Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney William Head

William “Bubba” Head – Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney

Atlanta Criminal Defense Bubba HeadAtlanta attorney Bubba Head joined the Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (GACDL) in 1977, and has held “LIFE Member” status in GACDL for over twenty years. The year 1977 was also the first year he spoke at a legal seminar, a service that the DUI defense lawyer in Atlanta repeated hundreds of times over the next four decades.

Starting in the 1980s, Atlanta DUI Lawyer Bubba Head was making news stories about his criminal case victories, and was an invited speaker to various legal seminars on criminal defense and traffic ticket laws.

Building a Reputation and Career in Criminal Defense

Atlanta Criminal Lawyer Bubba Head

Charitable Work for the Cause of Justice

In 2002, the Georgia attorney was a founder and tapped to be member of original Board of Directors of the Georgia Innocence Project. The DUI lawyer Atlanta remained in this position for the first 6 years of the organization’s operations, helping to raise money and sponsoring the non-profit’s web site.

Drunk Driving Book Authorship Propelled Atlanta Lawyer to DUI Specialist

From his willingness to go to trial, the Georgia lawyer’s reputation for aggressive criminal defense later grew to statewide recognition when he moved to Atlanta GA in 1990. Shortly after that, in 1991, the Atlanta criminal defense lawyer published his first book on how to beat a DUI entitled “101 Ways to Avoid a Drunk Driving Conviction.” The book sold out, and was so popular that used copies were still selling on Amazon at exorbitant prices over a decade later.

Bubba Head 101 Ways to Avoid a Drunk Driving

Since the 1991 book, the Georgia criminal defense lawyer has authored or co-authored over a dozen bore books on DUI defense, assisting many more drunk driving lawyers in other states to become published authors. This involvement in researching and writing about DUI defense in many other states has enabled him to have a unique perspective on how to beat a DUI refusal, and how to beat a DUI in Court.

Celebrity DUI Attorney Called Upon by Press and News Media

Although only 1% of all clients, criminal lawyer Bubba Head has represented many celebrity DUI clients, from sports, television, politics and other media exposure. Plus, he is called by members of the press to comment upon ongoing criminal defense cases for which he is not the celebrity DUI lawyer or involved in any aspect of the case.

People Magazine, in 2017, called Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head the day after the celebrity DUI arrest of golf legend Tiger Woods. Because Mr. Head is nationally-known for handling sleep-driving DUI cases, the news magazine had questions both the possible defense strategies and his chances of beating a DUI with these facts. DUI defense attorney Head was quoted extensively about the highly-publicized Florida DUI arrest of Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods DUI - Kohn & Yager

 

Call a DUI Specialist for Your Best Chance to Win

No lawyer for DUI in Georgia understands the ins and outs of defense of a drunk driving case better than Mr. Head. He and his DUI lawyers (Larry Kohn and Cory Yager) have helped thousands of clients obtain favorable outcomes in their DUI cases. Now acting in an “of counsel” capacity for the DUI law firm of Kohn & Yager, he and his partners stand ready to help you receive the best possible outcome in your DUI case. Call us for a FREE lawyer consultation at 404-567-5515.

Mr. Head is also a member of:

  • The American Association for Justice
  • The American Trial Lawyers Association
  • The American Bar Association
  • The Atlanta Bar Association
  • The Cobb County Bar Association

Other distinctions Atlanta attorney Bubba Head holds include:

  • Selected to Best Lawyers in America every year since 2009
  • Selected to Super Lawyers of Georgia for 13 straight years
  • Achieved AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer-review rating system that reflects litigation skills as well as ethical standards
  • Authored The DUI Book, the standard reference tool used by DUI defense attorneys across the nation, as well as several other landmark DUI and criminal defense books
  • Featured in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the National Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly USA, and various other national publications
  • Delivered keynote speech for the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Science, distinguishing himself as the only criminal defense attorney to do so
  • Invited to speak at national and international conferences and seminars on DUI and criminal defense

No one understands the ins and outs of criminal defense better than Mr. Head. He has helped thousands of clients obtain favorable rulings in their cases, and as counsel to the attorneys of Kohn & Yager, he stands ready to help you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation, contact our firm today

Sandy Springs GA Location Criminal Attorneys  

 

Georgia Battery: What Is Simple Battery?

