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IMG_13331-1-179x300Today is the start of Memorial Day Weekend, a time many Americans have been looking forward to. Many of us will be returning to the roads after weeks spent in lockdown due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, many people engaging in Memorial Day festivities will be consuming plenty of alcohol, which means plenty of people driving under the influence. Police are counting on plenty of intoxicated drivers this weekend and are ready to make DUI-related arrests. If you are stopped by law enforcement while driving under the influence, you could end up paying a very steep price, even if this is just your first DUI. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, contact the Don Turner Legal Team for a free virtual consultation.

Police are advising people who plan to celebrate with alcohol this Memorial Day Weekend to plan a sober ride home or take advantage of rideshares, such as Lyft or Uber. This is advice you need to listen to, even if you do not think you are too impaired to operate your motor vehicle. The National Safety Council estimates that 366 people will die on the roads this Memorial Day Weekend. Many of these deaths will be caused by drunk driving, one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in the United States.

In fact, of the 397 people who died over Memorial Day Weekend in 2010, 40 percent of these fatalities were alcohol related. In fact, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered the “100 deadliest days of driving”. This period of time is especially deadly for teen motorists, who have been consuming alcohol earlier and earlier in recent years.

Screen-Sh1-300x201It has been several months since the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 first surfaced in America and multiple states issued stay at home orders. While these lockdown measures were meant to protect people, they have endangered many victims of domestic violence by forcing them to shelter with their abuser. Fortunately, victims can petition the courts for a total protective order, and courts will still hold TPO hearings, despite being closed for most matters until June 12. If you are facing domestic violence, contact the Don Turner Legal Team to confidentially discuss your case.

Americans have been encouraged to practice various social distancing measures in order to halt the spread of COVID-19. This has included encouraging citizens to remain in their homes whenever possible. Sadly, this has made homes a more dangerous place for many victims of domestic abuse. The stress caused by the pandemic has increased tensions in abusive households. Stay at home orders have left victims with less privacy, making them reluctant to contact domestic abuse hotlines. Abusers may further discourage their victims seeking help through the abuse of technology.

Anxieties caused by COVID-19 have left many victims more willing to remain with their abuser than live in a shelter, where they and their children may be exposed to COVID-19. Many shelters are facing health and economic concerns that make it more difficult to take in victims. The pandemic is also a time of widespread unemployment and economic uncertainty for many American. If the abuser is the primary breadwinner, the victim might be more willing to tolerate their abuse than risk the financial consequences of leaving.

judicial-building_001-300x225As you likely know, on March 14, 2020, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton signed an order declaring a judicial state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although this judicial order was originally set to expire on April 13, it was extended to May 13 due to concern about COVID-19’s ongoing spread. Now that order will be further extended to June 12. Like or follow the Don Turner Legal Team on Facebook for updates on the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolds.

All hearings that do not entail an immediate liberty or safety concern that requires the court’s full attention are considered non-essential. You can read a detailed explanation of what is considered to be an essential hearing here. Essential hearings are still on the calendar, although you may have the option to conduct them virtually. Contact your court to see if you have this option.

Justice Melton made this announcement on Monday, in the wake of mounting reports of COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia. As of May 4, 2020, there are 29,045 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia, 5,429 hospitalizations and 1,192 deaths. You can view an up-to-date status report on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website. Justice Melton intends to sign an order codifying his announcement later this week.

Georgia-Supreme-Court-Building-Article-201903071846-300x180It has been several months since the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 in the United States. Since that time, multiple non-essential businesses have shut their doors to the public and multiple essential businesses adopted measures to limit the virus’ spread. The Georgia courts are no exception – until May 13, all courts throughout Georgia will only be hearing essential matters. But what is considered an essential matter, and what should you expect if you have an essential hearing on the calendar? Contact the Don Turner Legal Team today if you are facing an essential court matter.

