Gwinnett Police advisory board to finalize recommendation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
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Gwinnett Police advisory board to finalize recommendation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana
The board created earlier this year to advise the Gwinnett County Police Department and county commissioners on policy matters is on the cusp of finalizing its recommendation that Gwinnett leaders decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The Gwinnett Police Citizens Advisory Board voted last month to recommend county commissioners to change Gwinnett County Ordinance 66.3, which deals with marijuana possession. It will present the written copy of that resolution, effectively “memorializing” last month’s decision according to board chairman Sean Goldstein, at its June 15 meeting.
The recommended change is to make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a county ordinance violation, punishable by a fine or community service, rather than a criminal act.
“We had already voted, but we still have to send that recommendation to the commission, so obviously we have to memorialize it,” said Goldstein, who is an attorney. “We have to put it in writing basically. We had never done that before since this is our very first recommendation ... so basically what we did is our vice-chair, Marqus Cole, was tasked with memorializing, writing down what our recommendation to the commission was going to be and we’re going to have a discussion regarding the actual written format of the recommendation to the commissioners ...
“It’s just finalizing the decisions that were already made on May 18.”
If the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners adopts the recommended change, the punishment for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana would be either a $150 fine or up to 20 hours of community service, according to a copy of the proposed resolution that the Daily Post has obtained.
In essence, it could be seen as being, in a way, like getting a ticket for not wearing a seat belt, Goldstein confirmed. That can have a big impact for people who are caught possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, however.
“That’s where it tries to take this,” Goldstein said. “It’s decriminalizing, lessening the impact that this could have on somebody. With a marijuana charge under this ordinance, it really lessens the severity and impact it could have on their lives.”
The current ordinance states possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor crime with the punishment being up to a year in prison or fine of as much as $1,000 — or possibly both together — or having to do public works service for up to a year. That is essentially the same punishment under a state code section that lists marijuana possession as a criminal offense.
The Gwinnett ordinance change would give police a choice. They could issue the ticket under the county ordinance or they could charge a person with a crime under state law, according to Goldstein.
“(Federal and state marijuana laws) can still apply,” Goldstein said. “It’s up to the officer really to decide — he has discretion to decide — whether to charge under the ordinance, or whether to charge under the state law. The state law does still apply ...
“It doesn’t conflict with them, but it kind of gives the officer an option to charge and to go by the language of the ordinance rather the state law, which is a misdemeanor and does carry greater penalties.”
This also comes at a time when law enforcement is focusing less on possession of small amounts of marijuana because of uncertainty and testing issues related to the state’s hemp farming law that went into effect in Georgia in 2019.
Days after Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside announced his office won’t pros…
Under that law, the threshold THC concentration level separating hemp from marijuana is 0.3%, with anything less than that level classified as hemp, and therefore not illegal. Prosecutors and law enforcement officials pulled back from pursuing cases centered around possession of small amounts of marijuana at the time, saying the law made it harder to tell what was considered legal, and what was against the law because of THC testing issues.
Whiteside said a memo to the county's judges, as well as District Attorney Danny Porter, Sheriff Butch Conway and Gwinnett commissioners this week to inform them of his decision not to prosecute the cases.
Fast forward to February of 2021 and county commissioners asked the Police Citizens Advisory Board to research the possibility of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. The proposed resolution states the board solicited input from the county’s law department as it reviewed a proposed change.
Commissioner Kirkland Carden said there had been some interest on the commission before he took office, with Commissioner Ben Ku taking a look at it, but he decided to use the Police Citizens Advisory Board as a way to take a look at the issue and make a recommendation for the Board of Commissioners. Carden favors the proposed change and said it will allow the Gwinnett County Police Department to better allocate manpower.
“It’s 5:55 p.m., so let’s say you get arrested in Duluth, Ga., for a joint and some paraphernalia, so maybe a bong or a grinder or whatever you use,” Carden said. “You get arrested in unincorporated Gwinnett County by one of our Gwinnett County Police officers. By the time it takes that officer to go through your interaction with you, put you in a car, drive down (State Route) 316 to the jail, process you and then get you in holding, that’s more than two hours, especially given this time of day.
