There is a point system for traffic violations in GA, ranging from possessing an alcoholic beverage while driving (2 points), to passing a school bus (6 points) or exceeding the speed limit by 34 mph or more (6 points). Don’t take a chance on defending yourself. A lawyer can make you aware of your rights and help minimize your points.
Aggravated assault and battery are serious allegations, which cover the following acts: physically attacking a person; threatening to cause bodily harm; assaulting with a deadly weapon; and an intent to commit battery.
Simple assault, an ATTEMPT to inflict injury on another, is a misdemeanor crime which also carries a maximum of one year incarceration and/or a $1,000 fine.
There is a broad range of serious consequences for aggravated assault, depending on the specificity of the crime. For instance, if the assault is against a police officer, you would face five to twenty years in prison. If the victim is over the age of 65 or if the assault is of domestic nature, the range is three to twenty years. In a situation that involves assault with the robbery of a commercial vehicle, you would face a prison term of five to twenty years and a fine of $50,000 to $200,000.
In a situation where someone enters a home without the owner’s authority, WITHOUT committing a theft or felony, the offender is guilty of “criminal trespass,” as a worst-case scenario. This is a misdemeanor charge. If the offender entered and took property, however, then the offense becomes a burglary and the offender could be tried and sentenced on both the burglary charge and the theft charge. The burglary is a felony, and the theft could also be prosecuted as a felony, or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the taken items.
If a person has touched you, intending harm or intimidation and restraint to your body, you should report it to the police. Victims of domestic violence can get a temporary restraining order, and the courts can decide custody and child support issues, etc. There are also people wrongfully accused of such violence, and the lawyer’s job is to strip away the emotionalism of the issue, and get down to the facts.
Stalking, with the definition of continually following, calling, or harassing someone for the purpose of intimidation, is a crime, and it can be the basis of relief in a family violence case.
Cruel treatment is one of the 13 grounds for divorce in Georgia. It consists of intentional infliction of bodily or mental pain upon the plaintiff.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors by either one or both partners in an intimate relationship, such as through marriage, dating, cohabitation, friends, or family. Depending on the severity and duration of the violence, it may or may not be constituted as a crime. For those who are wrongfully accused, your defense attorney can fight false allegations. For those in dangerous situations, as a victim of the violence, your attorney can help you get a temporary restraining order issued by the courts. Custody and child support, possession of the family home, and alimony can be decided upon by the court system.
Drug crimes are the abuse or use of substances such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, morphine, heroin, or abuse of prescription drugs such as painkillers in the form of using, possessing, distributing or manufacturing such drugs. Such convictions can carry long prison terms and high fines. This is an obvious concern for our communities and one of the many areas that this firm is committed. By identifying the reasons or underlying causes of your arrest, including drug abuse and addiction, your attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Felonies are crimes including battery, arson, burglary, aggravated assault (using a deadly weapon), grand theft, robbery, murder, vandalism on federal property, rape, etc. Felonies carry the strongest penalties and are more severe than misdemeanors or infractions. Convicted felons, or those people convicted of felonies, may be prohibited from certain occupations, such as a teacher, lawyer, or military person; from owning guns; etc. For sex offenders, those people must register as such.
Juvenile crimes are defined as illegal or antisocial behavior committed by adolescents/children under the age of 18. Some of these charges are vandalism, gang activity, assault/battery, underage drinking, and theft.
There are many reasons as to why juveniles enter into risky, criminal activity, including family factors (parental abuse, neglect, separation), untreated mental disorders, a lack of self control and high impulsiveness, etc. A hired defense attorney can help someone charged with such crimes and assist them at acquiring a second chance at life.
A misdemeanor is a less severe criminal act, normally punished less than felonies, but more than infractions, or “regulatory offenses.” Most misdemeanors are punishable with monetary fines. Examples of misdemeanors are prostitution, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, vandalism, trespass, drug possession, reckless driving, and petty theft.
In 2008, the Georgia legislature made penalties for those driving without a license, or one that is not valid (revoked or suspended). The offender must now serve two days in jail and pay a minimum of a $500.00 fine.
Property crimes are shoplifting, petty or grand larceny, bouncing or forging checks, burglary, embezzlement/employee theft, auto theft, receiving stolen goods, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property, arson, or vandalism. The need for a good defense attorney is crucial when handling allegations of such crimes. Property crimes do NOT involve force or threat of such against a victim. In 2008, there were over 388,000 property crimes in Georgia. This category had the highest number of crimes for the population. Obviously this is a serious issue, and one that needs representation and the defense of an attorney.
