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Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

The Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) and the Non-Residential Abuse Program (NRDAP) are offered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) to assist inmates suffering from substance abuse issues.

RDAP consists of 3 intensive phases, totaling over 500-hours of voluntary individual and group treatment, and it is about 9-12 months long. This program offers prisoners to live in a modified prosocial community within the prison, separate from the general population. They split their day in half with vocational, work, or school activities and the other half in treatment/programs. Prisoners must meet specific requirements to be considered for this program, and space is often limited. The prisoner must have at least 24 months remaining in their sentence to complete the program.

Since some inmates may have less than a 24-month sentence, the FBOP also offers a Non-Residential Drug Abuse Program (NRDAP), where prisoners can participate in 12-24 weeks of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment. This treatment consists of skill-building within communication, rational thinking, and institution adjustment. NRDAP is often offered in a group setting and is more accessible to prisoners because of the less strict qualifications. NRDAP differs from RDAP because offenders may join this program if they have short sentences, are not eligible for RDAP, or awaiting availability.

Attorney General Merrick Garland made recent comments about what he considered to be the Department of Justice’s top priorities for 2022.  Since taking office in March 2021, Garland has tried to combat crime in a tumultuous time.  He has been criticized for his handling of January 6 investigation and has stated it’s the most urgent probe in history.

With all of this going on, the US Attorney’s office increased its prosecutions of individuals of white collar crimes in the year 2021.  White collar charges like fraud, theft, corruption, bribery, environmental crime, tax fraud, health care fraud, procurement fraud, money laundering, PPP loan fraud, etc will continue to get more attention from the Department of Justice.

What does this mean?  It means that investigations of any sort need to be taken seriously and that you should contact a lawyer immediately if any wrongdoing is alleged.

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Health Care Qui Tam cases

What does Qui Tam mean? 

Qui tam is short for the Latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur,” which roughly translates to “he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.”  

The Department of Justice just announced that U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland created COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to enhance enforcement efforts against COVID-19 related fraud.

Cases have included:

  • Offers to purchase COVID-19 vaccination cards

People in Georgia tend to have mixed opinions on polygraph tests-if they even have an opinion at all. One camp purports that the tests are unreliable and easy to beat. Another camp recognizes potential flaws while still understanding that these tests have a lot to offer.

The reality is that they do provide tremendous value in many cases. In fact, they have helped criminal suspects in Georgia avoid charges or have led to charges being dropped.

Official use

If you are facing criminal charges, you are naturally concerned about the potential legal and financial consequences of a conviction. However, as a nurse, even a charge of certain offenses may lead to professional consequences as well.

The state requires that licensed nurses report any convictions that involve a felony offense, controlled substances or irresponsible use of alcohol or drugs to the Georgia Board of Nursing. If charged with such a crime, the board may suspend or revoke your professional license.

1. Felony offenses

When a nurse struggles with substance use, he or she may worry that seeking help will result in career damage. In fact, self-reporting a problem with drugs or alcohol can help protect your ability to practice as a nurse.

Learn how a DUI or drug diversion arrest could impact your Georgia nursing license.

Understanding mandatory reporting requirements

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

A major part of the CARES Act provided for a total of $669 million in federal funds to be designated for financial relief for small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The crush of applications meant the fund ran out in minutes. Lenders scrambled to handle applications and disburse money to struggling businesses, with 4 million disbursements made by the middle of May. However, many companies that were eligible were unable to access assistance. Public outcry about nationally recognized businesses receiving funds led to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department establishing a “Safe Harbor” return program whereby businesses could return loans. The Safe Harbor deadline, originally set for May 7, was extended twice but ended on May 18.

Now, federal authorities are investigating and filing fraud charges against those thought to have taken advantage of the new program. Applicants who falsely certified any part of the loan request could face criminal charges, fines, and restitution. In addition, as forgiveness applications are submitted and approved, use of PPP funds for anything other than allowed business purposes could subject applicants to investigation.

This past week, Conaway & Strickler’s Meg Strickler and Chelsea Thomas tried a capital case in Fulton County Superior Court.  Our client was facing life in prison. Ms. Thomas and Ms. Strickler were able to secure a NOT GUILTY verdict. The jury deliberated just 30 minutes.

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Something viewed as a humorous prank by one person could be perceived in a much different light by another. Every action taken, regardless of someone’s age, can potentially bring life-changing consequences. A college scholarship student in Georgia is likely preparing a criminal defense due to his actions involving a photo he allegedly snapped and posted on social media.

In Nov. 2016, a cadet at the University of North Georgia in his junior year went to a restroom in the Military Leadership Center in Dahlonega. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the cadet apparently saw one of his instructors at a urinal with his shorts pulled down. The cadet allegedly took a photo with his phone and sent it to some of his friends. Following that, the photo was purportedly shared on a messaging app and was seen by hundreds of viewers.

News of the photo reached university officials, and the cadet was asked to show it to his superiors. He now faces up to six years in prison regarding a felony charge of unlawful eavesdropping or surveillance and a misdemeanor charge of transmission of photography depicting nudity. Reports say that he could also be fined $51,000 for the incident. In addition, the student may lose his scholarship, which included funding for his room, meals, books and tuition.

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