If you have read the news over the last few days, you may have seen that a metro Atlanta pastor was arrested when a visit to his home uncovered 8 people locked in a basement area. It’s not very often that this type of situation makes front page news. This story is egregious on many levels. Each of the 8 people were either mentally or physically disabled and unable to care for themselves. Some of them were elderly. The pastor and his wife had allegedly deadbolted these people into a room and were taking care of their finances, medicines and more. According to the police department spokesperson, “the couple was in control of the disabled individuals’ finances, medications and benefits and the individuals had been denied medical care in some instances.”
It wasn’t made clear how these individuals came to be in the pastor and his wife’s care or in their home. Information has yet to come to light about whether any of them were missing from their loved ones. Either way, this article brings up several points and we wanted to take the time to point them out.
Elderly Are Vulnerable
Our elderly friends and loved ones are often the first ones who become victims to scams. They do not want to ask for help and want to maintain their independence. It is up to family members and friends to follow up regularly to ensure that they have adequate care on all levels. Here are a few things to consider:
- Are they taking their medicines as they should?
- Do they need help with daily tasks?
- Is someone taking them to the doctor and keeping their appointments if that is necessary?
Situations like the above should NEVER happen. We have several articles on ways to recognize elder abuse, including malnutrition, bedsores, negligence and more.
Check out the following articles:
Why You Should Check For Nursing Home Abuse
Understanding and Recognizing Elder Abuse
Medication Errors and the Elderly
If you, or a loved one, needs the help or advice of an experienced legal advocate on issues related to elder abuse, elder negligence, bedsores or more, contact our office. David Crawford has years of experience working with families in these situations.
Although the question in the title of this article can have a double meaning, the intent is pretty clear. Someone has received a traffic citation and wants to know if it’s worth it to hire a lawyer to represent him/her for that citation. And at any rate, the answer to both meanings of would be: YES. Traffic lawyers really work.
Traffic violations in Georgia are criminal offenses. If you are a visitor or new to Georgia, you should know that traffic citations are misdemeanors. The laws can be complex and winning in court without a traffic attorney is not common. Learn more about Georgia’s traffic laws here.
Traffic lawyers really work because they are well versed in the Georgia law. They also know the court system. They understand which courts will allow lesser charges and which ones should be fought. More importantly, they know when you should fight and when you should settle it out and pay the fine. But even if you have to pay the fine, a skilled traffic lawyer often has the knowledge to reduce that amount or to limit the impact the ticket may have on your driving record.
If you have received a citation, you can contact us for a free review of that citation by uploading it. Our office will review at no cost to you.
COVID has created some challenges in nearly all aspects of our lives. Education and jobs have been put on hold. Healthcare has seen a massive intake of patients due to Covid or the after effects. In spite of these obstacles there is no excuse for our health care centers, hospitals or long-term treatment centers to ignore patients to the degree that they develop bedsores or other pressure ulcers. Simply put, Covid is NOT an excuse for bedsores, pressure sores or other forms of patient neglect.
Nursing homes, assisted living, rehab centers, and even hospitals are full in many areas of the country. Just as we thought we had this pandemic behind us, we see another spike in the outbreak of this disease. In addition to this, we are also facing a shortage of employees like most of us have not seen in many years. That means that the caretakers and care providers in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living locations, and even rehab centers are facing maximum capacity without adequate staffing.
Bedsores and pressure sores develop on the skin from neglect. This happens when the body is stagnant in one position for a long period of time. Caregivers and caretakers know they must turn the body and care for the body of the patients who are susceptible to these types of wounds. The facility is responsible for the lack of care given a patient who develops bedsores or pressure sores. If you believe a loved one is in a facility where he or she is not being cared for properly, has developed these types of wounds or is being neglected, contact us immediately. David has the knowledge, skill and legal expertise to help you help your loved ones.
COVID-19 is not an excuse for neglect. Covid is not an excuse for the understaffing. Covid is not an excuse for the lack of patient care that is required to prevent a patient from developing bedsores and pressure sores. In these types of injuries, your loved one can become ill suddenly. These types of wounds can become fatal. If you suspect neglect, contact us immediately.
See the following helpful articles relating to bedsores, neglect and elder abuse
Bedsores and Other Signs of Elder Abuse
As a lawyer, one of the most common questions we get, is how to convince a judge to see the facts our way. Everyone wants to know the answer to that question, including the lawyers! Although there is no magical formula, I wanted to take the time to list the most common items we see listed and suggested and address each one.
When you have any business before the person who will ultimately decide the fate of your situation for a traffic violation, be honest. If the judge asks, sir this states you were clocked driving 78 in a 45. Is that correct? Don’t lie. Judges have heard it all. If you were driving that fast, own up to it.
In our system of law, you either plead guilty or not guilty. If you have mitigating situations, you will plead not guilty and then lay those out when you have your day in court. If you plead guilty, it’s a done deal so make sure you understand what you have done and the sentencing guidelines, fines and fees as well as potential for license suspension.
No good will come from losing your cool in court.
