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John A. Steakely

Attorney John Steakley is a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. He began his career as the Special Prosecutor for Drug Crimes for a multi-county, multi-agency drug task force in Tennessee, where he represented the State of Tennessee in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases in a 5-county judicial district.

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$teakley'$ Golden Rule$

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There are a few general rules that can make your life much easier both inside and outside of the criminal justice realm.  I call them my "golden rules."   Consider these:

 

  1. Just because something is Constitutional doesn't mean it's a good idea.  Oh sure, you have the right to "flip off" a policeman or express your displeasure by yelling "f*ck the police", but what good does it do you? All you get is alot of scrutiny that you could have avoided. 
  2. Never consent to a police search of your body, blood, breath, saliva, DNA, automobile, computer or residence.  You have nothing to gain.  Even if the police promise to get a search warrant and come back, make them.  You gain nothing by consenting.
  3. The only way to "beat the system" is to stay out of it.  If you get arrested and charged with a crime, you find yourself under the control of other people, be it a jailer or a bondsman or a judge or a prosecutor.  You are on the defensive from the start and often the best outcome you can hope for is to get back to where you were the moment before you entered the criminal justice system.  You don't beat the system.  You survive it.
  4. Never talk to the police.  The police want nothing more than to hear "your side of the story" so they can use it against you.  If your side needs to be told, there will be plenty of time later to tell it.  But before you say anything, talk to a lawyer first.  Prisons are full of people who thought they could talk their way out of a jam.
  5. Don't spend dollars to win dimes.  I often here stories of people who have been wronged and want to sue.  The problem is that the wrong is less expensive than the suit.  Why gamble $5,000 to win $50?  It's not worth it, no matter how right you think you are.  Pick your battles.
  6. Public defenders are worth every penny you pay them.  Most public defenders are talented and hard-working.  But no matter how good of an attorney a public defender may be, they get their budget from the taxpayers and taxpayers hate to fund public defenders.  As a result, public defenders are overworked, underpaid, and less effective than they should be.  The US Attorney General and a host of others have said so
  7. Never break more than one law at a time.  How do most drug cases begin?  Traffic stops.  People who are already breaking the law by having drugs in their car should not also break the law by having busted tag lights, cracked windshields, etc. 
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Attorney John Steakley is a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. He began his career as the Special Prosecutor for Drug Crimes for a multi-county, multi-agency drug task force in Tennessee, where he represented the State of Tennessee in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases in a 5-county judicial district.


He was selected by the National College of District Attorneys to attend advanced legal seminars in Santa Fe, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Houston. In 2000, he was appointed to the position of Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee by Attorney General Janet Reno, and reappointed again the following year.


In 2001, he accepted an offer from the Gwinnett County District Attorneys Office and spent the next four years representing the State of Georgia in several hundred serious felony cases.   He continues to handle the most serious of cases, often winning outright dismissals of charges, or significant reductions for his clients.  For more about the type of cases Mr. Steakley has handled, click here:  Selected Criminal Cases


SteakleyCh5336x280In 2006 he was a founding partner of Crosby, Haldi & Steakley, LLC, located in Decatur.  Now in private practice since 2007 as John A. Steakley, P.C., headquartered in Marietta, he represents individuals in a wide variety of matters, using his experience to provide his clients with quality legal representation. He is licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Georgia, but focuses almost solely on Georgia.  


In 2012, the Georgia Supreme Court certified him as a Mentor for theTransition Into Law Practice Program, serving as a role model and mentoring young attorneys just entering into the practice of law.  This came on the heels of years of coaching the Emory University Law School's Mock Trial Team in how to be effective and successful courtroom litigators.


In addition to advocating for his clients in the courtroom, Mr. Steakley is a strong proponent of individual liberties.  He co-authored a scholarly work on whether the United States Constitution afforded citizens the right to record their interactions with police even in private places.  This article has garnered attention and raised awareness about this timely legal-technology issue, and was named one of the "Must Read Articles of 2012" by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. 


He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, the Tennessee Court of Civil Appeals, the State Bar of Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court, the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Gwinnett County Bar Association, and Cobb County Bar Association.


When not practicing law, Mr. Steakley is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys flying around the Southeast.  He has been a pilot since 1999.

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