“Now, that’s two hours-plus that that officer is removed from the street, when they could be focused on those other issues (such as) property crime, commercial crime, arson, crime with a handgun. These are the issues, these are the crimes that are going up in District 1. These are the crimes that I want to focus on as a commissioner, not ‘Do you have less than an ounce of marijuana?’”
It is illegal to smoke or even possess marijuana for recreational purposes in Georgia, but if Gwinnett Solicitor General Brian Whiteside had his way, that would change during next year's legislative session.
The Gwinnett Police Citizens Advisory Board meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on June 15 in the auditorium at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, which is located at 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville. Anyone who cannot attend the meeting in person can watch it live through Gwinnett County government’s Webex system at bit.ly/2SpjDqz.
Motorcycle driver from Duluth killed in accident on Interstate 85 in Suwanee
An accident involving a motorcycle, an SUV and a pickup truck resulted in the death of a Duluth man on Interstate 85 in Suwanee Saturday.
Suwanee police said the motorcycle driven by Richard Moore Hardison, 36, hit the rear of an SUV in the northbound lanes of I-85 near Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road at about 2 p.m. The collision caused both Hardison and the motorcycle to not only go airborne, but cross a concrete divider separating the northbound and southbound lanes.
“The motorcycle then landed on the top of a pickup truck traveling south on I-85,” Suwanee Police Lt. Robert Thompson said. “Mr. Hardison was deceased at the scene, and the next of kin has been notified. Four occupants from the pickup truck were transported to medical facilities for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the SUV was treated and released at the scene.”
The Suwanee Police Department’s Accident Investigation Unit has an ongoing investigation into the incident. Anyone who saw the accident happen is asked to call Suwanee Police Sgt. Simon Byun 770-904-7650.
Special accreditation review for Gwinnett County Public Schools begins Sunday
A team from the agency that accredits Gwinnett County Public Schools will begin a special review to look into numerous complaints, primarily about the county’s Board of Education, this weekend.
Cognia’s special accreditation review of GCPS begins Sunday and is expected to last through Wednesday. The team that will be conducting the review will interview people who have filed complaints against the district, as well as parents, students, teachers, administrators, Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, members of the Gwinnett County Board of Education and other members of the community during the visit.
District leaders will also present evidence to show how GCPS is complying with Cognia’s accreditation standards.
“A Special Review Team comprised of trained professionals will be appointed to conduct the special review,” Cognia Chief Global Accreditation Officer Annette Bohling said in a letter on April 19. “The review will be conducted in a remote modality. The special review will provide all parties with the opportunity to review information and evidence related to the above listed Accreditation Standards.
“Any findings of the Team will be substantiated through the Cognia Performance Standards for School Systems and the Cognia Accreditation and Certification Policies and Procedures.”
The initial complaints that drew Cognia’s attention were sent in before March 1, and therefore before the board voted 3-2 to terminate Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks’ contract 11 months early, effective July 31.
After the initial letter — which was dated March 1 — was sent to district leaders, however, the accrediting agency received additional complaints about the board.
♦ “Exhibit a lack of understanding regarding their roles and responsibilities as members of the board.”
♦ “Do not demonstrate collegiality with respect to their differences or work cohesively to promote student achievement and the success of the district.”
♦ “Do not adhere to a Code of Ethic.”
♦ “Have allowed discrimination to take place against students of color regarding ... discipline infractions.”
♦ “Make decisions that seem unethical and discriminatory regarding the use of social media.”
♦ “Have not been responsive to a downward trajectory in student achievement within the district.”
A letter sent to district officials in April showed the review team will focus on how well GCPS, and the school board, is complying with six accreditation standards, including:
Standard 1.4:♦ The governing authority establishes and ensures adherence to policies that are designed to support system effectiveness.
♦ Standard 1.5:♦ The governing authority adheres to a code of ethics and functions within defined roles and responsibilities.
♦ Standard 2.1:♦ Learners have equitable opportunities to develop skills and achieve the content and learning priorities established by the system.
♦ Standard 2.7:♦ Instruction is monitored and adjusted to meet individual learners’ needs and the system’s learning expectations.
♦ Standard 2.11:♦ Educators gather, analyze, and use formative and summative data that lead to demonstrable improvement of student learning.
