Preliminary Hearings (‘Prelims’ for short) are typically the second time a defendant appears before a judge after his arrest. The first hearing (called a First Appearance Hearing) is for the purpose of telling the defendant what his charges are, providing information about the process and his rights, and for appointing an attorney to represent him if he can’t afford one.… read more →

Aggravated Battery versus Battery: What’s the Difference?

O.C.G.A.§16-5-24 defines Aggravated Battery as when a person maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him/her of a part of their body, rendering a part of their body useless or by seriously disfiguring the person or a part of their body.  Battery, on the other hand, is defined as when a person causes ‘substantial’ physical or visible bodily harm… read more →

Aggravated Assault versus Simple Assault

Georgia law defines which acts of violence constitute Simple Assault (which is a misdemeanor) or Aggravated Assault (which is a felony). O.C.G.A. §16-5-20 defines Simple Assault as either an attempt to commit a violent injury on another or an act which places another person in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. Trying to punch someone is a classic… read more →

When Do the Police Have to Read You Your Rights?

Over the years, I have discovered that there is a great deal of confusion regarding when the police are required to advise a person of their Miranda (or Constitutional) rights before speaking with them.  There seems to be a general belief amongst non-lawyers that before the police ever talk to you (other than during a traffic stop) they must advise… read more →
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