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Matthew Wayne Kilgo

Matthew Kilgo’s Answers

21 total

  • What can happen if you get a dui while on felony probation?

    i have had no other problems and been doing what i was suppost to be doing and everything that came along with my probation i just made a mistake would they take that in to account when i tell them? Is it better to tell them or let them find out b...

    Matthew’s Answer

    The outcome will depend on a number of factors: your probation officer, the judge, your underlying charge, and the strength of the DUI. If you have a good relationship with your PO, that can help, although most will tell you when they find out that they have to "do something". Telling your PO that it happened is usually the best case, but I would consult with an attorney licensed to practice in Georgia before doing anything: out-of-state attorneys who post on questions like these don't have the benefit of knowing the probation officer or judge. A DUI would be a violation of your general condition of probation "not to violate the laws of any governmental unit", but a local lawyer will be able to give you the true lay of the land.

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  • Can I remove a traffic ticket probation violation off my record?

    Traffic ticket probation violation

    Matthew’s Answer

    You may want to elaborate a little on your problem. Has your probation officer filed a warrant and asked a judge to revoke your probation? Has your probation been revoked? Which county/city? If you've already been found to have violated your probation, I don't know how you can have that taken off your record. If, however, you haven't been revoked yet, there's always the possibility an attorney with experience in that jurisdiction will be able to work something out. Contact any of the fine attorneys you find here in avvo for assistance, they will be glad to help you.

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  • Violation of probation plus failure to appear will he have serious jail time! And how long must he wait until a court date?

    He was on probation and didn't pay off his probation. Got caught a second time driving on suspended license, and didn't show up for court. Issued a bench warrant for violation probation/failure to appear. What is the likely outcome of his situat...

    Matthew’s Answer

    You actually need to give a little more information: what is HE on probation for, misdemeanor or felony? Is HE currently in custody? If so, how long, and where? Sounds like you're dealing with both a violation of probation and a bench warrant on a pending case, but they both fit together in certain respects. In terms of the probation issue, both the failure to pay and the new offense(s) would be considered violations of probation, and whatever amount of time he has left on his sentence could be revoked. If it's a significant period of time, you really do need to speak to an attorney. For most jurisdictions, a probation revocation hearing won't be set until he turns himself in, and when he does, he most likely won't get a bond: a judge isn't going to give someone a bond who didn't bother to show up for court in the first place. Once the revocation date is set, it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to be heard - alot of lawyers call that "judge's time", since it seems as though the judge is punishing you ahead of time for violating probation by setting your court date out so far when you don't have a bond in the matter. The good news is the judge can only revoke whatever time is remaining on the bond UNLESS it's a first offender plea, in which case the judge can re-resentence up to the maximum amount the law allows.

    That's all for the probation revocation. For the suspended license, he's looking at mandatory jail time and fines starting at two days and $500 and heading north, depending on the number of prior suspensions resulting in convictions. His license will also be suspended an additional six months for any new case, unless he can plead no contest to one of the charges, but you can only use that once every five years. Bottom line: you need to call a lawyer. There are two many issues involved here to leave it to chance, and since most lawyers give a free initial consultation, what do you have to lose?

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  • I have a felony criminal tresspassing charge against me but I think there is cause for a mistrial

    I received a letter in the mail saying i needed to go to court. I picked up the police report and it said that I had caused damage to an unknown male's car totaling under $500. I went to court and was arrested and was then told the damage was over...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Okay, let's take care of a little house-cleaning so everyone's on the same page: it appears as though the police report said damage UNDER $500: that would be criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor (up to 12 months in custody). When you went to court, however, the charge was amended to a felony criminal damage to property in the second degree because the amount of damage was OVER $500: that's a felony (one year to five years in custody). The change is fairly common in situations like yours: at the time of the incident the officer doesn't know the amount of damage, so he goes with the lesser charge. It's possible that during his investigation, the officer found out from the victim or the insurance company the true nature of the damage (estimates, etc.), and if it's more than $500, the charge gets bumped up to a felony. So now we're on the same page about what's going on with your charge. . . .

    You mention twice that you were never read your rights. Did you give anyone a statement? Did you answer any questions? it's a common mistake people make believing the police MUST read them their rights. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Police officers only have to advise you of your Miranda rights WHEN THEY QUESTION YOU; otherwise, they don't have to tell you anything more than what you've been charged with, and sometimes you won't even get that. If you weren't the subject of interrogation, your Miranda rights don't apply. It's not like TV: an officer will only give you the warning if he plans to ask you questions. Most of them want you to start talking on your own, so they don't ask any questions, hoping you'll start to spill the beans on your own: if you do, it's admissible because whatever you give them wasn't the subject of interrogation. . . .

