Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Smith v. The State, A17A0916
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (8/30/2017, 9/19/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for two counts of armed robbery, two counts of false imprisonment and one count of aggravated assault and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing an officer to testify as an expert regarding interviewing witnesses to a crime.
Platt v. The State, A17A1106
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (8/30/2017, 9/19/2017)
APPEALS:
The Court of Appeals remanded defendant's pro se appeal of the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas for the trial court to whether defendant satisfied the indigency requirement such that appointment of appellate counsel was warranted, and if so, to appoint counsel to represent him on appeal.
The State v. Osterloh, A17A1199
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (8/30/2017, 9/19/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court affirmed the grant of defendant's motion to suppress the results of a State-administered blood test in defendant's trial for DUI and other charges, as the evidence supported the trial court's findings that defendant did not voluntarily consent to the blood test because he was "clearly injured" and "incapable of making any kind of rational decision."
Henry County Board of Education v. S.G., S16G1700
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (8/28/2017, 9/18/2017)
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:
In ruling that a local board of education abused its discretion in failing to properly apply self-defense standards when it expelled a student for fighting on school grounds, the Court of Appeals improperly made its own findings with respect to the student's self-defense claim, and thereby exceeded the scope of the any evidence standard of review; accordingly, the Supreme Court remanded the case for the local board to apply the proper law to the record evidence and reach its own findings.
Stroud v. The State, S17A0709
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/18/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and related offenses and the trial court did not err in admitting defendant's prior felony convictions, as defendant acquiesced in the admission of the evidence in the trial court.
Kerch v. The State, S17A0820
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/18/2017)
APPEALS:
The trial court properly dismissed defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea to the malice murder, burglary and armed robbery of his grandfather, as the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider the motion because defendant untimely filed it nearly 17 years after the entry of his guilty plea, well after the expiration of the term of court in which he entered the plea. 
The State v. Butler, S17A0891
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/18/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in granting defendant's petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that he received ineffective assistance of plea counsel because defendant's allegations of ineffective assistance were procedurally barred since he did not raise the allegations at the first practicable moment.
Brewer v. The State, S17A0895
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for murder and related crimes after he fatally shot his cousin when the cousin confronted him about a $100 debt. 
Edwards v. The State, S17A0929
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Although the evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and other crimes in connection with the death of his 13-month old child, the Court partially vacated his sentence and remanded for resentencing, as the trial court made two merger errors.
Williams v. The State, S17A0954
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and related offenses arising out of the beating death of his on-again, off-again girlfriend but the trial court erred in utilizing first offender pleas to sentence defendant as a recidivist under O.C.G.A. § 17-10-7 subsection (c), because first offender pleas are not a "conviction" as understood in the criminal code and, therefore, cannot be used as a conviction for recidivist sentencing purposes.
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