Learn about our areas of experties involving state crimes, and better understand your rights.
Learn about our areas of experties involving state crimes, and better understand your rights.
If you are accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your freedom and a verdict of "guilty" is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Savannah, GA.
Those who have been arrested before know that life in the legal system is no laughing matter. Aside from the imminent ramifications of fines and jail time, any goals you have of bettering yourself and advancing your life could be compromised. Without a trusted attorney by your side, you could face a lifetime of embarrassment and poor employment prospects due to a tarnished criminal record.
The good news? Dennis O'Brien and his team of experienced lawyers in Savannah are ready to clear your name. By retaining the help of a criminal defense attorney early in the legal process, you have a much better chance of securing your freedom and living a life as a productive member of society.
At O'Brien Law Firm PC, our practice was founded to fight for the rights of individuals accused of or charged with a crime. Our team of legal experts is well-equipped to take even the most difficult, contentious cases. From violent felonies to DUI, there is nothing we haven't seen and handled. As a former law enforcement officer, founding attorney Dennis O'Brien knows exactly how much a person can lose if convicted. That's why we work tirelessly to secure a verdict that is favorable for our clients.
Regardless of how serious or minor your case may be, know that we will fight fearlessly on your behalf. You deserve zealous representation - when you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, you will receive nothing less.
Many of our clients are surprised to discover that founding lawyer Dennis O'Brien was a police officer prior to his criminal defense career. As a former Field Training Officer for the Memphis Police Department, he has over two decades of knowledge and experience in the criminal justice system. Dennis truly understands the nuance and complexities involved in a criminal defense case. This rare experience gives Dennis a clear edge in any criminal defense case and gives clients priceless peace of mind when they need it the most. Unlike some criminal defense attorneys in Savannah, Dennis O'Brien and his team believe that every client deserves effective, empathetic legal assistance. While some Savannah criminal defense firms will take weekends off or pass along cases to paralegals, Dennis personally reviews each of his cases. There is no case too small or big for O'Brien Law Firm PC. When you hire our firm, you can rest easy knowing that we will be by your side when the going gets tough.
When you are charged with a drug crime in Savannah, it can change your life forever. Georgia imposes very strict punishments for drug offenses. The truth is, it's hard to get your life back on track with a drug charge on your record. Your freedom and way of life could be in the hands of your criminal defense attorney. As such, you need a competent lawyer with years of experience handling drug cases. Leaving your fate in the hands of an incompetent attorney could have long-lasting effects on your family and may result in a conviction.
While the consequences for a drug crime in Georgia are serious, there's reason to be hopeful: O'Brien Law Firm PC is here to fight for you. Remember - being charged with a drug crime is NOT the same thing as being convicted.
Our stellar team has represented many clients facing numerous drug-related charges. While each situation varies, one constant remains the same for clients facing drug charges: a fear of what lies ahead. At O'Brien Law Firm PC our job is to help you overcome the fear of the unknown. We do so by ensuring you understand your charges, the possible outcomes associated with those charges, and the options you need to consider from a criminal defense standpoint.
No matter what charge you are facing, our team has the experience and resources to build a comprehensive defense strategy for your drug case in Savannah, GA. Without a criminal defense attorney acting as your advocate, you could be facing very harsh penalties. Here are a few punishments you could be facing for drug crimes in Savannah:
Having less than a gram (or one milliliter for liquids) of this type of drug results in a prison term of one to three years. Having four grams or milliliter carries a term of one to eight years.
Any substance on this list is punishable by a prison sentence of one to three years.
If you have less than two grams or milliliters of this substance, punishments can be between one year and three years. Having up to four grams or milliliters results in a prison sentence of one to eight years.
Those who are in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana are subject to a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Fines may be no more than $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana can result in a prison term of one to 10 years.
To avoid these life-changing punishments, you must take action now. Contact O'Brien Law Firm today for a consultation about your case.Contact Me!
Violent crime offenses in Savannah typically involve some form of bodily harm to another individual, actions committed against an individual's will, or threatening someone with bodily harm. Aggravated violent offenses are more severe charges and often occur when a violent crime is made more serious due to circumstances like deadly weapons.
Much like serious drug cases, violent crimes create an added layer of negativity that follows the accused for the rest of their life. In these cases, even an accusation is enough to cause irreparable damage to a person's reputation. Those convicted of a violent crime face severe penalties that can include years in a correctional facility.
