Michael Tarleton

Attorney · Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Michael Tarleton is a criminal appeals attorney with the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council Appellate Division. Before joining the GPDSC, Michael was a public defender with the 11th Circuit Public Defender in Miami, Florida for three years. He then worked briefly in mortgage foreclosure defense before moving back to Atlanta, Georgia, and handling criminal cases in private practice. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, where he interned at the Center on Wrongful Convictions and contributed to the first successful clemency petition in Indiana since the reinstatement of the death penalty.

Articles By Michael Tarleton

Suing the Police for Excessive Force
Excessive force by the police during an arrest violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Learn what remedies a victim may have to sue the officer in court.
What Happens at an Initial Appearance in Georgia?
Find information about the early goings in Georgia criminal cases, including determinations of bail and "probable cause."
Resisting Arrest When Police Use Excessive Force
In most states, arrestees can resist arrest if the officer uses excessive force that's likely to cause great harm, but the right to defend is limited.
Pleading Guilty While Saying You're Innocent
A defendant who claims to be innocent but doesn’t want to risk going to trial can sometimes take what has become known as an Alford plea, named after the Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina v. Alford. (400 U.S. 25 (1970).)
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: Illegally Obtained Evidence
Fruit of the poisonous tree includes evidence gathered from just about any kind of police conduct that violates a defendant’s constitutional rights. The original evidence is inadmissible in court and so is any derivative evidence—unless an exception exists.
Consideration of Dismissed Charges at Sentencing
In many states, judges may factor dismissed charges into sentences.
Searches by Private Citizens
In general, whatever a private citizen—rather than a police officer—uncovers through an
Appealing a Sentence
Criminal defendants generally can't appeal lawful sentences. But a defendant can appeal a sentence if it's illegal, unconstitutional, or unreasonably excessive.
When can the prosecution back out of a plea deal?
If the parties haven’t sealed the plea deal in court, the prosecution can usually back out of it.