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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions, abbreviated to FAQ, are listed questions and answers, all supposed to be commonly asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic.


General Questions





  1. Can I Represent Myself?

    You can, but you shouldn’t. Acting as your own counsel is certainly not advisable. Qualified legal representation brings knowledge, skills, and experience to the table. Many cases require specialized knowledge about issues with which a lay(not legally trained) person may not be familiar.

    For example, in an automobile accident case, signing a release for your Property Damage claim could result in you not being able to go forward with your Bodily Injury claim. Before you even fill out an insurance form (or file a complaint) you should talk to a lawyer first.

  2. Should I Wait to See How the Case is Going Before I Decide to Hire a Lawyer?

    No. When you hesitate in making an insurance claim, you risk losing valuable documentation, missing important time deadlines, and letting evidence go stale. By waiting, you can short change yourself and damage your chances for recovery. Consulting with legal counsel immediately allows you to consider every possible option of a case.

  3. Do I Have to Tell My Attorney Everything?

    YES! If you fail to communicate with your attorney, you are risking the outcome of your case. Your attorney must be prepared for every issue that could arise during your case. Because your attorney is bound by law to hold the information you discuss in strict confidence, you need not worry about the information falling into the wrong hands or it being used against you.

Georgia Traffic Violations and Points System

  • adjournment – continuance, postponement. This is where you request to have your court date rescheduled.

  • citation – also known as the traffic ticket, this is an official document issued by the police officer. It shows your personal information (name, driver’s license), the officer’s name, what you are charged with and your court date.

  • appellant – the party who appeals a decision of a lower court.

  • contingent fees – a fee arrangement where the attorney is paid an agreed percentage of the dollar amount of a person’s recovery as the attorney’s fee. Contingent fees are most commonly used in personal injury plaintiff cases and occasionally in other types of cases.

  • flat fees – a fee arrangement where the attorney charges a set cost for specific legal services.

  • holding – court decision

  • hourly rates – a fee arrangement where the attorney charges based on a set cost per hour.

  • negligence – a legal term for any careless behavior that causes or contributes to an accident. For most types of accidents, a person must be found negligent in order to be held legally responsible for another person’s injuries. If a person behaves negligently and that behavior causes you harm, you can most likely recover compensation for your injuries.

  • remanded – to send back to a lower court.
  • retainer fee – an advance payment by you to be used by the attorney to pay costs and fees.

  • summary motion – a motion that asks a court for an immediate judgment for the party filing the motion because both parties agree on the facts in the case and because under law the party who introduced the motion is entitled to a favorable judgment.

  • torts – wrongful acts that do not involve contracts

  • unbundling – also known as “limited scope” or ”discrete task” legal services unbundling allows attorneys to work with specific elements of a matter such as legal advice, document preparation or document review, and/or limited appearances.

Criminal Defense





  1. What are the different types of crimes?

    There are two classifications of crimes:

    1. Felonies include,but are not limited to, the following: possession of drugs over a specific weight; robbery; armed robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; theft by taking; theft by receiving stolen property; murder; rape; child molestation; and kidnapping.
    2. Misdemeanor an offense that includes but not limited to .

    What are the differences between Felonies and misdemeanors?

    1. Misdemeanors are generally less serious crimes than felonies. Most misdemeanors are punishable by a prison term of 1 to 12 months. A misdemeanor term is always expressed in months, whereas a felony term is always expressed in years.

Seven Deadly Sins

The Georgia law of “Seven Deadly Sins” is mandated mandatory sentences that range from ten years to life. Originally used to target repeat juvenile offenders to be tried as adults with harsher sentences.

