases, minor effects can linger for a day, but it's not as if you are experiencing the full impact of the drug for 24 hours.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that no one can find out you used marijuana after one to three hours, however. Even if the effects wear off, it can still show up in your system.

Passing in a no passing zone can be dangerous - and deadly

Just a few weeks ago, a woman was killed in Tifton when a driver going the opposite direction attempted to pass a truck in a no passing zone. The driver was reportedly driving at a high rate of speed prior to the crash. She was taken to a medical center where she was treated for minor injuries and released.

Incidents like this remind us of the dangers of passing other vehicles. The danger increases considerably when passing other drivers in an area that has been deemed unsafe for passing – a no passing zone.

5 excuses people use for texting and driving

Everyone knows that texting and driving is dangerous. It's no secret. They tell young drivers during their training courses, they've made commercials and internet ads, and extensive research shows the risk time and time again.

People do it anyway. This leads to many avoidable accidents each and every year, and these accidents often result in injury and death. To better understand why this happens, here are a few of the most common excuses people give for why they take the risk:

  1. They're good at texting and driving: They claim they have enough experience to do it safety. Many say that multitasking comes easy to them.
  2. The text was urgent: They simply could not wait until they arrived at their destination. Of course, these "urgent" matters often feel very trivial after a car accident.
  3. They were sitting at a red light: These drivers think that it's all right to be distracted if they have their foot on the brakes.
  4. They can text without glancing down at the phone: They think keeping their eyes on the road is enough, even though texting is still mentally distracting and takes one hand off of the steering wheel.
  5. There was no other traffic at the time: They assume it is fine to text because they're only putting themselves in danger. Of course, when another car "comes out of nowhere" you have to wonder if they would have seen it if they hadn't been texting.

2 laws Georgia drivers often forget

You can commit traffic violations and get tickets even if you did not know you were breaking the law.

For instance, did you know that Georgia has a law requiring anyone who is driving in an interstate's left lane to move to the right if a car going even faster comes up behind them? This is to prevent rear-end accidents, traffic congestion, road rage and passing on the right.

How does an uncontested divorce work?

An uncontested divorce is simply a case in which both parents work together to resolve their legal issues. They generally agree on major topics like child support payments, child custody schedules, parenting plans and the division of assets.

That does not mean both people are happy about the divorce. This type of case still starts with one person legally filing divorce paperwork. The other person may have wanted the marriage to continue and may feel frustrated and hurt to see it end.

GA inmates continue to fight for solitary confinement reform

Serving a sentence in solitary confinement

Isolated and alone, solitary confinement is all some inmates have known. This is the story of Timothy Gumm, a Plaintiff in an ongoing lawsuit against the Georgia Diagnostic Classification Prison. According to his lawyer, Gumm was held in solitary confinement for seven years, even after the charges that landed him in the hole were dropped years later.

Teacher dies in accident on the way to school

A teacher in Georgia was tragically killed in a car accident while she was apparently driving to work. The crash also involved a local detention officer, who was injured in the wreck. That deputy wound up in the hospital.

The crash happened in Paulding County, on Tuesday, May 15. The school was only a few miles away from the accident site.

Children often fight over land and real estate property

Dividing your assets between your children seems simple at first. You have three kids and $150,000 in the bank. You give them all $50,000. You have another $90,000 in investments, and you send $30,000 to each. You can divide your retirement savings, life insurance and other financial assets equally, helping to prevent any fights and disagreements after you pass away.

Unfortunately, dividing your real estate may not be so easy. Should you pass your home on to the kids, giving them all one third of the ownership? What about open land, vacation homes and other properties that you own?

Is your child facing DUI charges?

It's a call you never thought you would get: Your son or daughter was arrested on DUI charges. Your child is only 17 years old, and you never thought he or she had consumed alcohol at all. But now it appears that your child was intoxicated behind the wheel.

It's more common than many parents realize. For instance, here are a few important facts:

  • On average, a girl has her first alcoholic drink when she is 13 years old. For boys, it's even younger, with the average coming in at 11 years old.
  • When high school seniors were asked if they had ever consumed enough alcohol to be drunk -- going past just having one drink -- more than 50 percent said they had.
  • Reports show that 11,318 teens have their first drink, every single day.
  • Underage drinking is so common that around 3 million teenagers actually qualify as alcoholics.
  • If a child starts drinking before he or she is 15 years old, that person is four times as likely to face alcohol addiction and dependency. This is compared to those who put off drinking until the legal age of 21.
  • Statistics show that most people in the United States participate in the heaviest drinking of their lives in their early twenties and their teens. After that, the amount of alcohol use actually starts dropping again.

What closing costs do you need to pay?

Closing costs sometimes take new home buyers by surprise. They assume they'll need to pay the down payment and make their monthly payments, and that's it. However, though the exact amount that needs to be paid varies with every transaction, buyers can also face significant additional costs at closing.

To help you better understand what you will need to pay and why, here are a few examples:

  • Paying for the credit check. Your lender has to check one last time to see if you will qualify for the loan.
  • Paying the escrow fees. Many times, buyers and sellers will divide these costs in half, but that still means you have to pay 50 percent.
  • Paying for title insurance. Without this, some lenders may not be willing to give you the loan.
  • Paying a fee for document preparation. If you have never bought a home before, you may be very surprised by the sheer amount of paperwork that is included. You'll have to go through it when you close, signing on the dotted line time and time again.
  • Paying additional miscellaneous fees. The costs can vary significantly here. For instance, perhaps a courier had to be paid for bringing your paperwork to the office. Perhaps the wire transfer of your money cost a fee. In many cases, you will be on the hook for a few hundred extra dollars to cover all of these little costs.