Monroe County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney

When you or a loved one has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, it is essential to take steps to secure effective legal counsel. Without a Monroe County criminal defense lawyer, facing criminal charges is much more likely to lead to a conviction and severe penalties. Even if you did not commit the crime and are confident that there is no evidence against you, this does not always mean that the charges will be dismissed. You need an experienced attorney by your side.

A criminal conviction can result in jail time, prison time, fines, and probation. It also results in a criminal record, which can impact you for your entire life. The criminal justice system is often overwhelming and can feel set against you. A defense attorney ensures that there is someone in your corner. Your attorney can advocate for you and try to find the ideal outcome, with the fewest penalties, to your criminal charges.

Monroe County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Miller North & Brill

Every criminal defense case is unique, and each requires an in-depth understanding of the state and federal laws that apply. At Miller North & Brill, we have more than 30 years of experience in criminal law in both state and federal courts. Our attorneys are dedicated to each client and work hard to determine the most effective legal defense for their unique situation.

We are proud to serve our communities around Monroe County, and our attorneys do not look away from complex and serious charges like manslaughter, repeat DUIs, aggravated battery, sexual assault, or murder. Our firm knows that the consequences of these charges are life-altering for our clients and their loved ones, and we strive to provide them with the support and legal care they need. We believe that everyone deserves strong legal representation.

Our team of criminal defense lawyers aims to create an effective defense for the charges you face, advocating for the dismissal of the charges or lowered penalties. If you are convicted, our team is experienced in criminal conviction appeals, and your case could be appealed to a higher court.

What Are the Consequences of a Criminal Record?

A conviction for either a misdemeanor or a felony results in a criminal record. Unlike other criminal consequences, a criminal record can affect you for the rest of your life, even once you have completed your sentence. The negative consequences of a criminal record may include:

  • Losing your job
  • Preventing you from attaining certain job opportunities
  • Barring you from certain fields of employment
  • Impacting your ability to obtain housing
  • Making it harder to obtain loans
  • Limiting your acceptance to schooling

Some serious convictions impact other parts of your life, including your right to vote, your right to own or use firearms, and your immigration status. Although select misdemeanor convictions could be restricted in Georgia, no felony convictions can be.

Criminal Defense Cases Our Firm Has Experience With

There are several benefits to working with a criminal defense attorney who has experience in cases like yours. The attorney likely knows the common defenses for your charges and the evidence the prosecution needs for a strong case. They may be able to achieve a beneficial conclusion to your case more efficiently.

At Miller North & Brill, our attorneys have experience with defending against some of the following criminal charges in Monroe County:

  • Drug Offenses: Drug crimes include trafficking, manufacture, distribution, and possession. The movement, cultivation, and sale of illegal drugs, prescription medications, and similar controlled substances are strictly penalized in our criminal justice system. Most drug crimes are charged as felonies, and some severe drug trafficking charges have mandatory minimum sentences of up to 25 years. The penalties for drug crimes depend on the type and amount of controlled substance involved.
  • Theft: Theft crimes include shoplifting, petty larceny, and grand larceny. Theft of an item or items valued at $1,500 or less is charged as a misdemeanor, while theft of items valued at more than $1,500 is charged as a felony. If you have two prior misdemeanor theft convictions, the following conviction is charged as a felony. Other aggravating factors that influence the severity of your penalties include whether you have a criminal record or used a deadly weapon or firearm during the commission of the theft.
  • DUI: A DUI (driving under the influence) is treated very seriously in Monroe County, and a conviction can result in hundreds to thousands in fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension for months to years, and probation. You can be convicted of a DUI even if you were not over the legal limit of drugs or alcohol as long as you were under the influence to the point of impairment. If you are convicted of a first-time DUI, but a child was in the vehicle, or you caused a crash where someone was injured or killed, it is charged as a felony. Repeated DUI offenses will have more severe consequences.
  • Domestic Violence: These crimes occur when any act of violence is committed against members of the same household, family members by blood or marriage, or against romantic or sexual partners. There are many forms of violence that are considered domestic violence crimes, including sexual assault, rape, battery, assault, and false imprisonment. These crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, and they can have other consequences, like losing child custody.
  • Kidnapping: Kidnapping can result in between 10 and 20 years in prison, with 10 years being a mandatory minimum sentence. If the kidnapped person is under the age of 14 years, the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years. In addition to criminal penalties, you may face civil penalties.
  • Sex Offenses: Sex offenses include indecent exposure, engaging in sex acts in public view, pandering, prostitution, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual crimes involving children. Most convictions for sex offenses require you to register as a sex offender. A conviction for sex crimes also results in significant personal and professional consequences, in addition to fines and incarceration.
  • Violent Crimes: Violent crimes include assault, battery, aggravated assault or battery, armed robbery, murder, manslaughter, and gang-affiliated violent crimes. Violent crimes are typically charged as felonies and carry heavy penalties.
  • White Collar Crimes: These crimes are typically non-violent but result in significant financial consequences. White-collar crimes include many types of fraud, like wire fraud, mail fraud, tax fraud, and credit card fraud. Other types of offenses include bribery, money laundering, racketeering, and insider trading. In addition to criminal charges, you may face civil claims. A conviction for these crimes can also result in professional consequences.

The most effective way to mitigate the penalties you face, reach the most positive solution, or even have the charges against you dropped is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

FAQs About Monroe County, GA Criminal Defense Laws

How Much Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Charge Per Hour in Georgia?

In Georgia, the average hourly cost of a criminal defense attorney is $200. This cost can vary based on many factors, including:

  • How much experience a specific criminal defense attorney has in criminal law and in cases like yours
  • Where the firm is located and its specific fee policies
  • Whether your case is expected to go to trial or be dismissed
  • How complex your unique charges are to raise a defense and investigate
  • Whether the additional costs of expert witnesses are needed for your case

Be sure to discuss fees with a potential attorney prior to working with them.

What Defense Might Work in a Georgia Court?

The defense that will work for a criminal charge depends entirely on the unique circumstances and charges you face. Some defenses may include:

  • A lack of evidence
  • Constitutional rights violations during arrest
  • Illegally obtained evidence
  • An alibi
  • Affirmative defenses, like self-defense and under the influence

Some defenses can result in dropped charges. Your defense attorney has the essential experience and resources to determine the ideal defense for your situation.

How Long Does the State of Georgia Have to Indict Someone?

Georgia law gives the state prosecutor four years to indict a felony. Indictments are typically only for capital felonies, which include felonies with the death penalty. If the case is not brought before a grand jury in those four years, the case expires. The grand jury will determine if there is enough evidence to file charges against the defendant. An indictment is not a conviction. If the grand jury decides that formal charges can be brought, the prosecution no longer has to meet the statute of limitations.

What Is the Necessity Defense in Georgia?

A necessity defense is an affirmative defense in Georgia against criminal charges. It claims that the defendant had good cause to commit the crime. This is different from self-defense, as the necessary defense is typically for less serious and non-violent charges. For example, the crime of trespassing or driving without a license could use the necessity defense. An individual must have good cause, reason, or fear of danger to commit these crimes for the necessary defense to work.

Advocating for Your Rights Against Criminal Prosecution

The sooner you begin working with a qualified criminal defense lawyer in Monroe County, the sooner they can begin investigating your case and arrest to determine the defenses available. At Miller North & Brill, we strive to bring you the justice you deserve. Contact us today to determine how we can help with your criminal defense.

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