Category Archives: Arson Charges

Accused of Arson in Georgia? You’ll Need a Strong Defense

Was it Arson in Georgia When a Resident Set Fire to His Lawrenceville Master Bedroom or a Case of Domestic Discord?

First-degree arson is a felony with penalties of one to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000, as well as probation, community service or other punishment. Conviction may affect school and employment opportunities as well as tear apart families and other close relationships. Loss of income through incarceration may result in hardship for minor children.

While recognizing that arson is a serious crime, criminal defense attorney Lisa Wells knows that not all fire damage is arson, though, and in cases of deliberately set fires, extenuating factors may point to a temporary lapse in judgment due to emotional outburst rather than criminal intent.

For instance, when Gwinnet County resident Ivan Jaramillo set his Lawrenceville master bedroom on fire, as reported by CBS Atlanta, his motive was pent up anger in response to an argument with his wife, rather than intent to fraudulently collect insurance money or a thrill-seeking pyromaniac. We’ve seen first-hand how insurance companies ignore or bend facts to suit their interests by accusing someone of arson when they file a claim for a fire loss. Don’t you think it’s about time someone looked out after you and your interests?

If You’ve Been Accused of Setting a Fire in Georgia, Contact an Experienced Atlanta Arson Defense Attorney Who Knows How to Fend Off Unwarranted Charges

Defending clients against charges of fraudulent claims involving arson, insurance fraud defense lawyer Lisa Wells of Glenn Loewenthal, P.C. looks for evidence that points to other explanations. Their office also represents individuals who have been wrongfully denied a legitimate insurance claim, protecting you through the process, from your initial police, fire, and insurance statements to final settlement.

Dedicated to fully protecting clients’ rights, Lisa’s office investigates arson claims carefully and does not accept pat answers and explanations at face value.

Whether your claim is through a commercial or a personal lines property policy, or life and/or disability insurance policies, you need the kind of results only an experienced Georgia insurance damage lawyer can deliver. We’ll send out investigators and engineering specialists, communicate on your behalf with the State Fire Marshal’s office and may be able to secure immunity for you. More on Arson Reporting-Immunity Laws can be found on the arsoncontrol.org website. If the fire was an accident, we’ll work hard to prove it.

If you’ve been accused of arson in the state of Georgia, contact Atlanta arson defense attorney Lisa Wells before answering questions or making statements. Doing so could have a serious impact on the outcome of your case. What you (or the police or insurers) believe to be true may prove to be otherwise upon closer scrutiny. We have the experience you need when navigating these tricky waters. How you answer, what you answer, and how you present evidence may decide your guilt or innocence. Don’t take chances with your future. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation.

Secure a Strong Criminal Defense Attorney When Minor Children are Charged as Adults

In a report by the U.S. Department of Justice on trying a minor as an adult it was found that at the end of the 1990’s and into the early 2000’s there was a spike in juvenile violence that directly impacted changing state transfer laws to their current form where juveniles can be transferred into criminal or adult court. Georgia and nearly every state in the Union expanded the transfer laws to allow, or even require, that minors be prosecuted in the adult criminal court system.

Georgia Minors Prosecuted as Adults

The PBS.org Frontline Show on juvenile to adult criminal prosecution reports that minors have been involved in 25% of all serious violent crimes committed every year for the past 25-years. To add on to that number it is also estimated that for the last two-decades less than 50% of violent crimes committed by juveniles are even reported to the authorities.

Georgia law allows the decision making authority to transfer from judge to prosecutor and it also replaces the individual discretion that a judge or prosecutor may take on transferring a minor to adult criminal court; the decision is made through use of specific criteria. The term “judicial waiver” is used to indicate that the judge “waives” the juvenile court jurisdiction and passes the case over into the adult criminal court system. It is critical to have legal representation from the start of this process – being judged and sentenced as an adult demands a Georgia criminal defense attorney with a history of successful experience.

Atlanta Juveniles Jailed While They Await Trial

Atlanta juveniles can be jailed with adults while they await their trial in Georgia’s criminal court system. The minimum age for criminal responsibility in Georgia is 12 and a minor of that age may find that they come into direct contact with adults charged with violent crimes while being incarcerated. Once an Atlanta Metro area youth has their case transferred as an adult it is critical to have legal representation from the very start – being judged and sentenced as an adult demands an expert Georgia criminal defense attorney with a history of successful experience be on your family’s side.