Georgia Criminal Lawyer Larry Kohn

When a person is arrested for a battery charge in GA, police usually don’t inform the arrestee by a police officer whether he or she is facing felony vs misdemeanor charges. Once bond is posted, and the person is released from jail, he or she often searches the Internet for criminal defense lawyers near me and calls to ask: “Is simple battery a felony or misdemeanor in Georgia?”

Their second question is “What does simple battery mean?” There is no single simple battery definition Each state outlines its criminal law legal provisions for making all criminal offenses either felony or misdemeanor crimes. Some states have infractions for traffic offenses and minor transgressions like littering, but the State of Georgia only has felonies and misdemeanors in its criminal code.

But, (in all states) misdemeanor battery entails uninvited and unauthorized CONTACT by actions of the perpetrator that include:

  1. The unjustified or unlawful touching or striking a victim, which was started or initiated by perpetrator; plus
  2. The actor must be aware that his or her actions will cause the offensive touching. This second component of the misdemeanor crime of battery (the “intent” aspect) is part of our laws so that contact with the body of another that was unforeseen or merely incidental does not constitute a crime. This is consistent with the Model Penal Code utilized across the United States for enacting criminal codes.

OGCA Simple Battery Statute [O.C.G.A. 16-5-23]

Now we address the question, “What is a simple battery charge?” The wording of the law on simple battery GA statute starts with this broad, comprehensive list of ways the crime of simple battery Georgia occurs. Other subsections of the Georgia battery law call for more serious punishment (high and aggravated misdemeanor), for certain victims and circumstances. That aspect is covered after this discussion of the basic simple battery OCGA law:

(a) A person commits the offense of simple battery when he or she either:

(1) Intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or
(2) Intentionally causes physical harm to another.

Does Simple Battery GA Require a Fight or Altercation?

No, it does not. While simple battery charges generally conjure up thoughts of a scuffle, confrontation or altercation, simple battery Georgia laws also cover situations where a medical practitioner (or other healing arts professional) goes beyond the scope of performing a surgical or therapeutic procedure and unilaterally performs another non-consensual surgery or corrective measure.

By way of example, if a plastic surgery doctor agreed to perform a face lift for a female patient, and during that surgery went further and performed rhinoplasty (a nose job), the patient could take out a criminal arrest warrant for battery.

Even if the reduction of her nose size was done for free, and may be pleasing or desirable to some people, the patient may have liked her nose as it was. Another possible reason for not authorizing the rhinoplasty might be that she did not want her friends to see the dramatic change in her facial appearance and then know for certain that she has undergone facial surgery. The nose surgery was not authorized.

How Many Georgia Battery Crimes Does Our State Have?

Many clients ask, “When is simple battery a misdemeanor?” Unlike most states, three different statutes cover Georgia battery crimes. Most other states have just two classifications of battery crimes: aggravated (felony) and battery (misdemeanor).

In Georgia, we have added simple battery, which is always a misdemeanor, but can be “high and aggravated.” Battery in Georgia can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances and who the victim may be.

So, in Georgia though, the Peach State has created three different crimes involving battery in the Official Code of Georgia (OCGA battery):

Simple battery (OCGA Simple battery, Section 16-5-23)

Battery (O.C.G.A. battery, Section 16-5-23.1)

Aggravated battery (OCGA aggravated battery, Section 16-5-24)

The crime of battery under OCGA battery statute 16-5-23.1 added this language, to help police officers distinguish the more serious offense of battery:

“causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another.”

So, the way battery occurs is like a simple battery charge in Georgia, except that the contact has been more violent and leaves visible wounds. when an individual engages in a reckless or intentional act that a reasonable person would know was unwanted contact. So long as the conduct was volitional by the perpetrator, battery can occur regardless of whether he or she had a specific intent to cause offensive contact.

Aggravated battery also happens similarly to the others but looks at the IMPACT to the victim to make these offenses a felony.

public school employee

family violence

school property

domestic violence

violence battery

sports official

Difference Between Assault and Battery

The main difference between a battery charge and an assault charge is the actual presence of contact being intentionally made with another person that was meant to harm, and the threat of harm that is usually made in an aggressive manner by words or conduct (e.g., swinging a clenched fist close to a person’s face, but not striking the other person).

