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.

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

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 NOW, to our 24-hour number: 404-567-5515.

Atlanta Disorderly Conduct Lawyer | Public Intoxication

Atlanta disorderly conduct lawyers William C. (Bubba) Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager will vigorously defend you in Atlanta Municipal Court for disturbing the peace charges. In Georgia there are two kinds of disorderly conduct laws – state and local municipality. A city’s code of law is much more expansive than the state’s laws.

Below is the Atlanta, GA disorderly conduct code of law:

Sec. 106-81. – Disorderly conduct.

It shall be unlawful for any person within the corporate limits of the city to engage in any conduct described in the following subsections; provided, however, that no person shall be convicted of any of the following sections upon a showing that the predominant intent of such conduct was to exercise a constitutional right to:

(1) Act in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another whereby any person is placed in fear of the safety of such person’s life, limb or health;

(2) Act in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another whereby the property of any person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed;

(3) Cause, provoke or engage in any fight, brawl or riotous conduct so as to endanger the life, limb, health or property of another;

(4) Assemble or congregate with another or others for the purpose of, or with the intent to, engage in gaming;

(5) Be in or about any place, alone or with another or others, with the purpose of or intent to engage in any fraudulent scheme, trick or device to obtain any money or valuable thing; or to aid or abet any person or persons in doing so;

(6) Direct fighting words toward another, that is, words which by their very nature tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace;

(7) Interfere, by acts of physical obstruction, another’s pursuit of a lawful occupation;

(8) Congregate with another or others in or on any public way so as to halt the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, and to fail to clear that public way after being ordered to do so by a city police officer or other lawful authority;

(9) Stand or remain in or about any street, sidewalk, overpass or public way so as to impede the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, and to fail to clear such street, sidewalk, overpass or public way after being ordered to do so by a police officer or other lawful authority;

(10) Disrupt by actions which tend to incite a breach of the peace the undisturbed activities of any house of worship, hospital, surgi-center, or home for the elderly; or

(11) Throw bottles, paper, cans, glass, sticks, stones, missiles or any other debris on public property.

(12) Accost or force oneself upon the company of another;

(a) Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Accosting means approaching or speaking to someone in such a manner as would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm or the commission of a criminal act upon his/her person, or upon property in his/her immediate possession.

Forcing oneself upon the company of another means continuing to request or solicit any item of value or an individual’s company from a person after that person has made a negative response, blocking the passage of the individual addressed or otherwise engaging in conduct which could reasonably be construed as intended to compel or force a person to accede to demands.

(Code 1977, § 17-3001; Ord. No. 2000-53, § 1, 10-10-00; Ord. No. 2005-03, § 12, 1-10-05; Ord. No. 2005-48, § 1, 8-24-05; Ord. No. 2007-20(07-O-0489), § 1, 3-27-07)

State Law reference— Riot, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-30; affray, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-32; obscene, vulgar or profane language, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-39; obstructing public passages, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-43.

Atlanta Disorderly Conduct Intoxication Lawyer

Atlanta disorderly conduct intoxication lawyers William C. (Bubba) Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager will vigorously defend you in Atlanta Municipal Court for misdemeanor public drunkenness charges.

Below is the Atlanta disorderly intoxication city code of law:

Sec. 22-105. – Disorderly conduct; intoxication.

(a) No person shall commit any disorderly, obscene or indecent act or commit any act of nuisance on the airport.

(b) No person shall be and appear in an intoxicated condition in the airport, which condition is made manifest by boisterousness, by indecent condition or act or by vulgar, profane, loud or unbecoming language.

(Code 1977, § 12-3023)

Atlanta Disorderly Conduct Lawyers

Most Georgia residents decide to walk into Atlanta Municipal Court and plead guilty to disorderly conduct charges, or they ask the court to appoint a public defender. This is your choice. But be ready to face stiff court fines and possibly even jail time.

A FREE consultation with our Atlanta GA criminal law firm can help clear up any confusion on which courtroom your case will be heard in, and what exactly are the penalties the judge most likely will sentence you with.

