Michael Tarleton

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.

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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.
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).)
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."
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: Illegally Obtained Evidence
You might know that evidence the cops find during an illegal search of you or your belongings is probably inadmissible in criminal court.
Consideration of Dismissed Charges at Sentencing
Dean agrees to plead guilty to armed robbery. In exchange, the prosecution agrees to dismiss the remaining charges against him: assault and burglary.
Searches by Private Citizens
In general, whatever a private citizen—rather than a police officer—uncovers through an
Resisting Arrest When Police Use Excessive Force
In most states, arrestees can resist arrest only in limited circumstances.
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?
Courts treat plea agreements between prosecutors and defendants like contracts: To fail to stick to one is to breach it. But if the parties haven’t finalized the agreement in court, the prosecution might be able to back out of it. (For information on related topics see, How Judges Accept and Reject