Category Archives: Criminal Defense

The Best Criminal Defense for Teenagers and Young Adults

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If you or a loved one is ever in need of a criminal defense attorney in Savannah, GA, O’Brien Law Firm PC is the firm to contact. Teenagers can be arrested, just like adults, for breaking any law in Savannah, GA. Although teenagers get a more lenient prosecution and sentencing compared to adults, it is still important to have an expert Savannah criminal defense lawyer to protect the offender. Here at O’Brien Law Firm PC, we have a team of criminal defense lawyers that are knowledgeable in both adult and juvenile defense law.

Keep reading for examples of criminal cases, and how they are handled by the legal system

Teenage Pranks

Teenage Pranks (TP) are a common occurrence in Savannah, GA. Whereas the ideal situation is that most high school students are under the age of 18, it does happen that some 18-year-olds still find themselves in high school. Pranks are considered harmless, especially if no one gets hurt and no property is destroyed. The legal system in Savannah GA often lets serious pranks, by under 18-year-olds, slide with only a stern warning. However, in the event that an 18+-year-old (high school student) executes a teenage prank that goes awry, the leniency with which the law treats under 18-year-olds is no longer practiced. The 18+-year-old can be charged with trespassing and vandalism to the full extent of the law as he is considered an adult. An O’Brien Law Firm PC criminal defense attorney can represent the young adult in a light that poses him/ her (the offender) as a person whose emotional and cognitive functions are still those of a teenager in order to get a lenient sentencing

Possession of Drugs

As the abuse of prescription drugs, especially painkillers, increases in Savannah, GA, the laws that seek to curb this vice tighten. Teenagers (under 18 years old) can still be prosecuted for having prescription drugs, especially excessive quantities, without an authentic prescription. Unfortunately for 18+-year-olds, the possession of such drugs poses an even bigger legal implication that could earn them up to 9 years in prison. Again, an O’Brien Law Firm PC criminal defense attorney in Savannah, GA can mitigate the damage that such an offense can have on the offender through expert intervention.


Anyone in Savannah GA can find him/ herself on the wrong side of the law. Thankfully, O’Brien Law Firm PC has adult and juvenile defense attorneys that can handle each offender’s case with the expertise needed to minimize the legal implications of committed offenses on the accused. Whether its teenage pranks or the possession of drugs, young adults can get lenient sentencing such as would be granted teenagers, if and when they get adequate legal representation. If you find yourself facing a criminal charge in Savannah, GA, contact us for more information on your case, as well as stellar legal representation

Common Criminal Defense Tactics

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There are several ways to defend criminal charges, but a common approach is to admit that the crime was committed, then argue that there is a reason this crime was committed which deems the action legal. This type of defense is known as an affirmative defense. Rather than denying evidence the prosecutor brings up, the defendant and attorney will argue among several types of defenses.

Arguing that charges go beyond the statute of limitations is one of the easiest ways to get criminal charges dropped. Crimes have a certain time limit in which the alleged perpetrator can be prosecuted. For example, if the statute of limitations on murder in a certain state is ten years, and you are charged with a crime that happened 15 years ago, the statute of limitations may be a successful defense.

The insanity defense is one approach that, while often depicted in fictional films or shows, is not used often and is difficult to successfully prove. However, it can be used in some cases. This argument allows the defendant to say that while they did commit the crime, they were unaware that the action was wrong. This requires a high level of proof. It can also backfire because the defendant is admitting to committing the crime, which can bring a guilty verdict if the defense doesn’t pass the level of proof required.

Coercion is another defense that can be used to get charges dropped. This defense is somewhat easier to prove than the insanity defense, and basically says that while the defendant committed the crime, he or she was forced to do it. An example of this would be if someone forces you to steal a woman’s purse by holding you at gunpoint. However, if you were engaged in illegal or reckless behavior that put you at risk in the first place, this defense will not work.

Self-defense is a rather common position to take as it doesn’t require a very high level of proof, just enough to create doubt. This argument again means admitting to performing the action; however, the defendant claims it was done in order to protect his or her person or property. A common example of this would defending yourself against someone who broke into your home.

There are certain standards of proof to all of these defenses; therefore, it is imperative to seek the representation or at least advice of an attorney prior to opting for any of these defenses. The defense chosen will be based on the evidence involved in the case, as well as the evidence the prosecution has against the defendant.

If you find yourself in need of advice or a criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, GA, contact Dennis O’Brien with O’Brien Law Firm PC. Dennis is a former police officer, years of experience working as a criminal defense attorney.

The Job of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Savannah, GA 

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No two criminal cases are exactly the same, and every criminal attorney has his or her own set of experiences. The very nature of the law is that of constant change, and a good attorney must be at the core of your defense strategy. Without the right representation, your chances at a favorable verdict are close to zero.

