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Kim Stephens Discusses Common Misconceptions about Arrests



            Athens defense attorney Kim Stephens discusses common myths about arrests and criminal defense. Kim Stephens is a nationally ranked defense attorney, and he has practiced criminal law in Athens for twenty four years.

Misconceptions About Arrests and Criminal Defense

  1. MYTH: If the police don’t read me my Miranda rights, my case will automatically be thrown out or dismissed.

TRUTH:  The police are not required to advise a person of their Miranda rights, i.e. the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present, until a person has been detained or arrested.  If the police fail to tell you your Miranda rights following a custodial arrest, any statements you make in response to police questioning or interrogation might be excluded from use at trial, but the case is still not likely to be thrown out or dismissed, although a good defense attorney will certainly try to leverage this omission to help resolve your case.


  1. MYTH: If my friend has marijuana/cocaine/prescription pain pills/ecstasy/or any illegal drugs, while he or she is in my car or house, I can’t be arrested or charged by the police with possession since it isn’t mine.

TRUTH:  In Georgia, you can and are likely to be charged with possession of illegal drugs if drugs are found in your car, house, or in close proximity to you, even if the drugs belong to your friend or acquaintance.  I represented a young female UGA student—an honor student with close to a 4.0 GPA—in the recent past who was a guest at a parent/student fraternity social at the Athens Classic Center.  Her date, a good friend of hers, was approached by the police and arrested for cocaine possession after an officer serving as a security guard saw him snorting a white powder.  Our client was also arrested based solely on the fact that she was standing beside her date at the time.  Even worse, the local newspaper put the young lady’s picture on the front page with a headline announcing she had been arrested for possession of cocaine.  After investigating the case, I convinced the prosecutors in the Athens Clarke County District Attorney’s Office to dismiss all charges against the young lady, but the emotional trauma and expense of simply being charged was extraordinarily difficult on her and her family. Be aware that if you are spending time with people who are involved in illegal activity, you may be arrested just for your proximity to those people, even if you aren’t directly involved in the crime.


  1. MYTH: I (or my son or daughter) will never be arrested because I am/ they are a good person and would never violate the law.

FACT:  Almost all of my clients are good people.  Some of my clients are falsely accused.  Some have done something that violates a law, but the police and prosecutors have over-charged or inflated the charges to be bigger than they should be.  Some people have simply made bad decisions or found themselves in unfortunate circumstances.  At Stephens & Brown, we begin each case believing our clients are good people and treat them with respect throughout our representation.  We seek to achieve the very best possible result in each case.


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 people every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting his clients’ lives. He is a nationally ranked defense attorney and has successfully litigated hundreds of cases.



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Supreme Court Holds that Fair Sentencing Act Applies to Post-Act Sentencing for Pre-Act Conduct


On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dorsey v. United States (No. 11-5683), holding that the Fair Sentencing Act’s new LOWER mandatory minimums apply to sentences for crack cocaine imposed after the Act for pre-Act crimes.

While this U.S. Supreme Court decision is exciting and good news for some defendants, attorney Kim Stephens successfully argued in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia that his clients should be sentenced under the lower guidelines set forth in the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 using many of the same arguments raised in Dorsey almost 2 years ago. As a result, Stephens’ clients were sentenced to much less time, i.e. several years less time, than they would have been sentenced to if the Fair Sentencing Act had not applied to pre-Act conduct.

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