Author Archives: admin

  • -

Arrested in Gwinnett County for Marijuana Possession

graphic_police

 

 

Being arrested can be a frightening experience, especially the first time.  For many people young and old, their first encounter with going to jail comes following an arrest for possession of marijuana (referred to in Georgia as a Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act or VGCSA).  Individuals arrested in Gwinnett County generally will end up at the Gwinnett County Detention Center located off GA 316 at 2900 University Parkway in Lawrenceville, Georgia.  A list of active inmates at the jail can be found by clicking here.  The phone number of the jail is (770) 619-6500.

Despite laws around the country legalizing the use of marijuana under varying circumstances, the use of marijuana remains illegal in most situations in Georgia.  House Bill 1 was passed by the 2015-2016 Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal.  This law allows for very limited use of cannabis oil by individuals suffering from very serious medical conditions.  Other than those exceptions, the use of marijuana for recreational purposes remains outlawed.

So, you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of marijuana in Gwinnett County and want to know what happens next.  For county cases, you will likely be required to appear first in the Gwinnett County Recorders Court.  It is possible the case will be heard in the Gwinnett County State Court, or the Gwinnett County Superior Court for felony charges.

The Hernan Law Firm can assist you in identifying whether or not you have defenses to the charge.  For example: (i) you were not actually in possession of marijuana, (ii) the substance was not properly handled or tested, or (iii) the search that resulted in the discovery of the marijuana was illegal.  The weakness or strength of the evidence plays a key role in the negotiation of the case with the prosecutor.  During a free consultation with Jamie Hernan of the Hernan Law Firm, you or your loved one can discuss the many options and potential outcomes for your case.

Pre-Trial Diversion

For many first time offenders, a pre-trial diversion program may be an option.  With a pre-trial diversion program, individuals are given certain conditions to meet in exchange for a dismissal of the charge and restriction of their criminal history (formerly referred to as expungement in Georgia and discussed in more detail below).

Conditional Discharge by Statute

If you or your loved one has been previously convicted of an offense or completed a diversion program, the pre-trial diversion program will likely not be an option; however, you or your loved one may be eligible for a statutory program based on Georgia Code section 16-13-2.  That provision of the law allows a court, in its discretion, to conditionally discharge drug offenses or nonviolent property offenses that are related to an individual’s addiction to a controlled substance or alcohol. A conditional discharge under this provision generally involves a plea of guilty which is withheld by the judge while the individual meets the condition of their sentence.  If they successfully complete the terms of the sentence, the case is discharged without adjudication of guilt.  Please note that a conditional discharge may have serious immigration consequences even if the case is ultimately discharged.

Georgia’s First Offender Statute

If a pre-trial diversion program or a plea pursuant to OCGA 16-13-2 are not options, Georgia’s first offender statute may be considered.  Normally, this statute is used by individuals charged with a felony; however, it may be used on certain misdemeanors including drug offenses.  Georgia Code section 42-8-62 allows for the discharge without adjudication of guilt of a felony charge (or misdemeanor) for individuals who have never before been convicted of a felony.  Judges have the discretion to grant first offender status or deny it.  Many judges will discourage the use of the first offender statute on a misdemeanor charge because once it has been used it can never be used again.

Criminal History

If you or your loved one was fingerprinted in connection with the charge of marijuana possession, the charge will immediately show up on your criminal history as an arrest; however, no disposition will be posted until the case is resolved.  If you were given a citation but not arrested, the charge will not appear on your criminal history until you are convicted or otherwise required to get fingerprinted in connection with the case.  If the case is dismissed and you or your loved one is eligible for record restriction, the process is supposed to occur automatically and the law requires the prosecuting agency to submit evidence of the eligibility for record restriction to the Georgia Crime Information Center that oversees criminal histories in Georgia.

 

Call The Hernan Law Firm right now at (678) 275-4000 if you or a loved one were arrested for possession of marijuana in Gwinnett County, or anywhere in Georgia.

We look forward to serving you and delivering justice in your case.  

 

Important Disclaimer: The information provided in this message was based on information available at the time of its posting and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed at any later time.  Nothing contained herein should be considered by you to be specific legal advice.  For advice regarding your specific case, please contact the Hernan Law Firm at (678) 275-4000.  No attorney-client privilege is created by the posting of this message or your use of this website.  In order to engage the services of the Hernan Law Firm, a written engagement agreement must be signed by both you and Jamie B. Hernan.

  • -

The Hernan Law Firm to open second office in Lawrenceville in Summer 2015

In order to expand its service offerings and accessibility to clients throughout Metro Atlanta, the Hernan Law Firm will be opening a second office in Lawrenceville in Summer 2015.  Please call our office at (678) 275-4000 for more information, and please check back at our website for announcements of the official opening date.  The Roswell office will remain open and will serve as the firm’s main office with the Lawrenceville office serving as a satellite office for the convenience of our clients.


