Cobb County Misdemeanor & Felony Charge Attorneys
We Handle Criminal Cases of All Kinds
Being arrested can be a frightening and confusing experience, and one that can change your life significantly. If you or a loved one has been arrested, you will be facing the prospect of jail time, steep fines, probation, and other penalties if you are convicted. You will need the skillful help of an attorney to help fight the charges against you. Without an excellent legal team on your side, your livelihood and freedom are at serious risk.
Possible Outcomes of Misdemeanor & Felony Charges
Classification is an important factor to consider when dealing with criminal charges. Misdemeanors are seen as lighter offenses that generally do not result in jail time. If jail time is given, it is usually under one year. These cases are generally processed through the state courts. If your county has a lower population, then the case may start in probate court and end up in superior court. Meanwhile, felony crimes often produce prison sentences, or even the death penalty, where applicable. Cases go through the superior courts. The specifics will vary according to the laws that apply to each offense.
Judges take a bird’s eye view of the facts when deciding the appropriate sentence. They are provided with a lot of leeway in this regard. Statutes often state the maximum prison sentence that may be imposed for a particular crime, but it is up to the judge to determine whether the offender deserves the full duration or just a portion of it.
Misdemeanor sentencing is usually decided quickly, with the sentence handed down right after the defendant has been found guilty of the charge. In some instances, this could be prolonged to allow for consultation with experts and stakeholders. Attorneys must be able to state their arguments on a reasonable sentence, if given the chance.
Felonies carry heavier penalties, so judges are more careful when making their decisions. They will often rely on a presentence investigation to get all the facts straightened out. Interviews with relevant individuals, such as the offender, the family, the employer, and so forth, can be included. The report that will come out of this, as well as the recommendation made by the probation officer, will carry significant weight. However, the judge still has the sole power to decide on the case.
Interviews, details like the offender’s drug and alcohol test results, ties to the community, employment history, financial records, criminal history, residential status, and so forth may be included.
The presiding judge may opt to send the guilty party into probation. For the meantime, the prison sentence is suspended, and the offender is expected to follow the rules set for this time period. Those who wish to avoid jail would be wise to adhere to these rules. Misdemeanor charges may result in unsupervised probation, wherein the periodic reporting of activities to the assigned officer is a must. This can be done through mail for convenience. Supervised probation, meanwhile, entails actual meetings with the officer, typically on a monthly basis. Testing and monitoring are far stricter.
Whether a person gets supervised or unsupervised probation will depend largely on the circumstances surrounding the case. Each will have its own unique set of terms and conditions. Some people may be barred from going out of the state. Others may be required to undergo therapy, drug testing, anger management classes, or educational programs. Completing all the requirements with a clean sheet will entitle the individual to be discharged from probation and live as normal. Failure to do so, on the other hand, will result in a renewed case and a possible activation of the prison sentence.
The criminal justice system is careful to distinguish first-time offenders from repeat offenders. Individuals of the former kind that are seen to be nonviolent may be treated more leniently. Those that qualify could be entered into a diversion program, which is basically a probationary period that ends in dropped charges upon successful completion. There are different types, depending on the situation. Minors aged 17 to 21 can go through a pretrial diversion program so their criminal record can stay clean once they have finished it. There is a drug-dependent program for people battling addictions who are sent to rehabilitation facilities.
Diversion programs are quite useful for those facing misdemeanors and felony charges, in that they help defendants avoid jail, as well as blemishes on their criminal record. Note, however, that there are stringent rules that govern them. Only certain people may qualify.
Defense lawyers will look into all angles to provide the best possible representation and results in court. Facing criminal charges can be daunting, but these offenses do not have to result in jail time. With the right approach, the sentence may be trimmed down significantly.
Those who have misdemeanor and felony charges should contact our law firmfor a free consultation.
What Exactly Is a Felony?
The federal government defines felony charges as a crime punishable by at least one year in prison. They are considered to be serious crimes that cause severe harm to another person or to property.
Some common crimes that are classified as felony charges include:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Grand theft
- Drug crimes
Repeat offenses on more minor misdemeanor charges can also sometimes lead to felony convictions.
Consequences if Convicted
Felony charges carry heavy penalties.
In addition to prison time, fines, and restitution, if convicted, you may also face:
- Community service
- Loss of your right to own a gun for life
- Loss of your right to vote while imprisoned
- Restrictions and bans on certain financial aid and education opportunities
- Loss of your privilege to drive a motor vehicle
- Difficulty in finding employment in many fields
Felony charges can completely turn your life upside-down. Finding a job after a felony conviction can be very difficult, so providing for a family can be a real challenge. It is thus very important to contact an attorney before you are convicted.
The Felony Process in Georgia
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