♦ Standard 3.8:♦ The system allocates human, material, and fiscal resources in alignment with the system’s identified needs and priorities to improve student performance and organizational effectiveness.
“The Review Team will provide Improvement Priorities, if necessary, that will require decisive action for correction on the part of the district with follow-up documentation submitted to Cognia within a timeframe as identified by Cognia,” Bohling said in the April 19 letter. “Also, a written report of the Special Review will be provided to Gwinnett County Public Schools.”
Network security company chief operating officer indicted by federal grand jury for 2018 cyberattack against Gwinnett Medical Center
A Marietta man who was serving as the chief operating officer at a network security company is facing more than a dozen charges for allegedly conducting a cyberattack against Gwinnett Medical Center in September 2018.
Vikas Singla, 45, was indicted by a federal jury on Tuesday with 17 counts of intentional damage to a protected computer and one count of obtaining information from a protected computer for accessing computers belonging to the hospital system, which has since merged into Northside Hospital’s network, at its campuses in Lawrenceville and Duluth.
“Cyberattacks that target important infrastructure, like healthcare, pose a serious threat to public health and safety,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said. “In this case, Singla allegedly compromised Gwinnett Medical Center’s operations in part for his own personal gain.”
The majority of the charges that Singla faces stems from allegations that, according to the indictment, he used help from unknown individuals to “knowingly caused and attempted to cause the transmission of a program, information, code and command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally caused and attempted to cause damage without authorization to a protected computer — that is one or more computers used by Gwinnett Medical Center (in) Duluth and Lawrenceville” that operated printers.
It also alleges attacks on Ascom phone system at Gwinnett Medical’s Duluth campus and illegal access to the Hologic R2 Digitizer at the hospital system’s Lawrenceville campus.
More specifically, officials at the Department of Justice accused Singla of disrupting the hospital’s phone service, disrupting the hospital’s network printer service and obtained information from the digitizing device. Prosecutors allege the attack was, at least in part, committed for financial gain. The indictment states accessing the digitizer also could have given Singla an unspecified “commercial advantage.”
Hologic is a company that produces devices used to detect, diagnose and treat women’s health conditions, although an exact description of what the R2 Digitizer could not be found on the company’s website.
Prosecutors alleged in the indictment that Singla’s actions could have: damaged at least 10 computers; impaired the medical examination, diagnosis, treatment of care of at least one patient; and caused a loss to Gwinnett Medical by affecting computers cumulatively worth at least $5,000.
The Department of Justice did not identify which company Singla worked for in the indictment, but it did say he was the COO for network security company that was based in metro Atlanta and served the healthcare industry.
“This cyberattack on a hospital not only could have had disastrous consequences, but patient’s personal information was also compromised,” FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker said. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are determined to hold accountable, those who allegedly put peoples health and safety at risk while driven by greed.”
Justice Department Criminal Division Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid added, “Criminal disruptions of hospital computer networks can have tragic consequences. The department is committed to holding accountable those who endanger the lives of patients by damaging computers that are essential in the operation of our healthcare system.”
Police renew call for information about November 2020 murder in unincorporated Norcross
Gwinnett County police issued a new call Thursday for information about a murder that occurred in unincorporated Norcross last fall.
Norcross resident Ahmed Kadhim, 29, was murdered at 707 Tree House Parkway on Nov. 8. Investigators have not yet announced a suspect in the murder and a motive for Kadhim’s death has not yet been determined.
“Investigators believe that there may be witnesses or people who have knowledge of this incident,” Police Officer Senior Hideshi Valle said. “Those people are strongly encouraged to contact the police department to share that information so that investigators can identify those involved in this murder.
“Detectives are asking anyone with information that may lead to the identification of a person to please come forward.”
A Norcross man was shot and killed Sunday night on Treehouse Parkway in an unincorporated ar…
Police previously said Kadhim called police last November to report that he had been shot at an apartment off Graves Road. Officers who responded to the scene tried to render aid and paramedics then took him to a nearby hospital, but he died from his injuries at the hospital.
“Witnesses are encouraged to call GCPD Investigators or Atlanta Crime Stoppers with any useful information,” Valle said.
Anyone who has information about Kadhim’s murder is asked to call detectives at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers, which lets tipsters remain anonymous, at 404-577-8477. They can also visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.
