Articles Posted in Legal Advice and Tips

6dfd6e82-aded-4b39-bd9e-3ca319f86404-300x200Concern over the abuse of opioids has been a public health concern in Georgia for years. From 2010 to 2017, there was a 245% increase of deaths from opioid overdose in Georgia. In fact, two thirds of all drug overdose deaths in Georgia in this time period were attributed to opioid abuse. This problem has been significant enough for President Trump to declare the opioid crisis a public state of emergency.

Much of the legislature surrounding opioid abuse seeks to treat opioid overdoses and make alternatives more available in order to prevent prescription drug abuse. However, a study at the University of Georgia proposes an alternative approach to how we handle the opioid epidemic throughout Georgia and across the United State. Instead of diverting resources towards curbing the use of opioids, the study argues, we should look at a culprit behind opioid addiction – chronic disease.

The term “opioid” specifically refers to a broad class of drugs, including multiple prescription drugs such as morphine, oxycodone, and codeine, and the illegal drug heroin. All of these drugs interact with the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. This dulls the body’s pain signals and emotional responses to pain, diminishing the body’s response to painful stimuli. Opioids also activate pleasure and reward centers in the brain, leading to a feeling of relaxation and euphoria.

broken-heart-syndrome_Blog_Float_RightFebruary 14 is Valentine’s Day, a day created to recognize the importance of the love we hold for one another. For most of us, Valentine’s Day means showing our loved ones how much we care with romantic gestures and well-meant gifts of flowers and chocolate. Sadly, for some people, Valentine’s Day means a brief reprieve from their abusive relationship. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Valentine’s Day is one of three days (alongside Christmas and Thanksgiving) where there is a slight decrease in reports of domestic abuse in the United States. That brief moment of relief is cold comfort for those who are victims of family violence.

Despite the name, family violence does not have to occur between family members. Under Georgia law, family violence is defined as any pattern of deliberately violent and abusive behavior between people in a domestic relationship, committed with the intent of establishing power and control. This includes parents and children, spouses and intimate partners, and roommates or housemates. There does not have to be physical abuse for an act to count as family violence either – if someone subjects a person fitting one of the above categories to emotional abuse, threatens to hurt them, stalks them, or deliberately damages their property, they can also be charged with family violence.

Despite the slight downtick in reports of domestic violence this Valentine’s Day, there are still bound to be lovers’ quarrels. These arguments can escalate into a domestic disturbance… and the situation might not be perfectly cut and dry. It takes two to tango, and there are unique circumstances leading to every incident. For example, you might be trying to get away from an argument with a partner that turned physical or fighting back against a spouse who attacked you first. Unfortunately, this might not save you from being charged with family violence if the police are called to your house.

B4741A81-2424-4EC4-B7DD-B43F42712A2D-281x300 A1A9D186-250B-429E-A3C5-2379B3786031-300x247 If you ever intend to purchase CBD oil, make sure it contains less than 3% THC and is made from hemp, not marijuana. Getting a low THC registry card and purchasing only from reputable sellers can help you ensure that your CBD oil is legal for purchase. Remember that CBD that containing more than 3% THC is considered a schedule 1 controlled substance – a category of drugs that carry the harshest penalties for possession. Possession of high-THC CBD oil could get you charged with up to fifteen years in prison under Georgia law.

CBD derived from hemp is legal for purchase in Georgia in part because of HB 213, or the Georgia Hemp Farming Act. This bill has made it possible for licensed farmers to cultivate industrial hemp in Georgia. Industrial hemp, much like marijuana, is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp looks and smells identical to marijuana. However, it differs on both a chemical and genetic level. But what is the exact difference between hemp and marijuana, and are there any legal issues attached to hemp products?

How Do Marijuana and Hemp Differ?

new-cbd-gummies-300x200Marijuana is a substance that can come in many forms. The leafy green cannabis that you smoke might be the most well-known, but there are many other ways that the cannabis sativa plant can be consumed. The legalization of marijuana in other states has paved the way for the development of huge variety of cannabis products. This includes everything from devices that disperse cannabis into a vapor to tinctures and oils that can be applied topically, allowing it to be absorbed by the skin.

One of the most popular ways to consume marijuana is the creation of cannabis edibles. This includes pot brownies, cannabis-infused gummies, and hash cookies. Edibles have experienced a dramatic rise in popularity across the United States, especially in states like Alaska, Colorado, New York, and Washington, where they are legal for purchase. According to one study, 46% of those polled and 93% of those in favor of legal marijuana said they would be willing to try cannabis edibles if they were made legal for purchase.

The rising popularity of cannabis edibles has made law enforcement more aware of their existence. This means that cops looking to make a marijuana-related arrest aren’t just on the lookout for bags of weed. They’re also keeping an eye out for brownies, gummies, cookies, and other edible goods that give off the distinct smell of concentrated marijuana. And despite what you might think, being caught with even one edible in Georgia can land you in a great deal of trouble.

