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THE MEANING OF ‘RELENTLESS DEFENSE’
NEW GEORGIA DUI DECISION WILL HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON CASES
When I started my defense firm 10 years ago, I decided to make my mission statement powerful but simple: relentless defense . To me, relentless defense means working aggressively on behalf of the criminally accused, exhausting every possible avenue when a challenge arises, and bringing to bear all possible resources to provide unflagging advocacy for clients. In short, relentless defense means putting up a strong fight no matter the opponent in front of you. Relentless defense is also certainly a descriptor I would use for my good friend and fellow defense attorney, Greg Willis. That was precisely his approach to a DUI case he took against the State of Georgia that ultimately altered a major portion of the state’s DUI law. As a result, a driver’s refusal to take a Breathalyzer test can no longer be used against them in a criminal court. To those outside the legal arena, this change might not seem all that dramatic, but in reality, it’s an enormous change for every person in the state. It all started in August 2015, when an officer with the Athens-Clarke County Police pulled over a female driver after allegedly observing that she failed to maintain a lane, that she followed too closely, and that she disregarded a traffic control device. The officer, purportedly smelling booze and seeing signs of impairment, arrested her and read her the state’s “implied consent notice,” which states: “Georgia state law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license … will be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial.”
In the end, the justices found that using a driver’s refusal to submit to a breath test against them at trial violates the state’s constitutional protections against self- incrimination. They also reaffirmed a 2017 previous decision that said a breath test is an act which is protected by the Georgia constitutional provision prohibiting self-incrimination. Under the new ruling, if a driver refuses a breath test, the arresting officer will instead need to obtain a warrant to take blood or urine tests, either performed by hospital employees or medical workers at a jail, depending on the county. Additionally, the verbiage in the implied consent notice must now be revised. I’ve kept every refusal case in my docket pending while this case was in the Supreme Court. Now that the ruling has gone into effect, many of my clients will experience a dramatic influence on their individual cases. Additionally, I plan on contacting any past clients who entered a plea over the last 12 months to see if we can petition the court. Overall, this is a big change, but it was one we were expecting and hoping for. It underscores why it’s necessary for attorneys to follow in Greg Willis’ footsteps and put up a strong fight in any case, but especially DUI cases. Laws change, as does the legal landscape. We all play a vital role in making that happen.
“It underscores why it’s necessary for attorneys to follow in Greg Willis’ footsteps and put up a strong fight in any case, but especially DUI cases.”
The driver refused the Breathalyzer test and was arrested. That’s when Greg Willis, her attorney — practicing relentless defense — refused to give up on her case and challenged existing law. His argument hinged on the decision of a previous ruling in 2017, which said that drivers can’t be forced to submit to breath tests because, in doing so, they are being forced to potentially incriminate themselves, a ruling which reiterated the rights listed in the state of Georgia’s constitution regarding self- incrimination (Article I, Section I, Paragraph XVI).
–Kim Keheley Frye
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LEGAL CASE STUDY: ADÉLIE THE ROCK THIEF EXPLORING THE CRIMES OF ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE
On an island off the coast of Antarctica, a BBC film crew caught footage of a crime taking place. In the video, as one male Adélie penguin leaves his nest to search for additional rocks to add to it, his neighbor waddles over, removes a rock from the nest, and carries it back to his own. When the first penguin returns from his search, his neighbor plays it cool, but at each opportunity, he repeats the crime and steals his neighbor’s rocks. While animals aren’t actually subject to legal action, and the Adélie penguin was only behaving according to natural instinct, the fine writers for the blog Legal Grounds point out that the rock thief situation presents an interesting legal case study. By taking his neighbor’s rock and putting it in his own nest, the neighbor penguin committed an act of theft. Theft is defined as “the taking of someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the victim of that property.” In some places, when a thief leaves the scene of the crime, the theft is considered complete. If the thief returns and steals additional items, that could be considered a new crime and result in additional charges. So, since the neighbor penguin takes a rock, leaves the scene of the crime, and returns, he could be found guilty of multiple theft charges. If he’d decided to go big and take his neighbor’s entire nest at once, he might’ve been charged with grand theft.
Now, if the penguin who was stolen from had used force to protect his precious nest rocks, the case would be complicated even further. Allowable force is generally limited in cases of theft. To prove self-defense, the victim penguin would have to show there was a threat of force against him, that he didn’t provoke the neighbor penguin in any way, and that he didn’t have the option to escape. From a legal perspective, it was probably best that the victim penguin didn’t use force.
For now, we’ll leave the Adélie penguins to their nest-building business and save the legal cases for the human world.
TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR HEAD UP
WHEN LEGAL CHALLENGES LEAVE YOU FEELING OVERWHELMED
SMALL CHANGES ARE STILL CHANGES If the complexities you’re facing seem insurmountable, it can be easy to see yourself as a failure and give up without really trying to overcome the challenge. Starting where you are and making small movements in the right direction can take you closer and closer to your challenge until, little by little, you realize that you have overcome it. ASK FOR HELP The three tips listed above will be much easier to accomplish if you implement a fourth: good help along the way. Trying to tackle legal challenges on your own will do nothing but amplify your stress, which is why you should consider tagging up with Kim Frye and getting her in the ring to deal with your challenges on your behalf. Go to FryeLawGroup.com for your free case evaluation.
While it’s not necessarily a popular topic in today’s society, the emotional baggage of being charged with a crime can be quite overwhelming, especially if the charge is undeserved. If you or someone you know is navigating the legal system to battle an unjust charge, the challenge of continuing to plow forward can be difficult. If you’re feeling disempowered and finding it frustrating or stressful to cope with legal issues, here are four tips to help you maintain a positive perspective and focus on your goals. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF A little self-confidence can go a long way. Reaching your goal and being free from your legal stressors again one day will only be possible if you believe you can do it. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, listen to their encouragements, and allow their belief in you to bolster your confidence and propel you forward. FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION Focusing on your end goal is a good way to make it happen. Focusing on the negative, or the obstacle in the way of your success, can enlarge the problem and stop you from moving forward.
