Aggressive, Compassionate, & Responsive Criminal Defense
Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to your questions.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, traffic offense, or probation violation in Georgia, you probably have questions. Get answers here. And if you can’t find the answers here, get in touch anytime and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Criminal Court Procedures
Legally, only the State of Georgia and the defendant are “parties” in a criminal case. However, in most criminal cases there are many more players. The State is represented by an attorney called the prosecutor. In misdemeanor cases the prosecutor may be the Solicitor General, and in felonies the District Attorney would prosecute. The prosecutor works with the police and any victims in the case to convince the judge and/or jury of your guilt. Of course, it is your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney’s job to hold the State to its burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A plea resolves your case without a trial. Pleas can be negotiated or non-negotiated (also known as a “blind” plea). If a plea is negotiated, this means that your attorney and the prosecutor have agreed on an appropriate outcome that satisfies both sides. When you go to court, the judge is notified that an outcome has been negotiated, and the deal is presented to the judge. The judge ultimately decides whether to accept the plea deal or to reject it. If the judge rejects the deal, you have the right to withdraw (take back) your plea and go to trial. A non-negotiated plea occurs when your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney is unable to reach an agreement with the prosecutor. In a non-negotiated plea, both the prosecutor and your attorney present what they believe to be an appropriate resolution to the judge, and the judge ultimately decides on the outcome. This can be a good option in jurisdictions with unreasonable prosecutors. It is not, however, without risk – it leaves your sentence solely in the judge’s hands, and you do not have the right to withdraw your plea if you do not agree with what the judge decides. The decision about whether to plead guilty in your case, and whether to move forward with a negotiated or a non-negotiated plea, should be made only after consultation with your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney.
If you missed a court date, you may have a bench warrant for your arrest, and your license may be suspended. First, you should call an attorney as soon as possible. Then click here to read more about bench warrants resulting from failures to appear and the other potential consequences of missing a court date.
You should call a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer immediately. In some jurisdictions, certain types of warrants are not difficult to clear up. But failing to clear up a pending warrant can result in a huge inconvenience. For example, if you are stopped for a minor traffic offense and you have a warrant out for your arrest, the police will most likely take you into custody, even if that offense would normally just result in a traffic citation and not arrest. If you think you might have a warrant out for your arrest, call me today. Only your attorney can properly advise you of what to do based on the particular type of warrant, the jurisdiction, and on the circumstances of your case.
Hiring An Attorney
Public defenders in Georgia carry massive caseloads. While most are competent attorneys, they simply do not have the time or the resources necessary to fight each case. In contrast, I work diligently to conduct a full investigation in each case and to ensure that each of my clients receives personal attention.
You should never appear in court without an attorney, even if you believe that it is your best option to plead guilty. There are several reasons for this.
First, a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney is the best person to negotiate your case with the State and get you the best possible outcome. Because I have handled so many cases, I have worked with most of the judges and prosecutors in the many jurisdictions around the state of Georgia. As a result, I will provide you with great insight and advice about how harsh the sentence is likely to be and how we can get the most favorable outcome.
Second, pleading guilty to a criminal or traffic offense may have collateral consequences that go beyond the sentence that the judge hands down in court. For example, while convictions in most traffic cases merely result in points on your license, there are some offenses that carry an automatic license suspension, which the judge may or may not inform you about in court. Other offenses can affect your immigration status if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Finally, pleading guilty may not actually be your best option. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney is trained to examine all of the evidence in your case and to determine what valid defenses there may be to your criminal charge. In many cases, attorneys can find defenses that non-lawyers may not know about.
No. I charge a flat fee based on the complexity of the case. Typically, at our consultation meeting we will discuss fees and come to an agreement. I do not believe in surprising my clients with fees not previously discussed.
Georgia’s Implied Consent law “requires [a person] to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances” in order to determine if [he or she is] DUI. The Implied Consent Warning, which officers must read to an individual being arrested for DUI, warns drivers of this requirement. An officer’s failure to properly read the Implied Consent warning can result in dismissal of a DUI case. Read everything you need to know about Implied Consent here.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, or SFSTs, are a barrage of tests that officers conduct in determining whether probable cause exists to arrest a person for DUI. Read more here about each test and how it works, and how (and why!) a skilled Georgia DUI defense attorney examines the SFST evidence in your case.
Get in touch
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Get in touch
Please contact me using the form below