Georgia Criminal Punishments
99% of the time the first thing clients ask us is what their punishment is going to be. We understand why this is their first concern because criminal convictions impact all aspects of their life. Numerous factors affect what kind of punishment you will receive from age to type of crime to whether it was your first arrest. Although we may not be able to predict the outcome of your case, we know all of the possible Georgia Criminal Punishments the Courts could issue and also alternative sentences to seek for our clients. Our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys have over 50 combined years of experience and know all about the varying punishments you could be issued. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Some examples of criminal punishments in Georgia and alternative outcomes include:
- Alford plea: Alford pleas and nolo contendere pleas are both special pleas that defendants can use in court. An alford plea is a type of guilty plea that people can use when they believe they are innocent of the crime but the prosecution has enough evidence to prove them guilty. It is only used in felony cases.
- Dead Docket: Dead docket is know as the legal procedure where a criminal case is postponed or terminated. The reason behind a case being dead docketed can be due to a lack of evidence.
- First Time Drug Offender: First time drug offenders in Georgia have a variety of alternative sentences available to them. Our Georgia Criminal Attorneys can help defendants examine whether conditional discharge, probation, or using the First Offender Act is the best option in their case.
- Felony Punishment: In Georgia, all crimes that are punished by more than one year in prison are considered felonies. The most severe felony punishment is life in prison or the death penalty. Some crimes that are considered felonies in Georgia include murder, rape, treason, and arson.
- Misdemeanor Sentencing for Felonies: There are a few circumstances where a judge would allow for a crime to be punished as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. It is important to note that the crime itself is not reduced to a misdemeanor; only the punishment.
- Misdemeanor Punishments: Under Georgia law, misdemeanors are punished by a jail time up to one year, a fine up to $1,000, or both. Misdemeanor offenses in Georgia include possession of marijuana for less than an once, theft where the value of the property is less than $500, and most traffic violations.
- Nolle Prosequi: Nolle prosequi means "will no longer prosecute" in Latin. It is a procedure used when the court agrees to terminate the prosecution of a case. It is important to understand that nolle prosequi is not the same as obtaining a dismissal.
- Nolo contendere plea: Nolo contendere pleas are a great option for people charged with misdemeanor traffic violations. This type of plea occurs when the accused does not accept or deny responsibility for the charges but agrees to accept the punishment. A nolo plea can only be used once every 5 years.
- Probation: Probation is a very common alternative sentence to defendants having to serve their time in jail or prison. However, there are rules and conditions the person on probation must follow. A failure to comply with the conditions can result in the probation term being revoked and the probationer having to serve the rest of their sentence in jail or prison.
- Probation Violation: Violating your probation comes with serious penalties. Probation comes with typical conditions such as report to your probation supervisor but often they have special conditions as well. Some special conditions can include attendance of anger management classes or other treatment classes. You need a Georgia Defense Attorney to help if you have been charged with violating probation.
- Recidivist Statute in Georgia: Georgia courts desire to help offenders not become repeat offenders. Therefore, they enacted the Recidivist Statute to help accomplish this goal.
- Restitution: In addition to fines and jail time, sometimes defendants are required to pay restitution to their victims. Restitution means payment to a victim for any harm caused by the offender's acts.
- Serious Violent Offenders: Georgia has specialized punishments for crimes that are considered serious and violent felonies. Serious violent felonies include aggravated child molestation, armed robbery, and felony murder. In these situations, the penalty is heightened due to the severity of the crime.
- Sex Offender Registry: Before being released from prison, a sexual offender must provide the sheriff of the county in which they will be living with their information. Furthermore, they must update this information every year on their birthday.
- Sexual Offenders: There are a variety of punishments a person may face if deemed to be a sexual offender.
- Special Terms of Probation for Drugs: When charged with a drug-related crime, sometimes offenders are required to submit to certain specific conditions of probation. Additionally, they may have years added to their probation term as part of a special condition.
How Can a Georgia Criminal Defense Help?
As explained previously, there are tons of different outcomes that could result from your case. It is crucial to retain a Lawyer that knows what all the possible outcomes are and can present you with the best options to move forward with your case. Other attorneys avoid trial even though a better outcome could be won because they do not like court. Our team is just as comfortable taking your case to court as reaching an agreement outside of court. They will do whatever it takes to get the best outcome possible for you. Contact us today and schedule your free case evaluation.