  • -

President Obama to make announcement on executive action on immigration on Thursday, November 20 2014 at 8:00pm

The President has indicated that he will make a long awaited announcement on his plan to address the broken immigration system on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:00pm.  Information about the plan will be posted upon its release at www.hernanfirm.com and www.deferredactionplan.com.


  • -

Arrested for Shoplifting in Roswell Municipal Court

Being arrested for shoplifting can be a frightening experience. A theft charge on an arrest record and a related conviction can have devastating effects on an individual’s ability to seek or maintain employment and pass background screenings. Understanding that, certain courts in Georgia have diversion programs designed to allow first time offenders to have their case dismissed if they meet certain requirements (such as attending a class, performing community service and paying a program fee).

City of Roswell Municipal Court

The City of Roswell has a pre-trial diversion program for first time shoplifting offenders. If an individual has a clean record (no prior convictions), and has not taken advantage of a pre-trial diversion program in the past, with the assistance of an attorney the individual may be eligible for the pre-trial program. As part of the program, the individual will sign a form outlining the terms of the program and meet with a probation officer who will supervise their progress (the individual is not on probation but rather just supervised by the probation office).  As part of Roswell’s pre-trial diversion program, the individual charged with shoplifting will not go before the judge unless they are kicked out of the program for failing to successfully complete the requirements.  Roswell requires participants to attend a class, perform community service and pay a program fee.  Their case is generally reset for approximately twelve to sixteen weeks in order to allow them time to complete the requirements.  As long as they successfully complete the requirements, the case will be dismissed. If the individual does not successfully complete the requirements in the time provided, the case will generally be placed back on the court’s calendar for continued prosecution.

Jamie Hernan, of the Hernan Law Firm, has been successfully representing individuals in the City of Roswell Municipal Court for over a decade and can help those facing charges in the court (whether or not it is for their first offense). For a free consultation about a charge of shoplifting in the City of Roswell Municipal Court, or any other charge, call the Hernan Law Firm at (678) 275-4000.

More information about the law regarding shoplifting in Georgia

Georgia Code section 16-8-14 sets forth the elements of the offense of shoplifting and outlines certain requirements upon conviction. The offense of theft by shoplifting can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the amount that the individual is accused of stealing and the number of times they have been convicted of shoplifting. If the amount alleged to have been taken exceeds Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), the case will proceed (at least initially) as a felony. Cases involving amounts less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) will be treated as a misdemeanor. The fourth and subsequent convictions for shoplifting (whether or not the previous convictions were felonies or misdemeanors) will be treated as a felony.

The Georgia Code (Official Code of Georgia Annotated) can be accessed at http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/.


  • -

Arrested for Shoplifting in Milton Municipal Court – Georgia

Being arrested for shoplifting can be a frightening experience. A theft charge on an arrest record and a related conviction can have devastating effects on an individual’s ability to seek or maintain employment and pass background screenings. Understanding that, certain courts in Georgia have diversion programs designed to allow first time offenders to have their case dismissed if they meet certain requirements (such as attending a class, performing community service and paying a program fee).

City of Milton Municipal Court

The City of Milton has a diversion program called a Hold & Clear program. If an individual has a clean record (no prior convictions), and has not taken advantage of a pre-trial diversion program in the past, with the assistance of an attorney the individual may be eligible for the Hold & Clear program. As part of the program, the individual will go before the judge and enter a plea of guilty; however, the judge will hold the guilty plea and provide a set of requirements (which will have been previously negotiated with the prosecutor) for the individual to complete. As long as they successfully complete the requirements, the case will be dismissed. If the individual does not successfully complete the requirements in the time provided, the guilty plea will be entered and the conviction will be reported to the state and posted to the individual’s criminal history.

Jamie Hernan, of the Hernan Law Firm, has been successfully representing individuals in the City of Milton Municipal Court since the court was formed at the inception of the city in 2006 and can help those facing charges in the court (whether or not it is for their first offense). For a free consultation about a charge of shoplifting in the City of Milton Municipal Court, or any other charge, call the Hernan Law Firm at (678) 275-4000.

More information about the law regarding shoplifting in Georgia

Georgia Code section 16-8-14 sets forth the elements of the offense of shoplifting and outlines certain requirements upon conviction. The offense of theft by shoplifting can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the amount that the individual is accused of stealing and the number of times they have been convicted of shoplifting. If the amount alleged to have been taken exceeds Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), the case will proceed (at least initially) as a felony. Cases involving amounts less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) will be treated as a misdemeanor. The fourth and subsequent convictions for shoplifting (whether or not the previous convictions were felonies or misdemeanors) will be treated as a felony.