Our Atlanta Criminal Law Firm Stands Ready to Fight For You

Atlanta Disorderly Conduct Lawyers | Kohn & Yager

As soon as we speak with you, our highly-trained Georgia criminal attorneys and support staff can help you get the best outcome in your situation. We handle all types of Georgia criminal cases, from DUI to robbery and assault.

404-567-5515 or 1-888-348-4232 [1-888-DUI-HEAD]. We are here to show you how to BEAT a disturbing the peace or public drunkenness charge. We will accept nothing less.

The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your Atlanta disorderly conduct case.

Alpharetta Disorderly Conduct Lawyer | Disorderly Under the Influence

Alpharetta disorderly conduct lawyers William C. (Bubba) Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager will vigorously defend you in Alpharetta Municipal Court for disturbing the peace charges. In Georgia there are two kinds of disorderly conduct laws – state and local municipality. A city’s code of law is much more expansive than the state’s laws.

Below is the Alpharetta, GA disorderly conduct code of law:

Sec. 13-3. – Disorderly conduct.

(a)    It shall be unlawful for any person to disturb or endanger the public peace or decency by any disorderly conduct.

(b)   The following acts, among others, are declared to be disorderly conduct:

(1)    Use of profane or obscene language in public.

(2)    Making any threat of violence to or against any other person.

(3)    Being noisy or boisterous in or upon any street or other public place in the city.

Cross reference— Noise generally, § 13-20 et seq.

(4)    Making any indecent or immoral exposure of the body.

(5)    Any riotous conduct to the disturbance of the public tranquility.

(6)    Engaging in, promoting, aiding, or abetting any fight, riot, or disorderly proceeding on any street or public place, or in any private building or dwelling or other private place when persons in the vicinity are disturbed.

(7)    Making or causing to be made, any loud noise in the vicinity of a house of religious worship when divine worship is in progress to the extent that such noise shall interfere with such divine worship.

Cross reference— Noise generally, § 13-20 et seq.

(8)    Making, turning in, or giving a false alarm of fire, or of need for police or ambulance assistance, or aiding or abetting in the commission of such acts.

(9)    Doing any act of malicious mischief which damages or destroys any public or private property within the city or which results in injury to any citizen, or the aiding or abetting of any such act.

(10)  To have, expose, post in public, or circulate any lewd, profane, or obscene picture, card, or printing with the city.

(11)  Lurking about the premises and near the private habitations of other persons, or entering the private premises of another to spy or look into the houses or buildings used for residential purposes.

(Ord. No. 87, § 3, 9-3-62)

State Law reference— Offenses against public order, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-30.

Alpharetta Disorderly Under the Influence Lawyer

Alpharetta disorderly under the influence lawyers William C. (Bubba) Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager will vigorously defend you in Alpharetta Municipal Court for misdemeanor public drunkenness charges.

Below is the Alpharetta disorderly while under the influence city code of law:

Sec. 13-3.1. – Disorderly while under the influence.

(a)    Acts constituting violation. It shall be unlawful for any person within the corporate limits of the city to be disorderly while under the influence of alcohol or drugs on the streets, sidewalks or other public places. The following acts are declared to be in violation of this section:

(1)    Any person who acts in a reckless manner so as to create an unreasonable risk of harm to himself, to other persons or to property in the vicinity while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(2)    Any person who shall defecate or urinate on the streets or sidewalks or in the halls or elevators of public or commercial buildings, or on any property open to public view in the city while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(3)    Any person who, without provocation, uses to or of another, in such person’s presence, fighting words, or who shall panhandle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(4)    Any person who shall act in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another so as to endanger the life, limb, health or property of another while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(5)    Any person who shall lie down or otherwise obstruct, block or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic on any sidewalk, street, or entrance or exit to any other public way, house of worship, business, public hall, theater, public conveyance or other public place and who shall refuse to remove themselves when ordered to do so by a city police officer or other lawful authority while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(6)    Any person who shall act in a boisterous, turbulent, or agitated manner, or who shall use profane, vulgar, loud or unbecoming language while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while on the streets, sidewalks, or other public places within the corporate limits of the city.

