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Criminal Defense

Do I need to hire an attorney in Georgia if I plan on pleading guilty?

Yes. Even if you never plan on going to trial or plan on pleading guilty, you should still hire an attorney to help you with your case.

Is there a difference between probation and parole in Georgia?

In Georgia, probation is an act of the court, not of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Probation instead of imprisonment may be ordered by a court for all or part of a person’s sentence. Probation is not parole. Parole may be granted only by the Parole Board after a person has served part of their sentence in prison.

Is there a difference between a felony and misdemeanor in Georgia?

Misdemeanors can carry up to 12 months of jail time, while a felony conviction carries the risk of more than a year (and, for many offenses, multiple years) of incarceration in a state penitentiary. Misdemeanors are comparatively minor offenses while felonies are serious crimes.

Can police conduct a search without a warrant in Georgia?

Yes. The Fourth Amendment declares the need for a search warrant, but there are a number of general exceptions to the requirement.

These exceptions relate to searches and seizures that occur:

  1. incident to (related to) a lawful arrest.
  2. when an officer observes, in “plain view,” property that has been reported stolen or is contraband or otherwise illegal. (Contraband is something a private citizen cannot legally possess.)
  3. when an officer has to take immediate action (referred to as “exigent circumstances’).
  4. when an individual consents to the search.

What should I do if I'm arrested in Georgia?

If you are arrested in Georgia, you can make your defense in court. Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Tell the police nothing, except your name, age, and address. Don’t give explanations or stories or try to excuse the conduct.

Do I have to consent to a law enforcement officer to search my car in Georgia?

No, but there are circumstances when the police can search your car without a warrant. They are under these general circumstances:

  1. You have given the officer consent;
  2. The officer has probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime in your vehicle;
  3. The officer reasonably believes a search is necessary for their own protection (a hidden weapon, for example); and
  4. You have been arrested and the search is related to that arrest (such as a search for illegal drugs).
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What is a 30-day letter in Georgia?

The 30-day letter in Georgia requests an Administrative License Hearing to try and prevent the automatic suspension of your Georgia driver’s license after being charged with a DUI. The ALS Hearing is separate from the DUI proceedings. A failure to send in the letter will result in an automatic suspension of your license for up to a year.

Can Georgia police charge me with a DUI even if they didn't see me driving the car?

Yes. The police do not always witness the defendant driving in a DUI case. However, the officer can still arrest you for a DUI offense even if they did not see you driving the car because the law allows police officers to consider all facts and make reasonable assumptions in every case.

Will I lose my license after a DUI in Georgia?

After you are arrested for a DUI, you only have a limited amount of time to fight to keep your driving privileges. If you do not quickly assert this right, your license will be automatically suspended.

What happens if I refuse to blow into the breathalyzer in Georgia?

If a driver refuses to blow into the breathalyzer, their Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive in the state will be suspended for a minimum of one year. The only way the police can get you to submit to a breathalyzer test is to get your consent or if they have a warrant for your arrest.

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Estate planning

When should I start an estate plan?

It is never too early to start an estate plan. This will assist in assets being distributed in the event of a tragedy.

Am I too young to have an estate plan?

No. It is never too early to start an estate plan. Once you turn 18, your parents no longer have authority to make healthcare or financial decisions for you. That’s why it’s important to visit with a lawyer and get an estate plan in order.

How much does it cost to put an estate plan in place?

Depending on the complexity of your individual needs, estate planning costs can vary greatly.

It’s very common for a lawyer to charge a flat fee to write a will and other basic estate planning documents. The low end for a simple lawyer-drafted will is around $300. A price of closer to $1,000 is more common, and it’s not unusual to find a $1,500 price tag.

If I already have a will, do I need a trust?

A will and a trust are two different estate planning tools. Trusts offer more control of assets, but they are more expensive, can be tedious to set up, and must be actively managed. If you do not have an estate-transfer plan, the state in which you live and the federal government will have one for you. Making this a priority now can save money and precious time later.

Is a Living Trust the only document I need to handle my estate?

A living trust helps manage your affairs while you’re alive and well. It also serves to maintain the status quo while you’re alive but not so well and at your death. Only a living will can unequivocally state your wishes for end of life.

What is a Revocable Living Trusts?

A revocable living trust is a trust document created by an individual that can be changed over time. Revocable living trusts are used to avoid probate and to protect the privacy of the trust owner and beneficiaries of the trust as well as minimize estate taxes.

Do I have to use a lawyer for the probate process?

Not all executors need to turn a probate court proceeding over to a lawyer or even hire a lawyer for limited advice. If the estate that you’re handling doesn’t contain unusual assets and isn’t too large, you may be able to get by just fine without a lawyer’s help. However, there are many complicated aspects of the probate process and it can be a very trying time. We recommend hiring a lawyer.

Does all property go through probate when a person dies?

In the state of Georgia, when someone dies with only a will, or not even that basic protection in place, their estate must go through a court process known as probate.

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Real Estate Law

How can a lawyer help with a real estate sale in Georgia?

A real estate attorney is equipped to handle any problems that arise during the purchase or sale process to ensure a legal and smooth transaction. Georgia law requires real estate closings to be handled by an attorney.

How can a lawyer help with a real estate purchase in Georgia?

Real estate law is nuanced and each transaction will have unique aspects. Purchasing property is a significant financial investment, one of the largest individuals will make in their lifetime. A real estate attorney will attempt to make sure the sale is hassle free and compliant with state and federal laws so buyers and sellers alike are able to feel comfortable with the transaction.

I Am Selling My Property By Owner. Can You Help Me?

Yes. An experienced attorney can review contract documents, advise you on the best course of action, and protect you from buyers who attempt to take advantage of your lack of knowledge when selling your property.

Can Your Office Represent Both The Buyer And Seller On The Same Matter?’

When it comes to buying and selling property, a real estate attorney can either represent the buyer or the seller. One attorney cannot do both. And when the buyer needs to borrow money for a mortgage, the real estate attorney who does the closing doesn’t represent either the buyer or the seller, but rather the lender.

How Long Does It Normally Take To Get To The Closing Table?

From the time that all parties sign the contract, expect the closing to happen about 30 to 45 days later.

What if the buyer walks away before the closing?

If the buyer walks before the closing, the seller is legally allowed to keep the earnest money.

Why is a title company used at closing?

At the closing, a settlement agent from a title company will bring all the necessary documentation, explain it to the parties, collect closing costs and distribute monies.

What is an attorney review & inspection letter?

The attorney review provision of the contract allows a purchaser’s attorney to submit contract modification requests to the sellers within a timely manner. The inspection provision of the contract allows the purchaser to include within the letter requests for any repairs the property may need. Even though the attorney review and inspection provisions often run on the same timeline, they are two separate contingencies in the contract.

Can I Avoid Foreclosure By Paying The Delinquent Mortgage Payments?

You can bring your loan current and avert a foreclosure by paying delinquent mortgage payments, plus penalties.

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Give the Ayers Law Office a call at 478-401-0355 to get started on your case today

Give the Ayers Law Office a call at 478-401-0355 to get started on your case today

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