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John Aspinwall Garland
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John Garland’s Answers

10 total

  • My 13yr was accused by a 5yr old of being forced to perform oral sex. What should i do?

    The 5yr old later stated that he just wanted to see my son get in trouble. My son stated that this never happened and that he walked in on him after he had taken a shower. They were both in the care of my mother at this time. My mother is terrifie...

    John’s Answer

    Allegations of child molestation are very dangerous. They are among a group of alledged crimes that are prosecuted on the word of the alleged victim without any other suporting evidence whatsoever.

    First and foremost I second the sound advice of Mr. Pines. Make sure your son does not talk to anyone, and I mean anyone, about this.

    I also second the advice that as soon as possible you need to have a free consultation with a lawyer that understands the unique and difficult issues that arise with these types of allegations. Your son needs a lawyer soon so that the lawyer can attempt to persuade the state to not bring any charges.

    Who was the 5 yr old talking with when he said that the allegation was not true? Was it the grandmother? Were there any other witnesses? Proving that the 5yr old admited the allegation was false will be extremely important. Another critically important task will be to scrutinize the allegations of the 5 year old to look for any inconsistencies that might indicate that the 5 yr old is lying.

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  • Why is my fiancé being charged with aggravated assault when his arresting charge was family violence

    my fiancée was arrested for family violence but when he got to the jail the charges changed to aggravated assault, cruelty to children 3rd degree and disorderly conduct and was denied bond

    John’s Answer

    Unfortunately there are a variety of ways the charges could change. Are there allegations that he used some kind or weapon or that he was trying to rape or kill the alleged victim? If so that would be enough to charge agg. assault. Was there a minor under the age of 18 present when it happened? If so that would be enough to charge cruelty to children in the 3rd degree.

    He needs an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can file a motion for bond and defend him against these charges.

    If the facts of this case are very strong it may be difficult to get him a bond based on the priors you indicated in your other question. However, if his lawyer can show strong ties to the community and raise meaningful doubt about the allegations your fiancé stands a better chance at getting bond.

    It is important to understand that just because the state may have enough to charge him with something, that does not mean that is enough to convict him. The burden of proof required to charge him with a crime (probable cause) is far easier for the state to meet than the burden required to convict him (proof beyond a reasonable doubt).

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  • Can someone get a bond for a child molestation arrest while on federal and state probation?

    The individual has state probation (convicted for RICO Act, 8 years remaining) and also has federal probation (plea deal for bank fraud 4-5 years remaining) and while on these probation's he was arrested for child molestation charge. What is the l...

    John’s Answer

    The ability to get a bond on the new child molestation charge will in large part be dependent on the strength of the evidence on the new charge. While having the two priors is unequivocally a very difficult hurdle to overcome, the good news is that the new charge is not at all similar to the priors. The individual's lawyer should argue to the judge who is deciding bond that these unrelated priors do not make it any more likely that he committed the child molestation. Connections to the community are also an important factor in deciding whether an individual is granted bond. Where does the individual live? Where are the new charges?

    In regards to the state probation and the federal supervised release both prior cases are subject to revocation based on the new alleged offense. If the individual makes bond on the new charges they are subject to being detained because of holds. If they make bond before a hold is placed they may be re-arrested if violation warrants are sought in either the State or Federal system or both. In the State system it is very difficult to even get a bond hearing on a probation recitation. On the other hand, in the Federal system they always have bond hearings for revocations. In both the State and Federal revocations the individual is entitled to a hearing on whether the probation or supervise release was violated. In the Federal system the individual is actually exposed to additional time on supervised release for the revocation beyond the time remaining on the sentence.

    This person needs to hire a lawyer that has extensive experience handling both Federal and State matters as well as experience handling the difficult issues that arise in child molestation cases.

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  • Son was arrested last year on felony drug charges - he was a passenger in a car in which drugs were found. The case is fairly

    weak for a variety of reasons. He was one of four people in the car, not his car and no drugs found on him or in his luggage. It has never been brought to a grand jury - The arresting officer was later fired (not related specifically) and the c...

    John’s Answer

    They have four years after the arrest to bring a charge. It is sometimes possible to negotiate and resolve a case prior to formal charges being filed. Is not possible to determine whether it is better to wait or to try to proactively resolve a case prior to indictment without first engaging in a thorough analysis of the case. I strongly recommend that you consult with a lawyer who can walk you through the process.

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  • Will I get arrested while trying to get someone else arrested?

    My 18 year old ex boyfriend blackmailed me with the bra picture I sent him (I am 15). He tried to get sex but I refused and took the consequences of the blackmail. Can I get him arrested for this without me getting arrested for sending the picture?

    John’s Answer

    There is an interpretation of the Georgia child pornography law that would make your act of taking and sending that picture a crime, though if it is a crime you are only guilty of a misdemeanor. Please consult with a lawyer prior to making any statements to the police or anyone else about what occurred.

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  • I have a False imprisonment case in Dekalb County. Is it likely to get the case dismissed or dropped to a misd?

    An ex girlfriend and I had argument and I left by time the police got there. Not even knowing the police were even called. But a neighbor called the police. But I was simply holding my ex girlfriends hand I did not imprisonment her...

    John’s Answer

    Did you prevent her from leaving? Even a brief detention may be enough to commit the crime. “A person commits the offense of false imprisonment when, in violation of the personal liberty of another, he arrests, confines, or detains such person without legal authority.” Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-41. A brief detention is sufficient and whether the detention amounted to false imprisonment is for the jury to decide. Luna-Fraide v. State, 320 Ga. App. 66, 68, 739 S.E.2d 75, 77 (2013) Even if you did not prevent her from leaving, it seem likely that she told the police you would not let her leave. It may come down to an issue of credibility between the two of you. In order to give you an opinion as to the likely outcome for your case a lawyer would need to perform a careful analysis of all the facts, the parties involved, the court system and the prosecutor.

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  • Do i need a lawyer

    My fiance has two charges in two different counties here in Georgia. I would like to know if I'm able to file a motion to run the cases concurrently on my own

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Has he/she already been sentenced in both cases?

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  • Need to hire a lawyer to restrict/ expunge a criminal record.

    Have 1st offenders aggravated stalking

    John’s Answer

    Your official criminal history will "automatically" be restricted under a first offender plea once you complete the sentence. However, there are several steps that require human involvement from your probation officer and the judge and of course if people don't do what they're supposed to do delays can occur.
    When did you complete your sentence?
    Have you obtained a criminal history from your local police department to see if it has been removed off your record yet?

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  • Is an arrest warrant legal if the date is incorrect. What would be the result in a trial.

    An arrest warrant was issued involving stolen property but the date on the warrant is 5 months prior to the item being reported stolen and the date is the year prior to the incident

    John’s Answer

    Yes, the warrant is still legal. However, if the state does realize the error it may cause problems for the state at a bond hearing or later on in the process. Has the person who was the subject of the warrant already been arrested on the warrant?

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  • Can a person make a plea deal while waiting to be indicted?

    My brother is incarcerated for felony drug charges. Since November 2014, his case has been pending grand jury. Can he make a plea deal during this process or does he have to wait until he is indicted? It is impossible to talk with his lawyer, but ...

    John’s Answer

    The challenge faced by your brother and his lawyer is that some district attorney's offices will often refuse to negotiate a case prior to indictment. Moreover, in some district attorney's offices they do not even assign a District Attorney to handle to case until the case has been indicted. However, when it is in a Client's best interest to try to resolve a case prior to indictment, the lawyer should attempt to persuade the District Attorney's office to engage in plea discussions prior to indictment.

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