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Student Legal Services Series 2: Alcohol Laws and Criminal Defense

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Student Legal Services Series 2:

Alcohol Laws and Local Ordinances

 

Stephens & Brown, Athens Georgia’s premier DUI and criminal defense law firm, welcomes University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, Athens Technical College, and Piedmont College students back to Athens.

Continuing in our series of blogs intended to help new and returning students in Athens understand and navigate the legal system, today’s blog will focus on state laws and local ordinances, particularly those pertaining to the consumption of alcohol. If you missed last week’s blog on DUI laws and what to do if you’re stopped, you can access it here.

Remember, if you are charged with a crime or asked to meet with school administrators about alleged crimes, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future. Kim Stephens defends students every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting students’ education and lives beyond college. He is a nationally ranked defense attorney and has successfully litigated hundreds of cases.

Alcohol Laws and Local Ordinances:

  1. Athens has an open container ordinance, meaning it is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages outside in public spaces, even just outside of some bars and restaurants. The local police enforce the open container law year round, even on football game days on and off campus.
  2. Athens has a noise ordinance and excessive noise at any residence may result in police coming to your residence and attempting to question everyone who is there. If the police show up at your home because of a noise complaint, have someone who has not been drinking and/or is over 21 years of age meet the officers at the door and, above all else, be polite, cooperate and turn the noise down, i.e. lower the decibel level.
  3. Littering violates state law and local ordinances and makes the community an uglier place. Instead of dropping cans, bottles or other trash on the ground or throwing them out the car window, pick up any trash you see and put it in the closest recycle or trash bin. You will feel good about yourself and will avoid unnecessary attention from the police.
  4. If you drink alcohol and are under the age of twenty-one, you may be charged with Underage Possession of Alcohol, i.e. MIP, even if the police don’t perform any test to determine if you have been drinking. Local police departments in Athens changed their policy of arresting first time underage drinkers and branding them as criminals last year; but, police will arrest you and take you to jail if they can charge you with another crime, i.e. obstruction, public intoxication, possession of a fake ID, etc., at the same time. The penalties and sentences in MIP cases and these other types of misdemeanor cases can be unduly harsh and burdensome and can result in you having a criminal record. Please don’t trust your friend’s expert advice just because he or she already had an MIP in Athens or somewhere else. Every case is different. You should always consult with an attorney before you go to court.
  5. If you are stopped and/or cited for MIP, local police will likely ask for or search for fake IDs and, if they find one, they will arrest you and take you to jail. In some cases, Athens and UGA police officers have charged students with felony forgery charges instead of the more appropriate misdemeanor charge of possession of a false or fictitious ID. Possession of a fake ID, even as a misdemeanor charge, can result in serious sanctions including suspension of your driver’s license.
  6. If you urinate in public you are violating both state law and local ordinances. In addition to Public Urination, the police may also charge you with Public Indecency and will definitely check to see if you’ve been drinking. If you have consumed alcohol, they may then also charge you with an MIP and/or Public Drunkenness.
  7. If you are a UGA student, the Honor Code contains specific punishment for violations of the Code that involve alcohol or drugs. Second time violations involving alcohol, even a violation as minor as an RA seeing beer in a dorm room refrigerator, can and often does result in suspension from UGA for a full year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933               s-cd s10-cd s-dui s10-dui cc-dui cc-cd readers_choice_logo_2012 rc13 Top100seal1[1]                          
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Student Legal Services Series 1: DUI

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Stephens & Brown, Athens Georgia’s premier DUI and criminal defense law firm, welcomes University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, Athens Technical College, and Piedmont College students back to Athens. The fall is an exciting time in Athens, with students returning to the city, and football season just around the corner. Former Bulldog All-American and criminal defense attorney Kim Stephens encourages incoming students to study, work hard, have fun, and be careful to avoid being arrested and forever branded as a criminal.

For the next several weeks our blog will focus on educating students about local laws and ordinances and helping them avoid legal problems and academic disputes.

Remember, if you are charged with a crime or asked to meet with school administrators about alleged crimes, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future.  Kim Stephens defends students every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting students’ education and lives beyond college.

