Month: July 2015

The Stinson Plea

Oddly, I don’t see much about this plea on the web and that concerns me.  I even saw one attorney state that he had never heard of it in nearly ten years of criminal law practice in Georgia!  That’s a shame because in family violence and domestic violence situations where the facts aren’t in your client’s favor, it is a good, viable option.  So what is it?

A Stinson plea in Georgia is a guilty plea that results in probation and conditions.  If those conditions are successfully completed, the criminal defendant can then withdraw the guilty plea and the State will dismiss the charges.  It is very similar to a First Offender Act plea in Georgia with the major difference being that First Offender shows you as not being convicted and Stinson shows you as not being prosecuted.

So what types of conditions are we talking about?  It depends.  If substance abuse was a critical reason for the charge, substance abuse counseling, anger management, and a SCRAM monitor (alcohol monitor) could be conditions.  There are usually fines, random drug and alcohol testing, and fees as well.

Georgia has numerous options like the above including pre-trial diversion programs, DUI and Drug Court, and Drug First Offender pleas to mention just a few.  Your life is not over and you are not judged by society because of an isolated incident.  Keep these options in mind and move forward!

New Georgia Laws as of July 1, 2015

It’s that time again and there were some enormous changes to the law today.  I’ve highlighted the ones that affect my practice areas the most.  Probably the biggest change I’ve seen since Criminal Court this morning was number one.  Criminal offenses that would have resulted in automatic license suspensions yesterday do not result in suspensions today (thank God).

CRIMINAL LAW CHANGES

# 1. The State cannot automatically revoke your license for most non-driving offenses (like possession of weed).

#2. It will be more difficult for police departments that rely upon speed traps as revenue sources to win (finally – an attempt to strip tax collectors of their guns).

# 3. Child abuse will now have a registry like sex offenders; however, only the government will have access to it.

# 4. Small buses and vans that seat 15 or less must have seat belts.

BUSINESS LAW CHANGES

# 5. BOOM!  Fireworks are legal.  I’m sure Tennessee is pissed.

# 6. Private solar companies can own your rooftop panels and pay you with electricity while selling the remainder to electric companies (there’s a bright idea).

#7. Bouncers gotta be 21 or older.  Seems logical and didn’t know it was a problem.

#8. Microbreweries rejoice!  You can now give tours, provide free samples and liquid souvenirs.

There are nearly 290 more, but these are ones I feel most compelled to advertise.  These are, in all, good changes I think.