When given an opportunity to provide the details of what led to your traffic citation, explain things which may have been a factor. If you were cited for driving too slowly, (yes, it’s a thing), think of why you were going slow. Was weather a factor? If speeding, use things to your advantage to mitigate. Was it only 5 mph over the speed limit? Do you have a spotless record otherwise?
When to Hire an attorney
As you can see from this article, it’s not cut and dry. Judges are people like us and they use their knowledge of the law as well as their every day knowledge and common sense. You may not realize it, but in Georgia, traffic offenses are criminal offenses. That means that when an officer issues a citation for speeding, failing to yield, or any number of traffic based offenses, these are criminal citations which require a court appearance unless the fine is paid in advance. There are some citations that cannot be paid without a court appearance such as driving without insurance. For those where there is an option of paying a fine, payment of that fine is an admission of guilt, and in many cases, those charges can add points to your license. Get enough points and you will lose your license. In addition, there are specific laws that govern speeding. You can read more about that law in our article on Georgia’s Super Speeder Law here
If you, or a loved one, finds yourself in a situation involving traffic tickets, a DUI, driving without insurance or other criminal matters, contact our office
. David Crawford has the knowledge, experience and compassion to help see that your rights are protected and preserve your driving record. There is no reason to run. Attorney David Crawford’s got your back.
If you are fighting a traffic ticket in court, you may be wondering what to say in traffic court. You definately want to be prepared rather than walking in and winging it. This is one of those times when having a solid plan will come to your advantage. So, how do you prepare for your day and know what to say in traffic court when your day comes around?
First, take a moment to read our article on Do I Need a Lawyer for a Traffic Ticket.
Having an understanding of your ticket and the legal consequences of how you respond to that ticket will help you decide if you need an attorney or if you can do this yourself. While we do not advocate that you represent yourself, we realize that you may wish to do that.
- First things first. Whether you are going to be in physical court or on a video session, present yourself appropriately. Wear a business type of shirt such as one with a collar.
- Speak respectfully. Address the judge as “Your Honor” or “Judge”.
- Use full sentences to speak. Do not use slang like “bruh, dude, yo, wattsup, i hear ya, yup, nah” or any other words you may use with someone you usually communicate with regularly. This is a judge. It’s not your friend and this person is to be treated in his or her position with respect. You want him or her to help you, so the last thing you want to do is to offend by saying the wrong thing.
- Speak only when asked to speak
- Answer the question and only the question. This is a big one and it’s the one that gets most clients in trouble.
- Detail what happened and why your situation is an exception. I.e, You aren’t Guilty and why.
- Consider how you explain why you aren’t guilty before you go in there. Was it the weather? Going less than 5 mph over the speed limit? Is your driving record perfect and this is your first traffic stop?
Here are some other helpful articles
Things to Know About Georgia Law
Reasons To Hire a Lawyer
Georgia’s Tricky Super Speeder Law
If you find yourself in this situation and would like our assistance, contact us. You can upload your citation directly to our site for review! David has over 20 years of experience working with clients and traffic laws in Georgia.
I think we all agree that getting a traffic ticket is frustrating. Yet most of us have had one at some point in our lives. We are running late, we go a little fast and just like that, we get a speeding ticket. It’s so annoying because we knew better and should have done better. We are cruising along and lost in thought and cruise right through the Stop sign. We realize it just as we hear the siren and see the lights. We are thankful we did not get plowed into by another driver but still annoyed at the ticket. Nobody likes to get a traffic ticket.
You Agreed to That Additional Background Check
However, getting a traffic ticket as an Uber or Lyft driver can be much more than simply annoying. When you drive for a ride share company like Uber or Lyft, you are subject to an initial background check. You also consented to ongoing checks when you began driving for them. This makes sense because these companies have the responsibility to protect their riders. That’s a big responsibility.
So, you had a background check when you went to work for them and you may think that covers you going forward. However, there are many things that can kick off another one. A customer can leave a bad review (customers sometimes leave false bad reviews in the hopes of getting a refund on their ride. The worse the review, the more likely the chance of a background check). The company can decide to do a random screening. The company may decide to update their records or change insurance companies. There are any number of reasons they many do a second, third or ongoing background check.
Fight The Ticket
Let’s say you got a ticket that amounts to a $100 fine. Why wouldn’t you pay that and move on with your life? Well, because paying that ticket is pleading guilty and that ticket will then show up on your record. On that next background check, it will show up. That ticket will affect your points on your license which in turn affects your insurance rates. Oh, and that job you love, working for Lyft or Uber, may go away. Uber and Lyft appear to have a policy that states you cannot drive for the company if you have had more than three moving violations in the three years prior to the background check. However, you do not have to search far online to find people who state that they lost their ability to drive for one or more of these companies for only one violation. In addition, being removed from one of the companies could bar you from working at the other. This may be due to insurance company requirements.
Now, you may think that the cost of hiring a lawyer outweighs paying your ticket. Before you make that decision, contact our office. We have a form where you can upload your Georgia citation. We will review it at no cost to you. As we always tell our clients, checking out your options cost you nothing. Doing nothing may cost you everything.
Some helpful articles:
Do I need a Lawyer for Traffic Tickets in Georgia
Traffic Stops in Georgia