The best criminal defense attorneys are those who can do far more than represent you in court. They have the duty to make sure that your case is carried out correctly – and they can bring quite a bit to the table. Below are some of the duties of a criminal defense attorney in Savannah, GA that you might not have considered.


A great attorney will do his or her best to make sure the case never reaches the court room. He will always work as a passionate negotiator for your cause, seeking out dropped charges or a plea bargain on your behalf. The attorney knows the system in a way that a defendant simply cannot, thus bringing inside knowledge to the negotiation table.

Better Sentencing

If you are found guilty, your attorney may be able to find a better way for you to get through your sentence. He or she can fight for a reduced period of detainment, argue that you have served all or a portion of your time or might even argue that you deserve to go to a rehabilitation center instead of going to prison.

Keeps You Informed

One of the most important things a lawyer can do is to help you understand what is going on. He or she will let you know what your honest chances are of winning your case, and can give you the information that you need to make the right choices for your future. Whether your attorney is urging you to fight or to take a plea bargain, the lawyer’s advice is always useful.

This advice also extends to explaining what’s going on in your case. Your lawyer will let you know if a search is legal, if you should answer questions and what to do when you get into the court room. This valuable information might make or break your trial.

What Your Sentence Means

Your attorney can also give you information about what your sentence or plea will mean in the real world. He or she might let you know what to expect in prison, or what you might have to deal with if you plead guilty to a felony. This information can help you to make decisions that will be important for the rest of your life.

Hires Experts

Defense lawyers also hire experts in the field to help you. From witnesses to investigators, attorneys make sure that your alleged crime is viewed from every possible angle.

If you have been charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer in Savannah. I’m a seasoned attorney with years of experience – and I can help you. I’m Dennis O’Brien, and you can contact me at O’Brien Law Firm PC today.

FAQ’s about Burglary in the State of Georgia

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Criminal Defense Attorney in Savannah Dennis O’Brien –  Answering Questions About Burglary

Burglary is defined as illegally entering a building for the purpose of committing a crime. It is often referred to as housebreaking or breaking and entering. Keep in mind that a person can be charged with burglary even if he or she does not steal anything from the home. The vast majority of burglaries are committed in houses, but they can be committed in just about any building.

There are a number of questions that people frequently ask criminal defense lawyers in Savannah about burglary. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about this crime:

What Happens If I Break Into Someone’s House Without Stealing Anything?

Again, burglary may not involve stealing. If you break into a building, then you could be charged with burglary even if you do not steal anything. Burglary is a felony in the state of Georgia.

In some cases, simply going inside a person’s house can be grounds for a burglary charge. Here is an example of such a scenario:

A woman gets a restraining order against her ex-husband. The ex-husband shows up to her home and goes inside. This man could be charged with burglary. He could also be charged with aggravating stalking. Aggravated stalking is a felony in the state of Georgia.

What Exactly Constitutes Burglary?

In order for the crime to be considered burglary, a person must have an intention to steal or commit a felony. Without the intention to steal or commit a felony, one will be charged with criminal trespassing. Criminal trespassing is a misdemeanor in Georgia.

What Is The Penalty For Burglary?

Burglary is a crime that can have serious consequences. If it is your first offense, you could  spend anywhere from one to 20 years in prison. Upon a second offense, you could spend  two to 20 years in prison. If it is your third offense, then you could spend a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years. With the help of a Savannah GA criminal defense attorney, your chances of getting off with a lighter punishment will be greater.

If you or somebody that you know has been accused or charged of burglary, your first step should be contacting a seasoned attorney that can help guide you through your or your loved one’s case. Dennis O’Brien will work aggressively to protect your rights as a citizen, day and night.

Ignition Interlock Device FAQs

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If you are a man or woman that has been charged with multiple DUIs, you may have been ordered to use an Ignition Interlock Device or IID before you are able to operate your car. The IID is a fairly small machine, but a little bit larger than your typical cell phone. After this device has been installed in your car, you will not be able to drive it unless you provide the machine a breath sample that indicates that you have no alcohol in your blood stream.

When this device is combined with other alcohol-related treatment programs, it can be effective in lessening repeat DUI offenses. Listed below you will find some frequently asked questions and answers for your benefit:

Q: Is my Ignition Interlock Device able to detect medications that have alcohol in them?

A: Yes, your IID will most certainly detect the alcohol in your meds. These machines are designed to sense any alcohol that you may have in your blood stream regardless of the source. This includes mouthwash, cough syrups and many other over-the-counter products. During your Ignition Interlock Device training course, you will learn about which products present risks and which do not. It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid alcohol-based products altogether if you are trying to turn your car on with an IID.

