Swingle Levin LLC: Your Athens Violent Crimes Attorney

Athens Violent Crimes Lawyer

Being indicted for a violent criminal offense can wreak havoc on your life, especially if it involves a minor. A violent crime is any criminal act that involves the use of force, threats of force, or weapons and usually results in bodily injury.

If you are accused of or charged with a violent crime in Athens, GA, you must seek the help of an experienced attorney. Those accused of committing violent crimes are judged by people even before they are pronounced guilty, which can have a profound effect on your life.

Criminal defense attorneys with experience in defending violent crimes can protect your rights throughout the criminal process and defend you in court. They are familiar with the different defenses that can get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Contact Swingle Levin LLC today for distinguished counsel in your case. Together, Adam Levin and Ryan Swingle have been defending those accused and charged with capital crimes for over 35 years. They will do everything possible to get you a favorable outcome.

Violent Crimes in Georgia Law

According to Georgia criminal law O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.1(a), a serious violent felony includes the following crimes:

  • Murder
  • Rape and other sex crimes
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated sodomy
  • Aggravated child molestation
  • Armed robbery
  • Aggravated assault

Penalties for Violent Crimes in Georgia

Depending on the offense and the specifics of the case, a violent offender can receive the following penalties upon conviction:

Death Penalty

The death penalty is the most severe in Georgia. The only crime in Georgia which realistically carries a potential death sentence is murder. Death is listed as a potential punishment for other crimes, but the U.S. Supreme Court has limited that punishment to murder and only for certain, egregious murders.

Life Imprisonment

A more common sentence for a serious violent crime is life imprisonment. In Georgia, a life sentence with the possibility of parole means that you will serve 30 years before you are eligible for parole. You may not get parole after 30 years, but that is when you can first be considered for parole. A sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole means that you will never be released from prison.

Probation

A judge may sentence a person to probation for a violent felony in addition to prison time. Usually, the convicted violent offender must serve at least the minimum sentence followed by probation. For example, sex crimes and the kidnapping of minors under 14 can result in a minimum of 25 years in prison followed by probation for life.

Fines and Restitution

Violent crime can lead to significant fines that vary depending on the circumstances but can go as high as $100,000. The court may order restitution on top of fines to compensate for a victim’s medical expenses, damaged property, or court costs.

The Criminal Process for Violent Crimes Athens, GA

If you are suspected of committing a violent crime in Georgia, you will go through the following process:

Investigation

During the criminal investigation, you may be interviewed by the police. Invoking your constitutional right to remain silent and ask for an attorney is crucial. Your rights may be violated, and you may be manipulated or coerced into making incriminating statements. During the investigation phase, police may also seek search warrants for your home, cell-phone records, social media accounts, and any other digital or personal property associated with you.

Arrest

If the police have probable cause to believe you are responsible for the crime, they may seek a warrant for your arrest. In Georgia, you will be brought before a magistrate judge within 72 hours of your arrest. Depending on the charge, you may have a bond set by a magistrate judge at your first appearance hearing. Some charges, however, can only have a bond set by a superior court judge, which may take substantially longer than a magistrate judge. You must be granted a bond if your case is not indicted within 90 days. This is true even for a murder charge.

Arraignment

This is when you are presented with formal charges as an indictment or an accusation. You will usually enter a not-guilty plea at this stage, though you can change that plea later. Historically, arraignment was a really important hearing, but it is now not as important. Many courts let us waive a client’s presence at arraignment and enter a not-guilty plea on their behalf.

Pretrial proceedings

Before the trial, the prosecution and defense attend discovery and motion hearings to assess the validity of the charges and to address statutory and constitutional issues that may arise in your case.

Trial

If your case proceeds to trial, both the prosecution and the defense will have an opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Only the prosecution is required to present evidence. It is their job to try to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest standard of proof in the criminal justice system.

Why You Need a Violent Criminal Defense Attorney in Athens, Georgia

You need to consult a criminal defense lawyer immediately if you are facing charges for a violent crime in Athens, Georgia. A competent defense lawyer in this area will protect your rights throughout the legal process and give you much-needed guidance. Without a skilled attorney, your rights can be violated without your knowledge.

Moreover, the criminal process in Georgia is long and complex and includes several stages. You’ll need a highly-qualified violent crimes attorney who is familiar with:

  • Pretrial and evidentiary hearings
  • Trial motions
  • Constitutional rights
  • Georgia criminal code
  • Negotiating with the prosecution

A violent crime conviction can have severe consequences and lifelong repercussions. So, you don’t have to face this alone. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will do everything in their power to bring you an acquittal or reduce your charges.

Contact Our Athens Violent Crimes Attorney Today

You will need a strong representation and defense to walk free from a violent crime charge in Georgia. Swingle Law LLC has a proven track record in defending those accused and charged with violent crimes. Whether it’s a sex crime, robbery, or murder, our criminal defense lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you.

Contact our law offices immediately if you are facing criminal charges and need experienced legal counsel. Schedule a free consultation today.