    Hope that answers both of your questions. You really should look into hiring an attorney: most provide free consultations, and there will be many qualified attorneys in your area to obtain good solid information from. Good luck!

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  • I missed court for a DUI case what can i do?

    I had to go to go to court on august 11, 2009 but i missed out on it due to my wife being at the hospital about to give birth. I called today(january 26, 2010) and they told me i can go to court on thursday(january 28, 2010).do u think im going to...

    Matthew’s Answer

    There's really no cut-and-dry answer to your question. I agree with Ms. Moser that there is probably a bench warrant for your arrest, which would've been issued by the judge the day you failed to appear. If that's the case, most likely the Sheriff won't be knocking down your door: a DUI, though serious, is still a misdemeanor traffic violation, and Georgia can't track down all its felons, much less those who fail to appear for lesser charges. You WILL have a problem the next time you're stopped for speeding, or for blowing through a stop sign, or even just at a roadblock. When an officer runs your license and sees that warrant, you'll be arrested on the spot.

    Now, IF there is a bench warrant for your arrest, what happens next depends on a number of factors: which court you're in, who your judge is, what your excuse for missing is (birth of a child probably would've worked if you'd gotten to the court the day after, but five months later it's a stretch), and, quite frankly, whether you have an attorney. An attorney might be able to speak to the court or the judge and have the warrant withdrawn; if not, perhaps the attorney at the very least could negotiate with the Sheriff's department and/or the judge to turn yourself in so that you'd spend a minimum amount of time in jail before being released. I'd look for a lawyer familiar with the jurisdiction: if the judge knows the attorney and the attorney has a good reputation, it can definitely help. Now, that's not a promise: most judges don't appreciate being 'stood up', lawyer or no lawyer, and you have to be prepared to take the medicine, but it's definitely NOT the right thing to do to just ignore the problem. By taking the bull by the horns you can meet it on your own terms; otherwise, you'll always be looking over your shoulder for the police. Call the courthouse, ask them if you have a warrant. If you do, call a lawyer, that's what they're trained to deal with.

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  • Can I get my underage drinking charge dropped? If so, how do I get underage drinking charge dropped?

    .I was walking back to my friends apartment in Athens, GA and was arrested for underage consumption, I was never breathalyzed or ever admitted to drinking. Can this charge be dropped in court due to lack of evidence with a public defender?

    Matthew’s Answer

    "Dropped" is a pretty wide open concept: you're actually asking a very broad question. So let's begin at the beginning to figure out how to get your underage drinking charges dropped.

    1. "I was never breathalyzed or ever admitted to drinking." If I had to guess, the officer probably wrote on your ticket "Minor in Possession (By Consumption)", or some variation thereof. Although it sounds like you weren't observed drinking, and you didn't take a breath test or admit consuming alcohol, the officer probably smelled it on you and made his case based on that. Without seeing your ticket or knowing any more facts, it's possible his theory is "If I smell it, that means you drank it. If you're under 21, you're busted."

    2. By "drop", you probably mean dismissed. Sure, any charge can be dismissed: the question is, can your lawyer or you convince the officer or the prosecutor to do that? You were in Athens, and hundreds of these types of cases are made in Athens every year, meaning the courts are familiar with them and used to seeing a certain amount of evidence from these cases. That also means the officers have learned what judges will accept in a case. If the officer didn't attempt to gain more evidence from you by asking you to take the state test, I imagine that means it's because he either didn't know he needed more evidence or he felt he didn't need any additional evidence to make his case stick. The law is hard and fast on who can drink and who can't, but there are some exceptions: you can read them by going to Official Court of Georgia Annotated section 3-3-23. A lawyer who is familiar with the law will be able to advise you about the elements in the charge (what the state has to prove to find you guilty) and the affirmative defenses in the law (the things that make drinking under 21 permissible). A good lawyer will take the law as it's written and apply the facts in both the best and worst possible lights to give you a total idea what types of problems you're facing and what types of problems the State will be facing in trying to prove this charge.

    3. To "drop" a case can mean different outcomes: the case can be dismissed; or you can be given pre-trial diversion, which could end in a dismissal in exchange for community service and a few other tasks on your part; or you can utilize a type of plea that can result in a dismissal after you have entered your plea and completed a term on what is called 'first offender' probation. Whether any of these things happens depends on the facts as you relate them, the facts as the officer remembers them, your prior criminal history, and the normal procedures of the court and judge in handling these cases. So "drop" can mean many different things.

    Of course, the best thing to do is to meet with a lawyer. Lawyers familiar with the subject will be in a great position to give you true advice on how to proceed. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so take advantage of one. Good luck!

