No one intends for it to happen, but sometimes life comes at you the wrong way and you find yourself facing criminal charges. Even if the offense seems to be a minor one, it is important to understand the charges and the possible effects. It is also crucial to comply with deadlines and requirements and to avoid taking actions or making statements that could jeopardize your case.

For the best chance of success, it is a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A Chamblee criminal lawyer can guide you through the legal process and work as your advocate.

Common Criminal Offenses

Georgia statutes define numerous types of crimes, but some offenses are more common than others in Chamblee. Frequently charged offenses in local courts include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Drug crimes
  • Assault and Battery
  • Theft
  • Gun crimes
  • Fraud and white-collar crimes
  • Domestic violence offenses

Different Levels of Courts and Offenses

In Georgia, an offense can be referred to as a citation, a misdemeanor, or a felony. Citations are the most minor, including many traffic offenses. Misdemeanors are criminal offenses and may be punishable by as much as a year in jail and heavy fines, but are not treated as seriously as felony offenses, which carry the highest penalties and the most additional consequences.

When a case is heard in court, the term can refer to several different venues. DeKalb County alone has Superior Court, Juvenile Court, Magistrate Court, Probate Court, and State Court, within which are the Jury and Traffic Divisions as well as DUI Court. In addition, Chamblee has a Municipal Court and there are other federal and state courts. Speak with a Chamblee criminal lawyer to learn more.

Criminal Penalties

As mentioned above, felony offenses are the most serious and carry the most severe penalties. Violent offenses, especially those committed with the use of a firearm, generally have the potential for the longest terms of imprisonment, including life sentences or the possibility of the death penalty for the most egregious offenses. These include murder, kidnapping, and rape. Sentences for other violent offenses will vary depending on circumstances such as the use of a weapon, causation of injury, and the existence of prior offenses. A range of one to 20 years is common.

Crimes involving property such as burglary and shoplifting are generally penalized based on the value of the property taken and the existence of prior similar offenses. Sentences range from less than a year for a first-time shoplifting offense to as much as 20 years for robbery or burglary, which involve taking property by force or intimidation or by breaking into the property of another.

Penalties for DUI, drug offenses and many other crimes also increase substantially when the individual charged was previously convicted of a similar offense. In addition to incarceration, courts often impose heavy fines, community service requirements, and probation restrictions. Moreover, the consequences of a criminal offense extend beyond the official penalties. A criminal record can negatively impact financial matters, housing, employment, and even social relationships. A person should contact a Chamblee criminal lawyer if facing such penalties.

Ask an Experienced Chamblee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges, talk to a Chamblee criminal lawyer who understands how courts have applied the laws in circumstances similar to yours and who can devise the most effective defense strategy.

An attorney can review the facts of your case and help you determine your options. The consultation is free, so call now to find out how our experience can help move you toward the best possible resolution.