  1. Murder
  2. Voluntary Manslaughter
  3. Rape
  4. Sodomy
  5. Child Molestation
  6. Sexual Battery
  7. Armed robbery with a firearm

DUI





  1. What is a DUI?

    Driving Under the Influence (DUI), possession of illegal drugs, underage possession of alcohol
    while operating a motor vehicle, or Boating Under the Influence (BUI)

  2. Do I Have to Tell My Attorney Everything?

    YES! If you fail to communicate with your attorney, you are risking the outcome of your case. Your attorney must be prepared for every issue that could arise during your case. Because your attorney is bound by law to hold the information you discuss in strict confidence, you need not worry about the information falling into the wrong hands or it being used against you.







What is the Georgia Point System?

The Georgia Point System ranges from 2 to 6 points. A driver with 15 points in a 24 month period will be suspended.Points are assessed for each conviction pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-5-57(c)(1)(A)

Offense Code Conviction Points
§40-6-397 Aggressive Driving 6 Points
§40-6-390 Reckless Driving 4 Points
§40-6-163 Unlawful Passing School Bus 6 Points
§40-6-45 Improper Passing on Hill or Curve 4 Points
§40-6-181 Speeding:
15 to 18 mph over speed limit 2 Points
19 to 23 mph over speed limit 3 Points
24 to 33 mph over speed limit 4 Points
34 mph or more over speed limit 6 Points
§40-6-20 Failure to Obey Traffic-Control Device 3 Points
§40-6-2 Failure to Obey Police Officer 3 Points
§40-6-253 Possessing an Open Container of an Alcoholic Beverage while Driving 2 Points
§40-6-248.1 Failure to Adequately Secure Load (except fresh farm produce), resulting in an Accident 2 Points
§40-8-76 Violation of Child Safety Restraint
1st Offense 1 Point
2nd or Subsequent Offense 2 Points
§40-6-241.1 Violation of usage of wireless telecommunication device requirements 1 Point
§40-6-241.2 Operating a Vehicle while Text Messaging 1 Point
§40-6-54 Improper Use of Designated Travel Lane -  4th and Subsequent Offense 1 Point
  All Other Moving Violations 3 Points

Family Laws





General Family Law

  1. Question

    Answer

  2. Question

    Answer

Seminar for Divorcing Parents

  1. How do I register for the seminar?

    Contact the appropriate County office for registration information. This can be done by phone or on the internet.

  2. Do I have to take the seminar in the county the divorce is filed in?

    No. The seminar can be taken at any court registered location in Georgia.

  3. Can the seminar be taken on-line?

    No

  4. What do I need to bring with me?

    Contact the appropriate County office for heir specific requirements. This can be done by phone or on the Internet.

  5. What is the cost?

    Typically the cost runs from $30.00 to $35.00. Contact the appropriate County for their specific costs.

  6. What happens if I am late?

    You will not be admitted if the Seminar has started.

  7. Does my soon to be "ex" and I have to take the seminar together?

    No.

  8. What happens if one of the parties will not attend the seminar?

    The court can old them in contempt of court and even withhold visitation until the seminar has been taken.

Child Custody

Before arriving at your child custody hearing, you and your former partner should craft a parenting plan that outlines a number of details including

  • A parenting time schedule, with an outline making clear who the child will spend time with for each day of the year
  • An agreement about how the child will spend holidays and vacations
  • A proposal for transportation arrangements and drop-off points when a child leaves one parent to visit the other
  • An agreement about how a parent may contact a child when that child is in the other parent's care.

Personal Injury





  1. What is a Personal Injury Case?

    A personal injury case is when a person suffers injury due to another person’s actions, or failure to act when the person should. The basic issues that make up a case revolve around who was liable, or legally responsible, for the incident causing harm and what amount needs to be paid to the person who was injured.

  2. When Do I Need an Attorney?

    The simple fact is that anyone with any personal injuries should consider consulting with an attorney first, before dealing with the other side, the other side’s attorney, or the other side’s insurer. This helps protect the person with injuries since the extent of injuries may not be fully known at the time that contacts are made and settlements are always made with binding releases.