 

Student Legal Services Series 1:

DUI

  1. If you are under the age of twenty-one and drive any vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages (0.02 BAC or 1 alcoholic drink for most people), you may be charged with DUI. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid a DUI charge, your driver’s license would likely be suspended if you are charged with MIP while driving.  Don’t put yourself or others at risk.  Walk (preferably with a friend so that you won’t be a good candidate for being robbed or mugged), call a sober friend, have a designated driver, take a cab, or let Uber help you.
  2. If you are over the age of twenty-one and drive a vehicle (including bicycles, scooters, Segways, golf carts, horses, or any moving vehicle) with a blood alcohol level of .08, you will be charged with DUI in Athens. While television, radio and billboard advertisements call a DUI a $10,000.00 mistake, I know of a DUI conviction costing a person more than $200,000.00 because he lost his job, lost his company car, couldn’t find other work for over a year, almost lost his home, and suffered the more typical DUI I’ve also seen commercial drivers lose their licenses for a year or, for a second DUI permanently taking away their ability to work.  These cases demonstrate the severe impact a DUI can have whether you are a college student or a working adult.
  3. If you drive a vehicle improperly (speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc.) after consuming alcohol or using drugs, you may be charged with DUI less safe even if you refuse the breath or blood test. Often police officers will request that you take “a few tests” to determine if you are impaired.  You are not required to take these field sobriety tests.  Understand that police officers use the test to gather evidence against you, not to help you.  So, in almost every circumstance, you should refuse to do field sobriety tests at the scene of your stop.

2016 Update: Recent Georgia and United States Supreme Court cases have called into question the legality of blood tests to determine blood alcohol level in DUI cases without a valid search warrant.

  1. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident after consuming alcohol or drugs, you may be charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanor reckless driving to felony vehicular homicide. A conviction for vehicular homicide almost always results in many years of prison time though Stephens & Brown has successfully kept clients out of jail in these serious cases including one client recently who caused the death of two elderly people after smoking marijuana.  Don’t take a chance of killing someone, ruining your life, and devastating the lives of family members for you and the person you might injure or kill.

 

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933

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Sheriff Scott Berry

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I don’t usually get involved with politics, but tomorrow is the election for the Oconee County Sheriff, and I do have something to say on this subject.

A few months ago, a teaching colleague of my wife—and family friend —was involved in a serious automobile accident just a few minutes away from the school in Oconee County where she teaches. Amy and her two daughters were transported by ambulance to Athens Regional Hospital, where my wife and I met them a few minutes after their arrival. We spent a frightening and emotional two hours at Athens Regional before Amy’s youngest daughter, who sustained life-threatening injuries, was life flighted to Atlanta. During that two hours, Sheriff Scott Berry came to the hospital to check on Amy and her daughters, reassuring Amy that the driver of the other vehicle was uninjured and telling her that he was there because he cared for her and her family, and he wanted to help in any way he could.

My wife drove with Amy, and Amy’s family, to Atlanta. While in Atlanta at the children’s hospital, Amy realized that she needed some things from her car. I drove to the junkyard where they had towed the car, but it was deserted, and I couldn’t get in. I called Sheriff Berry, who immediately offered to go to the junkyard and get whatever Amy needed. He did so and brought Amy’s belongings to me, so I could return them to her.

Sheriff Berry’s kindness did not end there. Amy and her husband stayed in Atlanta at the hospital with their daughter, and at some point, Amy realized that her eye glasses were still in the car. My wife called Sheriff Berry and asked if he had seen Amy’s glasses. Sheriff Berry went back to the car and looked again but was unable to find the glasses. The sheriff called my wife to tell her, and knowing that Amy could not leave her daughter, asked for her eye prescription, telling my wife that he would get Amy some new glasses. Just for context, Sheriff Berry had never met Amy before the day of her accident, yet he was willing to go out of his way to help her, even volunteering to get a prescription filled for new glasses, so she wouldn’t have to worry. As my wife said on that day, “What an incredible servant leader.”

Perhaps going to the hospital to check on Amy and her daughters would have been the routine practice of many sheriffs’ offices, but I believe the kindness and compassion Sheriff Berry showed while he was at the hospital was not routine. Certainly, his continued “behind the scenes” kindnesses that no one other than my wife, myself, and Amy’s family witnessed were not common. His repeated trips to the junkyard and his offer to buy Amy new glasses reflect both his deep commitment to the people of the county that he serves and his character.

