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Misdemeanor Lawyer Atlanta

 

If you are facing misdemeanor charges, a misdemeanor lawyer Atlanta at Chehimi Law, LLC can help you develop the appropriate defense for your case.

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Misdemeanor Lawyer in Atlanta

Crimes are usually divided into several categories depending on how serious they are. These categories help courts decide how to handle the crimes. Generally speaking, these categories are differentiated by how much potential jail time an offender could face.

There are three categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.

A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction but less serious than a felony. Misdemeanors are defined as crimes that are punishable by up to 1 year in jail, but some states define them as crimes that are neither felonies nor infractions.

Although there can be jail time, the sentence can be carried out in a local or county jail rather than in a high-security prison. Prosecutors usually have a lot of flexibility in deciding what crimes to charge and what kinds of plea bargains to negotiate.

People who are convicted of misdemeanors are often punished with probation, community service, short jail term, or part-time incarceration such as a sentence that may be served on the weekends. However, you may need an Atlanta GA criminal defense lawyer on your side to negotiate the best possible sentence terms with the prosecution.

Top Misdemeanor Lawyer in Atlanta Explains What Crimes Are Considered Misdemeanors

In Atlanta, GA, a misdemeanor is a criminal offense that carries a maximum possible penalty of one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. This definition can include a vast number of offenses such as:

  • Petty theft
  • Prostitution
  • Public intoxication
  • Simple assault
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Reckless driving
  • Discharging a firearm within city limits
  • Possession of cannabis in specific amounts

In some jurisdictions, first-time possession of certain other drugs may also be misdemeanors. Although drug crimes in Georgia are treated very seriously, possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Also, an individual convicted of possession of a drug-related object will be guilty of a misdemeanor. However, subsequent drug charges will often be elevated to felonies.

Some sex crimes like public indecency or statutory rape that include two minors within a few years of age difference are also considered misdemeanors. Individuals older than 18, arrested for prostitution, would be charged with a misdemeanor. Still, those who hire sex workers or house them would face misdemeanor criminal charges of a high and aggravated nature.

Domestic violence offenses can result in different charges. While most simple assaults are punished as misdemeanors, more serious family violence charges include aggravated assault and battery offenses which are felonies.

 

Is Traffic Offense a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

In Georgia, if a law enforcement officer believes your ability to drive has been impaired due to drugs or alcohol, you can be charged with driving under the influence. But, DUI can be a misdemeanor or a felony case, depending on the number of previous offenses and the circumstances of the case itself. Certain traffic offenses, including running a red light and speeding, are also considered misdemeanor offenses.

Traffic offenses and DUI charges may have other consequences besides criminal penalties, and these consequences may include suspension or a restriction of your driver’s license. But DUI lawyers can help and keep your driving privileges intact. Make sure you hire an experienced DUI lawyer who knows the nuances of Georgia DUI laws and procedures.

Qualities of a Good Misdemeanor Attorney

Although some criminal offenses such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, and murder are almost always considered felonies, some are referred to as “wobblers.” That means Georgia law allows judges to treat certain crimes either as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances of each case.

But, if the wobbler offense is someone’s first offense, there may be a chance it would be treated as a misdemeanor case. Also, felony charges can sometimes be dropped to misdemeanors. That is why it’s essential to have a qualified felony attorney to rely on if you are facing criminal charges. Legal professionals who handle criminal law cases would know how to defend your rights in criminal procedure.

So, when looking for an Atlanta criminal lawyer, make sure she or he is familiar with the offense you are charged with. That way, they can develop the appropriate defense to help your case. Moreover, hiring experienced criminal defense attorneys would be more expensive, but it would increase your chances of getting a more favorable outcome.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor Criminal Case?

A misdemeanor may seem less serious than dealing with a felony, but it can still cause problems and stress in your life. There is a possibility of jail time, as well as a permanent criminal record that can limit your opportunities when finding a job.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you reduce the consequences and eliminate a criminal record.

Your Atlanta criminal defense attorney should be able to provide excellent legal representation and aggressively fight for your rights. You are innocent until proven guilty, and the standard for a criminal conviction is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

A significant difference between felony cases and misdemeanor cases is that misdemeanor cases are usually over much quicker. Even though an accused individual also has a right to have a jury trial, in misdemeanor cases, that is a six-person jury. In contrast, in felony criminal cases, the evidence is heard in front of a twelve-person jury.

In the Metro Atlanta area, the municipal court often hears misdemeanor cases. But, these cases can also be heard in the recorder’s court or the state court if they require jury trials.

Although individuals rarely face jail time for a first misdemeanor offense in Georgia, certain charges like drunk driving require a minimum of 24 hours in jail. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney you can find can mitigate these consequences.

At What Point Should I Hire a Misdemeanor Attorney?

As of January 2021, many misdemeanor and felony convictions became eligible for expungement or record restriction. That means convicted individuals can petition the court to remove the record of their misdemeanor criminal defense cases four years after the sentences are complete.

Although individuals can do that themselves, it can’t hurt having Atlanta criminal defense attorneys by your side. Not all misdemeanor convictions can be expunged. Experienced attorneys can explain the process and which misdemeanor cases are eligible for record restriction.

When committing a crime, depending on the case and particular crime in question, you could be arrested at the crime scene or after an arrest warrant has been taken out in your name. Whatever occurs, you should hire a misdemeanor attorney as soon as possible.

Chehimi Law, LLC is a law firm focused on criminal defense. We can provide legal counsel to individuals facing misdemeanor charges throughout Georgia.

Although less serious than felonies, misdemeanor convictions carry many negative consequences. For the best chance of success, consider hiring knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers like those you can find Chehimi Law, who can negotiate and reduce your charges and penalties.

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