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Criminal Law Services in McDonough, GA, South Atlanta & Central Georgia

Helping You Get Back On The Right Track

Sexton Law Firm provides a variety of Criminal Law services to help you get your life back on track the right way
Welcome

How We Can Help

At Sexton Law Firm, Jacob Weldon handles our criminal defense cases. He understands that while everyone makes mistakes, circumstances are not always as they appear. No matter what the circumstances, you're entitled to a thorough defense. Don't let your pending or past criminal matter get in the way of your future.

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Testimonial

A review from one of our clients

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"Jacob Weldon does amazing work. I did not know where to go when I first needed a lawyer, but I stumbled across Sexton Law Firm and they answered every question I had, with no hesitation. My lawyer Jake mapped out what I needed to do and how to do it, along with assisting me throughout the way. A+ work by everyone on Sexton Law Firm!"
Spencer S. via Google
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Over 40 Years Of Legal Experience

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How We Help

Criminal Law Services

Misdemeanor & Felony Charges

Our office represents clients charged with any number of felony or misdemeanor charges within the State of Georgia (any county or city court).

We charge a flat fee for services so that clients know at the outset how much a case is going to cost for representation through trial.

For a free consultation regarding criminal charges, call us today to schedule an appointment or speak with our Criminal Defense Attorney, Jacob A. Weldon, Esq.

Traffic Citations / Tickets

If you have received a traffic citation, you're probably concerned about how it will affect your license. Most clients are concerned as well about the consequences on their auto insurance. Some things to keep in mind are as follows:
  • For drivers who are under 21 or have multiple recent traffic violations, certain offenses may result in a suspension of your privilege to drive.
  • Some offenses may result in the disqualification of your commercial driver's license (CDL) privileges even if they don't suspend your driver's license. It may be possible to avoid this even without a trial.
  • If you were charged as the at fault driver in an accident, you should speak to an attorney before paying the citation or "forfeiting bond" before your scheduled court date.
  • It may be possible to withdraw your plea or bond forfeiture if you've already been negatively affected by a recent plea or after paying the fine ("bond forfeiture") for your traffic citations.
Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation before your scheduled court date to find out how a conviction or plea to the charges could effect your driving privileges and how we might be able to help.

Have You Been Charged With DUI?

There are several things all DUI defendants should be aware of. The following information is provided in an attempt to educate DUI defendants about their rights in order to ensure they are preserved.

Administrative License Suspension (ALS)

If you have been charged with DUI, you may have received a Form 1205 with the heading "GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER SERVICES." If you did not receive a Form 1205 you may still receive one at a later date. Regardless, you should be aware of the following and take proactive measures to ensure that your privilege to drive in the state of Georgia is preserved.

There is a break about 2/3 of the way down on Form 1205 with the heading "SERVICE OF REPORT AND NOTICE OF LICENSE SUSPENSION." This is the one and only notice you will receive of the State's intention to suspend your license. As indicated on the Form 1205, this is your temporary driving permit for the next 45 days.

It is likely that if you were advised of the 30 day window to request a hearing, you may not have understood the ramifications. First and foremost, you MUST follow the guidelines to submit your request for a hearing within the 30 day period. If you don't, your license WILL be suspended. It is in your best interest seek the assistance of a DUI attorney before this period runs out, so DO NOT DELAY. Even if I have not yet been hired, I offer clients charged with DUI the necessary forms to request a hearing. This will at least extend the time before your license is suspended and preserve your right to a hearing.

Most judges will grant a one time continuance if you haven't hired an attorney by the time your hearing is scheduled to occur, but there are exceptions. If hired prior to the hearing, I generally don't require the client to be present, but again, there are exceptions. You have a much better chance of getting the suspension withdrawn or rescinded if you are represented by an attorney. Otherwise, the suspension may go into effect by default if a hearing is NOT requested or if you request one and fail to show up.

This is a separate civil matter pertaining to your license and is apart from your criminal charges. That being said, I charge no additional fee for handling the ALS associated with a DUI charge.

Prior DUI Arrests

If you have been charged with multiple DUIs in the past, you should be aware that most courts will treat prior arrests (even if not convicted) more severely. The license suspension and sentencing provisions associated with subsequent DUI convictions generally become more and more stringent. A fourth DUI conviction is treated as a felony in Georgia. See my page on Felony and Misdemeanor charges for an explanation on the difference between the two.

Charged with Multiple DUI Citations for the Same Event / Arrest

If you received one DUI citation, it is not unusual if you have received two citations for DUI.