Assault laws in Georgia apply to the criminal offenses of “assault” and “battery.” These two distinct criminal offenses (assault and battery) can be either misdemeanor or felony, depending on the degree (level) of violence and the harm (or the fear generated by the threat of harm or apprehension that harm is about to occur (e.g., pointing a loaded pistol at someone) from a victim’s perspective, not the perspective of the perpetrator.

In general terms, a battery is a criminal offense involving the unlawful or non consensual touching of another, usually preceded by physical acting upon a threat by touching or striking another. The crime of assault is the act of creating apprehension of such impending contact, but not actually making contact.

Self-Defense

Provocation

Necessity

Justification

Entrapment

Automatism

Consent

Diminished Responsibility

Insanity

Defense of Property

Duress

What Does Simple Battery Mean?

While most simple battery offenses are misdemeanor offenses, that is not to say that they cannot have serious repercussions. Even misdemeanor offenses remain on a person’s record.

There are also several circumstances under which Simple Battery may be treated as High and Aggravated Misdemeanor. This means that the potential penalties are higher than they would be for a regular misdemeanor.

Unlike the related charges of Battery and Aggravated Battery, typically simple battery does not result in a visible or actual physical injury. It may include behavior like grabbing an arm, using an open palm and slapping, or possibly pushing another. Such acts need not result in visible bodily injury but need to have been made by the perpetrator intentionally.

 

OCGA Aggravated Battery Statute

GA Code 16-5-24 (2017)

(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated battery when he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof.

(b) Except as provided in subsections (c) through (g) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of aggravated battery shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years.

(c)(1) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a public safety officer while the public safety officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years; provided, however, that for persons who are at least 17 years of age, a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three years shall be imposed and no portion of the mandatory minimum sentence shall be suspended, stayed, probated, deferred, or otherwise withheld by the sentencing court; provided, however, that in the court’s discretion, the court may depart from such mandatory minimum sentence when the prosecuting attorney and defendant have agreed to a sentence that is below such mandatory minimum.

(2) A person convicted under this subsection shall be punished, in addition to any term of imprisonment imposed, by a fine as provided by law which shall be at least $2,000.00. With respect to $2,000.00 of the fine imposed, after distributing the surcharges and deductions required by Chapter 21 of Title 15, Code Sections 36-15-9 and 42-8-34, and Title 47, it shall be earmarked for the Georgia State Indemnification Fund for purposes of payment of indemnification for death or disability as provided for in Part 1 of Article 5 of Chapter 9 of Title 45.

(d) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.

(e) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.

(f) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a student or teacher or other school personnel within a school safety zone as defined in Code Section 16-11-127.1 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.

(g) If the offense of aggravated battery is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years.

Other decisional law from Georgia appellate courts pertaining to the felony crime of aggravated battery GA under O.C.G.A. 16 5 23.1 and related topics:

To have serious disfigurement, the instrument causing the damage can be a fist or a shoe and need not be a deadly weapon. Baker v. State, 246 Ga. 317 (1980) (reversed on other grounds).

If a victim tries to “protect” her live-in boyfriend, by stating that no battery of the victim with clenched fists occurred in their altercation, but other eyewitnesses refute that biased testimony, the trier of fact (a jury or judge hearing the case without a jury) decides credibility issues and may ignore the victim’s testimony as not credible. Holland v. State, 239 Ga.App. 436 (1999).

Damage to an infant, as shown my numerous physical markings on the child’s body, including fractures of the baby’s ribs and a brain contusion are enough circumstantial evidence to trigger conviction of aggravated battery Georgia and impose the related felony punishments. Thompson v. State, 156 Ga.App. 1 (1980).

Criminal Attorneys Near Me for Aggravated Battery Georgia Felony Charge

 

When a person is facing up to 20 years in state prison, our attorneys in Atlanta will travel statewide. Plus, if needed, our lawyers in Atlanta can connect you to assist you to a local criminal lawyer near your local court, if you prefer to only consider representation by criminal attorneys near me.

Atlanta GA Criminal Defense Lawyers NOLO

Larry Kohn, William C. Head, and Cory Yager bring over 72 collective years of legal experience as criminal defense attorneys Atlanta. Your initial lawyer consultation with a law partner is FREE. Our Atlanta attorneys can’t do better than free.

