Welcome to Athens, Georgia and UGA to all new and returning students. The firm of Baker & Slider wanted to give some general information concerning common crimes that UGA students seem to face and the criminal justice system in Athens, Georgia. The most common crimes that university students seem to face in Athens are Underage Possession of Alcohol (UPA/MIP); Possession of a False Identification Document (Fake ID); Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Drug Possession, including marijuana and prescription medications.
Law enforcement officers are very visible and present downtown Athens and have numerous contacts with students at night that could lead to the charges mentioned above. These interactions start with things that draw the attention of police officers, such as being turned away at a bar because of a fake id, open container violations, urinating in public, or some kind of loud verbal or physical altercation on the streets or sidewalks. Additionally traffic stops that result in charges occur throughout the county, and increasingly are being made as a result of the new cell hands free law. Once a police officer decides to stop and charge or arrest somebody, the person charged will have to appear in the Municipal Court of Athens, the State Court of Athens-Clarke County, or the Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County, depending on the severity of the charges.
Prosecutors in Athens aggressively prosecute drug and alcohol offenses, and are willing to present these cases before a jury. The charges that students face can result in, among other things, jail time, probation, and loss of a driver's license. Beyond the consequences that students face in the criminal justice system, they can face consequences with UGA, including academic probation and expulsion.
If you find yourself facing criminal charges and have questions about what to do next, contact the firm of Baker & Slider at 706-208-1514 for a free consultation. It is important to know your rights and your options, as criminal charges can have a long lasting impact.