A DUI can be charged and proven even without a chemical test of your blood or breath. This is called a "Less Safe" DUI (OCGA § 40-6-391(a)(1) through (4)). The State will attempt to prove that a driver is DUI to the extent that they were less safe to drive by demonstrating the driver's performance on Field Sobriety Testing (FSTs) or through other evidence (the driver's appearance, slurred speech, smell, witness testimony, etc). FSTs are highly susceptible to interpretation. These tests are typically what forms the officer's basis or "probable cause" for an arrest, so a test which is incorrectly administered may give false indications. This is one of the reasons why it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced DUI attorney who will be able to identify errors in the officer's administration of the tests.

​The other DUI citation you may have received is often a "per se" DUI. This type of DUI is proven by the State's test of a defendant's blood or breath. Georgia's per se DUI statute requires that the subject's blood alcohol content is over the limit of 0.08 for drivers who are over 21 years of age and 0.02 for drivers who are under 21 years of age or there is any amount of marijuana or controlled substance in their blood or urine (OCGA § 40-6-391(a)(5) and (6)).

The prosecutor will likely attempt to prove both if a test was conducted.

License Consequences if Convicted or Plead Guilty to DUI

If you are the holder of a CDL, your commercial driving privileges will be disqualified for 1 year from the date of the first conviction. A second conviction for DUI or any other “major traffic violation” will result in a LIFE-TIME disqualification.
DISCLAIMER: The above information is current as of this posting on September 30, 2019. Please be aware that Georgia law is subject to change based on new appellate court decisions or changes made by the Georgia legislature. There are an infinite number of scenarios and circumstances that arise from a DUI arrest. I can not, nor have I attempted to account for every or all potential scenarios in this posting and strongly recommend that you talk to an attorney about the particular facts and circumstances of your case at the earliest opportunity.

Bond & Preliminary Hearings

If you have a friend or loved one who is being detained prior to trial, it may be possible to obtain a bond, even if prior requests have been denied. If a bond has already been set, but it is too high, it may be possible to obtain a lower bond.

The court will often set restrictions or "bond conditions" in certain cases which can place substantial burdens on everyday life, especially if trial is still a long ways away. In these circumstances, an attorney may be able to obtain a modification or termination of those conditions.

Additionally, an accused may be entitled to a preliminary hearing on the charges. Generally, the following must be met in order to have a preliminary hearing:
  • No prior preliminary hearing has been conducted and the accused has not been indicted; AND
  • no bond has been set; OR
  • the accused has not made (bonded out); OR
  • the accused has bonded out and there are special restrictive conditions of bond.
In some cases, charges may be dismissed at a preliminary hearing, potentially ending the case. Therefore, it is important to speak with an attorney about how a preliminary hearing may benefit the defendant's case.

Get in touch with us using one of the buttons below today!

Asset Forfeiture

Georgia law permits law enforcement to take certain property which is alleged to be the product or proceeds of illicit activity. If your property was seized pursuant to alleged criminal conduct, you have a right to be heard.

The State will most likely serve you with a civil forfeiture action naming the property as the defendant. If you have a claim to the property, you must take action to preserve your right to it.

In many cases, the property owner is not even the one accused of wrongdoing. If your property has been seized, it is of the utmost importance that you seek legal counsel immediately. Time is of the essence in civil forfeiture cases.

Veteran Support

In 2019, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a study showing an average of 17 (16.8) veterans commit suicide each day. This number was lower than that previously reported (as many as 22 per day in earlier years) because the VA did not include members who were active at time of death or were former Guard or Reserve members who never federally activated.

The State of Georgia has sought to address the growing number of veterans who faced criminal charges stemming from problems directly related to their military service. 

For this reason, many Georgia Counties developed what are referred to as Veterans Courts. These are accountability courts designed to help treat the underlying problems associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (known commonly as PTSD). Unfortunately, these programs are not always available, depending largely upon where the veteran resides.

The problems can stem from un-diagnosed or under-diagnosed PTSD. Some veterans do not fully express the severity of their symptoms and as a result do not obtain (and are not offered) sufficient treatment, if any. In my experience, former service members are concerned that they may "take someone else's spot," referring to other service members who need treatment — usually those bearing more visible injuries.

When the problems associated with PTSD go unaddressed, it can affect the veteran's family, social and work life. Many times, the veteran's "self-treatment" through the use of alcohol or other substances will lead to criminal charges.

As previously indicated, there is hope. In recognition of the veteran's service and by participation in a veterans court program, it may be possible to keep a criminal conviction off of their record while simultaneously assisting the veteran in successfully overcoming or coping with PTSD or substance abuse.

Since learning of their availability, I have been a big supporter of these programs and have seen them work firsthand. If you are a veteran or know a veteran who has run into problems with the law as a result of the hidden scars associated with military service, please seek assistance.