Cases of Juveniles Prosecuted as Adults

A highly profiled case was that of Michael Phelps who at 15 was a minor charged as an adult in the shooting of one of his schoolmates in Indiana. Channel 8 Wish TV reported that if he had been trialed as a juvenile his time served would have included a more relaxed atmosphere, school, counseling and having a system goal of rehabilitating back into society. Tried as an adult, Phelps will be held by the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Other publicized cases include Cristian Fernandez who was charged with 1st degree murder of his 2 year old half brother. Cristian is 12 and he faces life without parole if convicted. ABC News reports several cases where the juvenile charges were transferred to the adult criminal court: In Florida three teenagers will be prosecuted for attempted 2nd degree murder when they set another teen on fire over a $40 video game debt. In Texas five teens face adult prosecution and judgment in the brutal beating death of 28 year old Jonathan Bird – he had asked two of the teens to stop driving recklessly on his street – five teens returned and hit and kicked him to death in his own yard. In California all the juveniles arrested for the gang rape of a 15-year old girl outside her high school dance are charged as adults. And in Arizona, police are looking for the two teens that pushed another minor into the road where he was struck by three cars and killed.

The brutality and seriousness of crimes being committed by minors today almost certainly will have the court system transfer these cases for adult criminal prosecution. Call the Atlanta juvenile to adult criminal defense attorney Lisa Wells for a free confidential consultation.

Common Crimes Where Georgia Juveniles Are Often Tried as Adults

While some crimes committed by a minor can go to either juvenile court or to the superior adult court system, there are some criminal acts that are typically tried in the Georgia adult court system; these are:

  • Murder by a minor is often transferred over for adult criminal prosecution
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Child molestation
  • Sexual battery
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Armed robbery with the use of a fire arm

Georgia Juvenile to Adult Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call your Atlanta juvenile to adult criminal defense lawyer for the experience and knowledge you need – Lisa Wells has a successful record defending not only adults charged with a crime, but in keeping serious criminal charges made against a minor in the juvenile court system using all legal channels and regulations available to her.

Call Lisa Wells your Atlanta crime lawyer for a free confidential meeting to begin the strategy and foundation of your juvenile to adult criminal charges.

False Imprisonment is a Violation of Your 4th Amendment Rights

In the State of Georgia, the law dealing with false imprisonment has been changed so that those who are falsely imprisoned may now hold the business or person responsible for violation of their constitutional rights. False imprisonment includes the arrest, confinement or detainment of a person without legal authority.

Georgia False Imprisonment Charges May be Made Against Anyone

False imprisonment charges can be made against anyone who illegally detains or confines you. The person being charged does not have to be a police or security officer. The law applies to anyone who stops or detains you, including a business owner, a debt collector, an employee at a public or private business, a grocery store manager or even a taxi cab driver. While a police officer may make a false arrest for DUI or theft and confine you in a holding cell, a business owner may confine you in an office against your will.

Time Limit Restrictions for Atlanta False Imprisonment Charges

According to Black’s Law Dictionary Atlanta’s false imprisonment or false arrest charges have a limited time frame in which to file a claim or forfeit their right to any type of compensation or award. The false imprisonment charge is generally made against the specific person or people that illegally detained you. In a false arrest or imprisonment charge the typical conclusion results in monetary compensation.

Gathering Evidence Quickly is Critical to Prove False Arrest

In any false arrest or imprisonment claim retaining an Atlanta false arrest attorney immediately is necessary to successfully make the charge stand up under legal scrutiny. Evidence and witness statements need to be found or discovered to back up your claim. With changes in Georgia law the accuser or the one who falsely detained you must prove reasonable cause and proper behavior for their actions.

The authority or person who falsely imprisoned you does have the right to briefly detain you, however they do not have the right to physically detain you, threaten you with harm or public embarrassment, subject you to emotional distress, confine you or refuse to call the local authorities who would have precedence in that matter. Acting quickly to retain a well qualified Atlanta criminal lawyer in false arrest cases increases the ability to find and gather needed evidence to prove your claim.

Criteria for Legal Georgia Arrest and Imprisonment

An experienced criminal attorney knows how to prepare for a case where compensation for violation of your 4th amendment rights has occurred. Evaluating the evidence for a legal detainment or false arrest includes whether the accuser personally observed you take an item and leave the store without paying for it. The person detaining you must have personally seen you take the item or used store security cameras to “catch” you in the act; you cannot be detained because you are suspected of theft or other crime.

When you are charged with DUI specific criteria must be followed or the case can be dismissed in court. False imprisonment can be made for theft, DUI, violence, damage to property, use of illegal substances and the like. All detainments need evidence to be supplied or a false imprisonment charge can be made.

Atlanta False Imprisonment Attorney

In the State of Georgia, false arrest and imprisonment is a criminal offense. If you have been falsely accused of a crime and feel your rights have been violated, call the expert in Atlanta false arrest – Make your first call to Lisa Wells, the Georgia false imprisonment attorney with a long history of successful criminal litigation and compensation awards.