Criminal, DUI and Personal Injury Lawyers in Marietta

Important Facts About DUI Cases in Georgia

At The Patterson Law Firm we receive numerous inquiries about DUI cases in the State of Georgia, so here is a breakdown of DUI facts you may want to know–

Implied Consent Laws:

DUI falls into the category of Implied Consent Laws. This means that, as a condition of receiving a license to drive in the State of Georgia, you have impliedly consented to the allow police take a sample of your breath, blood, or urine for the purposes of determining, among other things, your blood alcohol content.   You have the right to revoke this consent by refusing to submit to the requested test, however,  your refusal may result in the loss of your license for up to a year for a first offense.

Blood Alcohol Concentration:

In the state of Georgia any driver that has a blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) of .08 is considered “intoxicated ” according to the law. Under this statute, the mere fact that your test results are over a .08 can result in your being convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Concentration:

This type of law focuses on drivers who are NOT of legal drinking age. In Georgia persons driving under the age of 21 while operating a motor vehicle, with a blood alcohol level of .02 can be convicted of Driving Under the Influence.

Enhanced Penalty Blood Alcohol Level:

In many states there are more severe penalties and punishments for drivers if their BAC is.15 or over. In the State of Georgia, however, enhanced penalties based on BAC alone are not utilized.

Administrative License Suspension and Revocation:

There are minimum mandatory penalties for being above the legal limit of .08 BAC and/or refusing to submit to blood, alcohol and/or urine tests.  The mandatory penalty for refusing to take the requested test of your blood, breath or urine is that your license may be suspended for a year with no driving privileges for the entire year.  Submitting to the requested with the result of a BAC of .08 or higher can also result in a one year suspension with some provision for the issuance of a provisional license during the first 30-120 days for the first offense.

Vehicle Confiscation:

The penalty of vehicle confiscation in many states could be temporary or permanent. This typically occurs in cases involving repeat offenders. This penalty, however, is NOT applicable in Georgia.

Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment and Assessment:

Treatment or programs may be required for convicted drivers, based on a judge’s ruling. Alcohol Abuse education classes may also be assigned in lieu of incarceration, sentences or paying fines.

If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a DUI case contact an experienced DUI attorney in Marietta from The Patterson Law Firm TODAY. We will inform you of your rights and help you resolve your situation as effectively as possible!


3 Major DUI Penalties Convicted Offenders Face

DUI or “Driving Under the Influence” is a very serious offense.

While states across the U.S. continue to enact stronger DUI laws each year, the consequences of a DUI charge are also much more severe.

3 major penalties convicted offenders typically face include:

- loss of your driver’s license & increased insurance rates
- serving time behind bars & substantial fines
- obligations to perform community service work

In addition to be punished by one or more of these retributions, a criminal conviction on your record could inevitably impact the future of any employment opportunities further down the road.

Losing Your Driver’s License & Raised Insurance Costs

Since the Department of Motor Vehicles (in certain states) has required police to seize driver’s licenses upon drunk driving arrests, it can be an even bigger hassle for offenders today to actually have them returned. This could make for an incredibly daunting journey to get it back… from filling out the appropriate forms from your insurance company, to dealing with agents or brokers in order to submit proof of “Financial Responsibility,” to an extensive wait time from the DMV or the DPS process all your paperwork. This could in turn lead to a huge jump in your monthly car insurance payments.

Jail Time & Significant Finess
DUI arrests also require lawbreakers to show up in court to explain your actions to a judge, which potentially involves serving time in jail or paying a hefty fine for driving under the influence . In this type of situation it is best to seek the professional help of an experienced Marietta DUI attorney to defend your case in the courtroom.

Community Service Obligations & Other Consequences

In addition to a sentence behind bars and paying expensive fines, DUI charges can also be accompanied by a lengthy community service assignment and/or close monitoring by a parole officer. Not only could you be required to put in hundreds of hours of volunteer work, you could also face the constant scrutiny of a law enforcement official for months or even years at a time.

If you or someone you know in the Atlanta metro area is in need of legal assistance for a recent DUI arrest, contact an experienced DUI attorney in Marietta from the Patterson Law Firm today. Having the best DUI lawyer will provide you with all the important information you need following your incident. At the Patterson Law Firm we not only specialize in DUI defense in the Atlanta area, we help you resolve your case as easily as possible so you can put this behind you and return to your normal life of work and daily activities. For more information about the Patterson Law Firm and our legal services visit: .

