Drug Offenses

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="60px"][vc_column_text] Drug Convictions & Financial Aid [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="60px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]The State of Georgia imposes very specific restrictions on high school and college students who are charged with drug related crimes and their eligibility to receive financial aid (e.g., HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grants, the HOPE Teacher Scholarship Loan, and the PROMISE Teacher Scholarship Loan). How Drug Convictions Affect State Financial Aid While Georgia law specifically prohibits anyone from possessing, selling or distributing marijuana or other illegal drugs, there is a special consequence for students convicted of these crimes. If convicted of a felony drug offense, students at public universities and colleges face suspension and may lose their state loans, grants, and scholarships. Students who attend private universities and colleges will also lose their state financial aid after a conviction for a felony drug offense. Lastly, high school students convicted of a felony drug offense will lose their eligibility to receive the HOPE Scholarship and other financial tools mentioned above. The loss of state financial aid is effective on the first day of the term, quarter, or semester during which the student was enrolled immediately following the date of conviction. For purposes of this law, it generally doesn’t matter whether the student pleads guilty, pleads nolo contendere, or is sentenced as a first offender (i.e., given deferred adjudication). How Drug Convictions Affect Federal Financial Aid If a student is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that involves possessing or selling illegal drugs, the student may lose or become ineligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid, which includes federal grants, loans, and work study. A student convicted of possessing drugs is ineligible for federal aid for one year from the date of conviction for a first offense, two years for a second offense, and indefinitely for three or more offenses. A student convicted of ‘selling drugs’ is ineligible for two years from the date of conviction for a first offense and indefinitely for two or more offenses. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please feel free to contact our attorneys by either leaving a comment or submitting a contact form. Follow us on Twitter: @ATLSuperLawyers Like us on Facebook: Law Firm of Arora & LaScala [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="30px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="30px"][vc_column_text] Our Recent Blogs [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="30px"][blog_slider info_position="info_in_bottom_always" blogs_shown="3" show_categories="no" show_date="no" show_comments="no" enable_navigation="enable_navigation"][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="60px"][vc_column_text] GA Drivers License Will Be Suspended For Felony or Misdemeanor Drug Convictions [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="60px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] What will happen to a GA Driver's License after a felony or misdemeanor marijuana conviction? A conviction for a misdemeanor drug offense will result in the loss of one’s GA driver's license for a minimum of six months and as much as five years with no limited driving permit allowed. Imagine the following scenario: You and a friend are walking down the street from your house minding your own business. You are not breaking any criminal laws except that you have less than an ounce of marijuana in your possession. Police officers stop you and your friend because you fit the general description of two individuals who held up a local convenience store. The officers frisk you and your friend for the firearm allegedly used in the commission of the robbery at the local convenience store. While the officers pat you down they discover the marijuana in your possession. The officers can now arrest you for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana even if it turns out that you and your friends were not the actual robbery suspects. If you enter a guilty plea or are found guilty at trial for the marijuana charge, you will lose your driver's license for a minimum of 180 days. How does the process work in every jurisdiction within the State of Georgia?  If you are convicted at trial or enter a guilty plea to a marijuana charge in the state of GA, you will receive notice of suspension of your GA drivers license or privilege to drive in GA.  Unlike other convictions that cause a mandatory license suspension (such as DUI, Driving with a Suspended License, etc.), pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-5-75(i), all suspensions for a controlled substance violation committed on or after January 1, 2008 will run consecutively to any other type of suspension on the record on the date of disposition.  So, if you have active suspensions on your record and you are convicted of a controlled substance violation, the controlled substance suspension will not become effective until all previously existing suspensions are reinstated.  If you have no active suspensions and you are convicted of a controlled substance violation and another mandatory suspension violation arising from the same incident, they will both run concurrently (at the same time) on the record.  If you have a controlled substance suspension in effect on your record, and you are subsequently convicted of a non-controlled substance offense, that new suspension may run concurrently (at the same time) to the suspension in effect. Any person not licensed in the state of GA at the time of disposition will receive a suspension of their out-of-state drivers license upon conviction of a controlled substance violation.  However, for the purpose of eligibility towards reinstatement, the time accrual will not begin unless/until they make application for reinstatement with the DDS.  Anyone convicted of a controlled substance...