Traffic





  1. How does a traffic violation affect your license?

    There is a period of time during which points on your license will affect your record, depending on your state. The period of time starts when you are convicted or pleaded to the offense. After the amount of time expires, the particular offense will no longer be reflected on your driving record and will no longer affect your record. Therefore, if your suspension was based on accumulated points, the removal of some points might remove the basis for continued suspension. Check your state’s DMV website to see how long points will affect your license.

  2. How does a traffic violation affect your insurance?

    Your insurance company rates your insurance premium based on your age, background, driving history and additional factors that vary by company and state. Traffic convictions, accidents and violations suggest to the insurance company that you are a high risk driver and you may pay more in insurance premiums than those with a clean driving record.

  3. Can a recording or picture from a traffic camera result in a valid traffic violation citation?

    In some states traffic cameras are used to issue traffic citations when people run a red light. Cities like Albuquerque, Atlanta , Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC, are currently implementing this system. The general policy behind these laws is to prevent accidents. Typically, if your vehicle enters an intersection any time after the signal light has turned red then you are guilty of the offense.

  4. How does a traffic violation affect a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

    Persons with a CDL tend to go through more rigorous procedures to obtain their licenses. Because of the nature of the license the penalties tend to be stricter when a person has a CDL, which means that a conviction may mean greater points and fines on a person with a CDL.

  5. Are there statutes of limitations on traffic violations?

    A statute of limitation is the period of time during which a prosecuting court must bring an action against you after you have committed an offense. In general, statutes of limitations do not apply to traffic citations because you are deemed to be served with the action for which you are charged upon receipt of the citation by the issuing officer.

  6. How do I obtain a Points Reduction?

    In accordance with O.C.G.A §40-5-86, licensed Georgia residents may request that DDS reduce the number of points assessed against their Georgia driver's license up to 7 points once every 5 years.
    To qualify for a Points Reduction, you must successfully complete a certified Driver Improvement (defensive driving) course and present the original certificate of completion to the DDS by mail or in person at one of our Customer Service Centers.
    If you request a Points Reduction by mail, please mail the original Driver Improvement (defensive driving) certificate of completion to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, P. O. Box 80447, Conyers, Georgia 30013.
    A list of certified Driver Improvement (defensive driving) course can be found at the following link:http://www.dds.ga.gov/training/defensivedrivingschools.aspx

    Can a recording or picture from a traffic camera result in a valid traffic violation citation?




What is the Georgia Point System?

The Georgia Point System ranges from 2 to 6 points. A driver with 15 points in a 24 month period will be suspended.Points are assessed for each conviction pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-5-57(c)(1)(A)

Offense Code Conviction Points
§40-6-397 Aggressive Driving 6 Points
§40-6-390 Reckless Driving 4 Points
§40-6-163 Unlawful Passing School Bus 6 Points
§40-6-45 Improper Passing on Hill or Curve 4 Points
§40-6-181 Speeding:
15 to 18 mph over speed limit 2 Points
19 to 23 mph over speed limit 3 Points
24 to 33 mph over speed limit 4 Points
34 mph or more over speed limit 6 Points
§40-6-20 Failure to Obey Traffic-Control Device 3 Points
§40-6-2 Failure to Obey Police Officer 3 Points
§40-6-253 Possessing an Open Container of an Alcoholic Beverage while Driving 2 Points
§40-6-248.1 Failure to Adequately Secure Load (except fresh farm produce), resulting in an Accident 2 Points
§40-8-76 Violation of Child Safety Restraint
1st Offense 1 Point
2nd or Subsequent Offense 2 Points
§40-6-241.1 Violation of usage of wireless telecommunication device requirements 1 Point
§40-6-241.2 Operating a Vehicle while Text Messaging 1 Point
§40-6-54 Improper Use of Designated Travel Lane -  4th and Subsequent Offense 1 Point
  All Other Moving Violations 3 Points

Wills & Probate

  1. Who should prepare a will?

    Your lawyer. Drafting a will involves making decisions requiring professional judgment, which can be obtained only by years of training, experience, and study. Only a practicing lawyer can avoid the innumerable pitfalls and advise the course best suited for each situation to ensure that your wishes are respected. You should avoid using do-it-yourself kits or Internet templates, as they may create many problems.