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Energy Drinks and False Positive Drug Tests

Following on the heels of reports about the dangers of certain energy drinks and links to caffeine intoxication and deaths, come new reports of energy drinks causing false positive drug test results.  Recently, while in court on a drug test compliance calendar, my client tested positive for the presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.  Based on these results, he was facing numerous adverse consequences, including, revocation of his probation, loss of first offender sentencing and jail time.  My client swore that he had not consumed marijuana nor been around anyone that had.  After much deliberation, we were able to get the court to agree to allow him to take a second test.   I took my client to the side and quizzed him about the positive test result and how it could have occurred.  My client reiterated that the only thing he had consumed that day was a Monster brand energy drink a half an hour or so before his drug test.  After some quick research, it turns out that Riboflavin (a B vitamin and an ingredient in Monster) and ibuprofen, an alleged unlisted ingredient in Monster brand energy drinks, can cause false positive drug screens for THC.  After waiting an hour and retesting, my client’s second drug test came up negative for all drugs, including THC.  Needless to say, my client was beyond relieved and the Court was quite perplexed by the turn of events.  This is a great lesson for attorneys to make sure their clients are aware of this potential problem and for anyone subject to random drug screens as part of a bond condition, probation condition or for their job to be aware that they could screen positive for THC despite not having consumed any illegal substance.


The Danger of Used Tires – Do Not Make Decisions Based on Assumption and Chance

It’s scary to have something you rely on suddenly fail you, but it’s tragic to have someone you love suffer serious personal injury or even death as a result.  The tires we drive on every day are a vivid example and such was the case with Julia Chandler and her 12-year old son, Octavious.  While traveling on Interstate 65 in Gardendale, Alabama in March of 2011, Julia lost control of her ’97 Ford Explorer.  Her SUV flipped several times ultimately landing in the middle of the interstate.  A used Michelin tire Julia had purchased 12 days earlier suddenly split apart due to tread separation.  Julia and 3 of her 4 children suffered personal injuries, but Octavious was killed.

As with all products – especially those that our lives are riding on (literally) – there must be an extra measure of responsibility and accountability on the part of the manufacturer and the retailer.  This is especially true with used tires.  Used tires are a huge market.  According to the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association (RMA), up to 10% of all tire sales (30 million tires) were used tires.  Consumers purchase used tires to save money in a tough economy trusting that because they are for sale at reputable retailers, they must be safe.  What consumers don’t know is that there is very little regulation in the used tire industry.  Unlike new tires, used tires are completely unregulated even though there are a host of additional dangers associated with them.  Motivated by much higher profit margins, retailers are eager to sell them without any requirement to make certain of their safety.

Tires are made of rubber compounds and are subject to a loss of elasticity over time.  This “drying out” process is compounded by oxidization that occurs within the tire due to pressurized air.  This drying and oxidization combination can cause cracking on the inside of the tire resulting in sudden tire failure.  In addition, if used tires have been driven while under-inflated (a very common occurrence); they are prone to belt loosening.  This is the primary factor in tread separation, or “de-treading.”  Unfortunately, these serious risk factors are only detectable by a trained and experienced installer because they are internal issues.  Examination of sidewalls and tread wear which any diligent consumer can do will not detect these types of problems.

Responsible manufacturers and retailer/installers are needed who are willing to support and legally submit to examination guidelines for used tires before sale and installation.  For the responsible consumer, no amount of money saved is worth the kind of cost that the Chandler family suffered.  * Very special care must be taken when purchasing used tires.  Safety could be greatly enhanced if an industry-wide certification protocol was mandated.  More than the satisfaction of a penny saved, consumers could drive away knowing their risk of personal injury or worse was greatly reduced.

The RMA provides an excellent list of examination guidelines for used tires.  These guidelines can be found at  For anyone considering purchasing used tires, it would be an excellent idea to print them and take them with you as you shop for the right provider.  Be your own regulator!  Require the seller to include you in examining each tire according to the RMA recommendations BEFORE making your purchase.  And as always, if you or someone you know has suffered as the result of tire failure or de-treading due to possible manufacturer or retailer negligence, make sure to consult with a trusted attorney.

