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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Cobb County

CBS asks whether the school bus violation cameras work.  

Read the article and judge for yourself.  But whether they "work" depends on what they are meant to accomplish.    If their purpose is to generate money for a private company and local government by scaring drivers and denying them due process, then the cameras are a huge success.  If their purpose is to make children safer, then there's not much evidence that they do.

More:

“Fir$t, W€ N€€d t¢ Und€r$tand W€ Didn’t G€t Int¢ Thi$ f¢r R€v€nu€”

Gwinnett School Bus Camera Tickets Net $1.1 Million

School bus cameras: Sensible idea, but a money-grab | Editorial | NJ.com

 Huge Increase in Bus Passings Spark Meetings in Cobb

Cobb Violations Increase by 31% After Installation of School Bus Cameras

 

 

 

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On October 21, 2013, the Georgia Supreme Court issued opinions in Brown v. State (S12G1287) and Williams v. State (S13G1078). Both were unanimous decisions and both changed Georgia law to the benefit of Georgia drivers and their rights.

Brown v. State is my case.  It involves a Cobb County Police Department roadblock conducted in Marietta in 2010. We won the motion to suppress in Superior Court.  The District Attorney appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed.  I appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, we had oral arguments in April, and the high court reversed the Court of Appeals and reinstated the original ruling from Superior Court.

Williams v. State is a Bibb County (Macon) case.  In that case, Mr. Williams lost in Superior Court, appealed, lost again in the Court of Appeals, appealed, and finally prevailed in the Georgia Supreme Court.

In both cases, the Court reviews, clarifies, and enhances Georgia law to the benefit of future drivers everywhere.  These two specific drivers will avoid convictions that would have haunted them for life.

Other drivers who were charged out of the same roadblocks could have also avoided convictions had they been willing to put in the effort, time and resources that Brown and Williams were willing to devote to their cases.  This doesn't mean that everyone who fights back will win, but it shows that you can't win if you don't fight.  

If you are facing charges arising out of a roadblock ("safety checkpoint") in Georgia, don't just "roll over and play dead."   Fight for your rights, your freedom, and your good name.  Like Mr. Brown and Mr. Williams, never give up.

UPDATE: 

www.pacga.org/site/protected_docs/fyi_10_21_13_Roadblocks.pdf

www.poag.org/wp-content/.../Oct-2013-Bibb-County-Roadblock.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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People who find themselves accused of a crime for the first time have no idea what to expect in court.  Most people never set foot in a courtroom, and form opinions about what to expect from what they see on television.  Here's my list of what to expect in court when you've been charged with a crime: 

  1. Expect POLICE OFFICERS who think you are guilty and should go to prison for a long time.  They have probably testified hundreds of times.  They have probably gotten together in advance with the other police witnesses to coordinate their testimony.  They know how to dress, how to act, and how to testify.  They will wear their badges and uniforms so that they look like authority figures that the jury can trust.   The jury will trust them.
  2. Expect one or more angry VICTIMS demanding that you go prison for a long, long time.  They will remind the prosecutor that they are registered voters, that he works for them, that he needs to do what they say, and that he needs to keep them safe from scum like you.  They won't care who you are, how sorry you are, how young you are, why you are accused, that you've never been accused before, or that you promise to never do it again.   They will not want the DA/Solicitor to plea bargain at all with your low-life defense lawyer (me).  All they will want to see is you going to prison for a long, long time. 
  3. Expect a PROSECUTOR who gets elected and paid by the victims.  He is looking to add your name to his list of people he has sent to prison.  If he is an ambitious young prosecutor, he wants to build his reputation as quickly as possible.  If he is an experienced old prosecutor, he has heard every story in the book and has no interest in hearing yours.  He knows he has charged you with everything he can think of so that he has the upper hand against you in negotiations.
  4. Expect an JUDGE who is elected by the victims (like the prosecutor), gets his paycheck from the same place as the prosecutor, cops and public defender, and wants to keep his job with a reputation for being "tough on crime."   He has heard ever sob story in the book, including yours.  He won't care that you are young, or poor, or have kids, or are a good student, or that this is your first time arrested.  You can apologize all you want, blame drugs, blame your "wrong crowd" of friends, and blame anyone else you want, but the judge won't buy it. 
  5. Expect a JURY of people who want to be anywhere but there.  They will see you as a personal inconvenience to them.  Half of them will think you are guilty from the start simply because you have been charged with a crime.  They will say that they will presume you to be "innocent until proven guilty," but they won't mean it.  They will tend to believe whatever the police witnesses say and disbelieve whatever you say (if you testify at all).  They will want to convict you quickly so they can go home.
  6. Expect to be offered a PUBLIC DEFENDER who is overworked and underpaid.  He might talk to you before your court date, but don't be surprised if he doesn't.  He gets paid the same whether you like him or not; whether he wins or not; whether you refer future business to him or not.  He does not need you to be happy.   He does not need to impress you, impress the judge, impress the jury, or impress anyone.  His job and future income are going to be exactly the same regardless of how your case goes.  You are probably just 1 of 100+ cases that he has, so don't be shocked and don't take it personally if he doesn't quite remember your name or the names of any of your family or witnesses.

Scared yet?  You should be.  Now go hire an attorney of your choosing and fight for your freedom. 

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The Marietta Daily Journal is reporting that Georgia law enforcement executed a statewide roundup of online child pornography suspects: 

Cobb County Police were among almost 50 state agencies that came together Wednesday to show up at front doors with search warrants for 98 suspects accused of distributing child pornography over the Internet.

In Cobb alone, six warrants were issued and numerous computers were taken and submitted for forensic analysis, according to Officer Mike Bowman with Cobb Police.

“No physical arrests have been made at this time,” he said. “Charges may be forthcoming pending the completion of the computer analyses.”

As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, there have been 73 search warrants executed statewide and 41 arrests were made in connection with this continuing operation, according to John Bankhead with GBI.

I like these cases not because of the subject matter, but because of the technology. I would be just as interested in these cases if people were rounded up for downloading copyrighted song or movies, but those cases rarely get the attention of law enforcement. 

I used a computer hard drive graphic because that's what these cases will come down to.  The computers will be imaged and examined by bigger computers to see if there's anything on there that is illegal to possess.  After that, charges will be filed, people will be arrested, and the war will begin:

Considering the Peter Mallory just got sentenced to 1,000 years in south Georgia for child pornography, any person who had his computer seized in this raid should already be in a lawyer's office planning their defense.  These charges aren't to be taken lightly.

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