There is a cash reward offered by Crime Stoppers for information that leads to an arrest and indictment. Tipsters are asked to reference case No. 20-084801.
Gwinnett deputies arrest suspect in double murder
Gwinnett County deputies announced Thursday that they have located and arrested a man wanted in connection with a double murder that occurred in unincorporated Lawrenceville in March.
Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit arrested Lawrenceville resident Walter Hill, 28, in DeKalb County with help from U.S. Marshals on Wednesday. Hill faces two felony murder and two aggravated assault charges in connection with the deaths of Darius Myles, 28, and Christopher Smith, 23, on March 26.
Myles and Smith were killed at their home on Oxford Hall Drive, which is near the intersection of Five Forks Trickum Road and Sugarloaf Parkway. Gwinnett Police said at the time that the pair had each been shot at least once, but a motive was not known at the time.
Hill was being held in the Gwinnett County without bond on Thursday.
Gwinnett Commissioner Kirkland Carden pitching new committee to handle solid waste collection complaints, hauler contracts
Gwinnett County Commissioner Kirkland Carden is pushing to create new oversight for trash collection companies that operate in unincorporated parts of the county in light of numerous complaints he said commissioners have been receiving about solid waste haulers.
Under a proposal that Carden intends to pitch to his colleagues on the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, a new Waste Management Oversight Committee would be created within county government. Members would be appointed to oversee solid waste haulers and handle complaints residents file against the providers over service.
“Since taking office on the Board Commissioner at the start of this year, I am alarmed by the number of complaints and issues raised by Gwinnett County residents regarding the service, quality and performance of Gwinnett County’s trash and recycling services,” said Carden. “These services, performed by private companies contracted by the county and paid by taxpayers, are essential towards maintaining a high quality of life in Gwinnett County.”
Carden said commissioners receive complaints ranging from trash not being picked up to trash trucks dripping fluids on neighborhood streets as well as companies retaliating against customers who lodge complaints against them.
One of the county’s solid waste haulers, Advanced Disposal, was recently acquired by Waste Management. Since then, residents have been going on websites such as Nextdoor to express their frustration with waste collection issues, such as problems with yard debris pickup and long waits to get Waste Management officials on the phone to lodge complaints.
Meanwhile, Gwinnett Solicitor Brian Whiteside held a meeting where residents had a chance to lodge complaints about trash pickup issues against another one of Gwinnett’s solid waste haulers, Waste Pro, last month.
One issue Carden said county leaders have to deal with is that county commissioners, in 2017 approved 10-year contracts with solid waste haulers. That contract was later amended in 2020 by a 3-1 margin, with Commissioner Ben Ku casting the dissenting vote and then-Commissioner Tommy Hunter not being present for the vote.
Three of the five seats on the board have changed hands since the hauler agreements were amended.
“I am frustrated that the previous Board of Commissioners would enter into a 10-year contract for trash collection service,” Carden said. “An agreement of this length is unusual and encourages waste haulers to be less responsive. However, I am committed to holding the haulers accountable to the terms of their contracts.”
Carden said he wants the county to implement a “secret shopper”-type program to get customer reviews of service providers, and to begin tracking, monitoring and reporting how waste management haulers do in key performance indicators such as incident call numbers, average wait times in service desk queues and how many incident calls require a follow-up.
That’s where the new committee comes in.
The committee would be on par with other boards, such as the Stormwater Authority, Airport Authority Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals. Each commissioner would get to appoint a member to the board.
The committee would oversee the haulers key performance indicator reports as well as meet quarterly with waste management providers, hold public forums and review and make recommendations on future waste management service contracts.
The county could then take “corrective action” if the reviews show a hauler is not abiding by the terms of its contract with the county, Carden said.
There are five trash haulers who have contracts to handle different regions of Gwinnett, according to the county’s website. Waste Management handles trash pickup in northwest Gwinnett while Republic Services, Inc. handles eastern Gwinnett; Sanitation Solutions Inc. handles northern Gwinnett; Southern Sanitation Inc. handles southern Gwinnett and Waste Pro of Georgia Inc. handles southwest Gwinnett.
Those county contracts do not affect Gwinnett cities that have their own separate contracts for trash pickup or operate their own sanitation departments.
