November 2013

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Criminal Procedure: What is going on?


How do I get a copy of my preliminary hearing “court recording” ? Can I have these charges lessened , expunged or sealed?: I was accused, arrested and convicted of Simple Battery, “Habitual offender” In the Court room at the Bond hearing my Ex-Husband told the judge as well as my witnesses that I didn’t hit him. They were then told that since I was arrested as a habitual offender for simple battery that it was to late to withdraw the charge.
Also charged with “Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute” Name and quantity of controlled substance is not listed on the record I have obtained from my local Police Department.”

Andrew’s answer: “Convictions do not take place at the preliminary hearing level. The process, simply described, is you are arrested, a judge may consider whether there is probable cause supporting the warrant at a preliminary hearing, if so, the case will move to the prosecutor’s office, who then will formally file an accusation or pursue an indictment with your county’s grand jury, which is your notice the charges will not be dropped and the State is seeking a condition, after this point you may be convicted at trial or enter a plea of guilty or no contest to the charges in court.”

How can a warrant be issued for a person that was never ticketed, never questioned or seen by the police.


Friends Asks: “My friend wreck a car left the scene of an accident but was not caught by the police the passenger said he was driving. the police mailed the tickets to the passenger address although the driver don’t live there.”=

Andrew Answers: “The police only need to establish to a judge that there is probable cause someone was driving this car. There is no magic formula, only that based on what the police know a reasonable person would believe your friend was driving the car that left the scene.”

My mother was arrested 11 years ago for a DUI and possision in Gwinnett County. She got probation but never finished.


Potential Client Asks “When I look up the court case this is the last thing that is posted. 07/24/2008 – order amending sentence – defendants case expired with outstanding balance due – judge
She has changed her life and would like to move on but she is terrified about the possibility of going to jail. She can’t do normal things like cash a check or get on an airplane because she is afraid to get an Georgia ID. Would she still have to go to jail? or can she just pay her fines since it’s expired. I just need some input so that I can know what to do to help her.
Thank you”


Andrew Answers: “If the probation case is expired than the case is over. If instead the probation officer tolled, a legal word for stopped, the time your mother was completing on probation then you should hire a criminal attorney. They can address your mother situation with the probation department, judge, and Gwinnett Solicitor’s Office. A potential leal result could be simply closing your mother’s case and letting her live her life, completing what is owed on probation, to giving a jail sentence.”

Should I get an accident lawyer for my not at fault collision? The at fault driver was charged with a dui.


Injured by DUI Wreck Asks: “I was recently in a 3 car accident. My vehicle rolled 2-3 times, and rolled over another car in the process. The person that hit me was arrested for failure to yield and dui. I went to the hospital as well as the person in the car I rolled over. My injuries were not life threatening thankfully. Will this be something my insurance will be able to handle for me successfully or should I get a lawyer.I am really hoping for an expedient process as I have no vehicle to drive. I have an outstanding personal loan that I purchased my vehicle with approximately 6 months ago, along with associated expenses and accessories. Blue book will not pay it off.”

Andrew Answers: “Yes you need a lawyer. When a drunk driver causes a wreck it allows the person struck, you, to pursue damages for your medical bills, pain, property damage, and punitive damages. Because the other driver was drunk you should be seeking a policy limit resolution, as in more money than you might have expected, and generally the insurance company of the drunk driver will want to settle because juries are more willing to side with you here.”