Sheriff Berry is a good man, a skilled law enforcement officer and administrator, and he is passionately committed to keeping Oconee County a safe place to live and work.

I can think of no man who would better serve Oconee County as Sheriff than Scott Berry

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St. Patrick’s Day Reminders from Criminal Defense Attorney, Kim T. Stephens

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the attorneys and staff at Stephens and Brown. Criminal defense attorney, Kim T. Stephens, urges students and others celebrating tonight to remember the following laws and ordinances while having fun in Athens tonight.

State laws and local ordinances:

a) Athens has an open container ordinance, meaning it is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages outside in public spaces, even just outside of some bars and restaurants. The local police enforce the open container law year round.

b) Athens has a noise ordinance and excessive noise at any residence may result in police coming to your residence and attempting to question everyone who is there. If the police show up at your home because of a noise complaint, have someone who has not been drinking and/or is over 21 years of age meet the officers at the door and, above all else, be polite, cooperate and turn the noise down, i.e. lower the decibel level.

c) Littering violates state law and local ordinances and makes the community an uglier place. Instead of dropping cans, bottles or other trash on the ground or throwing them out the car window, pick up any trash you see and put it in the closest recycle or trash bin. You will feel good about yourself and will avoid unnecessary attention from the police.

d) If you drink alcohol and are under the age of twenty-one, you may be charged with Underage Possession of Alcohol, i.e. MIP, even if the police don’t perform any test to determine if you have been drinking. Local police departments in Athens recently changed their policy of arresting first time underage drinkers and branding them as criminals; but, the penalties and sentences in MIP cases can still be unduly harsh and burdensome and can result in you having a criminal record. Please don’t trust your friend’s expert advice just because he or she already had an MIP in Athens or somewhere else. You should always consult with an attorney before you go to court.

e) If you are under the age of twenty-one and drive any vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages, you may be charged with DUI. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid a DUI charge, your driver’s license would likely be suspended if you are charged with MIP while driving. Don’t put yourself or others at risk. Walk (preferably with a friend so that you won’t be a good candidate for being robbed or mugged), call a sober friend, have a designated driver, take a cab, or let Uber help you.

f) If you are over the age of twenty-one and drive a vehicle (including bicycles, scooters, Segways, golf carts, horses, or any moving vehicle) with a blood alcohol level of .08, you will be charged with DUI in Athens. While television, radio and billboard advertisements call a DUI a $10,000.00 mistake, I know of a DUI conviction costing a person more than $200,000.00 because he lost his job, lost his company car, couldn’t find other work for over a year, almost lost his home, and suffered the more typical DUI penalties. I’ve also seen commercial drivers lose their licenses for a year or, for a second DUI permanently taking away their ability to work. These cases demonstrate the severe impact a DUI can have whether you are a college student or a working adult.
g) If you drive a vehicle improperly (speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc.) after consuming alcohol or using drugs, you may be charged with DUI less safe even if you refuse the breath or blood test. Often police officers will request that you take “a few tests” to determine if you are impaired. You are not required to take these field sobriety tests. Understand that police officers use the test to gather evidence against you, not to help you. So, in almost every circumstance, you should refuse to do field sobriety tests at the scene of your stop.

h) If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident after consuming alcohol or drugs, you may be charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanor reckless driving to felony vehicular homicide. A conviction for vehicular homicide almost always results in many years of prison time though Stephens & Brown has successfully kept a person out of jail in the last few months who caused the death of two elderly people after smoking marijuana. Don’t take a chance of killing someone, ruining your life, and devastating the lives of family members for you and the person you might injure or kill.

i) If you buy alcohol and provide it to someone under the age of twenty-one, you can be charged with providing alcohol to a minor. In addition to criminal sanctions, your driver’s license will be suspended if you are convicted of providing alcohol to a minor.

j) If you have sex with an individual under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can be charged with rape, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery, and other serious criminal charges, even if you were also intoxicated. Even more worrisome, students, particularly male students, are being expelled by UGA and other colleges and universities based upon accusations of sexual misconduct where both students involved were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, WITHOUT A HEARING to determine the truth of the accusation.