Comparative Analysis

In the NBA labor dispute, the NBA owners say they have put their best and last offer on the table. It is one of the oldest stunts in negotiating. Take this offer or we are going to take it off the table.

I think he’s bluffing but I’m not 100% certain. Which, is exactly the point, of course. I don’t disagree with the settlement tactic in this exact situation. The man making the call is NBA commissioner David Stern who – getting ready for retirement – is almost certainly negotiating the last labor deal of his life. He will never get called out for bluffing and backing down again.

Personal injury lawyers can also run a similar bluff with defense lawyers and insurance companies if they don’t ever expect to deal with them again. But if you are dealing with the same insurance companies in car accidents or medical malpractice cases – which applies to every lawyer in Maryland that has some volume of personal injury cases – you have to consider your overall credibility when negotiating claims. There are at least two reasons to temper the lawsuit/trial ultimatums.

First, the client can change their mind. I have had many clients that dislike the settlement offer and are emphatically ready to file suit and then do a 180 when I tell them we are filing suit. I don’t say this derisively. Think about it in comparison to the NBA player. These players risk losing a full year’s salary which is worth millions. But, they already have millions. In contrast, in the last case I tried, the client turned down an offer that was five times her yearly salary to let a jury decide. Thankfully, it worked out for her, her award was more than 25 times her annual salary. But the risk she took makes the NBA players’ dilemma seem trivial. (A bit of hyperbole here because I’m not taking out attorneys’ fees and liens into my “times” calculus. Still.)

Anyway, going back, I really try to make sure the client is genuinely ready to file suit before negotiating as if I have that arrow in my quiver. Once you got out on the “my way or the highway” limb, you are unlikely to get more money on the case, even if the insurance company has more money to put on it. Your walk of shame back to the negotiating table will not be rewarded.


Volvo unveils its City Safety low-speed collision-avoidance system

Volvo Car Corp. claims it’s City Safety low-speed collision-avoidance system can cut rear-end crashes by as much as 50%. Volvo says that City Safety’s optical-radar system is unique and differs from similar systems used in some European and Japanese luxury models. The City Safety’s system is designed to focus on reducing speed as much as possible before an impact. Volvo claims that City Safety will likely prevent collisions at speeds up to 19mph., when the speed difference between the two vehicles is less that 9mph.

The City Safety’s optical radar is located in the upper part of the windshield, at the same height as the rear view mirror. The radar, which emits infrared light that can’t be seen by oncoming drivers, continuously scans traffic in front of the car. It can detect vehicles up to 20 ft. on the road ahead. The system uses an algorithm to activate when a vehicle in front is stopped or moving in the same direction.

Volvo is quick to emphasis that the City Safety system does not absolve the driver from driving with adequate safety margins in order to avoid collisions. The automatic breaking function is only activated if the system is able to assess that a collision is imminent. While the system works equally well day or night, it can be limited by fog, mist, snow, or heavy rain. However, if the sensor on the windshield is obscured by dirt or snow, the driver is alerted via the car’s information display.

Volvo wants to make it clear that they believe the City Safety system offers benefits to all involved. For the occupants of the car in front, the risk of whiplash is avoided or reduced. The system can also help reduce or eliminate the cost of repairs to both vehicles. Volvo claims that City Safety is great news for the consumer and that it plans to offer the system in all of its markets.

If you have had an automobile accident please contact The Patterson Law Firm, LLC at 770-442-8840.

