Monday, September 10, 2018
The Georgia Supreme Court accepted a petition for voluntary discipline of an 18 month suspension of an attorney who pleaded guilty to a felony Peeping Tom charge
The indictment charged him with unlawfully going upon a residential premises of a named individual for the purpose of becoming a peeping tom, at which time he peeped through the windows of the residence and invaded the individual’s privacy. Dale was sentenced, as a first offender, to four years to be served on probation, provided that he complies with the terms of his probation, which include that he pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $1,200, that he perform 40 hours of community service, and that he serve four weekends in jail. The State Bar acknowledges that these three conditions have already been satisfied, and also that Dale has paid a fine and surcharges to the court, and that he pays monthly probation and Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund fees of $32. Dale also remains subject to producing specimens as requested to be tested for the presence of drugs and alcohol, and to protective and no-contact orders with respect to the victim and her family, as well as a waiver of his Fourth Amendment rights.
Mitigating factors justified a sanction less than disbarment
The record includes numerous letters from individuals who have known Dale for a significant period of time in various roles and settings. Each of the letters expresses the writer’s opinion that Dale’s conduct represents an aberration in an otherwise commendable life. Some of the writers indicate they have personal knowledge that the criminal conduct arose at a time when Dale was facing a challenging time in his personal and professional life. And some of the writers vouch for the fact that Dale has expressed deep remorse for his conduct and that they believe he has been rehabilitated. The State Bar agrees that the voluntary discipline sought by Dale is an appropriate level of discipline under the circumstances and in light of the applicable mitigating factors.