What do you have to lose by getting FREE legal advice from a criminal law specialist with great lawyer ratings? You can search all other law firms near me, and not find any criminal defense law office with THREE published legal books authors, of national legal publications.

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Drug Paraphernalia Definition | Marijuana Possession in Georgia

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Drug Paraphernalia in Georgia

By: Cory Yager, Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney for Georgia Drug Paraphernalia Crimes

ATL GA Criminal Defense Attorney Award

What does paraphernalia mean? If 100 citizens walking down the street were asked to define paraphernalia it is likely that no one could do it very well. About half would ask, “What’s paraphernalia?” This is not a word used much by the American public. You won’t see a Jeopardy episode on TV where the final question is, “What is the meaning of paraphernalia?”

In a nutshell, a definition of drug paraphernalia would be any drug-related objects, device, tool or mechanism that is used (or can be used) to ingest drugs or contraband materials (like weed). Much like making a whiskey still is illegal, since it can be used to make non-tax paid liquor (moonshine), the Georgia legislature (and the legislative branch of every other state) has created a crime proscribing possessing drug paraphernalia.

As you will read below, just like moonshining is a creation of American culture and history, how we define paraphernalia in 2018 is completely opposite of how the legal world first came to know the word “paraphernalia.” This re-coining of this now infamous word, in conjunction with its current association with a crime involving illegal drugs, has forever sullied the common definition of the word in legal circles.

Similar to possessing illegal substances, in violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, in writing a statute to outline paraphernalia meaning, the state of Georgia has created a law that does not require the government to prove specific intent. This means that the State is not required to show that the possessor of paraphernalia had awareness that the item was a drug ingestion device.

The law on paraphernalia items creates a low level of proof for the Prosecutor to accuse or indict (if other felonies are also being charged). When an item, device, or mechanism in question has been adapted or modified to facilitate smoking, injecting or vaporing drugs, the prosecution merely needs to prove the thing to be a common appliance for use in such drug ingestion.

A stronger case for the prosecution exists when they have collected forensic evidence in the form of swabs or scrapings of residue of a contraband substance or controlled drug from the surfaces of the paraphernalia. However, such additional evidence of prior drug use is not necessary when an item (e.g., roach clip, modified soft drink can, syringe) is confiscated and is clearly an item of paraphernalia.

Paraphernalia in GA Definition

What is drug paraphernalia? In Georgia, paraphernalia is broadly defined as being any drug-related object, appliance or tool that is used (or designed to be used) for delivering, vaporizing, making or concealing illicit drugs or for taking such drugs into the human body. An example of such paraphernalia would be a bong for weed ingestion, which has marijuana residue on the surfaces of the device.

Possession of this type of object can lead to the person being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Plus, when pot is also found, this relatively minor offense of a paraphernalia charge will be added to felony or misdemeanor drug possession. When the crimes reach distribution of drugs or trafficking, an offender can spend the remainder of his or her life in prison. A majority of our law firm’s cases involving a residence search will have both a drug charge and a paraphernalia criminal offense.

Under Georgia drug laws, drug paraphernalia can be anything (made of any glass, wood, plastic, aluminum or other material) that can be used as a mechanism to ingest marijuana or other illicit drugs. Thus, if you have a Dr. Pepper can in your car, a law enforcement officer is not going to charge you with possessing paraphernalia.

But, if the Dr. Pepper can was modified to become a drug delivery tool, by poking a Phillips head screwdriver into the bottom in order for a person to smoke rock cocaine (crack), the police can charge that person with possession of drug paraphernalia. The residue on the aluminum can may easily be tested by the GBI to prove how it has been used.

Ironically, the paraphernalia dictionary definition in Black’s law dictionary has nothing to do with illegal drugs. The word pertained to a woman’s separate property or dowry. Hence, beginning in the Nixon Administration, the complete hijacking and redefinition of this archaic word, in connection to Nixon’s War on Drugs, has been forever castigated “paraphernalia” to members of the criminal underworld.

Possession of Paraphernalia: The Crime

Georgia laws about paraphernalia charges include two distinct statutes, O.C.G.A. 16-13-32 (enacted in 1978) and O.C.G.A. 16-13-32.1 (passed by the Georgia legislature in 1981), that making any sale or transaction of a “drug-related object” a criminal act, and the knowing possession of these same objects a crime. The 1981 law (Code Section 16-13-32.1) was passed to clarify the paraphernalia meaning, and to liberally expand the sweeping prohibition of possessing any paraphernalia items or products. Thus, merely having dominion or control over such items can be adequate, circumstantial evidence of a violation of the paraphernalia drug statutes.