Jogging Strollers Recalled by B.O.B. Trailers Inc. Due to Choking Hazard

On October 11, 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with B.O.B. Trailers Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of B.O.B. single and double strollers. The stroller canopy’s embroidered logo’s backing patch can detach, posing a choking hazard to babies and young children. The firm has received six reports of children mouthing the detached patch. Gagging and choking were reported in two incidents. The backing was removed from the children’s mouth without injury. In all of the reported incidents the children were seated in infant car seats attached to the stroller. This recall involves all B.O.B. strollers manufactured between November 1998 and November 2010. Strollers manufactured after October 2006 have a white label, indicating the manufacturing date, affixed to the back of the strollers leg. Strollers with no manufacturing date listed are included in this recall.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers until they remove the embroidered backing patch from the interior of the canopy’s logo. Consumers can contact B.O.B. Trailers Inc. for instructions on how to remove the backing. For additional information or if your child has been involved in an accident involving B.O.B. strollers call The Patterson Law Firm, LLC at 770-442-8840. The Patterson Law Firm has experience handling personal injury, traumatic injury, and wrongful death claims. The Patterson Law Firm prides themselves on their personalized service and on their ability to handle your case from beginning to end. Call the Patterson Law Firm today at 770-442-8840 for the attention and dedication that you deserve.

Georgia’s Child Passenger Safety Laws

Earlier this year, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 88 into law. The new law became effective on July 1, 2011. Senate Bill 88 requires children to be properly restrained in a child passenger safety restraint device until they are 8 years of age. This law was designed to protect Georgia’s young by ensuring that each one is properly secured while riding in a motor vehicle. Failure to comply with Senate Bill 88 could have devastating consequences for you and your child.

In Georgia, in 2008, a total of 14,154 children between the ages of 6-8 were involved in auto accidents. Of those children 1,755 were injured and 10 were killed. Only 12% of these children were reported to be using a supplemental restraint, such as a child safety seat or booster seat, in addition to the adult seat belt. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta states that during the last four years 95% of the patients they saw for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle crash between the ages of 6-8 were improperly restrained.

However, there are exemptions to Senate Bill 88. Any child under the age of 8 whose height is over 4’9’’ or 57’’ is exempt from the law. Also exempt is any child whose parent or guardian has a written statement from a physician that the child has a physical or medical condition that prevents placing or restraining them as required by law. Furthermore, drivers who transport children under the age of 8 in a taxicabs or public transit vehicles are exempt from the law. Standard school buses and multifunctional school activity buses, as defined in the Federal Register, are also exempt.

For more information on Senate Bill 88 or any of Georgia’s Child Passenger Safety laws call The Patterson Law Firm, LLC of Marietta Georgia at 770-422-8840. An initial consultation with a Marietta Georgia lawyer is free. Call today for the individualized attention that you deserve. Arm yourself with the information you need before it’s too late.

The consequences of getting DUI in Georgia

The consequences of getting  DUI in Georgia

Getting a DUI isn’t a simple problem, there are consequences well
beyond any ordinary traffic ticket.  Getting a DUI in Georgia doesn’t
just put your license at risk, or expose you to fines, it opens up a
world of difficulties from jail, to difficulty getting insurance, to
difficulty keeping or getting a job.

In the state of Georgia, DUI Convictions remain on your record forever
– they cannot be removed and do not age off.  When convicted, there
is a mandatory probation period of one year, and repeat offenses can
give you far more probation time.  Misdemeanor offenses can also come
with up to a year in jail, over $1000 in fines, mandatory 20 hours in
DUI school, and an ignition device that requires you pass a
breathalyzer each time you start up your vehicle.  Felony and repeat
offenses can come with 5 years in jail and over $7000 in fines.
Community service sentencing can range from 40 to 480 hours. You may
also be required to complete a DUI Court program, that mandates weekly
court visits, counseling sessions, and drug screenings.

This is just the beginning of the legal consequences.  Getting a DUI
creates a prior offense that will be used in any future sentencing,
meaning that “mandatory minimums” for repeat offenders will be used
against you if you ever get in trouble for anything again.  Your
family may have to apply for special license plates because the state
doesn’t want the DUI convicted driver driving their car.  DUIs show up
on the FBI’s crime database.

You’re also at risk for license suspension, depending on whether
you’ve had prior DUI convictions.  If you have a commercial driver’s
license, it will be suspended for one year on your first offense and
FOREVER on your second.  If you’re caught driving with a suspended
license, your car will be impounded and you will face a criminal case
and mandatory jail time.

Your insurance costs are going to go up, but not just your auto
insurance — your health and life insurance can go up as well.  SR-22,
assigned risk, is required on your auto insurance for 3 years, and if
you don’t insure your car for over 6 months because you’ve lost your
license, your rates are going to go up when you reinstate as well.
Life insurance policies typically deny issuing new policies or raise
your rates.  Health insurance rates can also go up or they can simply
deny you as well.

