Victory in the Courtroom! Update on the “Quitman 12” trial of Lula Smart.

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Several years after the commencement of the case(s) against the “Quitman 12″, on September 27, 2013, a  mistrial was granted in favor of our client Lula Smart. For those that don’t know what a mistrial is, it is” A courtroom trial that has been terminated prior to its normal conclusion.” In determining whether to declare a mistrial, the court must decide whether the error is so prejudicial and fundamental that expenditure of further time and expense would be wasteful, if not futile. The error against our client Lula Smart would not have given her a fair trial.

The trial for Lula Smart of the Quitman 12 (Now Quitman 11) started September 23, 2013.  It was alleged that Lula Smart and the others had illegal possession of absentee voter ballots, and interfered with voters in a Quitman, GA school board race.  The investigation was sparked by the opponents of the winner.  It is no dispute that the winners of the 2010 election did not win by “voter fraud” however, the charges were not dropped.  Chevene King, Esq.  is lead counsel, along with co-counsel, Karla Walker, Esq. and Tiffany Simmons, Esq.  Attorneys King, Walker, & Simmons did a great job in representing Lula Smart of the Quitman 12!  It is anticipated that the State will not seek to retry Lula Smart nor the remaining 10 of the Quitman 12.  

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Palin Pandemonium

 

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A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an image recently used by Sarah Palin may be worth well over a thousand dollars.

Given the number of questionable remarks Sarah Palin made over her short-lived political career, it should not come as a surprise that Ms. Palin appears to know very little about the law. To illustrate, Sarah Palin is being sued by a New Jersey newspaper publisher, North Jersey Medial Group, Inc., after posting an infamous September 11th photograph on Facebook. The image is one of three New York City firefighters hoisting an American Flag over a pile of rubble on one of the most memorable days in recent United States history. According to the lawsuit Palin’s goal in using the photo was as a self- endorsement to raise funds for SaraPac. The lawsuit, which charges Palin with copyright infringement, seeks an injunction and damages.

According to the United States Copyright Office, generally, “copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.” Both civil and criminal penalties may result from a copyright infringement conviction.  Interestingly, the State of Georgia is no stranger to copyright infringement lawsuits. In fact, in a recent lawsuit of its own, the state argued that its annotated laws are protected by copyright statues and that reposting the laws online is illegal.

Copyright laws serve to protect original thoughts and work, but navigating them can be tricky. To find out more about how you can protect yourself from being the subject of copyright infringement or if you are the target of a copyright infringement lawsuit contact the attorneys at Simmons Law, where our clients’ problems are our problems.

I failed to appear in court & I was charged with simple possession, help!!

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What should I do and what is a possible outcome for my simple possession and failure to appear? I was given a ticket for a simple possession, less than an ounce in Georgia. I, then, was unable to make the court and my license was suspended. Last week, I was arrested for driving “without” a license. I would like some advice on what will the outcome will be most likely, and if there is anything I can do prior to my court date to help myself? Thank you.

 

It is best for you to attend all court dates.  Unless you are in the hospital or a death, failure to appear typically, shows the Court that you are not taking the charge seriously and you do not respect the Courts time.  Failing to appear in court would result in a warrant issued for your arrest and your license suspended.  First, it would be best to retain an attorney in order to get the suspension lifted.  Second, you may be able to do a pretrial diversion program or first offender status for the simple possession ticket.

When facing a criminal charge time is not on your side.  If you or anyone you know is facing this charge or similar charges, contact Simmons Law now at 1-888-917-8387.  

Apollo Nida May Face Lawsuit before Real Housewives of Atlanta Airs

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Lil’ Scrappy is not the only reality television star making headlines by fighting with strangers. It has been said that Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Apollo Nida may be served with a lawsuit after getting into a brawl with Brandon DeShazer. (If you’re asking “Brandon who?” then join the millions of Americans who have been wondering the same thing.)

Allegedly, Kenya Moore and Phaedra Parks were attempting to produce yet another workout video during filming for this upcoming season. Sparks flew when Nida learned that DeShazer planned to cut Parks out of the deal so that he and Moore could create their own workout video. Witnesses claim that while filming, Nida attacked DeShazer at a party causing him to be restrained by no less than seven crew members. DeShazer responded to this alleged attack by hiring an attorney.  Nida claims self-defense.

Although this scuffle should lend itself to some interesting television on this season’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, assault and battery accusations aren’t a laughing matter. According to O.C.G.A. §16-5-23.1, a person commits battery when he or she intentionally causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another, which may include substantially blackened eyes, swollen lips or other  facial or body parts, or substantial bruises to body parts. First offenders may be convicted of misdemeanor while second offenders may face more serious penalties if convicted of this crime.

If you or someone you know may be facing criminal charges for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact Simmons Law.

Lil’ Scrappy Gets Scrappy at Georgia Gas Station

 

 

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It’s not all love for “Love & Hip Hop” star, Lil’ Scrappy. On August 27, 2013, Lil’ Scrappy, who’s legal name is Darryl Richardson, was arrested after getting into a physical altercation with Kenny Rogers, a man who allegedly disrespected his girlfriend.  An off-duty officer ended the fight and it was reported that Scrappy was very cooperative. Regarding the fight, Scrappy stated “[Rogers] was calling my girlfriend names and then he put his hands on me, so I had to lay them paws on him.” He was released a short time later. His lawyer stated that video evidence would show that Scrappy was merely acting in self-defense.

The defenses available in assault and battery cases vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the events. Generally, proving self-defense requires that the accused demonstrate (a) a threat of unlawful force or harm against them; (b) perceived, or a reasonable basis, that the accused perceived harm against them; (c) the victim did not initiate or provoke the altercation; and finally, (d) there was no reasonable chance of retreating the situation.

If you or someone you know has been charged with battery, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Simmons Law, LLC. Our attorneys are experienced in the area of criminal law and provide professional and competent legal defense with the goal of getting you the best outcome possible in your case.

What are the possible penalties for a theft by shoplifting charge?

Pursuant to Georgia shoplifting laws, a person convicted of the offense of theft by shoplifting when the property is valued at $300 or less shall be punished for a misdemeanor. In Georgia the punishment for misdemeanor may result in a fine not to exceed $1000 or confinement in jail for a total term not to exceed 12 months or both. It is in the court’s discretion whether a defendant may be offered probation and/or community service as substitutes or modifications to the misdemeanor penalty.

Will a charge of theft by shoplifting remain on my record?

If you are convicted by the court of shoplifting, there is a possibility that the charge will be placed, and therefore, remain on your record. However, an experienced defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf which might allow the charge to be expunged from your record after the successful completion of a probationary sentence providing you are a first time offender.