Gwinnett County Criminal Lawyer | Pre-Trial Diversion

Gwinnett County Criminal Lawyer

An attorney who is experienced with criminal defense law in Gwinnett County, Georgia will know the judges, the prosecutors, and the police officers and will understand which plea deals can be made and what sort of defenses will work. Therefore, if you are charged with a crime in Gwinnett County, we strongly encourage you to reach out and talk with a Gwinnett County criminal lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your case. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case and in terms of mitigating both the immediate and long-term consequences that you may be facing.

Criminal Penalties

In Gwinnett County, as in all counties in the State of Georgia, a felony is any charge which is punishable by a year or more in prison, up to life in prison, or even the death penalty. Misdemeanors are offenses, on the other hand, are punishable by no more than 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000, with some limited exceptions. A felony charge will also impact an individual’s voting rights and right to bear arms, as well as serious immigration consequences. Most misdemeanor charges do not affect gun rights and never affect voting rights, but can still carry a number of serious consequences making it important a criminal attorney in Gwinnett County is contacted.

Depending on the nature of the charge itself, a misdemeanor could impact a person’s ability to get a driver’s license, carry weapons, and get jobs in the future. As an example, the misdemeanor charge of domestic violence battery carries with it a federal penalty of the inability to get a firearm or carry a firearm in the future. If a person is charged with even a misdemeanor offense, they should speak with an attorney who is experienced with criminal cases in Gwinnett County to understand all the possible impacts on their life.

Prosecution in Gwinnett County

County ordinances are prosecuted in the Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court which is located at 115 Stone Mountain Street. This typically includes things such as noise ordinance violations, animal protection violations, and zoning property ordinances. These are prosecuted in the Recorder’s Court and a person has the right to have a trial in front of a judge, but not in front of a jury, on these offenses.

Misdemeanor cases are prosecuted by the Solicitor General’s office, and felony cases are prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office. Currently, the elected Solicitor General, Rosanna Szabo, believes in having a pretrial diversion program for people charged with misdemeanors in most cases. This allows a person to complete some community service or counseling in exchange for their charge being dismissed.

However, the currently elected District Attorney, Danny Porter, does not believe in having a pretrial diversion program. Therefore, people charged with felonies in Gwinnett County usually face the choice of either pleading guilty or taking the case to trial.

If a person is charged in Gwinnett County it is important to know that the two prosecutor’s offices, the Solicitor General’s office and the District Attorney’s office, both take their jobs very seriously. In fact, Gwinnett County is known for being a county which charges high bonds and is very tough on probation revocation matters. Therefore, if you are charged with a crime in Gwinnett County it is important to speak to a Gwinnett County criminal attorney as soon as possible.

Importance of an Attorney

There are two major reasons to speak with an attorney as soon as one realizes they have been charged, whether it is by arrest or ticket. The first is, that if a person needs time to make payments to an attorney, contacting the attorney early gives them the option to allow for extending the payments. If an individual waits to contact a criminal attorney in Gwinnett County until their case is ready for trial, most attorneys will not be willing to extend a payment program.

The other reason is that the sooner an individual chooses an attorney, the sooner that attorney can start working on their case, interviewing witnesses, investigating the scene of the offense, and seeking evidence, before the opportunity is missed. For example, if a person is charged with causing a car accident, there may be physical evidence on the roadway such as skid marks, broken glass, or other debris which can be photographed before the rain washes it away. Accordingly, if a person is charged with a crime in Gwinnett County they should talk to an attorney as soon as possible.