(b)   Duty of peace officer. Any peace officer, in accordance with standards set out in standard operating procedures promulgated by the director of public safety or designee, may take or send an individual under the influence of alcohol or other drugs to such person’s home in lieu of incarcerating such person for violations of this section. Any peace officer so acting shall be considered as carrying out such peace officer’s official duty.

(c)    Penalty. Upon a finding of guilty for violation of this section, the offender shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed one hundred eighty (180) days or by fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), either of such penalties to be in the discretion of the municipal judge. Such punishment may be probated by the municipal judge for those offenders desiring to participate in a detoxification program.

(Ord. No. 621, § 1, 5-19-08)

Alpharetta DUI Lawyers

Most Georgia residents decide to walk into Municipal Court and plead guilty to disorderly conduct charges, or get they ask the court to appoint a public defender. This is your choice. But be ready to face stiff court fines and possibly even jail time.

A FREE consultation with our Alpharetta GA criminal law firm can help clear up any confusion on which courtroom your case will be heard in, and what exactly are the penalties the judge most likely will sentence you with.

Our Alpharetta Criminal Law Firm Stands Ready to Fight For You

Alpharetta Disorderly Conduct Lawyers | Kohn & Yager

As soon as we speak with you, our highly-trained Georgia criminal attorneys and support staff can help you get the best outcome in your situation. We handle all types of Georgia criminal cases, from DUI to robbery and assault.

404-567-5515 or 1-888-348-4232 [1-888-DUI-HEAD]. We are here to show you how to BEAT a disturbing the peace or public drunkenness charge. We will accept nothing less.

The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your disorderly conduct case.

Georgia Drug Laws on Paraphernalia | Drug Objects Charges

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Drug-Related Objects Law in Georgia – 

What is Paraphernalia?

By: Larry Kohn, Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney and GA Drugs Lawyer

Georgia and most other states have drug paraphernalia laws that criminalize the possession of any drug-related object that can be used to grow, produce, process, store, ingest, inhale, or inject illegal drugs. These illegal items include glass pipes, bongs, crack cocaine pipes, digital scales, and syringes.

Georgia drug paraphernalia laws are broad, and cover a wide range of seemingly innocent items that someone may use to do drugs or sell drugs.  While the discovery of marijuana drug objects by police make up most of the arrests for possession, Georgia drugs products laws also include any item related to substances like crack, cocaine, heroin, or a designer drug or synthetic compound.

What Happens When Police Discover Paraphernalia During a Traffic Stop?

During an inventory search of your vehicle, the police may discover a glass pipe with marijuana or crack residue, and add this to their ongoing investigation for driving under the influence of drugs. Other clues an officer looks for are the smell of marijuana and the condition of your eyes. Are they red and watery? Also, is your speech slurred or does what you say not make sense?

A small percentage of our Georgia clients are in possession of paraphernalia when police pull them over. While this evidence can be very troubling, it is in no way an indication of a hopeless case. Many legal challenges can be made against the police search and seizure methods. All of the prosecutor’s evidence against you can be challenged, and it can become inadmissible if the reason for pulling you over was unconstitutional.

The presence of drug-related objects in your car can lead to your arrest for felony drug possession, or possession with intent to distribute. Both charges are extremely serious, with extended jail time likely if you are found guilty. The time to call Larry Kohn or Cory Yager is now while there is still time to plan a solid defense. Call us anytime day or night at (404) 982-4405 and speak directly to an attorney.

Georgia Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer

Georgia Drug Paraphernalia Statutes on Drug Objects

OCGA 16-13-32 (enacted in 1978), and OCGA 16-13-32.1 (enacted in 1981), make criminal any sale or transaction of a drug-related object a crime, and possession of these same objects a criminal act. The second law specifies “what is drug paraphernalia” and how broad and comprehensive the prohibition of any paraphernalia items or product can be. These drug use items can be adequate evidence of circumstantial evidence of a violation of the GA paraphernalia drug statutes.

What this means is that if the police find an otherwise lawful (e.g., a 6-inch long piece of ¼” diameter plastic pipe) household item either on your person or in your vehicle, this can be a violation of Georgia law, especially if residue from prior use is discovered.

