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 Whitemarsh Island, 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 Whitemarsh Island 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 Whitemarsh Island, Dennis O'Brien and his team believe that every client deserves effective, empathetic legal assistance. While some Whitemarsh Island 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 Whitemarsh Island, 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 Whitemarsh Island, 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 Whitemarsh Island:
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 Whitemarsh Island 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 Whitemarsh Island, 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 Whitemarsh Island, 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 Whitemarsh Island, Georgia, has implemented severe punishments for DUI, even for first-time offenders. Individuals charged with DUI in Whitemarsh Island 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 Whitemarsh Island 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 Whitemarsh Island, 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.
WILMINGTON ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - As Tybee Island continues to sort out how to manage short term vacation rentals in the city, other islands are seeing the same kind of debate over residents who have lived there for a long time and new investors looking to capitalize on desirable locations.In years past, it hasn’t been uncommon for people that work on Tybee Island to live in less expensive places nearby, like Wilmington Island. However, people that live on Wilmington say that scenario is becoming less common, because it’s be...
WILMINGTON ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - As Tybee Island continues to sort out how to manage short term vacation rentals in the city, other islands are seeing the same kind of debate over residents who have lived there for a long time and new investors looking to capitalize on desirable locations.
In years past, it hasn’t been uncommon for people that work on Tybee Island to live in less expensive places nearby, like Wilmington Island. However, people that live on Wilmington say that scenario is becoming less common, because it’s becoming more expensive to live there.
“With the investments, these corporations, all these investment corporations buying up all the property and raising the mortgages and rents so high, I think it’s hard for regular people. Police, fire, nurses, waiters, I mean, how are they supposed to live?” Wilmington Island Resident Ellen Gross said.
It’s a growing problem on the Island one that Chatham County is aware of. 4th District Commissioner Patrick Farrell says they have to respect the rights of people or investment firms that want to buy property but they’re doing what they can to mitigate costs for long-term residents.
“We rolled back the millage rate in the unincorporated tax, and the countywide tax, so we’re doing our part to keep costs down for property owners,” 4th District Chatham County Commissioner Patrick Farrell said.
Even if people can afford to buy a home that doesn’t mean there’s a home to buy. Gross says her neighborhood used to be full of families but now many of the houses sit vacant.
“There are three houses on this street that I think have been bought by investors. They’ve been empty for months or sometimes even years, and I think people are just putting a little money in them and either reselling them or renting them out,” Gross said.
Some homes on the island have also been turned into short term vacation rentals.
The State of Georgia now takes a hotel/motel tax from STVR’s and Chatham County is adding its own regulations.
“The County requires anyone operating in that mode with the home to get a business license, so the County is aware of who they are and who’s the contact person,” Farrell said.
Tybee Island currently has a moratorium in place on vacation rentals, but there’s currently nothing like that in place here on Wilmington Island or any of the other islands surrounding it.
Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Wait times in Chatham County during the early voting period were sometimes hours long. But we are hearing from voters that they’ve been able to get in and out fairly quickly on Election Day.Voters from around Chatham County have been saying that things are mostly running smoothly, though there were a few hiccups Tuesday morning.According to Billy Wooten, the Chatham County Board of Elections supervisor, three polling locations had scanners that went down. He says that under state law, the prot...
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Wait times in Chatham County during the early voting period were sometimes hours long. But we are hearing from voters that they’ve been able to get in and out fairly quickly on Election Day.
Voters from around Chatham County have been saying that things are mostly running smoothly, though there were a few hiccups Tuesday morning.
According to Billy Wooten, the Chatham County Board of Elections supervisor, three polling locations had scanners that went down. He says that under state law, the protocol in that situation is to place the ballots in an emergency bin - which is on the ballot box - to be counted later.
Voters do have the right to stick around and make sure their ballot is cast once the machine is fixed.
Some folks at a location on Wilmington Island, however, say that they were told otherwise.
