Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Court Update

Posted by Maggie on September 12, 2007

The Georgia Court of Appeals is putting out loads of opinions. Here’s the criminal round-up with interesting cases noted.

Convictions Affirmed: 10

Delinquencies Reversed: 1

Appeals Re-opened: 1

Williams v. State, A07A0913. Get a transcript, even if it’s only a misdemeanor.

Thomas v. State, A07A1077. Near the bottom there’s some discussion of recidivist drug sentencing. As you can tell from reading it, the drug statutes are complicated and all over the place. Prepare carefully.

Ray v. State, A07A1005. Ray claimed his trial counsel didn’t file a notice of appeal even though he requested it. By the time appellate counsel was appointed to consider ineffective assistance, the deadline for a notice of appeal had passed. The Court makes it clear that a request for out-of-time appeal must make a judicial inquiry into whether the defendant was responsible for the delay. A full hearing, not just an affidavit, is the standard.

McClendon v. State, A07A1529. Case challenges an allegedly void sentence in a statutory rape where the “victim” was 14 and the defendant 18. Court finds the motion to vacate a void sentence incorrect. Rather, because it was a guilty plea, the defendant must withdraw his guilty plea or seek habeas relief.

In the Interest of D.D., A07A1390. Court finds evidence sufficient, but reverses as venue was not established. The last time I caught a prosecutor for not covering venue and argued it in my close, the Judge let the prosecutor re-open their case to establish venue. Still not sure they’re allowed to do that.

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