In the event of an emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Helpful Resources

If the veteran has yet to become involved in criminal charges, but needs assistance, please act. There are many resources available in addition to the VA. I have provided links to some of them below:
For more information about Veteran Suicide and PTSD, check out Jocko Podcasts Episodes 123 and 124 (there are many others, these just happen to be Jake’s personal favorites).
Please also see:

Peace Officer Standards & Training Council Hearings

The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council is the entity which oversees, investigates, and, if necessary, disciplines Georgia Officers for allegations of misconduct.

"It is the mission of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.) to provide the citizens of Georgia with qualified, professionally trained, ethical and competent peace officers and criminal justice professionals."

Everyone makes mistakes, even officers. Sometimes those mistakes lead to criminal charges against active law enforcement officers. Whether the error lies with the charging officer or the accused, when an officer is charged with criminal wrongdoing, P.O.S.T. will investigate the claim and make their own independent recommendation, regardless of the outcome of the criminal charges. In some cases, even when an officer is not charged criminally, an officer could face loosing their P.O.S.T. certification and with it, the ability to work as a law enforcement officer in the State of Georgia.

While not all P.O.S.T. actions or proceedings arise from criminal charges, our office works with officers facing disciplinary proceedings to maintain their certification or in some cases, achieve a lesser sanction / punishment.

If you need assistance with a P.O.S.T. related issue, get in touch with us today!

Criminal Records Restriction

Criminal records, even felonies, may sometimes be restricted in Georgia if they meet certain requirements. This is commonly referred to as "expungement," while Georgia Statutes provide for records restriction only in certain cases.

There are a variety of ways that a criminal record might be restricted depending largely on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.

If you would like to know what options may be available in your case, please get in touch with us today!
Testimonial

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"Highly recommended! Royal seal of approval. 10/10 service."
Adam S. via Facebook
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About Us

Meet Your Legal Team

Jonathan Sexton

Jonathan Sexton

About Me

Mr. Sexton is the firm’s principle and founder. Mr. Sexton graduated from the University of Georgia in 1984 with a degree in criminal justice.

He went on to work in the common carrier industry from 1984-1988 before leaving to attend law school. Mr. Sexton attended Georgia State University School of Law from 1988-1991 and obtained his juris doctor in law in June 1991. After graduating, he went to work for a civil litigation firm that handled multi-million dollar civil cases. He later struck out on his own and established the Sexton Law Firm in 1994. Mr. Sexton is a past member of the American Association for Justice, a past area vice-president of and current member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and is admitted to practice law in Georgia and Florida. He is licensed to practice in all Georgia courts including the Georgia Supreme Court, Georgia Court of Appeals, State, Superior and Magistrate Courts of Georgia.

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He is privileged to practice in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia as well as the United States Court of Claims. Started in 1994, the Sexton Law Firm has concentrated its casework mainly in the areas of auto accidents / personal injury, product related injury, workers compensation, medical malpractice, legal malpractice and civil rights (law enforcement misconduct and employment law).

Allison R Crain

Allison R. Crain

About Me

Ms. Crain was born in Louisiana and moved with her parents and younger brother to Tennessee when she was in elementary school. Her younger sister was born in TN, where her father was the minister of the Monteagle Church of Christ for many years. Ms. Crain and her family later moved to Murfreesboro in middle Tennessee, and her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews still reside in the middle Tennessee area. Ms. Crain’s parents are enjoying retirement in the Tennessee countryside while her brother practices criminal defense and her sister works in the local school system.

In 2009 Ms. Crain attended Middle Tennessee State University where she was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, a member of the Competition ADR / Mediation team, and graduated, in 2012, Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Political Science / Pre-Law and Criminology. In her third, and final year, at MTSU, Ms. Crain was awarded a scholarship to attend Savannah Law School in Savannah, Georgia.

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Ms. Crain began law school in 2013 and graduated 13th in her class in 2017. During her time in law school, Ms. Crain clerked for attorney Jonathan P. Sexton of the Sexton Law Firm, and upon passing the GA. State Bar, began practicing with the Sexton Law Firm in the areas of family law, estates and probate and contract dispute.

Ms. Crain’s practice emphasis is child-centered family law with a focus on collaborative solutions to issues relating to divorce and custody.

Allison R Crain

Jacob Weldon

About Me

Jacob graduated with Honors from Lamar County High School in 2002. He then went on to attend University of Georgia in Athens to complete his dual undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice in 2005. In 2006, Jacob was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Upon completion of Infantry and Intelligence Officer training, he deployed with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2009.

He went on to work with a federal intelligence agency and later returned to Georgia in order to attend law school full time. Jacob graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law and passed the bar in 2015. During law school, Jacob clerked for Towaliga Circuit Judges Thomas Wilson and William Fears. During his final year, he interned with the Towaliga District Attorney's Office. Jacob's current focus is criminal defense.