“When I questioned whether or not that was the law or if that was true, the polling manager, again, said yes, we didn’t have a choice but to place the ballot in the emergency bin and to keep the line moving and move along,” Andrew Cannon said.
Cannon said he filed a complaint with the Election Authority, and Wooten says the issue was corrected and all votes were counted.
“We’re sorry somehow that information got out or someone said something they weren’t going to say, but that’s a very reliable poll, that Wilmington Island poll,” Wooten said.
One voter from the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens location said that after she put her ballot in the emergency bin, she left and felt uneasy because she wasn’t sure what would happen next.
“Nothing was told to us as we were leaving, like hey, this is the protocol we’re going to follow to make sure everything is accounted for. We were just kind of left in the dark. Here’s your sticker. Have a great day,” Kayla Hendrix said.
The assistant manager at that polling location said around 1:00 p.m. that the machine was back-up and all the ballots from the emergency bin had been cast.
According to Wooten, the issues they’ve seen Tuesday have been very minor compared to what they could be.
“We got 800 printers out today. What’s the chance that all 800 are going to work perfectly every time? There is no chance of that. It just is the nature of the business, and so we fix them, we get replacements, we fix them, we swap them out as quickly as we can, and voting continues,” Wooten said.
Click here to see election results for the U.S. Senate seat runoff in Georgia.
Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.
When Hurricane Irma hit Savannah in 2017, Betsy Cain's house on the back side of Wilmington Island flooded. In videos from the day, water laps at the back of her house while her neighbor's dock bobs and floats away like a wooden marsh monster.Being close to the tidal range, watching the coastline and the movement of t...
When Hurricane Irma hit Savannah in 2017, Betsy Cain's house on the back side of Wilmington Island flooded. In videos from the day, water laps at the back of her house while her neighbor's dock bobs and floats away like a wooden marsh monster.
Being close to the tidal range, watching the coastline and the movement of the water, Cain said the house is an inspiration for her artwork. She's lived there for decades, and she said she understands it's a choice to stay put despite the house's precarious location. She said the county has offered to buy her out of the property, but she and her husband turned down the offer.
Coastal residents are plenty used to storms and flooding, and with Tropical Sorm Ian on the horizon many are battening down the hatches for the rising water level. Some of those residents, like Cain, have taken extra measures such as raising their houses to prepare for future storms.
"We've been there since 1993," Cain said, "and never had any flooding until Irma." She said they'd always had high tides and king tides — during one king tide, she said she and her husband kayaked in their yard — but her "beautifully sited" little house on the side of the marsh hadn't experienced major flooding until 2017.
When Hurricane Irma arrived, a combination of high tide waters and the storm inundated Cain's house. She said the community really supported her after the damage to her house, but for a year, she and her husband were out of their house while it was renovated for damages. In 2018, they began the process to apply for a FEMA grant to lift their house out of the water's way.
"We've been in the process of (lifting the house) since last March, it's been very slow going, but with this storm we don't anticipate water coming into our house unless there's a 16-foot storm surge," Cain joked. Right now, the house is lifted over 10 feet, but the lifting job hasn't been completely finished yet.
Hurricane Ian has already caused severe damages as it passes through the Caribbean and Florida, but Enki Research's Chuck Watson, a Savannah-based hazards researcher and hurricane expert, said Savannah doesn't look like it will get the worst of the storm.
"The Lowcountry ... it's called that for a reason," Watson said. Much of Savannah is surrounded by tidal creeks and marshes, and it's hard for people to grasp how much water gets stored in those marshes at high tide. For the same reason Savannah had trouble with Irma and other winter storms over the years, Watson said Hurricane Ian has wind blowing out of the east onshore causing the water to stack up and store in the marshes. When the storm does come, the tide will already be seasonally high, causing larger flooding.
"If you look at the tide gauges, it just starts ramping up every tide cycle. More and more water gets pumped in but can't quite get pumped out," Watson said. Looking at the Fort Pulaski tide gauge, he said tomorrow's high tide around noon should be around 8 feet, but instead will have an extra two feet of water, putting the tide around 10 feet high.
