Being arrested and charged with a crime can be one of the scariest times in your life. The consequences of a conviction can also be catastrophic. As a result, you need a compassionate and aggressive legal defense to protect your freedom and reputation. While we represent Georgia defendants for a wide range of criminal charges, some of the most common cases we handle include:
- Murder, including voluntary and involuntary manslaughter,
- Burglary and theft,
- Forgery and fraud, including deposit account fraud,
- Drug offenses, including possession, distribution, and manufacturing charges, and minors charged with possession of a controlled substance,
- Traffic offenses like reckless driving, vehicular homicide, aggressive driving, and minor traffic offenses,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Probation violations,
- Assault, including simple assault, battery, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery, and
- Family violence, including violence against a child, parent, spouse, or other family member living in the same household.
In Georgia, we have misdemeanor crimes, felonies, infractions, and some crimes that the police can charge as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.
Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by one year or less in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Any time spent incarcerated is typically in a county or local jail. While misdemeanors aren't typically as serious as felonies, a misdemeanor conviction can still come with serious consequences, particularly concerning misdemeanors of a “high and aggravated” nature. Misdemeanors are not “minor” in Georgia and often result in jail time and a criminal record, which can impact your future job prospects and more.
Felonies are more serious than misdemeanor crimes and typically can involve prison time of more than one year. Unlike in many states, Georgia doesn't assign crimes to classes of felonies. Instead, a judge assigns each sentence depending on the case. Georgia punishes the most severe crimes, like murder with a life sentence or the death penalty. Other serious crimes, like armed robbery, kidnapping, and sexual assault, carry sentences of ten to 25 years in prison.
The police can charge some crimes as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the crime and any aggravating factors. We call these crimes wobblers. In Georgia, a judge can sentence a defendant convicted of any felony with a sentence of ten years or less to a misdemeanor sentence instead of a felony sentence. See Ga. Code Ann. § 17-10-5 (2018).
Our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you're arrested, it's important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, but you do need legal counsel immediately. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Kirk Law Firm, P.C., can help protect your rights. Contact us at 678-208-3366 or online to schedule a confidential consultation.