Your Misdemeanor Defense Attorney in Georgia
Swingle Levin LLC: Your trusted misdemeanor defense attorney, fighting for your rights and freedom. Don’t face the charges alone, contact us for skilled legal representation.
Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer
The need for legal guidance and representation becomes paramount when faced with misdemeanor charges in Georgia. Misdemeanors, while less severe than felonies, can still have significant repercussions. In this article, we delve into the essential role of misdemeanor attorneys in navigating the intricacies of Georgia’s legal system, ensuring your rights are protected, and working towards a favorable outcome for your case. Whether you’re facing charges related to petty theft, assault, driving under the influence (DUI), or other misdemeanors, understanding the importance of a skilled attorney can make all the difference.
What Is a Misdemeanor in Georgia?
In Georgia, a misdemeanor is any offense that can be punished by up to one year in jail and a maximum of $1,000 in fines. Felonies carry longer sentences and higher fines. Misdemeanor charges in Georgia can arise from illegal conduct such as shoplifting, DUI, trespassing, speeding, or possessing small amounts (less than 1 ounce) of marijuana.
However, misdemeanor charges can be upgraded to a high and aggravated misdemeanor offense under certain circumstances. This may occur when an individual has committed the same offense on multiple occasions during a certain period. Other offenses, such as aggressive driving or assaulting a family member, may be charged as misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature regardless of an individual’s criminal history.
Can Misdemeanors Be Elevated to Felonies?
It is crucial to remember that misdemeanors can potentially escalate to felonies under specific circumstances. When a misdemeanor is committed in certain ways, such as when there are multiple DUI convictions, involvement with a certain quantity of drugs, or usage of a weapon during a crime, it may be elevated to a felony. Felonies are more severe offenses than misdemeanors, carrying prison sentences for at least a year or longer. Examples of felonies include aggravated assault charges, armed robbery, rape, murder, and arson.
How Are Misdemeanors Prosecuted?
Misdemeanors and felonies are generally not prosecuted in the same way. In many jurisdictions, misdemeanor cases are often handled in lower-level courts, such as municipal or county courts. In contrast, felony cases are heard in higher-level courts, such as state or federal courts.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony
The procedures, penalties, and legal standards of prosecuting misdemeanors and felonies vary significantly. Felony cases often involve more complex legal processes, including grand jury indictments, extensive pre-trial procedures, and more formal trial proceedings. Misdemeanor cases, on the other hand, may involve less pre-trial preparation and more straightforward trial procedures and generally carry lesser penalties compared to felonies.
Misdemeanor drug offenses are prosecuted based on the type, weight, and amount of drugs involved and the drug laws applicable. Sex crimes such as pimping and indecent exposure are usually prosecuted as misdemeanors. Some violent offenses, like assault and theft, involving less than $300, are also considered misdemeanors. Other misdemeanor offenses in Georgia include driving under the influence (DUI), traffic violations, and some domestic violence crimes.
Although misdemeanors are considered less serious, they can still carry significant penalties depending on who committed the offense. So, they should be handled with the same seriousness as felonies. Let our attorneys at Swingle Levin LLC work for you to get your misdemeanor charges reduced or dismissed. Our team also has drug crimes lawyers who can help you navigate drug offenses classified as misdemeanors.
Georgia Misdemeanor Penalties
Possible consequences for a misdemeanor conviction in Georgia include probation, fines, jail time, and community service. In addition, a misdemeanor can result in a permanent mark on your record, affecting your ability to find public housing and employment.
Under specific circumstances, a misdemeanor can be upgraded to an aggravated misdemeanor, often carrying significant penalties.
If you are dealing with a misdemeanor offense in Georgia, consider seeking the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can fight for your rights and work hard to ensure your charges are dropped.
Jail Time and Legal Ramifications for Misdemeanors in Georgia
All misdemeanors in Georgia carry potential jail time and fines. State law distinguishes misdemeanors and misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature by the maximum fine imposed.
- Misdemeanors: Up to 12 months in jail or a diversion center and a $1,000 fine
- Misdemeanors of a High and Aggravated Nature: Up to 12 months in jail and a $5,000 fine
However, these are the maximum sentences and fines that can be imposed for a misdemeanor charge. Both types of misdemeanors are eligible for probation and suspended sentences, where a defendant is required to follow specific conditions or restrictions imposed by the court.
A judge may also permit a defendant to serve jail time on the weekends or during non-working hours if they are sentenced to a term of less than six months. Of course, the outcome of any case depends entirely on the facts of that specific case.
How Can Misdemeanor Defense Lawyers From Swingle Levin LLC Assist You?
A criminal defense lawyer plays a vital role in safeguarding individuals facing misdemeanor crime charges. Swingle Levin LLC is equipped to offer experienced representation for people facing misdemeanors in Georgia. We can help by:
- Offering legal guidance and strategic defense to mitigate the potential consequences of these lesser offenses.
- Thoroughly analyzing the case.
- Investigating the charges against you.
- Scrutinizing evidence.
- Challenging the prosecution’s claims.
- Building an aggressive defense strategy for your case.
- Navigating the Georgia criminal justice system.
- Negotiating plea bargains to reduce charges and penalties.
- Representing clients in court to secure favorable verdicts.
Our misdemeanor defense lawyers strive to protect your rights, reputation, and future prospects by providing skilled legal representation.
Misdemeanor Cases We Handle
At Swingle Levin LLC, we handle a variety of misdemeanor crimes, including:
- Traffic violations
- Simple drug possession
- Disturbing the peace
- Family violence
We enjoy taking on new and challenging cases and will work with you to fight your misdemeanor, no matter the offense. No person should have to face misdemeanor charges without a passionate, experienced, and aggressive attorney at their side. Contact us today for a consultation.
Swingle Levin LLC Can Assist You!
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Even if you do not serve jail time, having a criminal record can impact your future in a significant way. You may have difficulty finding housing, obtaining credit, finding a job, or seeking a college education. Though the criminal penalties for a misdemeanor are less severe than those of a felony, the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can last for years.
Hiring a criminal lawyer can be intimidating, especially if this is your first offense. Criminal defense attorneys at Swingle Levin LLC are here to listen to your story, review the facts of your case, and help you build a strong defense. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.