Nasty court room tactic

gavel on clarktowne.comAs a criminal defense lawyer who has spent hundreds of hours in front of juries, I know jury verdicts can be surprising. But when a courtroom deputy disparages a jury's decision, I get upset.

A jury is supposed to reach its verdict based upon evidence in the courtroom, independently of outside sources. Regardless of what the verdict is, no one is allowed to question it. Even on appeal, (and despite what you may see on court room reality shows) it would be unusual to interview jurors about their decision. Jurors are never required to talk about their deliberations. It is also improper for jurors to use independent research and investigation to reach their decision, and jurors should immediately report this to their bailiff if they think one of their peers has done this.

When is it OK to ask the Jury why they voted the way they did?

Read more: Nasty court room tactic

Labor Day roadblocks in Georgia and surrounding states

georgia rural roadblockBy Jessica Towne

Starting Friday August 29 through the end of Labor Day, be on the lookout for road blocks near the Georgia state lines with Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

The sheriffs’ departments and state police in each state are participating in a special mobilization called Hands Across the Border where they join together to set up traffic stops to catch:

  • Drunk drivers

Read more: Labor Day roadblocks in Georgia and surrounding states

What driving mistake will cost you 6 points on your license?

busBy Jessica Towne

School starts August 5

It seems like summer has just begun, but it’s already time for us to make way for the big, yellow school buses. When you see a stopped bus, remember that:

ALL traffic traveling in both directions must stop.

The ONLY exception to this rule is traffic traveling in the opposite direction of a four-lane roadway with a fixed concrete median separation.

Read more: What driving mistake will cost you 6 points on your license?

DUI? Blame your liver!

Jessica Towne gwinnett dui lawyerBy Jessica Towne

Must be 50 ways to love your liver....

As you enter your 40s, most people find they can’t drink as much as they used to. As busy working folks who rarely have time for a drink, most don’t even notice this until after having three drinks at a celebration and wondering why the room is spinning. In past blogs, I discussed how changing tolerance and body composition affect your ability to drink. Today, I’m sorry to report on your liver.

Read more: DUI? Blame your liver!

How to get a Georgia license when your home state license is suspended

Jessica Towne Gwinnett County DUI lawyerBy Jessica Towne

Jessica Towne, a DUI lawyer based in Gwinnett County, GA, answers readers questions in a monthly series called Ask Jessica. Here's the latest.

I just moved to Georgia from out of state. My current license is suspended because of a DWI arrest in my former state. I only have three months left on suspension. Should I apply for a GA license now or do I need to wait until my license from my home state is restored?

Read more: How to get a Georgia license when your home state license is suspended

Newest excuse cops use for a traffic stop

atlanta highway on clarktowne.comBy Jessica Towne

Do you drive on Georgia roads? Then you better know that they’ve just changed the driving laws again. Effective this July 1, it is now illegal to drive in the left hand lane (not the hov lane) and stay there when you are being over taken from the rear by another vehicle traveling faster than you.

Move Over!

In other words, pass on the left and then move back over. Stop hogging the left lane (or as I was taught to call it the passing lane). There are a few common-sense exceptions to this rule, such as when there is:

Read more: Newest excuse cops use for a traffic stop

The toughest state to get a DUI in?

Video camera on Clarktowne.comBy Jessica Towne

The Charleston Post Courier in South Carolina recently reported on the difficulty SC police have in convicting people they've arrested for DUI. The flaw, they think, is in the state's evidence requirement.


It's true that South Carolina has tough requirements before someone charged with DUI can be convicted. South Carolina requires all DUI arrests to be video recorded. That means driving, field tests and breath test all have to be captured on video.

South Carolina is the ONLY state that requires this.

Read more: The toughest state to get a DUI in?

Follow this one tip for a less stressful arraignment

gavel on Gwinnett DUI Lawyer Clark & TowneBy Jessica Towne

The Georgia Court of Appeals told a defendant* "tough luck" the other day.

The defendant, who was arrested for possession of marijuana, less than an ounce and driving under the influence, thought he should have more time to file various motions in his case because he hadn’t hired a lawyer before his arraignment. The judge noted the defendant had EIGHT MONTHS between his arrest and his arraignment, which is surely enough time to find a lawyer. If you plead "not guilty" without an attorney, you cannot file challenges to your case 10 days after your arraignment, and neither can your future attorney.

Read more: Follow this one tip for a less stressful arraignment