Remember, if you are charged with a crime or asked to meet with school administrators about alleged crimes, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future. Kim Stephens defends students, teachers, athletes, and other citizens every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting the lives of his clients.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933

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Legal Advice for Widespread Panic Fans

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Stephens & Brown, Athens Georgia’s premier DUI and criminal defense law firm, welcomes Widespread Panic fans to Athens, Georgia. Criminal defense attorney Kim Stephens encourages all fans to enjoy the music, to have fun, but also to remain vigilant and safe to avoid being hurt or being arrested and forever branded as a criminal.

Fans should be aware of the following:

State laws and local ordinances:

  1. Littering violates state law and local ordinances and makes the community an uglier place. Instead of dropping cans, bottles or other trash on the ground or throwing them out the car window, pick up any trash you see and put it in the closest recycle or trash bin. You will feel good about yourself and will avoid unnecessary attention from the police.
  2. If you drink alcohol and are under the age of twenty-one, you may be charged with Underage Possession of Alcohol, i.e. MIP, even if the police don’t perform any test to determine if you have been drinking. Local police departments in Athens recently changed their policy of arresting first time underage drinkers and branding them as criminals, instead issuing citations to the alleged offender; but, the penalties and sentences in MIP cases can still be unduly harsh and burdensome and can result in you having a criminal record
  3. If you are under the age of twenty-one and drive any vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages, you may be charged with DUI. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid a DUI charge, your driver’s license would likely be suspended if you are charged with MIP while driving. Don’t put yourself or others at risk. Walk (preferably with a friend so that you won’t be a good candidate for being robbed or mugged), call a sober friend, have a designated driver, take a cab, or let Uberhelp you.
  4. If you are over the age of twenty-one and drive a vehicle (including bicycles, scooters, Segways, golf carts, horses, or any moving vehicle) with a blood alcohol level of .08, you will be charged with DUIin Athens. While television, radio and billboard advertisements call a DUI a $10,000.00 mistake, I know of a DUI conviction costing a person more than $200,000.00 because he lost his job, lost his company car, couldn’t find other work for over a year, almost lost his home, along with suffering the more typical DUI  I’ve also seen commercial drivers lose their licenses for a year or, for a second DUI permanently taking away their ability to work. These cases demonstrate the severe impact a DUI can have whether you are a college student or a working adult.
  5. If you drive a vehicle improperly (speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc.) after consuming alcohol or using drugs, you may be charged with DUI less safe even if you refuse the breath or blood test. Often police officers will request that you take “a few tests” called field sobriety tests (these are not the same as the breathalyzer test that they will ask you to take after they arrest you) to determine if you are impaired. You are not required to take these field sobriety tests. Understand that police officers use the test to gather evidence against you, not to help you. So, in almost every circumstance, you should refuse to do these voluntary field sobriety tests at the scene of your stop.
  6. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident after consuming alcohol or drugs, you may be charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanor reckless drivingto felony vehicular homicide. A conviction for vehicular homicide almost always results in many years of prison time. Don’t take a chance of killing someone, ruining your life, and devastating the lives of family members for you and the person you might injure or kill.
  7. If you buy alcohol and provide it to someone under the age of twenty-one, you can be charged with providing alcohol to a minor. In addition to criminal sanctions, your driver’s license will be suspended if you are convicted of providing alcohol to a minor.
  8. If you have sex with an individual under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can be charged with rapeaggravated sexual batterysexual battery, and other serious criminal offenses, even if you were also intoxicated. Even more worrisome, students, particularly male students, are being expelled by UGAand other colleges and universities based upon accusations of sexual misconduct where both students involved were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, WITHOUT A HEARING to determine the truth of the accusation.

Remember, if you are arrested and charged with a crime, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future. Kim Stephens defends individuals every day, winning in court, and arrests from having negative long-term consequences.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME, CALL ATTORNEY KIM T. STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE 706-548-3933

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Mental Health and Criminal Justice

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Lately, I have received a number of calls from families needing representation for a loved one who is suffering from some level of mental illness and was arrested after the family called for help during an episode. From dementia to schizophrenia, there are many illnesses which affect the mind as well as the body and cause people to behave in ways that are not only contrary to their true nature but also potentially pose a risk to those around them, and it has come to my attention, more than ever in recent months, that the resources for families suffering in this way are few, even for those with health insurance and access to medical care.

