DeKalb County Criminal Lawyer
Although DeKalb County can be a forgiving jurisdiction under the right circumstances, it is still important that those accused of criminal offenses consult with a DeKalb County criminal attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help in a variety of ways ranging from preparing a client for trial to helping the individual get into a rehabilitation program, potentially resulting in the dismissal of the charges against them.
Furthermore, an experienced defense lawyer in the Atlanta area who is familiar with the courtrooms, the judges and the prosecutors, will know how to evaluate their client’s options and help them decide the most favorable course of action – whether it be plea bargain or trial. To learn more about the benefits of legal representation or to discuss the specific steps that can be taken in your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
Types of Offenses
There are two different types of offenses in Georgia, felonies and misdemeanors, the difference of which is based on the extent of punishment if convicted. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine, while the more serious felonies carry a minimum of a 12 month sentence and can potentially lead to life in prison or death. Depending on the severity of the crime, the fine for a felony can also significantly exceed the maximum $1,000 fine that is associated with a misdemeanor charge.
With this said, misdemeanor crimes generally do not result in much jail time, whereas felonies, especially more serious offenses and repeat offenders, can result in a significant amount of prison time and therefore warrant contact with a criminal lawyer in DeKalb County immediately.
Long Term Consequences
In addition to any jail time or fines that are administered, a variety of long term consequences may also exist. For misdemeanor offenses these consequences include potential complications with security clearances and higher insurance premiums if the offense involved driving. For felony convictions, a long term consequence can be the loss of your right to own a gun and potentially the loss of voting rights as well.
DeKalb County Prosecution
DeKalb County prosecutors involve two different offices – the office of the District Attorney and the office of the Solicitor General which serve as two completely separate elected officials.
The District Attorney is in charge of prosecuting cases involving any felonies which are handled in the Superior Court of DeKalb County, while the Solicitor General only handles misdemeanors in the State Court of DeKalb County. Technically, the District Attorney can also handle misdemeanor crimes but usually this only occurs when these crimes are additional to some type of primary felony charge.
Between these two offices, there are a variety of nuances including a different set of attorneys, different judges, and different bureaucracies in dealing with each one. For each of these reasons, it is important to have a DeKalb County criminal attorney who has the experience dealing with each and who is aware of all the different steps involved in both courts.
Importance of Contacting an Attorney Early
Due to the potential long and short term consequences associated with criminal charges in Georgia, it is important for someone charged with a criminal offense in DeKalb County to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure they do not make any mistakes in defending their case. Oftentimes evidence needs to be gathered at the earliest possible stages and if too much time passes between the incident and when the individual contacts an attorney, important pieces of evidence, such as witness statements, physical evidence, and photographs could no longer be available. With this in mind a DeKalb County criminal lawyer should be consulted with as soon as possible in any criminal case.