Chief Justice Harold D. Melton declared a statewide judicial emergency on March 14, hereby closing all courts for non-essential matters, in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Although this order was originally set to expire by April 13, the mounting number of COVID-19 cases across the United States led to this order being extended into May 13. As of this writing, Georgia courts are still set to reopen by May 13; however, there is a chance that the order could be extended another 30 days.

The rules for what is considered an essential hearing are clearly laid out in Justice Melton’s emergency judicial order. To put it simply, if you have an immediate liberty or safety concern that requires the full attention of the court, then your hearing is still on the calendar. Any other hearing has been rescheduled and may be rescheduled further, depending on the needs of the court. Specifically, the following hearings are named as essential, per the emergency order:

NQAU6AYRP5EQFEMGZ5VILHA63U-300x150Georgia, much like the rest of the United States, has been doing its best to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. This has meant closing schools and non-essential businesses, enacting social distancing measures, and ordering Americans to shelter in place at their homes. However, Georgia citizens’ days of sheltering in place might soon be coming to an end. On Monday, April 20, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp announced he will be gradually allowing businesses to reopen starting Friday, April 24, 2020. How do you feel about this decision, and if you are a small business owner, how are you planning to handle this? Let the Don Turner Legal Team know on our Facebook page!

On April 24, select businesses in Georgia, including gyms, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, and barber shops will be allowed to reopen under this new measure. By April 27, theaters and dine-in restaurants will be allowed to reopen their doors to the public. However, these businesses will still have to abide by social distancing guidelines. This means screening workers for respiratory symptoms, maintaining proper workplace sanitation, and staggering shifts to minimize the number of people in contact with each other. Other businesses , such as bars and nightclubs, will still remain closed until further notice.

While Governor Kemp’s decision allows select businesses to reopen their doors, that does not mean every business owner is planning to do this. In fact, the reaction among Georgia business owners has been decisively mixed. Some business owners are grateful to reopen their doors and avoid having to lay off their employees. Others are uncertain whether or not they can run their business properly while abiding by Governor Kemp’s guidelines, as many of the businesses being allowed to reopen involve close contact with customers. Some businesses have chosen to remain closed altogether for the time being, despite having the green light to reopen.

IMG_98111-300x197As you may already know, on March 14, 2020 Georgia Chief Justice Harold D. Melton signed an order declaring a statewide judicial emergency. This order requires Georgia courts to suspend all non-essential court functions in order to practice responsible social distancing and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Like or follow the Don Turner Legal Team on Facebook for more updates on the coronavirus crisis as it unfolds.

Hearings where the immediate liberty of safety of another person is at risk will still be heard. This includes jail hearings, bond reviews, temporary protective orders, and mental health commitment hearings. The original judicial emergency order lays out which hearings are considered essential. Any hearing that does not fall under these above-mentioned categories was moved off the calendar.

At the time of writing, the order was scheduled to end on April 13, 2020, after which, courts across Georgia would be able to resume operations as normal. However, as of April 6, 2020, the order has been extended into May 13. This means that if your hearing is considered non-essential, your court date will likely be further delayed. Make sure to check your court’s website to see how they have chosen to respond to this order and keep an ear open for your new court date.

6245D8B7-1C7D-4D66-81A6-905E850A5D4A-300x188As the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, spreads across the world, families across the globe are being encouraged to practice social distancing as much as possible. This means that schools are being closed and people have been told to self-isolate in their homes. It’s a necessary measure, meant to combat a significant public health emergency. It’s also a measure that could put many children in danger. This April, be aware that cruelty to children is a serious issue, whether a child you know is being abused, or you have been accused of child cruelty. Contact the Don Turner Legal Team if you are facing child cruelty charges.

There has been a noticeable drop in calls to child abuse hotlines in the weeks since social distancing measures were enacted across America. At first glance, this might seem like good news. Unfortunately, many experts believe that this drop in reports of child abuse and neglect is due to children no longer attending school or daycare, keeping them away from teachers, childcare workers, and other adults who have a mandatory duty to report any suspected child abuse.