One layer of the problem is that individuals in the grip of dementia, addiction, schizophrenia, or psychosis rarely recognize that they are ill and need help. The very nature of their illness prevents them from seeing their situation accurately, so they resist the attempts by family and friends to get help. When their illness causes them to become disruptive or violent, spouses, partners, children, parents, have very few options open to them. Often, they call the police. The police respond, but they too have limited resources for dealing with crises that result from mental health problems, and the end result of a 911 call is usually an arrest, which does not help the person suffering and results in additional expenses and burdens for their family. This is not a criticism of law enforcement who are usually doing everything within their power to keep people safe, but they are not trained mental health professionals, and therefore cannot be expected to perform medical diagnosis when responding to a call.

The following are resources/options open to people who believe a loved one is suffering from mental health problems:

  • Any medical doctor can sign an involuntary committal order for an individual the doctor feels is suffering from mental illness. The problem here is that often people can maintain a façade of wellness for a short amount of time, e.g. the fifteen minutes spent at a doctor’s office, so even when a loved one manages to get them to a doctor, often there is not sufficient evidence for the doctor to sign an involuntary committal order.
  • Family can file paperwork for an involuntary committal, and under certain circumstances, a judge of superior or probate court can order involuntary treatment for people proved to be suffering from mental illness or addiction. Unfortunately, many people don’t feel comfortable with this kind of paperwork and cannot afford to hire an attorney to help them. Even if they overcome this obstacle, proving the illness can be difficult, and this type of action can really affect relationships within the family.
  • In crisis situations the law allows a judge to order a person to be apprehended by law enforcement on the basis of a two-party affidavit and delivered to a hospital for diagnosis by medical personal to determine whether treatment is necessary. Again, this process could be intimidating to some people, and even for those who would feel confidant or comfortable utilizing this measure, during a crisis there would rarely be time to complete affidavits and contact judges.
  • If a police officer observes a crime being committed by a person the officer reasonably believes is mentally ill and in need of treatment, the officer has the discretion to take the person to be evaluated instead of arresting him/her. My experience has been that this rarely happens, even when the family states that they believe their loved one is suffering from mental illness. This is not a failing on the part of law enforcement, but rather reflects a lack of awareness and/or training in mental health.

Even when any of the above measures are successfully taken, it is extraordinarily difficult for the treating facility to detain an individual without their consent. The patient can/will only be detained for up to five days, unless the chief medical officer submits a petition to the appropriate court supported by two independent medical doctors or one doctor and one psychologist recommending involuntary inpatient treatment. This rarely happens, even for people suffering from severe mental illness. The root of this reluctance to involuntarily commit people on the word of their relatives stems from a time when people abused the system to rid themselves of unwanted/unruly children, spouses, relatives. This is a very real concern and not a system we would ever want to revive. However, the current system does not work and does not provide adequate support for those suffering from mental illness or the loved ones who are trying to take care of them.

I am not a supporter of big government, and I rarely advocate for more governmental control, but the mental health system in our great country needs reimagining, revising, reworking. We need to be more aware that people are truly suffering, often in poverty, often isolated, often lonely, and increasingly desperate. Providing support for these people and their families is not only the right thing to do, it would also make our society safer.  A large part of my law practice is criminal defense, thus a significant portion of my income depends on people being arrested and charged with crimes; I would welcome, however, the day that families and individuals affected by mental illness can avoid criminal charges by getting appropriate help for their condition before their illness leads to arrest.

Kim T. Stephens

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Honoring Veterans

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Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who are currently serving or have served our country. Your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your families is a debt too great to ever repay. We thank you, honor you, and keep you in our prayers daily. At Stephens and Brown today, we are paying tribute to a former client and friend– First Sergeant Ray L. Kinney. We hope you will take a minute to read Sgt. Kinney’s story. He is a remarkable man, and we are proud to know him.

