Potential Penalties for Felony Offenders
The State of Georgia separates felony crimes into degrees – for instance, there is a first and second-degree murder. Prison time is one of the most common penalties for felony crimes.
But, judges have the discretion to decide the type of penalty someone will face. However, the Federal government has created Federal Sentencing Guidelines that have to be followed by the judge when deciding about the sentence. These guidelines provide penalty ranges for different criminal offenses.
When deciding about the penalty, judges can determine the time within the fields provided in the statute. So, an individual convicted of burglary could spend from one to 20 years in prison.
Judges can consider several things, from the circumstances of the criminal offense to the offender’s criminal history. Those with prior felony convictions on their criminal record typically face harsher penalties.
However, the most severe felonies are punished by the death penalty or life in prison. In Georgia, criminal offenses punishable by the death penalty include treason, murder with an aggravating circumstance, and aircraft hijacking. The most serious felonies, such as rape, kidnapping, and armed robbery, are called capital felonies, and penalties can include lengthy prison sentences.
Can felony charges be dropped to misdemeanors?
The good news is that this is easy to determine, but the reality is that the answer isn’t so simple. There are certain types of felonies that can be reduced to misdemeanors; these are called wobblers. A wobbler is a legal term meaning a criminal charge can be filed as either a felony or misdemeanor.
Secondly, felony charges can be dropped to misdemeanors if you have never been sentenced to state prison. If this is your first offense, there is a greater likelihood of reducing the offense.
Talk to our Atlanta GA criminal defense lawyers to learn more about your particular case and to discover all possible courses of action.
How to fight felony charges?
The first step is to hire a qualified Atlanta criminal defense attorney who can help explain your case and answer all your questions. Your attorney should also have experience in dealing with criminal charges in your particular state. Our criminal lawyers Georgia have been in the law industry in Georgia for 10 years and know these courts.
A judge or a prosecutor can choose to dismiss any case for a number of reasons. Don’t get stuck without knowing all the facts about your case. Call our Atlanta criminal lawyer today.