GA DUI Paraphernalia Lawyer

What Are the Penalties for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Drug Paraphernalia Offenses in Georgia?

First Offense

A conviction for a first offense is a misdemeanor, and carries no minimum or maximum jail time or fine.

Second Offense

A second drug paraphernalia conviction is a high and aggravated misdemeanor. Any jail sentence cannot be shortened to less than 26 days of every 30 days of the sentence. For example, a 60-day jail sentence will mean no less than 52 days in jail.

Third Offense

A 3rd paraphernalia conviction carries a sentence of from 1 to 5 years in state prison, plus a fine of not more than $5000. Four or more convictions increase state prison time longer and longer.

Atlant Drug Paraphernalia

Does a Prior Felony Intent to Distribute Drugs Conviction Affect a Pending Drug Paraphernalia Possession Charge?

If you already have a prior intent to distribute felony drug conviction on your criminal record, and you are later arrested for misdemeanor possession of two small bags of marijuana and drug-related objects (drug paraphernalia), and nothing else, such evidence collected by police, without more evidence, will not support a jury verdict of drug possession with intent to distribute.

The following case creates a clear line that a trial judge cannot ignore lack of evidence, and cannot allow a jury to convict you on supposition and conjecture:

Where no additional evidence of intent to distribute is offered, such as scales, drug paraphernalia, large amounts of cash, division of drugs into individual packages, or prior conviction of possession with intent to distribute, expert testimony is critical, and conviction for possession of drugs with intent to distribute cannot be sustained without it. Parris v. State, 226 Ga.App. 854 (1997)

On the other hand, possession of drug paraphernalia (when felony drug quantities are part of the evidence collected) can be a piece of the Prosecution’s case for possession with intent to distribute or drug trafficking. This Georgia appellate case talking about the State trying to establish “constructive possession” of drugs found in the same vehicle as the driver, highlights what types and categories of evidence is sufficient to convict.

Circumstances showing an intent to exercise control over drugs, as required to establish constructive possession, include a defendant’s attempts to flee or elude police; inconsistent explanations by the defendant for his or her behavior; the presence of significant amounts of contraband and drug paraphernalia in plain view; the defendant’s possession of large amounts of cash, other indicia of the sale of drugs, or drug-related paraphernalia; evidence that the defendant was under the influence of drugs; or drug residue found on the defendant. Kier v. State, 292 Ga.App. 208 (2008)

Hire the Best Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Drug Objects Case

Contact criminal defense attorneys in Atlanta Larry Kohn, Cory Yager, or Bubba Head for the best drug paraphernalia defense, in ANY Georgia county. We travel across the state, if needed, to defend citizens who have way too much to lose to put a drug-related objects conviction on their criminal record. 

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By knowing all plea alternatives to a paraphernalia guilty plea, and being able to present the best option for our client, we can improve our clients’ options in almost EVERY case. Plus, remember that 100% of defendants who face paraphernalia drug charges who plead guilty without a lawyer, are FOUND Guilty.

Review Our Lawyer Ratings on Any Legitimate Attorney Rating Sites

Larry Kohn, Cory Yager, and William C. Head are all Super Lawyers who have thousands of successful criminal cases involving drugs and alcohol under their belts. What other criminal defense law firm in Georgia has three partners with over 575 AVVO 5-star ratings? You will discover that our criminal justice law firm has better credentials and more expertise than virtually any other Georgia criminal defense law firm.

Your initial lawyer consultation is FREE. (404) 982-4405. Since no one PLANS to be arrested, we work with clients on how to cover legal fees and court costs. We offer attorney payment plans, and can explain payment options for you to be able to effectively fight your criminal charges.

We will discuss with you how much your Atlanta criminal defense will cost, at whatever stage of the court proceedings we must pursue, to achieve the best outcome for you.

If you have been charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, or if you are facing this charge in connection with other drug charges, you need to seek legal counsel from an experienced drug crimes defense attorney.

Contact the firm of Kohn & Yager today to schedule a free review of your case.

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