A criminal conviction commonly jeopardizes relationships, employment, and financial well-being. The possibility of a criminal conviction, after being charged with a criminal offense, can also put an individual’s life on hold because it may result in a suspension from work, be the catalyst for a custody agreement not being finalized, and/or bar a person from spending time with friends and/or family in law enforcement.

When you are facing criminal charge, it is important to have a compassionate and capable attorney that understands the charges that you are facing, your goals, and that can give you a realistic assessment of your case. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the Sandy Springs, contact an experienced Sandy Springs criminal lawyer to ensure that you appropriately manage the imminent risks that you are facing.

Misdemeanors and Felonies

There are two classifications of criminal offenses in Georgia – misdemeanor and felony offenses. A misdemeanor offense is punishable with up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000. Aggravated misdemeanor offenses are elevated criminal charges that do not rise to a felony, but are punished with more severity than other misdemeanor offenses. They are punishable with up to one year in jail and fines up to $5,000.

When the incarceration penalty is less than six months, judges have the discretion to allow the sentence to be served during the individual’s non-working hours to allow them to preserve employment.

Unlike other misdemeanor offenses, if an individual is convicted of an aggravated misdemeanor, they are required to serve the majority of the incarceration sentence. Felony offenses are more serious criminal acts that are punished with, at least, one year in prison and $1,000 or more in fines. The potential penalty for each crime is dependent on the specific crime for which the accused is charged. In Sandy Springs and throughout Georgia, the penalty for felony offenses can range from one year and one day in prison to a lifetime. A Sandy Springs criminal attorney can work diligently to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.

Mandatory Minimums

Unlike some other jurisdictions, Georgia does require judges to follow mandatory minimum sentencing for violent felony offenses, which allows the sentence to be based on the totality of the circumstances.

Mandatory minimum sentence not only removes the judge’s ability to consider mitigating factors, which is information that the court may find justifies reduced sentencing, such as the background of the defendant and cooperation with the police, among other factors, the court is prohibited from considering only the factors of the pending case in sentencing.

Working With a Sandy Springs Criminal Attorney

Sandy Springs prosecutors are not obligated to be lenient with first-time offenders or any other individuals that are charged with criminal offenses. Moreover, while the law is the same throughout Georgia, every jurisdiction has local customs so a charge that may be commonly reduced for first-time offenders in one jurisdiction in the state may be prosecuted with no leniency in another.

Further, being charged with a criminal offense can have a negative impact on your daily life. The criminal charge alone requires that an individual be available for hearings, without regard to the person’s work schedule or other life events, which may result in an issue with an employer, or could negatively affect vacation plans, school, family, and friends.

Sandy Springs also prosecutes ordinance violations where the penalty can be up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine. Since the consequences for being charged alone can significantly impact a your life, it is imperative that after being charged, you contact a skilled and trustworthy Sandy Springs criminal lawyer as soon as you can.