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CHECK OUT THIS CLIENT’S EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH KIM A STORY ABOUT UNRELENTING DEFENSE
If you’ve been charged with a criminal sexual offense, do not give up hope. A charge is not the same as a conviction, and defenses against these cases do exist. Depending on the circumstances and the crime, the type of defense will vary. A person charged with committing a criminal sexual offense in Georgia is subject to tough penalties. Some crimes carry a life term in prison. That’s why you need an attorney who practices unrelenting defense. Check out this client’s story to see it firsthand: “I lived in Atlanta for 30 years or so, and throughout that time, I had a successful career in education. I was a classroom teacher in music, and I taught all kinds of students at the elementary, junior high, high school, and university levels. I instructed thousands of students and never had a single complaint of any kind whatsoever. Midway through the year that I had planned to be my last before retirement, a former student filed a sexual battery charge against me. A warrant was issued for my arrest, and it completely turned my life upside down. “Panic filled my professional and personal life, and I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I eventually asked for advice from a friend who practices law on the south side of the city. She said, ‘If I were in your situation and I were looking for someone to defend me, I would want Kim Frye.’ “From the get-go, Kim said that she would be relentless in defending me. She said, ‘I will not stop. I’m going to defend you against these charges, and all the resources I have will be brought to bear on your behalf. We’re going to win this.’
“From the first meeting until my final and resounding acquittal of those charges, Kim was absolutely brilliant. She gave me back my life; she gave me back my profession. I cannot thank her enough, and I cannot recommend her more highly to those who might be looking for help.” Kim Frye is a skilled and experienced criminal law attorney. She is here to help you, not judge you. Before entering private practice, she worked for a district attorney’s office. Consequently, she possesses unique insights on how people in the district attorney’s office think and proceed on cases. If you or someone you know needs her help, don’t hesitate to ask!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH SOME MOVIE TRIVIA Even the best of students hates taking tests, but here at Frye Law Group, we love a good trivia question. Check out the following film quote below: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” Do you know the movie this quote is from? If so, send an email to news@ fryelawgroup.com as soon as possible, including your phone and the title of the film. The first three responders to answer correctly will win a free gift card to Jack’s New Yorker Deli!
OPENING DAY HAMBURGERS
With no fancy sauces, no frills, and no cheese, these all-American burgers are perfect for the start of baseball season.
INGREDIENTS • 1 pound ground chuck, 80 percent lean • 4 soft, white hamburger buns, split • 4 1/4-inch thick tomato slices • 12–16 pickle rounds
• 4 small leaves iceberg lettuce • 4 1/4-inch thick yellow onion slices • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil • Salt and pepper, to taste • Condiments of your choice
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Lightly grease a small nonstick skillet with oil. Heat over medium-high. 2. While heating, gently shape meat into four patties 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Be careful to handle the meat as little as possible to prevent tough burgers. Season liberally with salt and pepper. 3. Sear patties on each side, about 1 minute per side. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until desired doneness, about 1 more minute per side for medium-rare, 2 more per side for medium-well. 4. Let meat rest for a minimum of 3 minutes. 5. To assemble, place patty on bottom bun and top with tomato, pickles, lettuce, and onion (in that order). Spread condiments on top half of bun and place on top of onion. Serve. Inspired by Saveur Magazine
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Inside this Issue
New Georgia DUI Decision Will Have a Huge Impact on Cases page 1
A Chilly Legal Case Study
What to Remember When Legal Challenges Leave You Feeling Overwhelmed page 2
Check Out This Client’s Experience Working With Kim
Opening Day Hamburgers page 3
3 Great Opening Days in Baseball page 4
Baseball’s opening day has been an American holiday of sorts since the Cincinnati Red Stockings threw out the first major league pitch in 1869. To celebrate the start of the 150th season of professional baseball, here are three of the best opening days in baseball history. A NEW BEGINNING On April 15, 1947, an opening-day game changed the course of Major League Baseball. On this day, Jackie Robinson started for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American player to start for a major league baseball team. Robinson’s historic showing was lackluster, going 0-for-3 at the plate and making a solid showing on the infield at first base, but his mere presence in a Dodgers uniform had already broken history. Despite his nationally-recognized skills — Robinson was named MVP of the MLB farm team league in 1946 — the backlash that followed his rise to the pros, both from fans and teammates, was palpable. Still, as well-known sportscaster Howard Cosell said, “Suddenly, it was a new beginning.” LOU, COMBS, AND BABE — OH MY! Considered one of the best teams in baseball history, the 1927 New York Yankees started their historic run and 25th season by dismantling the PEANUTS AND CRACKER JACKS
Philadelphia Athletics with a score of 8–3. The slugfest was true to form for the 1927 Yankees, whose players would go on to make up baseball’s famous “Murderers’ Row.” With sluggers like Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Babe Ruth, Mark Koenig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri, it’s no wonder this team went on to win its fifth championship that year. THE HAMMER TIES BAMBINO For decades, no one could match George Herman Ruth. The Great Bambino’s all-time home run record seemed like an impossible feat of strength — that is, until Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron came along. On opening day, April 4, 1974, Aaron smashed his 714th homer, tying Babe Ruth for the most home runs ever hit and extending the Atlanta Braves’ shutout lead over the Cincinnati Reds. A few weeks later, Aaron surpassed Ruth’s record, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.
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