Misdemeanor Sentencing for Felonies in Georgia
There are certain situations where a judge would allow for a crime to be punished as a misdemeanor instead of as a felony. While this does not happen often, it is a huge win for the defendant. This does not apply in all situations so you need a Georgia Criminal Attorney to determine whether your case has the ability to be reduced.
How Can Felonies be Treated as Misdemeanors?
The Court clarified in Ramsey v. Powell that the crime itself is not being reduced to a misdemeanor, but the punishment can be reduced. 244 Ga. 745, (1979). Therefore a person will still be convicted of the crime but the penalty will be a misdemeanor one. In Georgia, the punishment for a misdemeanor is a fine up to $1,000, confinement in jail for up to one year, or both.
What Types of Situations Would This Apply?
As stated previously, this does not happen in every situation nor does it happen often. Misdemeanor sentencing for a felony in Georgia can occur if the judge trying the case deems it proper. Essentially, when a defendant is found guilty by the judge of a felony punishable by a maximum of ten years or less in prison, then the judge may, in his discretion, impose punishment as for a misdemeanor. O.C.G.A. §17-10-5
Felonies that could be reduced include:
- Compounding a crime
- Tampering with Evidence
- Entering Auto
- Identity Fraud
- Manufacturing Marijuana
Even though it is in the judge's discretion to enforce misdemeanor sentencing, an experienced Georgia Criminal Lawyer can ensure a judge has considered this. They will argue for a reduced punishment. What may seem a hopeless situation can be turned around with the right lawyer in Georgia. Call our office now no matter what time it is. We do not think anyone should have to wait until the next morning or until Monday to receive answers about their case. That is why we are here nights, weekends, and holidays to answer our call. Contact us now and see how we will make a difference in your case.