If you have been charged with a crime in the state of Georgia, it is important to understand the serious consequences you may face if convicted. Depending on the charges you are facing, you may be required to pay high fines or serve time in prison, as well as potential loss of certain rights and privileges.
If you are convicted of a felony offense, the consequences can be even more serious. A felony conviction can change your life even after you have served your time and paid your fines, affecting your ability to vote, to pass a background check, or to obtain housing or credit.
With such severe potential penalties, it is extremely important to take any criminal charges against you seriously. Our Atlanta criminal lawyers have experience defending a wide range of charges, and will work with you to build the best possible defense for your case.
First Steps to Take
If facing criminal charges following an arrest or accusation, a person may feel helpless to defend themselves. Atlanta criminal attorneys understand the damaging effects a criminal charge can have on a person’s reputation and standing in the community, in addition to the potential consequences they will face if convicted.
The prosecution that is building a case against the defendant is made up of highly trained professionals whose only job is to obtain a conviction. With so much on the line, individuals facing charges need someone with the experience and resources necessary to prepare a rock-solid defense so that they will not be at a disadvantage in court.
An attorney will understand the complicated laws that relate to criminal offenses and can often discover defenses based on the circumstances of an arrest or the evidence collected against a person. In some cases, with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, the charges against an individual may be mitigated or dropped entirely.
Georgia Criminal Laws
The laws relating to criminal offenses in Georgia may be found in Title 16 of the Georgia Code. Experienced criminal lawyers can help build a defense against a wide range of charges, including:
- White Collar Crimes
- Assault and Battery
- Domestic Violence
- Sex Crimes
- Drug Crimes
- DUI and DWI
- Homicide and Manslaughter
- Juvenile Offenses
- Parole Violations
Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses
Like most states, crimes in Georgia are divided into felony and misdemeanor offenses, based on the perceived severity of the crime, the circumstances surrounding the crime, and any prior offenses the alleged criminal has been convicted of. A crime that results in a jail sentence of less than one year is typically considered a misdemeanor offense.
Conviction for a crime that results in a jail sentence of more than one year is a felony offense, which can have serious consequences on a person’s life even after they have served their time. If someone has been convicted of prior criminal offenses, the penalties they face for even misdemeanor offenses can be very severe, thereby warranting attention from a criminal lawyer in Atlanta.
Criminal cases in Georgia are often settled before an individual ever gets a chance to present their case in court. Plea-bargaining with the prosecution is common, especially if the defendant is represented by a public defender who may not have the time or resources available to prepare for a full trial. Entering into a plea deal may seem like a good idea in exchange for a reduced sentence, but it is important to understand the serious and lasting effects of entering a guilty or no contest plea.
If a person has been offered a plea deal, it is vitally important that they speak to an experienced criminal attorney before accepting. The attorney can help determine whether plea-bargaining is truly in their clients’ best interests.
People facing criminal charges often accept plea deals without fully understanding the legal consequences of their actions simply because they are overwhelmed by the potential penalties they could face if convicted. People should not allow themselves to get bullied into accepting a plea deal simply because they do not understand their legal rights.
Contacting A Lawyer
People facing a criminal charge often feel helpless to defend themselves, and are overwhelmed by the potential consequences of a criminal conviction. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you in employing many possible defense strategies to protect your freedom and legal rights.
Do not delay in obtaining the legal help you need to give yourself the highest chance of obtaining a not guilty verdict. Contact an Atlanta criminal lawyer today.