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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.

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?


On May 10, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Hemp Farming Act (HB 213) into law. This bill allows farmers in Georgia to legally grow and sell industrial hemp, a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant.  Hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC, the chemical responsible for the “high” felt when smoking marijuana. It is therefore not considered a Schedule I substance.

The text of HB 213 only addresses who can grow and sell hemp. However, many law enforcement officials feel its wording makes hemp possession legal by default. It does not, however, legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in Georgia. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine up to $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce is considered a felony, with the maximum sentence being up to ten years in prison.

HB 213 has carried an unforeseen consequence for Georgia law enforcement. There is currently no way for police to accurately measure the THC concentration in cannabis. This has made it difficult for law enforcement to accurately distinguish between marijuana and the now-legal industrial hemp. As a result, different counties around metro Atlanta have been forced to change their approach to prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases.


The NFL’s Newest Rule Changes to Decrease Concussions

Prior to the 2018 National Football League (NFL) season, the league administration introduced two rules aimed at preventing concussions: Players are no longer allowed to “wedge” block — players running shoulder-to-shoulder into another player — during kick-offs, and they can’t lower their helmets when they tackle.

Fans and players complained about the “soft” stance the NFL took on the gritty play football was built on. Most notably, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was subjected to a game costing “roughing the passer” penalty for tackling in a way that would have been allowed in years prior. The NFL reported that it would be using Matthews’ hit as a teaching tape.


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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