Around 10 feet is when Highway 80 starts to flood, and the water creeps up on low-lying areas like Tybee and Wilmington Island.
Winds could reach sustained tropical storm force (39-73 mph) on the islands, but in Savannah it'll be gusty without sustained winds. With the rains starting Thursday night, Watson expects urban flooding that Savannah usually sees during a heavy rainstorm — "They call it Waters Avenue for a reason."
When the main winds from Hurricane Ian arrive Friday morning, Watson said there's a potential to get three or four feet above the normal high tide.
He estimates Friday's high tide around 11 feet and, in context, he said Hurricane Matthew brought a high tide of 12 feet. While there will be flooding in marsh-front properties and low lying areas, he said this storm is not shaping up to be as bad as past storms like Matthew and Irma.
As for Caine, in anticipation of Ian, she is still preparing for her yard to flood. Yet, there's some comfort in knowing the house won't be inundated now that it's been raised. She said she knows, and doesn't feel like, their house is invincible — they still have an old roof that needs work — but she said they feel "halfway secure."
Marisa Mecke is an environmental journalist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (912) 328-4411.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Some Chatham County voters are casting their ballot as early as possible. Early voting started today in Georgia and will go until November 4th.Officials say most people will choose to vote early and that is easy to believe after seeing today’s turnout.Some people said they were waiting in line to cast their vote for one to two hours. However, they say it’s well worth the wait.Many were in high spirits since the weather is great and there are tents out here which are new for voters and w...
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Some Chatham County voters are casting their ballot as early as possible. Early voting started today in Georgia and will go until November 4th.
Officials say most people will choose to vote early and that is easy to believe after seeing today’s turnout.
Some people said they were waiting in line to cast their vote for one to two hours. However, they say it’s well worth the wait.
Many were in high spirits since the weather is great and there are tents out here which are new for voters and water as well.
The line backed up here around 11 this morning. Officials say lines are expected to be longer early in the day these next three weeks of early voting.
There are five locations to choose from to vote early, including at the Board of Elections on Eisenhower Dr., Mosquito Control, the Civic Center, Islands Library and Southwest Library.
The Board of Elections location will be accepting voters from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. You have from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to vote at those other four locations.
Standing in line for more than an hour, Charles Casteel says he appreciates the free water and tents for voters and encourages others to let their voice be heard.
“I am concerned about the way the country is going or not going and there’s been a lot of activity to curtail what we do and trying to prohibit us from doing certain things. Voting is the voice that we have. That’s the only thing that we have and they cannot suppress that,” Charles Casteel.
Whether it’s their first time voting or they’ve waited through this before, sticking out the long wait is worth representing themselves during such a big election.
“Many people in my generation aren’t voting as much as in older generations and I just think it’s really important that we have a say in our government and things that are controlling us,’ said first time voter, Mary Lemburg.
“If we vote then we can get some of the things that we accomplished. Instead of sitting back whining about it, we need to get out there and just vote and make it better,” said early voter Angelique King.
If weekdays are too busy for you to come out, you can also vote on the weekend of October 22nd and 23rd and the following weekend on the 29th and 30th.
To keep up with those long lines, you can see wait times at the different early voting polls on the county elections website.
When you come, don’t forget you will need a form of ID to cast your vote.
Early voting does end on Friday November 4th and Election Day is November 8th.
Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.
It’s hard to keep secrets about food these days. I’ve mentioned this in this space before, but I’m regularly amused when people ask about ‘hidden gems’ and ‘off of the beaten path’ spots. Social media makes it hard for those to really exist anymore. When a new spot opens and it is very good, word will travel very quickly. The path will become beaten in short order.There is, however, a spot in town that gets very close to fitting the bill. It’s The Steakhouse on Whitemarsh Island. That&rs...