When you are accused of any of the above crimes, your freedom hangs in the balance. The outcome of your case will determine whether you leave the courtroom with your freedom intact or stripped away to serve time behind bars. Because the punishments for violent crimes are so extreme, you should be seeking legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney in Savannah, GA, as soon as possible. As a former police officer with a long record of positive verdicts in violent crime cases, Dennis O'Brien is well equipped to represent you in court.
|Having a criminal defense lawyer by your side is the best way to avoid the serious punishments associated with violent crimes. These punishments usually result in prison time if convicted and include:|
|Forced rape:||20 years|
|Armed robbery:||Up to 20 years|
|Simple assault:||Up to 12 months|
|Aggravated assault:||10 to 20 years|
|Aggravated battery:||Up to 20 years|
|Involuntary manslaughter:||One to 20 years|
|Vehicular homicide||Up to 15 years|
|Murder:||Life in prison or the death sentence|
As a former police officer, Dennis O'Brien has seen the toll it takes on a person when charged with a crime. His time in law enforcement allows him to empathize with his clients who desperately need competent representation. Despite being innocent until proven guilty, accusations are scary, and conviction could be a reality. That is why you must work with a trustworthy criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, GA who will work tirelessly to clear your name.
Clients choose O'Brien Law Firm because we believe in open communication, honesty, and hard work. It is not our job to act as judges for those who have been accused of crimes. Rather, our goal is to find the best defense that allows us to protect our clients' rights and freedoms.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common crimes committed in Georgia. Punishments for such a crime can be severe, and for understandable reasons - when a person operates a vehicle while they are intoxicated, they're putting their life and the lives of others at risk.
While DUI is a serious crime that completely upend the accused's life, the earnest desire to end drunk driving can make police officers too eager to catch a person who they believe is under the influence.
The city of Savannah, Georgia, has implemented severe punishments for DUI, even for first-time offenders. Individuals charged with DUI in Savannah could face:
Fortunately, if you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, there is hope. This is particularly true when the accused is administered a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve a breath and/or blood test are beaten daily. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, we will dive deep into your DUI case in Savannah and examine every angle possible for your case to be dismissed. Here are just a few questions our team will investigate:
There are numerous ways to beat a DUI case in Georgia, from unreliable field sobriety tests to inaccurate state-administered breath tests. As a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, GA, Dennis O'Brien has the knowledge and experience to expose the state's mistakes and fight for your rights. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC your chances of dismissal are greatly increased. When your case is dismissed, you can continue living life without the burden of a criminal record.
If you or someone you love is accused of a crime in Savannah, GA, don't leave fate up to the prosecution. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family before it's too late.Contact us
Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur is partnering with Savannah College of Art and Design and StoryCorps to collect stories for the 200 stories project. SCAD students will be gathering stories until May 14. Recordings will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Legacy Park, 500 S. Columbia Drive.Throughout the year-long partnership, SCAD students will collect stories and develop creative materials to promote the city’s milestone anniversary. Stories will be collecte...
Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur is partnering with Savannah College of Art and Design and StoryCorps to collect stories for the 200 stories project. SCAD students will be gathering stories until May 14. Recordings will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Legacy Park, 500 S. Columbia Drive.
Throughout the year-long partnership, SCAD students will collect stories and develop creative materials to promote the city’s milestone anniversary. Stories will be collected from community members, past and present. Anyone interested in participating can schedule an appointment by emailing email@example.com Walk-ins are also welcome, according to a press release.
“It is important when celebrating the city of Decatur’s bicentennial that we focus on what makes the city special—its rich history and people,” said Maken Payne, executive director at SCADpro. “Our SCAD students are excited to work alongside city leadership and Decatur residents to preserve that history by contributing to the 200 Stories Initiative.”
The first phase of the project started with SCAD students developing special recording technology being used to preserve the stories of Decatur residents. The 200 Stories Initiative, modeled after StoryCorps, will record and archive 200 stories from a diverse cross-section of people in the Decatur community. Stories will be used to create a visual record through film and animation and shared at the official community celebration event.
“Every individual in the Decatur community is what makes it so special and unique,” said Renae Jackson, city of Decatur equity and engagement director. “As we celebrate the city’s bicentennial, it is the perfect time to elevate and uplift the stories and perspectives of the people who have and continue to contribute to making this place what is today and what it will be in the future.”
In the next phase, SCAD will present creative design assets to city leadership, which be seen all over Decatur to promote the bicentennial.
Between January to November 2023, SCAD will record stories and edit all audio recordings into 200 audio stories and will visualize 12 select themes or categories of stories as live action or animation to celebrate the city’s bicentennial, city staffers Aileen de la Torre and Renae Jackson previously wrote in a memo.
Participants can also record through StoryCorps’ virtual recording booth.
