CAN I HAVE A GUN ON ME?

 Question: Can I have a gun in my home if my wife is a felon?  I live in Georgia. Can I have a gun in my home and on my persons when we go out if my wife is a felon?

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Answer: Yes, you can have a gun if you are not a convicted felon.  Your wife’s felony status has no bearing on your gun rights.  You may keep the gun in any area under your control or any common area. It can not be kept in any area under the sole control of your wife, nor can she handle the weapon. 

MY DAUGHTER WAS REMOVED FROM MY HOME, BUT I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!

Question: Do I or should I talk to an attorney if a report was filed with department of child services that I had attempted to rape my 16 year old daughter?  On January 8, 2014, they talked with my daughter about report. She said no it did not happen. I was told no charges issued insufficient evidence. On Thursday, January 9, 2014, police investigator came to my home with a report stating that I asked my daughter for sex and that they wanted to take polygraph. I agreed to take the test. Well today was the day of test. Police questioned me before test about me asking my daughter for sex. I told them that I didn’t, went on for two hours. They never gave me the test. Daughter still removed from home.

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Answer: Yes you should speak with an attorney immediately.  Due to criminal and family law issues, you may want to speak with a lawyer (or firm) that has knowledge of both areas of the law.  Seeking the expertise of a lawyer does not speak to your innocence or guilt, however, they will explain your options, possible defenses, and how you can work to regain custody of your daughter.  At this point it was determined that something did happen that was not in the best interest of your daughter because your daughter was removed from the home.  Simmons Law specializes in criminal defense and when a person faces a police interrogation or criminal charges we recommend that you exercise your right to an attorney.  Call us at 770-426-1957 if we can be of assistance.

CAN I PLEA UNDER FIRST OFFENDER ACT?

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Question: This is my first DUI, can I plea under the first offender act so the charge will not be on my record.

Answer: No, The First Offender Act shall not apply to any person convicted of a DUI. (OCGA 40-6-391(f)) (The First Offender Act, upon completion of certain conditions, allows for a defendant to be discharged without court adjudication of guilt)

CHARACTERISTICS OF A PROFESSIONAL

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Recently, I’ve noticed that new attorneys struggle with professionalism and I began to think about what I didn’t know in my first year of practice.  A mentor told me, “Tiffany the “real work” starts after you pass the bar.”  He gave me that pearl of wisdom a few years back, and by experience I now know it is true.  I motivate myself with this wise reminder when I’m having challenges as a young lawyer in the profession.  New lawyers will quickly learn that what people think you do is different from what you actually do.  Moreover, you will learn that what you thought about the profession is different than your current reality.  As our newest members of the bar, you may be employed or looking for employment.  Whatever the situation, now is a time to put into action what some dream of becoming since childhood. 

While figuring out what “real work” is differs by the attorney, what remains constant are the characteristics of a professional person.  A professional lawyer is ethical, diligent, hardworking, and willing to learn.   There are no quick ways to build a career except time so be patient with yourself.  Professional conduct is an important key in building a successful legal career; therefore I share with my friend, the new lawyer, a few things that I’ve learned over the years. 

My dearest friend, 

It is always good to be kind to everyone you encounter.  You never know who that person is or their story.  Early is on time.  Whether it is court, a meeting, or the office be on time.  Be prepared and willing to work.  Be an asset not a liability.  You are new! Show what you got before you ask about what you can get.  Be adaptable and willing to try.  Ask questions and pay attention to detail.  Be open to change in the legal profession.  Have reasonable expectations for where you are in the profession.  Be a confident attorney and have confidence that you can succeed. 

Be respectful to the Court, and respect the Judges decisions because people will remember your behavior.  When leaving an employer, provide a two week notice.  Each job is an opportunity to learn.  Treat others how you want to be treated.

Take care of yourself mentally, and physically.  Be patient with yourself as you find your way as an attorney.  You’ve come this far, don’t give up, and be persistent.  If you don’t know something, learn it.  Keep asking until you get your YES.  Be a self-motivated overachiever.  If you work for yourself or another, be motivated to do your best.  Professionalism is an important part of building relationships with clients and others within the legal community.  In order to have career longevity, remember that every day is a new opportunity to give, to practice, and to develop.  My friend practice at least 4 of the tips and make it a point to pass them on to another young professional that you meet.

Your friend, Tiffany

 

 

What do I do about traffic court? My license is suspended..

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Question: Can I just walk in and settle the traffic case after a failure to appear?  The court put a suspension in my license and I’m trying take of the ticket.
 
Answer: In some cases yes, you could walk in the courthouse to settle the ticket.  It is likely you would pay a fine for failure (FTA) to appear as well as the original ticket penalties.  The license suspension is probably due to the FTA.  After the FTA is lifted you will receive a notice to take to the DMV to get your license back.  Alternatively, some judges may sentence you to jail time for failing to appear before the court.  Additionally, you can hire an attorney or contact the solicitor to try to resolve the matter.
 

I’m innocent of fraud but I missed court, what is my sentence?

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Question: What is the minimum sentence for somebody convicted of fraud by document found guilty by absence?  My boyfriend was arrested and is being held for fraud by document. We can prove he is innocent on that but because he never showed up for court he is guilty by absence? What is the minimum and maximum sentence he is facing? The document was a title to an old boat that wasn’t worth much but junk.

 Answer: No he is not guilty by absence but if the he did not show up on his court date, a bench warrant for his arrest might have been issued for failure to appear.  If a judge issues a bench warrant for failure to appear that does not mean your boyfriend is found guilty. The sentence he may face varies depends on a few variables.  A lawyer can assist you with asking the judge to rescind the bench warrant, then whatever proof he may have of his innocence he should give to his lawyer.  

 

 

 

 

Caught with XANAX, HELP???

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Question: If I have a prescription for 1 mg Xanax but have 2 mg Xanax in the bottle, can I be charged with possession?  The pills were in my girlfriend’s prescription bottle. The cop threatened her to search by telling her that he was going to have DFACS take her kids if she didn’t let him.

Answer:  When the officer threatened your girlfriend to consent to search, he may have conducted an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment. The police officer has discretion over what they will charge you with depending on the circumstances.  You and/or your girlfriend may be charged with illegal possession of xanax under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30. Possession can be actual or constructive. Therefore, actual possession means you have physical control of the xanax.  Constructive possession means you have exercised control of the xanax based on the presented facts.  If you are charged with a crime it would be beneficial to seek legal counsel.