It’s hard to keep secrets about food these days. I’ve mentioned this in this space before, but I’m regularly amused when people ask about ‘hidden gems’ and ‘off of the beaten path’ spots. Social media makes it hard for those to really exist anymore. When a new spot opens and it is very good, word will travel very quickly. The path will become beaten in short order.
There is, however, a spot in town that gets very close to fitting the bill. It’s The Steakhouse on Whitemarsh Island. That’s what it is called because that is what it is and that also gives you a solid glimpse at everything you need to know about this no frills tucked-away-at-the-end-of-the-strip-mall joint.
It’s a steakhouse on Whitemarsh Island and very easily could qualify as one of Savannah’s best kept dining secrets. Truth be told the word got out really about a year or so ago. But really only among the locals.
“We get very little, if any, tourists in here.” Says Chris McGary, owner of The Steakhouse on Whitemarsh. “We don’t cater to tourists. We don’t market to them. If they’d like to come see us, sure, but we are easily 98 to 99 percent locals.”
I’m guessing that is refreshing to a lot of you. This column isn’t a who, what-when-where on tourism, but I can tell you the vibe at The Steakhouse is different because it is more than obvious when you walk in that this is a room full of your neighbors enjoying a great steak. Yes, the steaks are great.
Chris and his wife bought the place a few years ago from a friend who got in over his head. They’d been in the business before. They’d owned 5 restaurants around the country along the way.
“We sold our last one in 1999 and swore we’d never do it again.” Chris says. “But this was just the right opportunity at the right time. We live around the corner and we know everyone on the islands. It was just a good fit all the way around.”
His secret to a full house practically every night they are open? Making sure they offer great value to every customer. Don’t overthink it. Don’t re-invent the wheel.
“We keep it simple. Nothing foo foo in here. We are a steakhouse. We offer a great steak at a great price. We don’t charge extra for sides. It is all included. Some of our competitors will charge you an exorbitant amount of money for a bowl of mashed potatoes. We don’t do that. We just include it in the price.”
Chris tells me he believes there should be more value out there for your dining dollar, but once again he understands why there isn’t.
“If you can charge $50 for a piece of meat that you should only charge $25 for and get it? Then more power to ya. I don’t think it’s right, but it is what it is.”
Now if I were you and I’d never been to this spot, I’d be wondering what the catch is. You know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is right? Well in this case, it’s kinda-sorta.
The menu at this steakhouse is on the short side. Generally, you are dealing with filets and ribeyes. Their 3lb tomahawk for two is a crowd pleaser. Sliced table side, the phones all come out for photos when one of those guys is floating through the dining room. Chris says they go through about 15-20 of those a week.
Beyond that, the sides. There are two choices for potato. His very popular garlic mashed and roasted potatoes. That’s it. One vegetable per night. That’s it. The last time I was there, it was corn. Again, that’s it. They keep it simple because they believe you are there for a well-made steak.
“Salt, pepper and put it on the grill and let it do its thing.” He says. “You do your crosses and serve it.”
“It’s a really easy process but people want to complicate it with all this stuff.”
All that ‘stuff’ he refers to? I personally understand and appreciate at a traditional higher end steakhouse. But if you walk in here knowing that this is not that, then this is a very enjoyable meal. The room feels like you’ve stepped back into 1981. No frills to speak of and they love it that way.
“100 percent.” He says. “100 thousand percent.”
There’s a shrimp and pasta dish, a fish and a couple of salads and apps. That’s it. He said they keep it simple and they do.
The same goes for their wine list. You will find some usual suspects on there plus a few goodies. Chris knows his wines so he tries to keep a little something in stock for everyone. Again, at a decent price.
“I don’t see the point of marking up a bottle $100 like the corporate places do.” If I can make a few bucks on something and keep our guests coming back, then I will do that.”
It’s a formula that is working very well.
“We’ve been very fortunate. Our clientele has followed us around town. We have a good following here.”
Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.