When you’re facing criminal charges, it can be overwhelming and stressful, and it can feel as though the entire system is against you. Being convicted of a crime can result in short-term consequences, like jail time and fines, as well as long-term consequences, like years in prison and a permanent criminal record. The most effective way to avoid these devastating consequences is to work with a qualified Butts County criminal defense lawyer.
A lawyer can help you navigate the system and find defense strategies to get the charges you face dismissed or minimize the impact that they have on your future. There are multiple criminal defense strategies available, but each criminal case has unique circumstances and requires tailored legal counsel to determine an effective defense.
The team at Miller North & Brill has over 30 years of criminal defense experience, and we are dedicated to providing our community with a precise and effective legal defense. Our attorneys have state and federal court experience, and they are capable of handling many types of criminal cases.
We can use our knowledge and understanding of state and federal criminal laws to find an effective defense that mitigates your charges. If we are unable to get the charges against you dismissed, we can advocate for limited penalties and a path that favors rehabilitation over incarceration. We are also qualified appellate attorneys, and we could appeal the conviction of your case to a higher court in some circumstances.
If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Butts County, you want to work with an attorney who has experience in your type of charge and has worked in local courts. When an attorney has experience and success in your type of criminal charge, they have knowledge to work on, which can make your defense more effective.
At Miller North & Brill, we have experience in some of the following criminal cases:
Misdemeanors are the lesser type of criminal charge. They include crimes like low-cost shoplifting, criminal trespassing, loitering, and possession of small amounts of marijuana. There are two main forms of misdemeanor in Georgia. They include:
A misdemeanor’s imprisonment sentence could be suspended by the judge, depending on the circumstances, and replaced with alternative sentencing, like probation or community service. Although misdemeanors are frequently nonviolent and carry less severe penalties than felonies, the consequences of misdemeanors can still be significant. A misdemeanor conviction will result in a criminal record, which can affect you for the rest of your life.
Felony charges are usually violent or destructive crimes, and they result in sentences of 1 year or more in prison, up to life. Many felonies have mandatory minimum sentences that the judge must assign to the defendant if convicted.
Felony crimes include:
Charges could have mandatory minimum sentences ranging from 1 to 25 years in prison.
Whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, you will have a criminal record. A criminal record has much further-reaching consequences than most other criminal penalties. Even once you have paid a fine, ended incarceration, and completed probation, a criminal record can impact your life in many ways, including:
Certain criminal convictions can also impact your right to vote, your right to own firearms, or your immigration status. Very few criminal records are eligible for record restriction in the state, and no felony convictions can be restricted.
The average cost of a criminal defense attorney in Georgia is $200 an hour. However, this cost varies significantly based on several factors. These include:
When you speak with a potential attorney, it is important to discuss costs with them. Be aware that experienced attorneys may have a higher hourly rate, but they can be more effective at crafting your defense. However, a high rate does not necessarily equal experience.
In Georgia, the court has 4 years to indict a felony. Indictments are typically necessary for capital felonies. They occur when the prosecutor brings the changes before a grand jury, and the jury determines if there is sufficient evidence to bring formal charges against the defendant. An indictment is not a conviction; it simply begins the process of charging and beginning a criminal case. Once an indictment has passed, there is no longer a timeframe for the prosecution.
There are statutes of limitations on when the state can press charges, but once charges have been pressed and an arrest warrant has been filed, the arrest warrant does not expire. An arrest warrant is no longer in effect only if it is recalled by a judge or served to the defendant. Because an arrest warrant does not expire, a defendant can be arrested at any point after one is issued, and they may not know that there are charges against them.
Yes, first-time felony offenders who are convicted serve their sentence. However, under Georgia’s First Offender Act, first-time felony offenders may be able to avoid a conviction by pleading guilty or no contest. A defendant may only qualify for this program if they:
The court or prosecuting attorney may still require the defendant to complete their sentence, even if they qualify for the First Offender Act.
Miller North & Brill understands that the criminal justice system frequently treats individuals unfairly, and we want to combat that by diligently working to uphold real justice. We believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we strive to advocate for your rights when you are faced with criminal charges. Contact our team today to learn how we can begin building your defense.
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