Q: Can my spouse or relative use my car with an IID installed?

A: Yes, they can. It should be noted that if the person operating your vehicle does not pass the breath test of the IID, you will be the one held responsible. Each and every result that your IID puts in its memory bank will be tied back to you, not your spouse, relative or friend.

Q: I missed the service appointment for my Ignition Interlock Device. What will happen?

A: Most IIDs have the ability to remind you when it needs maintenance. If you notice the device flashing or making noise, it’s probably because it needs to be repaired or serviced. However, if you ignore the service notifications and ignore your appointment as well, the device will shut your vehicle off and lock you out of the car. The best way to avoid this mess is to show up to your appointment dates. If you miss one, contact the necessary organization or your probation officer and inform them of your issue.

Q: I’m not in the financial position at this time to pay for an Ignition Interlock Device. What can I do?

A: In certain cases a judge will grant you an Ignition Interlock Device waiver. In order to obtain this, you must be able to show the judge that paying for the IID is a serious hardship for you financially. The best way to be certain that you obtain a waiver is to consult with one or more Savannah criminal defense attorneys. An aggressive, seasoned lawyer like Dennis O’Brien will fight for your right to claim your waiver.

DUI and the Holiday Season

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Home for the Holidays

Most of us like to get together with friends and families during the holidays, and enjoy each other’s company with great food and great drink. It’s very common for men and women in Georgia to celebrate the season with a few cocktails at a party or a few beers at a bar. Police officers across the state know this, and are beefing up their numbers and cracking down on folks who may be driving under the influence.

According to statistics, holidays (and the days leading up to and following them) have alarming rates of accidents that are alcohol-related, sometimes resulting in injuries or even deaths. The GOHA or Governor’s Office of Highway Safety tells us that in 2012 between the 20th of November and the 31st of December there were:

  • 679 Injuries
  • 1,119 traffic incidents that involved alcohol
  • 20 fatalities

Incidents that were DUI related in 2012 were up 11 percent from the year before. Because of this fact, local law enforcement agencies have been teaming up with nonprofit organizations to produce a media campaign that focuses on preventing DUIs during the holidays. This collaboration is called TEAM Georgia and includes officials specializing in public safety, local businesses and local business owners, police officers, and famous athletes from various sports teams in Atlanta.

The result of this is a greatly increased presence of law enforcement on all roads and highways.

Drive Safe this Holiday Season

It’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel of an automobile if you have had a few drinks, even if you feel like you can drive. If you make the decision to do so and you get pulled over, it is important that you contact an experienced Savannah criminal defense attorney such as Dennis O’Brien. The last thing that you want to have to explain to your friends or loved ones is why you can’t see them this holiday season because you are incarcerated for driving under the influence.

The O’Brien Law Firm PC’s team of professionals is here for all Georgia residents this holiday, so if you have been accused of a DUI or another crime, call our office for a free consultation to see how we can help you avoid hefty fines and long jail times.

Avoiding an Inexperienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Savannah

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A lot of folks in Georgia and around the U.S will openly admit that they don’t like lawyers. It’s a pretty common theme amongst most people. But what is worse than finding out that the lawyer that you put your trust in (even if you didn’t like him or her) isn’t as great at their job as they said that they were?

It’s a horrible feeling to realize that your lawyer isn’t up to par, but if you take to heart some of the following tips, you can avoid that feeling altogether.

Do Your Homework – This of it like this: if you just moved to a new city, and you knew that your car needed some body work, wouldn’t you ask around and do some research to find the most trusted body shop with the best prices?

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer in Savannah or Atlanta is similar, in that you should do your due diligence and find the right lawyer for you. If you are facing a criminal charge, the result of your case is one that you will have to live with for the rest of your life, so take the time to make sure that you choose a great criminal defense lawyer. Searching the phone directory is just the first step.

Experience Matters – It might be hard for a lot of people to believe, but there are a lot of lawyers in this world who have never tried a case in the entire span of their career. One of the first questions you should ask your lawyer is how many trials he or she has had. Also consider asking:

• Were the cases that you been involved in civil or criminal cases?
• Were the cases in front of a jury or a judge?
• How many cases did you win last year?
• How many cases have you won this year?

Specialized Case=Specialized Lawyer – It is a good rule of thumb to not hire a general practitioner to do a specialized job. Most criminal defense cases are very in-depth and contain many nuances and intricacies that only a seasoned attorney like Dennis O’Brien can navigate through.

If time is of the essence in your case and you do not have enough time to search for a proper criminal defense lawyer, Dennis O’Brien can help. With years of experience as a lawyer as well as a police officer, O’Brien Law Firm PC brings a unique set of skills and understanding to the table that other lawyers cannot. Contact us today for your free initial consultation.