Research shows that when parents lose their jobs, children can be negatively affected in a variety of ways, including an increase in harsh or neglectful parenting. COVID-19 has caused a wave of unemployment, as businesses are forced to lay off workers due to a staggering loss of revenue, with certain sectors, such as the travel industry, being hit especially hard. In fact, some economists have speculated that the unemployment rate could hit 32 percent due to COVID-19 – worse than the Great Depression’s peak of 24.9 percent.

357CBC1F-885E-4C98-9F87-695802152FE7-300x261At the time of this writing, we are in the grip of a pandemic – the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. The best way of dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak is to slow the spread of the virus. This means closing down many public venues, limiting social gatherings, and postponing public events, even something as large as the 2020 Olympic Games, in order to give the contagious virus fewer chances to leap from person to person. Even grocery stores have chosen to modify their hours and set aside special shopping times for the most vulnerable members of our community. You can follow or like our page on Facebook for updates on the coronavirus crisis.

Right now is an incredibly stressful time for people across the globe. With so many important events being cancelled and so many businesses and public venues closing their doors, it can be difficult to remain optimistic, especially when these closures can affect your livelihood. Many people are understandably afraid for their immunocompromised or elderly friends and family, who are much more vulnerable to COVID-19. But now is not the time to get swept up in the panic and doomsaying that gets spread all over social media. There is good news out there – response to the virus has brought out the best in many people, and this response is changing the world for the better.

Many workplaces are now letting their employees work from home, allowing them to practice responsible social distancing while still performing their essential duties. In response, multiple internet providers are offering free service for a limited time and free installation to better help people work remotely. Companies like Zoom, Slack, and Google are also offering free services in order to give employees working from home a helping hand, while providers like AT&T have begun suspending bandwidth caps in order to ease the burden on our internet connections.

AtlantaGeorgiaCapitol_0-300x169A pandemic has been sweeping across the United States in the last few months. It is known as the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and it causes a host of respiratory symptoms, including a dry cough, difficulty breathing, and persistent chest pain. While a COVID-19 infection is not fatal for most people, it is highly contagious and has a much higher fatality rate among the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Many of us will be able to survive an infection with COVID-19, but you could spread that infection to someone who can’t.

As of this writing, there is no widely available vaccine for COVID-19. This means that the best way of combating person to person spread of this virus is to practice social distancing. This means limiting large groups of people coming together, closing public venues, and canceling public events. Close contact in a crowd setting can help a virus spread like wildfire, making these measures essential.

Over the last few weeks, many places have closed their doors to the public or at least heavily limited their interactions with them. Many of Georgia’s courts are no exception to this trend. On March 14, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton signed an order declaring a statewide judicial emergency, suspending all non-essential court functions for the next 30 days in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Courts across the state immediately paid heed and passed their own emergency orders.

cropped-favicon-300x300March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day. For many of us that means enjoying a nice glass or two of green beer (or green food in general – McDonald’s has even brought back its Shamrock Shake for the occasion), dressing up head to toe in green, and enjoying the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. For Irish Americans, Saint Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate their Irish heritage and a time for religious observations. But how many of us know about the history of Saint Patrick’s Day or the reason behind its traditions?

Saint Patrick’s Day takes its name from the patron saint of Ireland. Most of what we know about the historical Saint Patrick comes from a Latin work called the Declaration,which he allegedly wrote. According to the Declaration, the historical Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain in late 300 AD. After being captured by Irish pirates at age 16, Patrick converted to Christianity, which he would go on to study far into his twenties after returning to Britain. Eventually, Patrick returned to Ireland where he acted as a Christian missionary, spreading Christ’s teachings across the islands.

The holiday itself was founded in Ireland during the early 17th century to celebrate Saint Patrick and his teachings. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick died on March 17; hence a feast day being held on that date. This feast day was first introduced to the American colonies by Irish immigrants in the early 18th century and turned into a full-blown celebration of Irish culture in the 19th century by a mass influx of Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine for the United States. By the early 20th century, the feast day became a national holiday in Ireland and came to be known as St. Patrick’s Day.

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