The Legislative Updates and Case Laws found on this page are intended for information and training purposes only. Law enforcement trainers, public safety agencies, and students are strongly encouraged to consult the opinions and full text of all cases and laws and to coordinate all legal inquiries or investigative matters to their agency’s legal adviser, local district attorney, or solicitor’s general for legal opinion.

Buford v. The State,  11 FCDR 3564, A11A1518, November 4, 2011
The Court of Appeals affirmed Robert Buford’s conviction for DUI, holding that the trial court did not err in denying Buford’s motion to suppress positive blood-alcohol results. Buford lost control of his car and emergency technicians notified police that he smelled of alcohol; when the officer entered Buford’s hospital room, Buford was taped to the spine board, had tubes coming out of him, and appeared to be coming in and out of consciousness; the officer notified Buford that he was going to charge him with DUI and read him the implied consent notice pursuant to OCGA § 40-5-67.1.   The Court rejected Buford’s argument that the notice was ineffective because he was not under arrest at the time it was given. Noting that the adequacy of an implied consent notice depends on whether the individual was formally arrested or restrained to a degree associated with a formal arrest, the Court held that the undisputed evidence showed that at the time of his encounter with the officer, Buford was secured to a board in a hospital room with tubes attached to his body. Even if Buford was alert, rather than coming in and out of consciousness, a reasonable person in his situation could not have thought that he was free to leave when the officer announced that he would be charged with DUI.

Boykins v. The State, —S.E.2d—, 2011 WL5313893 (Ga.), S11G0643, November 7, 2011: 
In an important ruling supporting the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Arizona v. Gant, 129 S.Ct. 781, 556 U. S. 332 (2009), Jan 29, 2009, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the judgment of the Georgia Court of Appeals in Boykins v. State, 307 Ga. App. 404 (2010), which upheld Reginald Boykins’ conviction for possession of cocaine found in the center console of his vehicle during a warrantless search conducted incident to his arrest for a probation violation. The Supreme Court held that the arresting officer’s testimony failed to establish Boykins’ physical location in relation to the vehicle at the time of the search and provided no other information from which the Court could determine that the center console remained within Boykins’ arm’s reach as required by Arizona v. Gant, 556 U. S. 332 (2009), since the officer merely testified that he searched the wing span of the vehicle. Thus the state failed to meet its burden of proving the search incident to arrest exception to the warrant requirement.

Williams v The State, A10A1959, 11 FCDR 887, April 1, 2011: 
The Court of Appeals affirmed Ronnie L. Williams’ convictions for trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine, and a firearms offense, after his co-defendant’s vehicle hit a deer while Williams was a passenger, and police discovered contraband in the vehicle. Williams also argued that, in light of Gant, this Court erred in previously reversing the trial court’s grant of his motion to suppress, but such argument is without merit because the arresting officer testified that he performed an inventory search with the intention of impounding the car, as it had been involved in an accident and the driver did not have a valid license or proof of insurance, so the evidence seized from the vehicle would have been discovered during the subsequent inventory of the vehicle at its impoundment and was therefore admissible under the inevitable discovery rule.

Sullivan v. The State, A10A2243, 11 FCDR 582, February 28, 2011: 
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Kevin Sullivan’s pretrial motion to suppress evidence of his arrest and other related evidence after he was convicted of DUI and failing to maintain a lane. The Court held that the trial court did not err in denying the motion, even though the University of Georgia campus officer stopped Sullivan outside of his jurisdiction, because he observed Sullivan’s illegal driving maneuvers on campus, and, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-4-23, “an officer has authority to arrest a person accused of violating any law or ordinance governing the operation of a vehicle where the offense is committed in his presence, regardless of territorial limitations.”

Wilson v. State, A11A0128, 11 FCDR 492 (03/11/11), February 22, 2011: 
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed Jerry L. Wilson’s convictions for theft, DUI, drug possession, and other offenses, holding that the trial court did not err in denying his motion to suppress evidence. Specifically, the Court held that the police officers had authority to conduct the initial search of Wilson’s vehicle because Wilson consented to the search and did not contend that his consent was the product of a pretextual stop. The Court also held that police officers had authority to conduct the second search of Wilson’s vehicle, after his lawful arrest for DUI, because the officers did not induce Wilson’s consent to search by deception or threat, and no evidence showed that Wilson withdrew his consent after his arrest.

Hawkins v. The State, A10A1575, 2010 WL 4883650 (Ga.App.), December 1, 2010: 
The Court of Appeals upheld the search of Haley Hawkins cell phone. Ms. Haley Hawkins was arrested and indicted for several violations and an attempted violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.1 Hawkins moved the trial court to suppress evidence of certain text messages that police obtained from her cell phone and the cell phone of another individual. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied her motion. She then sought immediate review in this Court, which we allowed. On appeal, Hawkins claims that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress because the seizure and search of her cell phone were unreasonable and because the police did not have the authority to send text messages to her, and receive and read text messages from her, using the phone of the other individual. We see no error and affirm.

Chandler v. State, A10A1604, 10 FCDR 2735, August 4, 2010: 
The Court of Appeals ruled was no Double Jeopardy and affirmed the partial denial of Chris Chandler’s plea in bar of his prosecution on DUI changes, holding that the evidence supported the trial courts finding that the solicitor did not have actual knowledge of all of the charges against Chandler when he paid a fine in recorders court on a citation for following too closely.

Moreland v. The State, A10A0047, 10 FCDR 2015, June 18, 2010: 
Defendant Moreland was convicted on four counts of selling cocaine and appeals. Moreland asserts that his conviction was illegal because the State violated Georgia’s bribery statute, OCGA § 16-10-2 (a) (1), when it promised two informants that they would not be prosecuted on unrelated charges in exchange for their participation in controlled buys of cocaine from Moreland and compensated one of those informants for his participation in the buys.

In the Interest of H. E. B., A10A0980, 10 FCDR 1588, May 5, 2010: 
In an important ruling concerning 17 year old juveniles who commit “status offenses”, the Court of Appeals affirmed H. E. B.’s delinquency adjudication for running away from home when she was 17 years old, holding that the juvenile court had jurisdiction over the matter, because O.C.G.A. § 15-11-2 (2) defines a child, inter alia, as an individual under the age of 18 years, who is alleged to be a status offender and, thus, the juvenile court had jurisdiction over the action pursuant to § 15-11-2 (2).

O’Quinn v The State, A10A0404, 10 FCDR 1484, April 12, 2010: 
Officers involved in any traffic stop may order the driver and any passengers out of the vehicle and may also perform a limited Terry-type search of the driver or any passenger to discover weapons if the officer has a reasonable basis to believe that the person is armed.

In the Interest of T.M., A10A0211, 10 FCDR 1383, April 1, 2010:
The court properly found that, because the probable cause for the arrest already existed and was not dependent upon the proceeds of the search (the razor blade), the search of the juveniles cell phone was lawful.