Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are charged with a crime in Georgia, you may experience a variety of emotions such as fear, anxiety, or shame. The same may be true if you are merely named as a person of interest in a criminal investigation. However, the attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm may be able to help provide insight into what you may expect throughout the legal process. Furthermore, we may be able to use our knowledge and experience to craft a legal strategy that may result in an acquittal or all charges being dropped before trial.
How the Legal Process Typically Unfolds
Technically, the legal process begins the moment that you are contacted by authorities. This is because anything that you say or do from that point on may be used as justification to pursue criminal charges. In the event that you are charged with a crime, the first step is to take you into custody and to jail for processing.
At this point, you may have the option to secure your release by posting bail or bond. It’s also possible that you’ll be allowed to leave on your own recognizance, which means that the court trusts you to show up for court without the need for collateral.
If you are unable to bail out, you’ll be kept in custody until a judge changes his or her mind or the conclusion of your case. It’s worth noting that you may be able to secure a bail bond, which means that you only have to pay a portion of the amount owed to secure your release. That amount, though, will not be refunded at the conclusion of your case.
Whether you secure your release or not, you will need to see a judge to hear the charges against you and to enter a plea. Defendants typically plead not guilty unless they have already negotiated a deal with the state.
Assuming that you enter a not guilty plea, the next step is to hold pretrial hearings, set a trial date and select a jury. At any point beforeor during the trial, you may be offered a plea deal. If the deal is accepted, the case will go straight to the sentencing phase.
How an Attorney May Help During the Legal Process
A Georgia criminal defense attorney may take a number of steps to protect your rights while your case plays out. For instance, your representative may convince a judge to grant bail in your case or to lower the amount that you need to pay to obtain your release.
Furthermore, an attorney may accompany you to an interrogation or any other meeting where police, detectives, or other representatives of the state may be present. This may prevent you from saying anything that could be used against you in court. It may also prevent you from feeling pressured to speak when you would prefer to stay silent altogether.
If the government wants access to a phone, computer, or other items, your legal advocate will make sure that it is not obtained illegally. Your lawyer may also take steps to fight an order that may effectively require you to participate in the state’s investigation into your activities.
Finally, your attorney may be able to handle plea negotiations, obtain records, and interact with the media on your behalf. This will further ensure that you don’t do anything that could jeopardize your case and also allows you to focus on yourself and your family during a difficult time in your life.
The Cases We Handle
Our firm handles just about any type of criminal case that might be tried at the state level. Assault and battery, robbery, and drunk driving offenses are among the most common charges state prosecutors pursue. However, we can still help if you are charged with sex crimes, financial crimes, or violent crimes such as murder or manslaughter. It’s worth noting that crimes involving tax evasion or fraud may be handled by both state and federal authorities. The same may be true if you commit a crime in multiple states.
Our Firm Employs Many Former Federal Agents
If you hire our firm to handle your case, you can feel good knowing that you’ll likely be represented by someone who has spent time working with the federal government. This is important because they understand how prosecutors think, which allows them to gain insight into your case simply by watching what they do or don’t do. For example, if prosecutors offer you a plea bargain that reduces your charges to a misdemeanor instead of a felony, it may mean that the case against you is weak.
The fact that your attorney has experience working for the government means that they won’t be intimidated by a detective or the prosecutor in your case. Instead, your representative will use his or her knowledge and experience to take control of the case and ensure that your rights are respected and needs met while your matter is ongoing.
We Can Help After Your Case as Well
Despite our best efforts, there is a chance that the evidence in your case will be too strong to overcome. It’s also possible that actions taken before we were hired will undermine your legal position to the point where it’s difficult or impossible to get an acquittal. However, just because you were convicted in your original trial doesn’t mean that the verdict can’t or won’t be overturned.
You generally have the right to appeal the case all the way to the top court in the state. If necessary, you may have the right to take the matter to the Supreme Court of the United States, as well. Our team may be able to help you navigate the appeal process whether one of our attorneys represented you at trial or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a judge decide what my bail is?
A number of factors go into determining whether you are granted bail and how much you’ll need to post in order to go home before your trial. For instance, if you are charged with a serious crime like murder or rape, you’ll likely need to post a higher amount than you would if you were charged with petit larceny or misdemeanor assault. Your criminal history and potential to reoffend while out on bail will also determine how much you’ll need to pay to secure your freedom. It’s also possible that your income and flight risk may also play a role when setting bail.
What penalties might I face if convicted?
There are a number of penalties that you may face if convicted of a crime. For example, you could spend time in jail or prison, be placed on probation, or pay a fine. In addition, you may be required to perform community service or give up a professional license. You may also be forbidden from having contact with a victim and face financial hardship as your conviction makes it more difficult to secure a job.
Can I speak freely to my attorney?
Yes, nearly anything that you say to your attorney is considered confidential information under the attorney-client privilege. This means that the government can’t use your words against you at trial or at any other point in the legal process. This is true even if you admit to committing a crime or tell your attorney who actually did it. Ideally, you will be as open and honest with your legal representative as possible to make it easier for that person to do the best possible job protecting your interests.
Who represents me during my case?
As a general rule, an attorney is assigned to you at some point during or just after your initial consultation. The person who represents you will generally be the person who has a background in defending against the charge that you’re facing. For instance, if you are charged with theft, you’ll likely have an attorney who has tried similar cases in the past either as a defense attorney or a prosecutor. An individual may also be assigned to your case because that person is located in close proximity to the court that has jurisdiction over the matter.
Do I have to testify at my trial?
If your case goes to trial, you are under no obligation to testify. However, your attorney may advise you to do so in an effort to provide context that might make you look more sympathetic to jurors. Of course, you are allowed to testify in your defense whether or not your attorney believes it is a good idea to do so. It’s also worth noting that you may not be obligated to testify against your spouse during a criminal trial.
Contact Us Today
If you’re in need of a Georgia criminal defense attorney, call our nationwide hotline at 866-603-4540, or use our contact form.