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Facing felony charges in Georgia can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Depending on the seriousness of the charges, you almost certainly are looking at jail time if you are convicted. Additionally, a felony conviction will remain on your record for life, making it harder to get a job or go back to school. It will also make it impossible for you to legally own a firearm, vote and other privileges that most people don’t think about on a daily basis. However, just because you’ve been charged with a felony doesn’t mean you’re guilty—and it certainly doesn’t mean you will be found guilty. At the Law Offices of Glenn T. Stern, we have more than two decades of hands-on experience aggressively defending clients from a wide range of serious felony offenses. We can help you identify the best possible defense so you can put your arrest behind you and focus on the future.
In Georgia, criminal offenses are broken down into two basic categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Under state law, a felony is any crime that is punishable by death, life in prison, or more than 12 months in prison. Some of the most common felonies in Georgia include:
Unlike many other states, Georgia law does not break down felonies into “degrees” or “levels.” Instead, the statute outlining the offense provides for a specific sentencing range. For example, possession of a small amount of heroin carries a punishment between one to three years in jail. It is up to the judge to come up with a sentence within that range.
There are other crimes that may be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. For example, whether a theft crime is graded as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the value of the items, whether you have prior convictions for theft and, in some cases, who the victim was.
Additionally, there are some “wobbler” crimes that can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony conviction. Under Georgia law, a defendant who is found guilty of a felony punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or less, the judge can impose punishment as a misdemeanor. This is where having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help avoid the worst consequences of a conviction by clearly outlining the reasons why you should not be found guilty of a felony.
The first thing to understand about felony offenses in Georgia is that jail time is always a possibility. By definition, felony charges carry a punishment of at least a year in jail. However, that doesn’t mean that you will automatically be sentenced to jail time. Judges have wide discretion in how they fashion sentences, and an Atlanta criminal defense attorney can help point out mitigating circumstances justifying a lesser sentence.
Aside from the possibility of jail time, a felony conviction will have several other significant consequences on your life. For example, in Georgia, it is illegal for anyone with a felony conviction to own a gun. Additionally, those with a felony conviction will almost certainly have a harder time finding a job, getting into school, or obtaining certain professional certifications.
If you were recently arrested and charged with a felony, reach out to the Law Offices of Glenn T. Stern for immediate assistance. Attorney Stern has been aggressively representing clients charged with serious crimes for more than 20 years. Over this time, he’s helped countless clients beat their cases, whether it’s through keeping out potentially harmful evidence, negotiating with prosecutors, or litigating the case in front of a jury. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Glenn T. Stern at (404) 320-1049 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form. We handle cases on behalf of clients in Atlanta and throughout Dekalb, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton counties, including in Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Jonesboro, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Cumming and Dunwoody.