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  • I was arrested for shoplifting about 3 months ago but I haven't received a citation or a court date.

    I was detained and booked at the Gwinnett County jail, but released. They told me to expect a court date in the mail, but I haven't received one yet. Another girl in the holding cell with me that was arrested for the same thing that day received a...

    Matthew’s Answer

    There are several steps you can take:

    1. Goto www.gwinnettcourts.com and plug your name into the search mechanism. It can tell you if you have a pending court date.

    2. Call the Gwinnett County State Court Clerk's Office, or better yet, call the jail. The jail has a website but it's a little more complicated to search than just calling them. The Clerk's Office may direct you to the Solicitor, the misdemeanor prosecutor who will be handling your case. If you do speak to a prosecutor, remember they represent the state, not you: don't make any statements about your guilt or innocence that could be used against you.

    3. Did you post a bond through a bonding company? If you did, you can get updated information from your bondsman: your bondsman's money is on the line, so you can be sure he or she will keep up with your court dates and make sure you attend.

    4. Call a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to do all of this, as well as give you valuable insight on the judicial system (what you may be charged with, what your options are, possibly ways to keep a charge like this off your record). If you're having problems just identifying the status of your case, you may need a lawyer to help you navigate the waters. Many (including myself) offer free consultations, so there's no risk in asking. Whatever you decide, good luck!

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  • Does posting a video on Facebook with cited and credited audio from 3rd party qualify as copyright infringement?

    Third party's audio track is cited and credited in the credits of the video clip.

    Matthew’s Answer

    The issue isn't whether you've cited the owner of the copyright, the question is whether you have permission to use the song. Unless you've explicitly received that permission, you're probably in violation of copyright law. The owner of intellectual property has the right to determine its use TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALL OTHERS, so unless they've said okay, you may have run afoul of the law. Don't know if I would take the chance. . . .

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  • Selling replicas online? Some say illegal and some say if you tell people it's a replica, it's ok.

    How come companies are allowed to sell replica bags, etc online? i thought they were illegal? websites such as www.replicaestore.com seem to be advertising them freely and even have a toll free number for customers. Is it true that if you tell peo...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Just because you call it a replica doesn't mean you are out of the woods. Most replicas are nothing more than items that infringe the trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights of other companies. The sellers who hawk replicas are banking on the fact that their items are so close to the real thing that you or your friends won't notice the difference: if that's the case, more often than not they've crossed the line into trademark or copyright infringement, and depending on the facts, could be facing civil or criminal penalties, or both. My advice: if you want quality, buy the real thing.

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  • Need advice... Few questions about getting a GA DUI

    I got pulled over for failure to maintain lane and failed the field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer. I blew a .160 and got the intent to suspend notice. I mailed a letter and am waiting to get a date for the ALS hearing. Do I need a lawyer ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Having an attorney at ANY legal proceeding is a good idea. Lawyers are trained in identifying issues and capitalizing on procedural processes you may not have any familiarity with. Let's consider the ALS hearing, for example: they are very technical matters that the judge and officer will be familiar with, but if it's your first, you may not. A lawyer may be able to have the suspension of your license completely rescinded without a hearing, or at the very least will be able to cross-examine the officer in a hearing, gaining valuable information on your case AND locking the officer into a statement that may benefit you later, should you have a trial. These court procedures are technical and sometimes confusing ("What does the judge consider in an ALS hearing? How will it affect my license? What happens to the DUI charge?), and a lawyer will be able to help you navigate those waters. . . .

    As for your job finding out about the DUI, it depends. Does your employer run background checks on employees? Is there a Human Resources policy in effect REQUIRING you to report an arrest? Are you in a position of trust that mandates full disclosure of criminal violations? A lawyer can help you answer those questions.

    When you ask if 'they' typically drug test you, are you talking about the court, or your job? If you plead guilty or nolo contendere to a DUI, or are found guilty at a trial, many jurisdictions require random drug screens at your own expense during the time you serve on probation. The law in Georgia requires certain mandatory minimums in sentencing for DUI, including jail time, minimum mandatory fines and community service, as well as a license suspension separate and apart from the ALS you received. Many attorneys (myself included) often counsel clients to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation, a risk reduction driving program, and community service prior to any court appearance as tools in the negotiation process, but it's often unwise to begin such steps without an honest appraisal of the facts of your case.

    So, in a nutshell, here's my advice: contact an attorney. There are a number of good attorneys out there who would be willing to help you. Many of them (including me) provide free consultations: meet with as many as it takes to find a good fit for you. An attorney may see something in your case that will truly benefit you, allowing you to keep your license or beat the case entirely. You owe it to yourself to find out. Good luck!

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