The Georgia Code (Official Code of Georgia Annotated) can be accessed at http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/.


  • -

Arrested for Shoplifting in Alpharetta Municipal Court – Georgia

Being arrested for shoplifting can be a frightening experience.  A theft charge on an arrest record and a related conviction can have devastating effects on an individual’s ability to seek or maintain employment and pass background screenings.  Understanding that, certain courts in Georgia have diversion programs designed to allow first time offenders to have their case dismissed if they meet certain requirements (such as attending a class, performing community service and paying a program fee).

City of Alpharetta Municipal Court

The City of Alpharetta has a diversion program called a Hold & Clear program.  If an individual has a clean record (no prior convictions), and has not taken advantage of a pre-trial diversion program in the past, with the assistance of an attorney the individual may be eligible for the Hold & Clear program.  As part of the program, the individual will go before the judge and enter a plea of guilty; however, the judge will hold the guilty plea and provide a set of requirements (which will have been previously negotiated with the prosecutor) for the individual to complete.  As long as they successfully complete the requirements, the case will be dismissed.  If the individual does not successfully complete the requirements in the time provided, the guilty plea will be entered and the conviction will be reported to the state and posted to the individual’s criminal history.

Jamie Hernan, of the Hernan Law Firm, has been successfully representing individuals in the City of Alpharetta Municipal Court for over a decade and can help those facing charges in the court (whether or not it is for their first offense).  For a free consultation about a charge of shoplifting in the City of Alpharetta Municipal Court, or any other charge, call the Hernan Law Firm at (678) 275-4000.

More information about the law regarding shoplifting in Georgia

Georgia Code section 16-8-14 sets forth the elements of the offense of shoplifting and outlines certain requirements upon conviction.  The offense of theft by shoplifting can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the amount that the individual is accused of stealing and the number of times they have been convicted of shoplifting.  If the amount alleged to have been taken exceeds Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), the case will proceed (at least initially) as a felony.  Cases involving amounts less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) will be treated as a misdemeanor.  The fourth and subsequent convictions for shoplifting (whether or not the previous convictions were felonies or misdemeanors) will be treated as a felony.

The Georgia Code (Official Code of Georgia Annotated) can be accessed without charge by clicking here.


  • -

Injured in a Car Accident in Roswell, Alpharetta or Milton

Were you or a loved one injured in an automobile accident in Roswell, Alpharetta, or Milton or the surrounding areas?  Immediately following an accident, it can be difficult to focus and determine what to do next.

Additional Resources available from the Hernan Law Firm for victims of auto accidents (coming soon):

  • What to do at the scene of the accident?
  • To Go or Not To Go (Treatment at the Emergency Room Following an Accident)
  • Information to Gather from the At Fault Driver
  • Demonstrative Evidence (Pictures, videos and more)
  • Don’t Forget the Witnesses
  • Gaps in Medical Treatment
  • Obtaining Copies of Medical Records

For loved ones, sometimes it can involve a frantic search to locate the hospital or other medical facility where a family member or friend was taken.  The following list includes some of the area hospital where individuals may be taken following an accident in Roswell, an accident in Alpharetta or an accident in Milton or the surrounding areas.  Note that Grady Memorial Hospital is the closest Level I trauma center and North Fulton Hospital is rated as a Level II trauma center (as is Children’s Healthcare in the pediatric field).  Click here for more information on trauma center designations.

Hospitals Serving Accident Victims in Roswell, Alpharetta and Milton

North Fulton Hospital
3000 Hospital Boulevard
Roswell, Georgia 30075
Level II Trauma Center
Telephone: (770) 751-2500
Emergency Room: (770) 751-2555
 
Northside Hospital – Atlanta
1000 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
Telephone: (404) 851-8000
 
St. Joseph’s Hospital
5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30342
Telephone: (678) 843-7001
Maps and Directions
 
Grady Memorial Hospital
80 Jesse Hill Jr Dr SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Telephone: (404) 616-1000
Level I Trauma Center – (More on Level I Trauma Centers)
 
PEDIATRIC
 
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Scottish Rite
1001 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342-1605
Telephone: (404) 785-5252
 

The following list includes some of the area chiropractors.  For more information on chiropractic care, please click here.

Chiropractors in Roswell, Alpharetta and Milton

Sweet Apple Health Group
11040 Crabapple Road, Suite B
Roswell, Georgia 30075
Telephone: (770) 645-9595
 
Absolute Chiropractic & Wellness
45 W Crossville Rd #503
Roswell, GA 30075
Telephone: (770) 587-2616
 
The following list includes some of the area orthopaedic doctors.