So, a person’s physical possession of an item otherwise may be lawful (e.g., a 6-inch long piece of ¼” diameter glass pipe as found in any chemistry lab) can constitute a violation or the Georgia paraphernalia law, especially when residue from prior drug usage is proven.

Secondary questions about WHERE the paraphernalia was found (i.e., inside a car with no occupants or in an apartment with multiple tenants, on the dining room table) may provide a “lack of constructive possession” defense to a paraphernalia criminal charge.

What is paraphernalia? When someone is found possessing drug paraphernalia in Georgia, simply possessing the item or device is the crime. The police do not have to catch that individual in the act of using the drug paraphernalia. Under Georgia laws, this is a misdemeanor offense. Generally, because possessing paraphernalia is a misdemeanor charge, the type of paraphernalia does not normally influence the sentencing by a criminal court judge.

Marijuana paraphernalia is (by far) the most common drug paraphernalia confiscated by police, as part of an arrest. Next in likelihood is for cocaine ingestion, such as crack. Plus, heroin has surged in popularity and more cases of drug paraphernalia for opioids are next in popularity.

Paraphernalia drug crimes, when no significant quantity of unsmoked marijuana is also present, are treated (by the prosecutor) as minor offenses in Georgia. In motion hearings, or sentencing, our criminal lawyers sometimes use the analogy of being in a situation like a police officer finding an empty, open container of beer in the floorboard of the back seat of a vehicle being driven by an underage driver.

Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

A paraphernalia charge in Georgia needs to be handled with an eye toward either winning on a pre-trial suppression motion, or the criminal attorney finding a negotiated plea that allows the Client’s record to be cleared, after successfully finishing probation. If evidence was obtained by police illegally, fighting to have the drug paraphernalia charge dropped entirely is worth the effort and money, since these types of charges are likely to be followed by other drug charges, for this individual.

Consult a criminal defense attorney Atlanta who is highly experienced on defending drug and alcohol charges, for obtaining the best outcome in your paraphernalia case.  Being convicted of any crime associated with the possession or the use of drug paraphernalia could affect future job opportunities, including employment with the government or military. Consider hiring an experienced criminal justice attorney to try for some favorable disposition that will not be on your permanent criminal record. This can include PTI (pre-trial intervention) or diversion, where available,

Potential penalties for a drug paraphernalia charge in Georgia usually includes a monetary fine, likely probation and monthly supervision fees, plus possible random drug tests. But as with most crimes, the manner in which an accused citizen is treated at court in Georgia, for a paraphernalia charge depends largely on if it is a first offense. As a general rule, towards a person charged with a 1st offense crime of possessing paraphernalia, most prosecutors and judges are lenient.

On the other hand, when some judges hear that this is a second or 3rd paraphernalia or drug possession charge, potential jail or prison time may be likely. Like the situation of repeat DUI-DWI offenders, judges know that jailed people don’t drive. Similarly, no drugs are in a jail cell or prison, and this prevents re-offending. Jail is the last thing judges want to do in these types of cases, but it is sometimes used.

This last paraphernalia penalty (random testing) is usually reserved for an accused citizen with a history of prior possession of drug offenses. As with all misdemeanor offenses, jail time of up to 12 months can be assessed, but this is typically reserved for offenders who have been through the criminal justice system several times on drug or paraphernalia crimes.

Hire a Criminal Attorney with Excellent Lawyer Ratings

Cory Yager is an ex-cop with nearly a decade serving as a police officer. As a police officer, Mr. Yager issued thousands of tickets and made over 1,000 arrests, including for drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges. He and his two law partners, Bubba Head and Larry Kohn are all specialists in criminal defense and are published legal book authors.

Collectively, these three Atlanta attorneys bring over 70 years of defending drug and alcohol cases to the table. All are Georgia Super Lawyers. All have very high attorney ratings. Plus, our law office offers a FREE lawyer consultation, and attorney fee payment plans. Call us NOW, our attorneys are available 24-hours, 7 days a week: (404) 567-5515.