“Ask and answer questions like: Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What are you proudest of? What does it mean to be ‘from’ Decatur,” the StoryCorps website states.
In September 2022, the Decatur City Commission established a project budget of $260,000 and awarded a contract to the Savannah College of Art and Design for $160,000, as well as awarded a $100,000 contract to StoryCorps Studios for the bicentennial 200 Stories project.
The contract with StoryCorps includes the development of customized conversation groups, a limited number of interviews facilitated by StoryCorps, volunteer training to conduct interviews, and training and support to archive the conversations, according to the memo.
“This monumental project will provide opportunities for members of the Decatur community to connect with each other through different means of engagement (2020 Strategic Plan goal CT. 08), make space for all stories and perspectives to be shared (2020 Strategic Plan goal EQ.11); document stories of community members, past and present, and share their contributions to the community (2020 Strategic Plan goal EQ.18]; and serve as a kick off to Decatur’s ongoing story vault,” the memo states.
For more information, visit: decaturga.com/200stories
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Today, Bishop Stephen D. Parkes issued the statement below in regards to the Carmel in Savannah. Important to note is that the Bishop has no jurisdiction over the property of Carmel. The issue at hand is between the Carmel of Savannah and the Carmelite Order worldwide. This is the case with every religious order that functions in a diocese – the Bishop usually does not own their property, nor can he make internal decisions of the Order. Bishop Parkes has been an advocate for the Sisters, recognizing that they have given their lives to ...
Today, Bishop Stephen D. Parkes issued the statement below in regards to the Carmel in Savannah. Important to note is that the Bishop has no jurisdiction over the property of Carmel. The issue at hand is between the Carmel of Savannah and the Carmelite Order worldwide. This is the case with every religious order that functions in a diocese – the Bishop usually does not own their property, nor can he make internal decisions of the Order. Bishop Parkes has been an advocate for the Sisters, recognizing that they have given their lives to this way of life, and cannot simply be kicked out – however the final decision lies in the Carmelite Order. Those who will benefit from the sale of this Carmel, which has been unfortunately slowly in decline over the past few years, will be the monasteries where the Sisters transfer.
After my own two cents, here is the statement:
May 1, 2023
Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker
Dear Friends in Christ,
In 1957, Bishop Thomas J. McDonough invited a group of Discalced Carmelite Nuns from Philadelphia to make a new foundation in Savannah to pray for Priests and “for a deepening of faith in the few and scattered faithful” of our Mission Diocese. By the next year, the first generation of Nuns had moved into Our Lady of Confidence Monastery in Savannah where, by their prayers and presence, they have blessed our Diocese for 65 years.
In 2018, the Holy See released the instruction Cor orans, which contained new guidelines for the life and organization of monasteries for contemplative Nuns around the world. The document called for revisions to be implemented in various areas of monastic life, from community autonomy to work habits to formation. Last year, the Discalced Carmelite Order conducted an official visitation of the Carmel of Our Lady of Confidence to determine the sustainability of the community under the norms instituted by Cor orans. The local Sisters are in discussion and discernment with leaders of the Discalced Carmelite Order to determine the future of the community.
I am grateful to these holy women who have made their home among us for so many years. The Sisters are dear to my heart and their Carmelite spirituality has greatly enriched our local Church. I ask that the many supporters of the Carmel of Our Lady of Confidence join me in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that discussions and decisions by the local Sisters and the Carmelite Order regarding the future of the monastery and the Nuns are carried out with justice and charity.
On Earth Day, the Town of Thunderbolt launched the trial of its glass recycling program. The move falls in line with Savannah and Tybee Island, which have recently adopted the eco-conscious initiative as well....
On Earth Day, the Town of Thunderbolt launched the trial of its glass recycling program. The move falls in line with Savannah and Tybee Island, which have recently adopted the eco-conscious initiative as well.
Like those other Chatham County municipalities, Thunderbolt is also partnering with The Upcyling Company, which formerly served as the glass collection wing under South Carolina-based GlassWRX. Upcycling now operates as an independent company, collecting glass products from communities and business partners and diverting the material away from landfills. The recycled glass is then sold and repurposed by U.S. manufacturers.
More:Glass recycling returns to Savannah. Here's where you can drop off your bottles.
More:City of Thunderbolt brings composting, conservation efforts to residents
For the next three months, Thunderbolt residents can drop off their glass items at the collection bin across from the Senior Citizens' Center at 3236 Russell St. The large collection bin is marked with Upcycling’s trademark “stay glassy.”
Residents can also drop off their compost in the same area. Composting bins, managed by Code of Return (COR) Compost were set up two years ago as part of Thunderbolt’s composting initiative.