New Year’s Eve is upon us, and 2020 is right around the corner. As 2019 draws to a close, many of us are making our resolutions for the new year. For most Americans, that means planning to exercise more, lose weight, and save money. All of these are excellent resolutions that will improve your life. But even as you plan on improving your health and taking better care of your bank account, you should consider a resolution that will improve your family’s life – planning your estate.

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Estate planning includes the creation of three essential legal documents. First is the will, which lays out your wishes after your death and names an executor, who will carry out those wishes. Then, there is the power of attorney, a document that grants someone else authority to manage your affairs. Finally, there is the advance health care directive, which states your wishes for medical treatment, if you are terminally ill and allows someone else to carry out those wishes with your health care provider.

Planning your estate is one of the best things you can do for your family. According to a 2019 survey, 76% of Americans agreed with this sentiment… and yet only 40% actually have a will. Of those polled, the majority of people who did have an estate plan in place were older adults, while younger people put less importance on an estate plan. Another study indicates only 18% of people over 55 have all of the recommended estate planning essentials– a will, a power of attorney, and an advance health care directive.

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Christmas is almost upon us, and New Year’s Eve is around the corner. For many people, this means a chance to enjoy some drinks with friends and family at Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Unfortunately, this means more people driving under the influence of alcohol. DUI-related arrests are at an all-time high between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, as are DUI-related fatalities. According to the US Department of Transportation, an average of 300 people lose their lives in drunk-driving related fatalities in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Most people know that drinking and driving is dangerous, but not everyone is aware of the true cost of a DUI conviction. It is important to be aware of this, especially at a time of year like this, where DUI arrests and fatalities are at an all-time high.

A DUI is More Expensive Than You Think

1519851021570-300x218Christmas is only two weeks away. Now is the time to get that gift shopping done before those amazing holiday sales have passed you by and everything is picked over. But even as you search for that perfect gift at the best possible price, you need to keep yourself safe. Porch pirates aren’t the only thing you have to worry about this holiday season. You also need to keep an eye out for identity thieves.

Over 16.4 million United States citizens became victims of identity theft in 2017, with financial losses totaling upwards of 16.8 billion dollars. Every year, December and January see higher than usual reports of identity theft. According to a 2018 survey, eight percent of consumers polled had their identity stolen in 2017, with twenty-seven percent of these incidents happening while the victim was shopping online for Christmas gifts.

Christmas creates ideal conditions for identity thieves. A busy and chaotic holiday shopping season creates distracted and careless shoppers, who are even easier to take advantage of. A sharp increase in online shopping this time of year creates even more chances for an identity thief to nab someone’s personal information or hook  consumers with a phishing scam. Preventing identity theft is more important than ever this time of year. Luckily, there are multiple steps you can take to protect yourself from these modern-day Grinches:

7bd8181220181983b3302ddbbb014ad6-271x300Online package deliveries soar every holiday season. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are many excellent deals to take advantage of on Amazon or other online marketplaces. And with Christmas looming around the corner, it’s nice to be able to buy that perfect gift with just a few clicks of a mouse, right from the comfort of your own home.

Unfortunately, the convenience of online shopping brings a hidden risk – package theft, otherwise known as porch piracy. An increase in package deliveries means an increase in boxes left on doorsteps. With deliveries happening at all hours of the day, there is a good risk your package may be delivered while you’re not home, making it a very easy mark for package thieves. Being home might not even help – a savvy porch pirate might follow the delivery driver, allowing them to nab your package within minutes of its arrival.

If your package is stolen, you should file a claim with the online retailer, contact the shipping carrier and provide the tracking number, and file a report with your local police department. In most cases, online marketplaces will replace the stolen items or provide you with a refund. But how do you prevent package theft from happening to begin with?

What does Thanksgiving Day mean to you? For most people, it means spending some quality time with relatives, enjoying a nice home-cooked meal, and watching some football. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is also one of the deadliest times of year. Every Thanksgiving season, the mortality rate in the United States spikes. The main reason behind this sudden increase in deaths? Car accidents.

The National Safety Council estimates that over 417 people may die on the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday period. According to the NHTSA, over half of people killed on the roads during the 2018 Thanksgiving season weren’t wearing their seat belt, and nearly one out of every three Thanksgiving traffic fatalities involved a collision with a drunk driver.

There are many reasons for a sudden spike in traffic accidents this holiday season. AAA states that more than 45 million people traveled by car to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in 2017. More cars on the roads means more congested roadways, which means more opportunities for collisions. Many people will be driving on unfamiliar roads and determined to get to their destination no matter what, making the likelihood for a deadly traffic accident that much higher.

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Do I have to disclose my legal troubles to my employer?

When you’re arrested, many questions can leave you unsure of what to do next. Of the many questions that crop up, you may be asking yourself, “Do I have to tell my employer?” An attorney can help you determine what the correct response is for your situation, but generally speaking, the answer is complicated.

Georgia law gives employers the right to “employ at will,” which means they can hire or fire an employee for any reason, so long as it’s nondiscriminatory. In addition, many applications ask prospective employees to disclose their legal records. This can be a tricky thing to navigate as well because whether you have to disclose is a case-by-case basis.

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