Gwinnett Place to Mall of Georgia bus route, Sugar Hill pedestrian bridge among local projects in federal infrastructure bill
A new local service bus route that will connect the Gwinnett Place area with the Mall of Georgia is one of several Gwinnett County projects that has been included in the federal infrastructure bill unveiled by the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Monday.
The proposed new route — with an allocation of $5 million — would run from the Mall of Georgia to the transit transfer hub at Gwinnett Place Mall, if approved. That would provide further access to the Mall of Georgia area from other parts of Gwinnett, including Lilburn, Lawrenceville and Peachtree Corners.
In all, there are five projects from the 7th Congressional District — including four from Gwinnett and one from Forsyth County — as well as some projects in the 4th Congressional District included in the bill.
“As the representative for Georgia’s 7th District, one of my top priorities is ensuring that Gwinnett and Forsyth residents are maximizing all available government resources,” U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., said. “For that reason, I was proud to nominate a number of consequential projects to improve mobility and economic development while also building our communities’ wonderful parks and trails.”
In addition to the bus route connecting the Gwinnett Place and Mall of Georgia areas, other Gwinnett projects that have been proposed will be located in Lawrenceville, Sugar Hill and an additional project in the Gwinnett Place area.
The local bus route connecting the Mall of Georgia and the Gwinnett Place area may be one of the biggest local projects included in the bill for at least three main reasons, however.
One is that it will extend Gwinnett County Transit’s local service to the northwest part of the county. The others are that it will connect two of Gwinnett’s key business districts and open up new access to a major shopping destination.
The fact that the transfer hub at Gwinnett Place Mall connects to other routes which go to other parts of Gwinnett means the proposed route will have a broader impact across at least half of the county.
Among the other proposed 7th Congressional projects is a pedestrian bridge that will cross State Route 20 in Sugar Hill. City officials had proposed such a bridge — similar to one recently built over Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners — as part of a development plan unveiled a few years ago.
The proposed allocation for the bridge is $5 million.
Another proposed project is $4.8 million for a Georgia Department of Transportation Park and Ride Lot which would be located at the intersection of State Route 316 and either Collins Industrial Way or Buford Drive.
The fourth proposed project in Gwinnett would be $2 million for a McDaniel Farm Park Connector Multi-Use Path that would run along Commerce Avenue, from the park to Satellite Boulevard near Gwinnett Place Mall.
The other project in the 7th Congressional District — which would be on the Forsyth side of the district — is $3 million for the Big Creek Greenway Phase 2 renovation and replacement project in Cumming.
“I am glad to see five projects in Georgia’s 7th District were accepted for inclusion into the surface reauthorization bill, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to get these important priorities across the finish line,” Bourdeaux said.
The bill also includes a proposed $5 million project to provide bus rapid transit service on U.S. Highway 78 between Snellville and Stone Mountain, in the 4th Congressional District. It also lists $6 million for vehicle acquisition for bus and paratransit service between Snellville and north DeKalb County, which is another 4th Congressional District proposed project.
Gwinnett County agrees to put speed detection cameras in school zones
This isn’t exactly candid camera. Or, at least not the kind of candid camera that produces laughter.
Gwinnett County drivers are going to want to slow down near schools because they will end up on camera. County commissioners recently approved a contract with RedSpeed Georgia LLC to operate speed detection cameras in the county’s school zones to catch people who drive too fast past an elementary, middle or high school.
The cameras will be installed during the 2021-2022 school year. The police department will work with the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation, as well as the school systems to determine where the cameras should be placed.
“By using automated speed enforcement, we hope to leverage technology in a manner that will make school zones safer for both students and motorists.” said Gwinnett Deputy Police Chief J.D. McClure. “This will also allow us to dedicate more time to priority calls and other patrol functions.”
Police initially approached commissioners in May about pursuing the speed cameras, although they had not determined a company to provide the cameras at that time. One of the arguments provided to commissioners in favor of the cameras last month was that they would allow officers who had been providing speed details at schools to be redeployed elsewhere.
County commissioners approved a request from Gwinnett County Police to install speed cameras in some school zones in the county on Tuesday.