Thunderbolt City Administrator Bob Milie said at the end of the three-month trial the city will look at the collection results and decide whether or not they should extend the recycling program for at least a year. According to Upcycling’s website, communities typically see a 10% reduction of glass in landfills within a year of the program.
“In the longer run, we’re hoping that a reduction in solid waste would keep us at a better threshold for rates for sanitation, especially at a time when rates continue to go up,” said Milie.
A communal spirit thrives in Thunderbolt and, according to community members, feeds an inclination to preserve the environment. The former shrimping community owes its beginnings to the Wilmington River, which runs along the town’s east side.
While shrimping and fishing are no longer the primary activities, the Thunderbolt Marina is still a symbol of the town. The annual Blessing of the Fleet celebration pays homage to that history of sailing and trawling. Residents and city officials also frequently organize cleanups of the city’s riverbanks.
In addition to the glass recycling trial, the city also recently introduced a new water rate tied closer to water usage levels in order to incentive residents and businesses to conserve water. Milie said the city is monitoring the new consumption-based billing metric and expecting positive results next year.
“I can’t say if we’re more eco-conscious than other municipalities but being so small, it's easier maybe to see the impact than a larger municipality,” said Milie. “Whether it's a cleanup along the tidal influence area … people can see the impact. We’re hoping that energy sparks energy.”
Several years ago, Thunderbolt Council Member Ed Drohan, a champion of several conservation and recycling efforts over the years, launched a push for a glass recycling program. But “the market wasn’t there,” he said.
“It was cheaper to get new sand to make glass rather than recycle old glass,” said Drohan.
But recent changes to the glass recycling industry have created more incentives for communities and manufacturers to repurpose the material.
“The need is definitely there now,” said Meagan Huth, chief marketing officer for The Upcycling Company. “A lot of organizations, in general, are making sustainable moves, goals and targets and decreasing their need for raw materials and shifting to recycled content.”
Huth explains that in order to tap into this market, companies like Upcycling are starting programs to collect glass separately, which results in a cleaner process. This method is different from the single-stream collecting – where all recyclable materials are placed in one bin – that has been the primary means of recycling since the 1990s.
“There’s quite a need for that clean glass, so you may start to see a shift in the way that we collect glass,” said Huth.
When Savannah brought back their glass recycling program with Upcycling earlier this year, Drohan took notice and brought the idea to Milie.
“We try to piggyback on the good ideas that the neighbors are doing,” said Drohan.
For residents looking for more eco-friendly ways of disposing of certain materials, the county also provides recycling opportunities:
Nancy Guan is the general assignment reporter covering Chatham County municipalities. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @nancyguann.
For Savannah Morning NewsLooking back at more than three decades of leading his flock at Savannah’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Very Rev. William Willoughby III, believes he has helped his parishioners create a “connected vision of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our (local) community.“If a parish priest is doing (his or her) job,” they are making it part of their mission to make connections in the community, he said. “St. Paul in his letter said essentially th...
For Savannah Morning News
Looking back at more than three decades of leading his flock at Savannah’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Very Rev. William Willoughby III, believes he has helped his parishioners create a “connected vision of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our (local) community.
“If a parish priest is doing (his or her) job,” they are making it part of their mission to make connections in the community, he said. “St. Paul in his letter said essentially the apostolic witness is to encourage and enable the baptized to do their work.”
Now that his work in Savannah is coming to a close, Willoughby, who will turn 68 this year, said he and his wife are planning an African safari “while I still have some gas left in me,” he said. But he pointed out that he will continue his national Episcopalian work and “would like to go and help congregations that could never afford to have someone with my background and experience.”
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Prior coming to Savannah in 1987, the South Carolina native earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago where he also attended divinity school. He studied at Oxford University in England and attended seminary at Nashotah House in Wisconsin, where he also earned a master’s degree in divinity.
In Savannah, Willoughby’s accomplishments are long and impressive. He led the creation and chaired the St. Paul’s Development Corp., which was tasked with the mission of providing low- and moderate-income housing in the Thomas Square Historic District. (The church, which was founded in 1852, sits at 1802 Abercorn St. and is a landmark in the Thomas Square neighborhood.)
The St. Paul’s corporation, in partnership with the city, state and private agencies, converted the former Little Sisters of the Poor building at 37th Street and Abercorn into 75 units for low- to moderate-income senior residents. Additionally, the corporation purchased a city block of homes on 32nd Street off Habersham Street and renovated a four-plex residence and five duplexes for low- to moderate-income residents, he said.
