Butts County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Butts County Criminal Defense Attorney

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.

Butts County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Miller North & Brill: Criminal Defense Attorneys in Butts County

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.

Criminal Defense Cases That Our Firm Has Handled

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:

  • Drug Crimes: These crimes include drug possession and drug trafficking. The penalties associated with a drug crime depend on the type of controlled substance involved, the amount of controlled substance, and the crime being committed. Most drug crimes are charged as felonies.
  • Theft: Theft crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of what was stolen. Aggravating factors, such as the use of firearms or deadly weapons, an existing criminal history, or the theft being committed at the same time as other crimes, can increase the penalties associated with a charge.
  • DUI: Driving under the influence, or DUI, means driving while using drugs or alcohol to the point of impairment or over the legal limit. Aggravating factors in a DUI include prior convictions for DUIs, an injury or death caused by a DUI accident, or having a child in the vehicle. These aggravating factors make even a first-offense DUI a felony.
  • Domestic Violence: This includes any act of violence against family members, partners, or members of the household. Crimes could include sexual assault, false imprisonment, and assault.
  • Kidnapping: Kidnapping conviction is a felony and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Kidnapping is charged when a defendant brings another individual to a location against their will, which is a different charge from false imprisonment.
  • Sex Crimes: Sex crimes come with criminal charges and social, professional, and personal reputational consequences. A conviction often results in registration as a sex offender. These crimes include public indecency, prostitution, sexual assault, and child-related sex offenses.
  • Violent Crimes: Violent crimes are usually felony charges. They include assault, battery, manslaughter, and murder charges. Violent crime also refers to gang-related charges, armed robbery, and other crimes with deadly weapons.
  • White Collar Crimes: White-collar crimes include embezzlement, insider trading, racketeering, money laundering, and different forms of fraud. These crimes are typically non-violent, but they may be connected to other criminal actions. When an individual faces these criminal charges, they may also face civil claims from those who were financially harmed.

Misdemeanor Charges and Penalties

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:

  • Regular Misdemeanor: These charges result in penalties of up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000
  • High and Aggravated Misdemeanor: These charges also result in up to 1 year in jail, but they may have fines of up to $5,000

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 and Penalties

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:

  • Theft of high-value items
  • Burglary
  • Aggravated DUIs
  • Repeat DUIs
  • Possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana
  • Possession of any amount of other types of controlled substances
  • Drug trafficking
  • Some sexual assault crimes
  • Aggravated assault,
  • Aggravated battery

Charges could have mandatory minimum sentences ranging from 1 to 25 years in prison.

Consequences of a Criminal Record in Butts County

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:

  • Costing you your job
  • Limiting you from employment opportunities
  • Impacting your housing approval
  • Preventing you from obtaining loans
  • Impacting your educational opportunities

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.

FAQs About Butts County, GA Criminal Defense Laws

How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in Georgia?

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:

  • The attorney’s level of experience, both in criminal law and in the unique charges you face
  • The firm’s policies and the location of the firm
  • The severity of the criminal charges you face
  • How complex the case is to investigate and defend
  • Whether the criminal case is expected to go to trial or be dismissed
  • If expert witnesses are needed for the case

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.

How Long Do They Have to Indict You in Georgia?

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.

Do Warrants Expire in Georgia?

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.

Do First-Time Felony Offenders Go to Jail in Georgia?

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:

  • Do not have prior felony convictions in any state
  • Have not been charged under the First Offender Act
  • Are being charged with a crime other than a violent felony, sexual offense, DUI, or child pornography

The court or prosecuting attorney may still require the defendant to complete their sentence, even if they qualify for the First Offender Act.

Defending Your Rights Against Criminal Charges With an Experienced Defense Attorney

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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