How a Great Savannah Criminal Defense Attorney Wins Cases

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If you have been accused of a crime, you should know that dealing with your charge is a very important piece of business that needs to be handled with care and efficiency. No matter whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, your case needs to be handled with care, as you could face life-long consequences and repercussions. That is why so many men and women in Savannah, Georgia and the surrounding areas choose Dennis O’Brien as their Savannah criminal defense lawyer.

A trusted professional like Dennis O’Brien will be able to provide you with the services and expertise that you need to help you on your day in court. So, why else should you utilize the services of a criminal defense lawyer?

Knowledge – A great criminal defense attorney knows the court system like the back of their hand, and all of the nuances that come along with Georgia state law. Every case that an attorney takes is going to be different, but any lawyer worth his or her salt will have the foundation of knowledge on their side to help achieve the best results possible.

Influence – A seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Savannah like Dennis O’Brien knows who the judges and prosecutors are in their county and its surrounding areas from negotiating and working with them in the past. As such, they know what practices and strategies are more and less likely to work in a given case, depending on the prosecutor(s) and judge assigned to their client.

Dedication and Research – Depending on the type of case a lawyer is working with, a great deal of research is required to formulate a strategic defense for their client. This includes reviewing all of the evidence of the case, contacting all witnesses and much, much more. This requires dedication and professionalism, which only the best defense lawyers can provide.

If you or somebody that you know has been accused of a crime, choose Dennis O’Brien to represent you. He exemplifies each of the qualities listed above, and will fight to make sure that your rights have been upheld and do everything in his power to ensure that you are awarded a satisfactory outcome in your case.

Understanding Cyber Stalking

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With social media being as popular as it is today, and with new social media websites popping up every few days, it can be quite easy for people to get a little carried away when it comes to sending and posting messages to other individuals.

However, the line between a friendly message and cyber stalking can be a thin one. Charges associated with cyber stalking are serious in the city of Savannah and the state of Georgia. If you have found that the messages that you have sent to a person or persons have been taken out of context or misconstrued, you should seek the counsel of a seasoned Savannah criminal defense lawyer.

In the state of Georgia, the term cyber world is very broadly interpreted, and includes crimes committed on computer networks, the internet, or devices used for communication such as a smart phone, the mail, the internet or social media sites. The term stalking refers to the act of placing an individual(s) under surveillance, following an individual(s), or contacting an individual(s) without their permission, with the intent of intimidation and harassment.

When it comes to cyber stalking crimes, there are currently two forms: Harassment and stalking. Harassment is the lesser offense, and involves psychologically tormenting or harassing somebody and his or her family, essentially inflicting emotional duress and pain. Harassment crosses the line to stalking when messages or contact sent by an individual becomes malicious, threatening or infers the threat of harm. Both of these crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies.

Law enforcement now considers cyber crimes as very serious offenses, and those convicted of such crimes can expect to face punishments that include anything from probation to time in prison. To ensure that your rights are protected, it is important for you to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who is on your side, like Dennis O’Brien. Contact the O’Brien Law Firm PC today for a free consultation.

Sexual Offenders and Their Uphill Battle

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In the state of Georgia, the community and more importantly law enforcement agencies take criminal charges involving the abuse and exploitation of children very, very seriously. Indeed, law enforcement may consider it one of the worst crimes an individual can commit.

Those who are accused and subsequently prosecuted for production, possession or distribution of materials that contain child pornography are certain to face severe consequences – consequences that will most likely stay with them for the rest of their life – and change the way that they are perceived by people in society and employers in the workforce. That is why it is so important that these individuals contact a sex offender criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, to help navigate them through their case proceedings.

According to the law in the state of Georgia, it is illegal to knowingly advertise, distribute, create or possess any sexually explicit material that contains images of children under the age of 18. The laws in Georgia and many other states were constructed so that anyone who has interaction with these materials knowingly, or has direct or indirect involvement with such materials is exploiting children, and can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

If an individual unwittingly discovers these materials, however, they are able to file a report to the state of Georgia or to their local authorities and may be exempt from prosecution, so long as that individual does so quickly and in good faith.

Violating Georgia’s laws in regards to child pornography carries with it a sentence of between five to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine costing as much as $100,000. Most sex offenders must register with several databases, and inform their neighbors about the fact that they are sexual predators.

All sex offenders in the state of Georgia will face a hard battle in court, but especially those who have been charged with crimes against minors. If you or somebody that you know have been accused of such crimes, contact the O’Brien Law Firm PC immediately. Dennis O’Brien is not a judge; his job is to simply make sure that you are protected under Georgia law.

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O'Brien Law Firm PC
33 Bull Street Suite 540
Savannah GA, 31401

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