  2. How long is a will valid?

    The mere passage of time has no effect on the validity of the will. Since a will does not take effect until you pass away, you may make changes to your will at any time without notice or approval from the beneficiaries, but the changes must be executed with the same formalities as the will itself. You should review your will every two to three years, and at major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child or a substantial increase in assets.

  3. What is a living will?

    In the event of a life threatening situation, whereby your sole means of survival depends on a life support machine, the Living Will grants a specific individual (to be named by you) the authority to decide whether to sustain your life with aid of the life support equipment or to disconnect the machine.

Legal Process





  • adjournment – continuance, postponement. This is where you request to have your court date rescheduled.

  • citation – also known as the traffic ticket, this is an official document issued by the police officer. It shows your personal information (name, driver’s license), the officer’s name, what you are charged with and your court date.

  • appellant – the party who appeals a decision of a lower court.

  • contingent fees – a fee arrangement where the attorney is paid an agreed percentage of the dollar amount of a person’s recovery as the attorney’s fee. Contingent fees are most commonly used in personal injury plaintiff cases and occasionally in other types of cases.

  • flat fees – a fee arrangement where the attorney charges a set cost for specific legal services.

  • holding – court decision

  • hourly rates – a fee arrangement where the attorney charges based on a set cost per hour.

  • negligence – a legal term for any careless behavior that causes or contributes to an accident. For most types of accidents, a person must be found negligent in order to be held legally responsible for another person’s injuries. If a person behaves negligently and that behavior causes you harm, you can most likely recover compensation for your injuries.

  • remanded
  • – to send back to a lower court.
  • retainer fee – an advance payment by you to be used by the attorney to pay costs and fees.

  • summary motion – a motion that asks a court for an immediate judgment for the party filing the motion because both parties agree on the facts in the case and because under law the party who introduced the motion is entitled to a favorable judgment.

  • torts – wrongful acts that do not involve contracts

  • unbundling – also known as “limited scope” or ”discrete task” legal services unbundling allows attorneys to work with specific elements of a matter such as legal advice, document preparation or document review, and/or limited appearances.

Civil | Federal

Civil lawsuits are the disputes between people, businesses, or other entities, including government entities. Generally speaking the process below:

  1. Pleadings

    Pleadings is initial step to your lawsuit. Each side of the party explains their position.This is in the forms of two processes:

    • The Complaint The Plaintiff files a formal complaint to the courts explaining what the Defendant did (or did not do).
    • The Answer The Defendants then responds stating their side of the events in the provided amount of time. They also have the option to file a counter-claim that holds the plaintiff liable for the damage.
  2. Discovery

    The discovery is the period in which both sides gather applicable information from each other and any other third party. Information is gathered to support the case’s claims. The time extent of this depends on the matters of the case. This is usually the longest part of the case.

    This is also where settlements or negotiations take place. See below for alternatives to litigation.

    • Settlement: The rule of thumb is to try see if an out-of-court settlement can be reached. This is not required by the courts but they can request assist in the process. This can be done at ant point before a trial.
    • Mediation: The parties can elect to have a neutral third-party, referred to as a mediator. The mediator helps identify the strengths, weaknesses, and risk associated with their goals. If both parties agree to the terms established in mediation, the case ends. However, if both parties disagree, any terms discussed in mediation does not appear during the trial.
    • Arbitration: The less formal and shorter process of a trial, without a judge. The arbitration is similar to a mediator, however unlike mediation the parameters are binding. The agreement reached in arbitration cannot be appealed in a court ruling.
  3. Trial

    The parties present evidence in support of their claims or defenses to a jury and/or judge. The brief is drafted that outlines the arguments of both sides, next the. Next, the parties present evidence

    • Post-Verdict:
    • Costs and Fees:
While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, it is not intended as legal advice as individual situations
will differ and should be discussed with an expert.