Robbery is trying to forcibly take something valuable, thus putting the victim in fear of his/her life. Robbery carries a sentence of at least one, but not more than 20 years. Whether you have been arrested for robbery, or are the victim of a robbery, you need a lawyer to help defend your rights.
A defendant charged with a sex crime is someone who has been charged with a sexual offense, including assault, rape, child molestation and/or pornography, and indecent exposure. Some sex crimes are violent crimes, involving sexual exploitation, while others are in the form of exhibitionism.
Upon accusation of such crimes, it is extremely important to contact a defense attorney to avoid making costly mistakes, such as prematurely giving information to friends or family, who may in turn be charged with criminal activity by their knowledge of your situation.
The consequences of being charged with a sex crime, or being labeled as a sex offender in Georgia, means more than simple prison time. Public places, employers, schools, etc. must be notified of your presence once there is a decision of guilt by the court system and you have been required to register as a sex offender.
Theft crimes are the illegal taking of another person’s property without their consent. In some jurisdictions, it is synonymous with larceny. There are many ways to commit shoplifting. The offender is intending to take the item without paying for it, or to deprive the owner of all or some of their goods’ value by concealing the goods, transferring the good from one container to another, changing a price tag from one item to another, or wrongfully causing the wrong price to be charged. Under Georgia shoplifting laws, if you are convicted of such crimes with items valuing less than $300, it carries a charge of a misdemeanor with one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. The punishments increase with each subsequent offense. If the value of the item(s) is over $300, you will be charged with a felony and face one to ten years in prison.
White collar crimes are the act of taking money or property from others by use of fraud and deception. White collar crimes are committed by someone of high social status in his career; someone of high respectability.
White collar crimes include insurance, securities, mortgage, and internet fraud. Other examples are embezzlement, identity and credit card theft, fraud, and the writing of bad checks. It is important to get legal advice upon receiving a subpoena, getting a phone call from an investigator, or finding someone’s home or business being searched by the state.
The typical steps in a criminal proceeding are: for minor offenses, the charged can often call the court to find out the amount of the fine, plead guilty and send in their payment; or, if s(he) wants to plead not guilty and have a hearing, s(he) has to show up at the assigned hearing. The person may represent himself at this hearing, or have an attorney represent him.
For felony and misdemeanor proceedings, the process is more complex. Your attorney can be with you throughout the whole proceeding or you may waive the right and represent yourself. After the crime is committed, it is reported and investigated, and the person is arrested. When booking occurs, there is a recording of the defendant’s name, crime he/she is charged with, and the phone number, address, photograph and fingerprints of the accused.
Once the defendant is in court and enters a plea of either guilty, not guilty or no contest, s(he) is presented with a written accusation explaining the facts of the crime and his/her involvement in the crime. This accusation can be presented by a grand jury, prosecutor or a police officer. If the plea is not guilty, a date for trial is set.
Either bail is set or the defendant must be “detained” (kept in jail until trial). Bail can range anywhere from being released on your own recognizance, to posting thousands of dollars. If a higher amount is set for bail, a bail bondsman is often called to provide the payment in exchange for a lien against property as collateral, and a fee. Bail is forfeited if the defendant does not show up at the next hearing.
A preliminary hearing is where a judge decides whether the defendant should be held for trial. The prosecution has the burden of providing enough evidence to the judge that a crime did occur and the defendant did commit the crime.
In a criminal trial there are opening statements, the examination of witnesses and evidence, closing statements given, instructions for the jury, a rendered verdict after deliberation, and a verdict entered. Upon completion, the defendant may try a post trial motion (a motion for a new trial).
When the defendant is found guilty, a hearing is set to determine the sentence. The sentencing reports factor in prior payment of restitution or other crime convictions. These are often submitted to the judge and the judge pronounces judgment at a sentencing hearing. Other times, a jury or sentencing council will render the sentence.
The sentencing possibilities are 1)to be ordered to pay a fine, 2) to be released but with specific terms of probation, or 3) to be sent directly to jail. If the probation terms are violated, the probation can be revoked and the person will be sent to jail.
After conviction, the defendant has appellate proceeding which can be available to decide whether all substantive [actual claims and defenses] and procedural law [rules of the court to try to ensure due process] have been properly conducted at trial.