There will be consequences of course for people caught on camera speeding in a school zone. Technically, points won’t go a person’s driver’s license for speeding in the zones, but they may find themselves unable to legally drive their cars once their license plates are up for renewal. That’s because drivers who receive a citation for speeding in a school zone, and don’t pay the fine, will be prohibited from renewing their vehicle registration until the fine is paid. In other words, they will either have to pay the fine, have to start walking everywhere or hitching a ride.
They could always try to do something law enforcement really frowns upon, which illegally drive with an expired tag — but they would be doing so at their own peril because that would result in additional citations and fines.
The annual contract awarded to RedSpeed Georgia does not call for the county to pay to have the cameras installed or monitored, but there is a revenue-sharing clause which will let the county get 71.6% of the funds generated from fines.
Black man lynched on Lawrenceville Square in 1911 will be remembered during ceremony on Juneteenth
Charles Hale’s life ended in downtown Lawrenceville on April 8, 1911, after a crowd of masked vigilantes stormed the county jail, pointed guns in the faces of the sheriff and deputies and took him in the dark of night.
The mob took Hale — a Black man who had been accused of assaulting a white woman — to a light pole at the corner of Pike and Perry Streets on the Lawrenceville Square, tied a rope around his neck and lynched him, according to an account in The News Herald newspaper.
After he died, Hale’s killers reportedly disappeared into the night, but his body was left hanging from the light pole with a photo being taken that weekend of a crowd of white men and children gathered around. The photo eventually ended up in the Georgia Archives.
More than 110 years after Hale’s murder, his life will be memorialized by local leaders and the Gwinnett Remembrance Coalition with a ceremony on the square from 10 until 11:30 a.m. on June 19, which is also Juneteenth.
Participants in the Soil Collection Ceremony will gather dirt from near the corner where Hale died and collect it in a jar for inclusion in the Equal Justice Initiative’s Community Soil Collection Project, which collects soil from the sites of lynchings as a way to remember the people who were killed during them.
“Digging up soil and preserving it in a special jar for public display is a solemn, symbolic, spiritual way to honor Mr. Hale and to acknowledge his humanity and the trauma, terror, and pain that he must have experienced in his last moments,” Gwinnett Remembrance Coalition officials said in an announcement for the event on social media. “Digging up and preserving the soil is a tangible way of memorializing Mr. Hale, restoring his dignity, and ensuring that he is not forgotten and that he did not die in vain.”
The ceremony will include songs, poetry and narrative readings, invocations from local clergy members and the presentation of proclamations by the Lawrenceville City Council and Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.
There is a significance to the date chosen for the ceremony. Juneteenth is the anniversary of slaves in Texas learning they had been freed, which is considered the official end of slavery in the U.S.
The Gwinnett Remembrance Coalition is partnering with the city of Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County government and the Gwinnett Historic Restoration and Preservation Board to hold the ceremony.
Earlier this year, a 1993 memorial to Confederate soldiers was removed from a spot on the square that was only a few yards away from the spot where Hale had been lynched. Prior to that memorial’s removal, there had been calls to not only take it down, but to do something on the Lawrenceville Square to remember the lives of Hale and other Gwinnett County residents who had been the victims of lynchings.
There are at least eight people who are known to have been lynched in Gwinnett County, according to The Lynching Project, which is an effort by University of Georgia students to research and document lynchings that have occurred in the state.
Gwinnett Solicitor General Brian Whiteside will offer records restricting assistance at Promised Land community's Juneteenth celebration this weekend
Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside will offer past defendants a chance to get misdemeanor charges on their criminal records hidden from the public eye this weekend during a Juneteenth kick-off celebration that the Promised Land community in south Gwinnett is holding.
Whiteside announced his office will gather information from past defendants who qualify for “Records Restriction,” and give out information on how to get records restricted, during the free-to-attend celebration. The event will be held from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday at 4540 Lee Road in Snellville.
As its name suggests, “Records Restriction” is a way for someone has been accused of committing misdemeanor crimes to get those charges hidden from public view — as long as they meet certain criteria, such as never having been convicted of the crimes at trial and not pleading guilty or nolo contendere.
Other criteria that qualifies defendants to have their records restricted include:
♦ They must have been arrested in Gwinnett County.
♦ They were under 21 when they committed certain misdemeanors.
♦ They completed a pre-trial diversion program.
♦ They completed a first offender case.
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