In partnership with the Historic Savannah Foundation, the corporation participated in the Lincoln Street Corridor Renewal Project from 34th Street north to Anderson Street. Fortunately, St. Paul’s sold its real estate business ventures prior to 2008 when the bottom dropped out of the national economy, he said.
The St. Paul’s parish includes approximately 250 members. “The fastest growing sector (of the church) is Latino with 125 members,” he said, crediting the Rev. Leonel Polanco, with leading that group.
In addition to his service at St. Paul’s, Willoughby:
· Served as Dean of the Savannah Convocation of the Episcopal Diocese of Savannah from 1989 to 1994 and from 2005 to his retirement.
· Provided for the pastoral and spiritual needs of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Burroughs, an historically African-American congregation, from 2000 to his retirement. Worked with diocesan and community leaders to preserve its past and identify new leaders for the future of this unique cultural asset.
· Served the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia in many capacities, including deputy and alternate to General Convention, vice-president of Diocesan Council, president of Standing Committee and member of the Mission Development Council, the Ecumenical Commission and the anti-Racism Committee.
· Serves as the current secretary-general of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament USA.
Moreover, Willoughby has served as:
· Founding vice-president, board of Hope House for Single Mothers
· Founding chair, Savannah Fragile Infants Project, which established Open Arms
· Founding member, Interfaith AIDS Coalition
· Founding member, Board of Savannah Interfaith/Interracial Community
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· Unit commissioner and district chaplain, Coastal Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America
· Troop Committee Member, Troop #1, Savannah, Boy Scouts of America
· Member, Board of Georgia Christian Council
· Member, American Friends of the Anglican Center in Rome
· Commissioner, Chatham County Department of Family and Children Services
· Member, Town and Gown Community Development Project/Savannah State University
· Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity
For Savannah Morning NewsIt’s the best show you’ve never heard of. That is how Savannah Theatre’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” was described to me.I sat down at Agatha’s Coffee and Tea House with Mike and Shannon Zaller who are both in the cast to discuss this oddly confusi...
For Savannah Morning News
It’s the best show you’ve never heard of. That is how Savannah Theatre’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” was described to me.
I sat down at Agatha’s Coffee and Tea House with Mike and Shannon Zaller who are both in the cast to discuss this oddly confusing and completely funny play. It felt fitting because just as there are layers to the 1930s-style décor at Agatha’s, as Mike and Shannon explained, there are many layers to “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
“It’s a show within a show,” said Shannon, with Mike quickly adding, “It’s a musical within a play.”
The whole thing, as they told me, started off as a joke between a group of actors for a bachelor party. Eventually, that joke evolved into this play written by Bob Martin and Don McKellar.
“It’s kind of tongue in cheek, making fun of 1920s musicals in a more modern sense, or a tribute to them,” said Shannon. “It depends on how you're viewing the show. The show can actually be seen from so many different vantage points. You can watch the show two nights and get something totally different out of it depending on which part of the show you're paying attention to.”
Both Shannon and Mike were hesitant to describe too much about the plot because they said knowing too much can ruin the jokes, and there are a lot of jokes.
“There's so much comedy, so many jokes,” said Shannon. “Once you start describing too much, you're really just giving away all of the jokes.
“I stopped trying to explain what the show is and I said, 'It's just the funniest show you've never heard of,'” said Mike.
Both Mike and Shannon said there are layers within layers to “The Drowsy Chaperone.” One of those layers is the costuming. They were able to rent the original Broadway costumes from a shop in Florida. Mike even drove all the way down to South Florida to get them in time for their production.
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Mike explained that putting on this production is a bit of an indulgence. He and some others were able to see it in New York.
“Our flight was late into New York, and we got in the cab, and we had our bags. We had to go straight to the theater, and it pulled up like two minutes to curtain. We jumped out, we ran into the Marquis Theatre, and the house manager was like, well, you got to get in there before the show starts!”
Mike said that the house manager took their bags in order for them to run into the theater quickly and find their seats just in time.
“I laughed for 90 minutes straight.”
This is the second time “The Drowsy Chaperone” has been performed at the Savannah Theatre. The first run in early March was cut short due to conflicting commitments with the cast. For an average play, that wouldn’t be a problem. You’d just call in another actor or eliminate the role, but as Shannon said, this is an ensemble piece.
“Everybody's important to the cast. There's not a superfluous part. Everybody has a really important job in telling the story. Without a certain character, we can't do the show.”
However brief that first run, it was enough to generate a lot of buzz among local fans in order to bring it back for a second brief run from May 2-7.
As Mike said, “Don't look it up, just come and see it and experience it.”
“The Drowsy Chaperone” at Savannah Theatre
When: May 2-7
Where: Savannah Theatre, 222 Bull St.