Travel is going to be more difficult.  Not only will rental companies
potentially refuse to rent a car to you, they can do so even after
your license is reinstated — meaning cabs for you.  It can become
very difficult to take even business trips to foreign countries, some
of which simply block people with DUI convictions.  Some countries
also bar entirely you ability to immigrate.  If you’re not an American
citizen, it can mean a denial of naturalization for 5 years after the
close of the DUI case, possible deportation, denial of green card or
work visa renewals, custom delays, and even being barred entry to the
US if you ever leave.

DUIs will also negatively impact your job prospects.  If you work in
an automotive franchise, thanks to moral clauses in their agreements
with manufactures, your DUI can cause losses of million dollar
contracts for the dealership.  You must always check the yes box on
any employment application that asks if you’ve got prior convictions.
Any licensed profession can withhold licensing or revoke your license.
Any company can have a policy that will lead to evaluation for
firing, and some have mandatory termination policies — pharmaceutical
sales companies, any company with a preferred group insurance rate
with the condition of no employees with a DUI, teaching jobs, military
jobs with security clearance, doctors and dentists, bartenders, some
unions, CPAs, athletes, and even cosmetologists are likely to lose
their jobs from a DUI.  Any doctor will have to be rehabilitated and
have their permit to dispense controlled medicine revoked.

If you’re in school, you can be kicked out for violating drug and
alcohol policy, and almost all scholarships have a clause that will
make you ineligible after a DUI conviction.  If you’re just applying
to schools, they can refuse you entrance because of your record.  And
if you were planning on joining the armed services, the military will
delay your enlistment until you’re no longer on probation.

And your inability to get or keep a job won’t be the only financial
difficulty you’re facing.  If there was an accident leading to your
conviction, you may be liable for thousands of dollars from a civil
judgement.  You may be required to enter treatment, which can cost
thousands of dollars.  You interest rates on your loans, including
mortgages, may be higher.  You’ll be considered high-risk to any
potential landlord, and your credit score may go down.  You won’t be
allowed to buy a new car without a full license.  And you’ll be
spending hundreds of dollars a year on probation fees.

The consequences don’t end there.  You can lose child custody or get
unfavorable terms in a divorce thanks to your DUI history.  You can be
denied a Concealed Weapons permit.  If anyone was injured because of
your DUI, your wages can be garnished indefinitely until your debt is
paid to them.  And, on top of all this, there is the social stigma of
being a known DUI convict — newspaper stories, police blotters, and
mandatory notification if you’re a repeat offender.  You’ll be using a
passport instead of a Driver’s License and driving a moped, people
will think you’re an irresponsible drunk and there’s nothing you can
do about it once you’ve been convicted.

Call The Patterson Law Firm now for help resolving your DUI charges.

The Patterson Law Firm
701 Whitlock Ave, Suite J43
Marietta, GA 30064
Telephone: (770) 422-8840
Fax: (404) 602-0058

Recall ‘Rosebud’ Drop Side Crib

The Land of Nod Recalls Status Furniture ‘Rosebud’ Drop-Side Cribs Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards. CPSC and The Land of Nod have received 13 reports involving drop-side hardware that has malfunctioned or failed. No injuries have been reported as of yet.

The main issue is the drop-side rail hardware on the cribs can break or fail, allowing the drop side to detach from the crib. When the drop side detaches, a hazardous gap is created between the drop-side rail and the crib mattress in which infants and toddlers can become wedged or entrapped, posing risks of suffocation and strangulation. In addition, children can fall out of the crib when the drop-side rail falls unexpectedly or detaches from the crib. Drop-side rail failures can also occur due to incorrect assembly or with age-related wear and tear.

This recall includes “Rosebud” cribs manufactured by Status Furniture. The cribs are white or antique white and have plastic drop-side hardware.  ”Status Furniture” appears on crib labeling on the lower portion of the headboard.  Model number “910″ appears on the assembly instructions.

If your child has been injured by a drop side crib, you may have a claim for injuries, medical bills, missed work, permanent disability, scarring or wrongful death. Contact the experienced lawyers at The Patterson Law Firm today at 770-422-8840 for a no-charge, no-obligation consultation.

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