FIRST SERGEANT RAY L KINNEY  Ray Kinney

First Sergeant Ray Kinney is the First Sergeant for Bravo Troop 1- 108th CAV R&S Squadron. He enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1994 as a Ground Surveillance Radar Operator (96R) in the 320th MICO where he served for two years. Following the deactivation of the 320th MICO he transferred to the 248th MICO 48th BDE Georgia Army National Guard where he finished out his first enlistment. First Sergeant Kinney re-enlisted at the completion of his first term of service and transitioned into the 648th Engineer Battalion as a Combat Engineer (12B) in Statesboro, GA.

First Sergeant Kinney mobilized and deployed to S.W. Asia (IRAQ) in 2004 as a team leader in Alpha Company 648th EN (Sapper), 48th Brigade Combat Team, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. He conducted combat operations throughout Iraq in and around the Sunni Triangle as a Combat Engineer executing route clearance and counter IED operations. Following redeployment from Iraq, First Sergeant Kinney was assigned as Senior Engineer Sergeant from late 2006-2007 to HHC BDE 48th BDE Combat Team in Macon, GA as a Staff Sergeant until the end of his enlistment. In 2008 First Sergeant Kinney re-enlisted in 3-108th R&S Squadron as an 11B assigned to H Co 1-121st INF LRS as a team leader. While there First Sergeant Kinney coordinated numerous airborne missions, stood up the first ever SCUBA insertion team, resourced and executed the Combat Tactical tracking Operations course, and was instrumental in dedicating 1SG John D Blair Drop Zone at Catoosa Training Center in Ringgold, GA. Upon Completion of his ADOS time in 3-108th First Sergeant Kinney accepted an ADOS position with the South Carolina National Guard as a Warrior Leader Course Instructor at Eastover South Carolina 218th Non Commissioned Officer Academy. First Sergeant Kinney returned to the Georgia Army National Guard after receiving a Federal Technician Job with 3-108th CAV back in the Assistant S-3 capacity. Shortly after returning to 3rd Squadron First Sergeant Kinney was awarded an AGR position with Bravo Troop 3-108th CAV and was promoted within that troop as the Readiness Non Commissioned Officer. During his time in Bravo Troop First Sergeant Kinney deployed to Kosovo for Operation Enduring Freedom KFOR and served as the Multi-National Task Force S3 NCOIC for the Liaison Monitoring Teams. First Sergeant Kinney is a graduate of Warrior Leaders Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate/Outstanding Leadership Award, Commandants List), Advanced Leadership Course, Maneuver Senior Leadership Course (Honor Graduate), First Sergeant Course, Army Mountain Warfare School, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Tactical Tracking Operations School, Army Combatives Level 1, Readiness NCO Course (PEC), Army Basic Instructors Course, Small Group Instructor Course. 1SG Kinney has also attended the U.S. Army Military Intelligence School (96R), U.S. Army Infantry School (11B), U.S. Army Combat Engineer School (12B), U.S. Army Cavalry School (19D).

His awards and decorations include: Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device and 10 year Bronze Hourglass, Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (4th Award), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (4th Award), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Award), NATO Medal, Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver-Wheeled Vehicle Clasp, German Army Marksmanship Badge Gold, NCO Badge with Roman Numeral 3,Parachutist badge, Australian Parachutist Badge, Brazilian Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Order of St. George Medallion, 3-108th Cavalry Regimental Affiliation.

First Sergeant Kinney currently serves as the 1-108th Squadron Operations NCOIC / B TRP First Sergeant.

He resides in Woodstock, Georgia with his wife Dayna, their three sons, Kainen, Bo, and Luke.

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Tips For UGA Students Going To 2015 Georgia – Florida Game

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If you are a UGA student going to the Georgia Florida game this weekend, please keep these important tips in mind to avoid trouble or possible arrest:

  • On your way to and from the game, the Georgia State Patrol, county sheriff departments and local police agencies will be out in full force watching for speeders, drunk drivers, expired tags, improper passing, reckless driving, even tag and tail light violations. Road blocks are likely to be set up as well.  BE CAREFUL!
  • Do not drink and drive. Even if your entire group of friends is over 21, always have a designated driver.
  • If you do get stopped for any reason, politely provide your driver’s license to law enforcement officers. If asked to take field sobriety tests, though, just say “No.”  In other words, do not agree to take the walk and turn test, HGN (following the officer’s finger or flashlight), one leg stand, or any other test at the scene of the stop unless you are completely sober with no alcohol or drugs in your system.
  • If you are under 21, you cannot drink or possess alcohol. Glynn County and other law enforcement officers will be closely watching the beach this year looking for any reason to cite or arrest underage drinkers.
  • Do not urinate in public, even if you believe you are out of sight. Local police may arrest you not just for public urination but also for public indecency if you are spotted.
  • Stay with a friend always. Too many students have died over the years because they became intoxicated and had an accident, including overdosing, falling off parking decks and balconies, etc.  A friend can save your life.
  • Remember the “Amnesty Law.” Whether you are the person suffering from alcohol or drug poisoning or it is your friend or someone else, Georgia and Florida laws grant you amnesty if you seek medical help or call 9-1-1.  You should not be arrested if you “do the right thing.”
  • You cannot possess any drugs if you don’t have a prescription for them. Even one pill in your pocket without a prescription will result in a felony charge against you if found.
  • Possession of marijuana is not legal in Georgia or Florida.
  • Do not draw attention to yourself by being too loud, rude, arguing or fighting.
  • Glass containers are prohibited on the beach. Plastic containers and cups are also prohibited if they are “likely to splinter into sharp pieces.”  Local law enforcement may use this ordinance as a reason to question college students
  • You cannot drive a motor vehicle of any kind on the beach.
  • You cannot store or leave anything on the beach overnight. This prohibition includes boats, motorized vehicles, tents, coolers, etc.
  • Do not build a fire. If you do, you will get burned by local law enforcement.
  • You cannot sell anything, legal or otherwise, without a permit. Obviously, you won’t be able to get a permit to sell illegal products.
  • Don’t have sex with someone if they are intoxicated. The law says they cannot consent, and you may be arrested for rape and risk decades in prison.
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Kim T. Stephens on ESPN Discussing Criminal Defense, Due Process, and Jonathon Taylor

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Criminal defense attorney Kim T. Stephens was featured on an ESPN Outside the Lines special this weekend. During the interview, Stephens discusses the need for due process when student athletes, or regular students, are charged with a crime. In the video excerpt below Stephens is featured at the 3:25 and 4:25 marks in the video. Stephens and Brown will post the full interview once ESPN makes it available.

 

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13684416/georgia-bulldogs-sent-alabama-crimson-tide-officials-documents-related-assault-case-involving-jonathan-taylor

 

 

“Taylor’s attorney, Kim Stephens, said there is the potential for people to be treated unfairly under the new SEC rule if a case has not been adjudicated yet: “If a person commits domestic violence, if a person commits sexual misconduct, certainly they don’t need to be playing at any SEC school or any other school for that matter, they need to be punished in the courts and, if appropriate, incarcerated. But there needs to be due process, there needs to be fundamental fairness.”

 

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Student Judiciary Advice from Kim Stephens

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Academic Concerns:

While attending school in Athens, Georgia, it is important to adhere to your college’s policies on academic honesty, appropriate behavior, and campus safety. Defense attorney, Kim Stephens, often represents students involved in judiciary hearings at UGA, and based on his years of experience with the student judiciary process, he advises incoming freshman and returning students to be particularly aware of the following:

  1. Any knife having a blade over two inches—even a small fishing knife—is considered a weapon per state law and University of Georgia regulations and is not allowed on campus, including in the dorms. If you are found to be in possession of such a knife, you will likely be charged with a felony.
  2. Plagiarism (using someone else’s ideas or words without proper citations) is considered a serious offense at the college level and can result in suspension or expulsion.
  3. Sharing test information or prior tests is considered academic dishonesty and can result in suspension or expulsion.
  4. If you are charged with a crime while attending college, and the college is made aware of the charge, they will hold a conduct hearing. The student judiciary has the power to suspend or expel you from the university EVEN IF the charges are dismissed or disproved.

Kim Stephens is familiar with the inner workings of the University of Georgia’s student judiciary and provides students with professional advice, often enabling them to continue their studies at the university even after facing charges by the student judiciary. In 2013, Kim Stephens successfully filed a petition for a temporary protective order and injunction which prevented a University of Georgia student charged with a serious crime (which was later disproven and dismissed) from being expelled.  It is critical that students who find themselves facing a student conduct hearing seek professional advice to protect their future.

 

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933

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