Orthopaedic Facilities in Roswell, Alpharetta and Milton

Resurgens Orthopaedics
1285 Hembree Road, Suite 200-A
Roswell, GA 30076
Telephone: (770) 475-2710
 
 
* Note: The information contained in this post is provided as a public service and neither constitutes legal advice nor an endorsement of or by any of the providers listed on this page.

  • 0

Approvals come through for Deferred Action petitions

USCIS has finally begun to issue approvals of the deferred action petitions filed beginning in August 2012, including for many clients of the Hernan Law Firm.  Early applicants have been receiving approval notices over the last month or two, as well as their employment authorization cards.

For more information about the deferred action for childhood arrivals process, please call the Hernan Law Firm today at (678) 275-4000 for a free, no obligation consultation.  Also, feel free to use the Make an Appointment link above to set up a consultation with attorney Jamie Hernan.  Also, visit www.hernanfirm.com/immigration or http://www.deferredactionplan.com/.


  • 0

USCIS announces final rule to allow for provisional waiver process supporting family unity

On January 2, 2013, USCIS announced the long awaited posting of the final rules for the provisional waiver process, a sensible solution to a component of immigration law that caused families to be separated during the petition process for immediate relatives (spouses, parents and children) who had entered the United States without inspection. Because of the beneficiary’s status and method of entry into the United States, the former process would require that they leave the country and apply for a waiver of their inadmissibility caused by such status. That could result in immediate relatives being separated from their families for extremely long periods of time, even as much as ten years. Under the process proposed early in 2012 and outlined with today’s announcement, the immediate relative will be able to apply for that waiver of inadmissibility while in the United States. While they still must depart the United States to obtain their visa through a consular process, if approved for the provisional waiver they would depart the country with the comfort and knowledge that they will be granted reentry promptly.

To be approved for a provisional waiver, the applicant must show that their immediate relative will suffer extreme hardship if they are not allowed to reenter the United States.

In other words, an individual who was previously unable to petition for their spouse, parent or child out of fear that their loved one would be forced to be out of the country for an extended period of time may now apply for a waiver of the bar to reentering the United States as part of the petition process. Once the beneficiary has an approved provisional waiver, they will be able to depart the United States knowing that the United States government has waived their inadmissibilty based on their method of entry into the United States.

It is important to note that this process not only makes sense for the important purpose of maintaining family unity, it will also likely be much less expensive for USCIS and the State Department to be able to have the waiver process handled from within the United States rather than at consular outposts around the world. Further, the final rules state that any increase in processing costs will be offset by fees charged to applicants.

Applicants will be required to file a new form (I-601A) to seek the provisional waiver. The process will be effective March 4, 2013.

For more information about the provisional waiver process, call the Hernan Law Firm at (678) 275-4000 for a free, no obligation consultation, or visit www.hernanfirm.com/immigration.


  • 0

Bond set at $1,000,000 for George Zimmerman

The judge in the George Zimmerman case, Seminole County, Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr., ordered George Zimmerman’s bond to be set at $1,000,000 with additional conditions including electronic monitoring, restrictions on leaving Seminole County, Florida without permission, check ins required every forty eight hours, curfew between 6:00pm and 6:00am, as well as requirements that he not enter the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, open or maintain a bank account, or apply for or obtain a passport. According to the judge’s order, the “increased bail is not a punishment; it is meant to allay [the] Court’s concern that [George Zimmerman] intended to flee the jurisdiction and a lesser amount would not ensure his presence in court.”

A bond is set in a criminal matter in an amount reasonably determined by the judge to be sufficient to deter the Defendant from absconding and failing to return to Court. If a criminal Defendant bonds out of jail and subsequently fails to appear in Court, in most circumstances the judge can order that the bond be forfeited. Courts reason that if bonds are too low on serious charges, a criminal Defendant could decide that they would rather forfeit the money paid for the bond rather than return to the Court.

Zimmerman’s bond was increased after initially being set at $150,000 and subsequently revoked after the State of Florida sought revocation of the bond based on the allegation that the Defendant had presented false testimony at the initial bond hearing. In the latest bond order, Judge Lester, Jr. stated that the Defendant “has flaunted the system” and that a higher bond was appropriate in this case. The eight page bond order outlines in extensive detail the analysis followed by the Court in determining the bond amount. The Court considered the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the weight of the evidence against the Defendant, the Defendant’s ties to the community, employment history, financial resources and mental condition, the Defendant’s past and present conduct, whether the Defendant is a danger to the community, the source of funds to post bail, the probability that the Defendant would pose a threat to the victim’s family (noting that the Court found no evidence that the Defendant would pose any threat), whether the Defendant had committed a new crime while on pre-trial release, and the ability of the Defendant to pay the bail (noting that “setting an excessive bail is the functional equivalent of setting no bail at all.”


To set up a free consultation, call (678) 275-4000 or click this button.