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="60px"][vc_column_text] Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Points System [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="60px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Points System:  The Department of Driver Services (DDS) point system ranges from 2 to 6 points depending on the type of citation issued. A driver who accumulates 15 points in a 24 month period will automatically have their driver license suspended. The most common citations are for speeding violations. There are two instances in which DDS does not assess any points for speeding violations: No points are assessed for speeding citations less than 15 miles-per-hour over the posted speed limit; and No points are assessed against non-residents of Georgia. Below is a list of the types of convictions and the respective points assessed per violation under Georgia law: Speeding: 15 to 18 MPH over speed limit — 2 Points 19 to 23 MPH over speed limit — 3 Points 24 to 33 MPH over speed limit — 4 Points 34 MPH or more over speed limit — 6 Points Aggressive Driving — 6 Points Unlawful Passing School Bus — 6 Points Reckless Driving — 4 Points Improper Passing On Hill or Curve — 4 Points Failure To Obey Traffic Control Device — 3 Points Failure To Obey Police Officer — 3 Points Possessing an Open container of an Alcoholic Beverage while Driving — 2 Points Failure To Adequately Secure Load — 2 Points Violation of Child Safety Restraint 1st. Offense — 1 Point 2nd Offense — 2 Points Violation of Usage of Wireless Telecommunication Device Requirements — 1 Point Operating a Vehicle While Texting — 1 Point Improper Use of Designated Travel Lane - 4th and subsequent offense — 1 Point All Other Moving Violations — 3 Points To learn how citations impact drivers under the age of 21 click on: https://aroralascala.com/drivers-license-suspensions-in-ga-affecting-teenagers-and-drivers-under-21/ To learn how drug convictions will impact driving privileges click on: https://aroralascala.com/ga-drivers-license-will-be-suspended-for-felony-or-misdemeanor-drug-convictions/ To learn how DUI or DWI convictions will impact driving privileges click on: https://aroralascala.com/dui-penalties-in-georgia/ Points Reduction How does one obtain a points reduction?  Under Georgia law, licensed Georgia residents may request the DDS to reduce the number of points assessed to their driver license by up to 7 points. DDS will only process a points reduction request once every 5 years. To qualify for point reduction, you must complete a defensive driving course and present the original certificate of completion to the DDS. A list of DDS approved driver improvement courses can be found at: http://www.dds.ga.gov/DUI/SchoolMatrix.aspx    Reach out to us if you have a question. Put our experience to work for you. [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="30px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="30px"][vc_column_text] Our Recent Blogs [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="30px"][blog_slider info_position="info_in_bottom_always" blogs_shown="3" show_categories="no" show_date="no" show_comments="no" enable_navigation="enable_navigation"][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="60px"][vc_column_text] Legalization of Marijuana – Status in Georgia [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="60px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column][vc_single_image image="827" img_size="full" alignment="center" qode_css_animation=""][vc_empty_space height="60px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]Governor Kemp signed the “Hemp Farming Act” into law in May 2019. This legislation made it legal – under certain conditions – to grow and sale hemp. Since the bill went into effect, the prosecution of marijuana cases has become difficult to say the least. There are many counties in Georgia that elected to stop prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases and to dismiss their current cases. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? While hemp and marijuana both come from the same species of plant (cannabis sativa), there are major ways in which they differ. The biggest difference is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in both. THC is the psychoactive component that gives one the “high” feeling. Hemp is defined federally as any cannabis plant that has 0.3 percent or less of THC, and therefore, marijuana is any cannabis plant that has a THC level greater than 0.3 percent. Thus, the main difference between legal hemp and illegal marijuana is the amount of THC in the substance. WHY ARE PROSECUTORS DISMISSING? Many state courts which handle only misdemeanor cases in Georgia are deciding not to prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases – Gwinnett, Cobb, Athens-Clarke, and Dekalb to name a few. The problem that courts are having is not being able to determine the amount of THC in order to conclude if the substance is legal hemp or illegal marijuana. One of the leading counties on this front is Gwinnett County. Solicitor Brian Whiteside announced that Gwinnett County would no longer prosecute marijuana cases that happened after May 10, 2019. In fact, Gwinnett’s Solicitor’s Office has already dismissed over one hundred cases. Each county is handling the predicament differently, but there is a trend in deciding not to prosecute and to dismiss the case until alternative testing equipment can be put in place that will test for THC concentration.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="30px"][vc_column_text] NEED LEGAL ADVICE? If you believe that you are eligible for first offender treatment, or if you have any questions regarding first offender, the seasoned team at Arora & LaScala have the experience and skills to advise you on this and all other serious legal matters. Contact us so we can help.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_empty_space height="30px"][vc_column_text] Our Recent Blogs [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="30px"][blog_slider info_position="info_in_bottom_always" blogs_shown="3" show_categories="no" show_date="no" show_comments="no" enable_navigation="enable_navigation"][/vc_column][/vc_row]...