Criminal Defense Attorney in Douglasville

A criminal conviction in Georgia can have a huge impact on your life. You can end up with jail time, steep fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Some charges can also result in a loss of license, voting rights, and firearm rights. Seeking legal counsel is not only your right, it’s your best option.

Prosecutors’ legal knowledge and experience give them a huge advantage over ordinary people. Without proper legal representation, you can find yourself facing significant jail time. But with the right criminal defense lawyer on your side, you can have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Call the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling III, P.C. to get in touch with a top criminal defense attorney in Douglasville. Attorney Gil has experience in the courtroom dealing with judges, prosecutors, witnesses, and jury members. He knows what the prosecution is planning and what the jury is thinking.

Call us today at 404-418-7816 for a free case evaluation.

Table of Contents

What Legal Rights Do You Have as a Criminal Defendant?

The United States Constitution protects the rights of Americans facing criminal charges. The rights of criminal defendants have been clarified in court cases on numerous occasions.

A criminal defense attorney in Douglasville, GA will help to ensure that your rights are protected. If any of your rights were violated in your investigation and arrest, this can be used to secure your freedom.

Fourth Amendment

Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement cannot search your person or property without a warrant. It also prevents the unlawful seizure of property without a warrant. A warrant must be signed by a magistrate or judge and it must be supported by probable cause. Without all of these elements, any evidence that is seized from your property is considered inadmissible in court.

Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment states that no person may be convicted for the same offense twice. Defendants cannot be forced to testify against themselves.

This amendment provides you with the right to remain silent while under police custody and during your trial. These are known as Miranda rights. Before any questioning, the police must read you your Miranda rights. However, they are not required to do so before an arrest.

Any information you provide to the police before an arrest with/without your Miranda rights being read to you can be used against you. However, while under police custody after an arrest, any information collected from you without first being read your Miranda rights is not admissible in court.

Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment establishes many important rights for criminal defendants. It guarantees the right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury. It also guarantees a defendant’s right to an attorney. A defendant who cannot afford an attorney can have one appointed to them by the court.

You also have the right to know the nature of the charges and evidence presented against you. The Sixth Amendment also gives you the right to know and question your accuser and witnesses in court.

Eighth Amendment

The 8th Amendment protects criminal defendants from being forced to pay excessive bail and excessive fines. It also forbids cruel and unusual punishment.

Words know your rights with drawing of handcuffs

What Is a Felony vs a Misdemeanor in Georgia?

Every criminal charge in Georgia can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony is considered a more serious crime and carries longer jail time and higher fines. A felony will remain on your criminal record and impact various aspects of your life.

In Georgia, a misdemeanor may be expunged from your record but a felony cannot. An experienced lawyer may be able to have a felony reduced to a misdemeanor through a plea bargain. This can shave years or decades off of your punishment.

There are two types of misdemeanors in Georgia.

Standard Misdemeanor

Most misdemeanors fall into this category. If convicted, you can be sentenced to jail time of up to 1 year and a maximum fine of $1,000. Incarceration for a misdemeanor is served in a city or county jail. Common misdemeanors include DUI, public intoxication, and theft of less than $500.

Misdemeanors of a High and Aggravated Nature

It’s possible for a standard misdemeanor to become elevated to a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. These carry the same maximum incarceration period of 1 year but have the maximum fine increased to $5,000.


Georgia does not divide their felonies into different classes or levels. The law sets a maximum prison sentence and maximum for each specific felony. People convicted of a felony serve their time in prison instead of in a city or county jail.

Obstructing a police officer is a felony that could carry up to 5 years while second-degree murder carries a lifetime sentence. Examples of felony charges include aggravated assault, many drug crimes, and fraud.

Should I Call a Lawyer Before Answering Questions From the Police?

Yes. Many people make the mistake of thinking they’re perfectly fine if they are innocent or if they give the right answers. But the truth is that answering questions without a lawyer present can only increase your likelihood of being convicted. Even if you are innocent, any answers that you give can still be used to fight for a conviction.

Another mistake that defendants make is believing that asking for a lawyer makes them seem guilty. Once again, this is not the truth. Utilizing your right to legal counsel cannot be used as a tool for your conviction. Anyone with legal experience, including lawyers and police, understand that the first step is finding a lawyer before answering questions.

Police officers will ask you to waive your right to an attorney when they begin the interrogation. They may make statements claiming that if you’re innocent, then there’s no need for a lawyer. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured. Having an attorney present is your legal right and it is always in your best interest to do so.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, call 404-418-7816 now to set up a free case review with a criminal defense attorney in Douglasville, GA.

What Is a Habitual Offender?

A habitual offender in Georgia is any person who has been convicted of three serious charges within the last five years. It doesn’t matter if the previous crimes were committed in Georgia or a different state. Having a habitual offender charge will greatly increase the severity of the crime. Habitual offenders in Georgia often spend several additional years in prison when convicted.

Man in handcuffs who needs a Douglasville criminal defense attorney

How Can a Douglasville Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?

As a seasoned criminal defense attorney in Douglasville, GA, Attorney Gil can help your case in many ways.

Prep and Discovery

The first stage in the criminal defense process is all about investigating, gathering evidence, and preparing a defense. The specific type of preparation that is required will depend on the charges. It usually involves gathering as much information as possible from security cameras, phones and computers, witness statements, and other available records.

Your lawyer will also request all of the evidence that the prosecution has access to. Reviewing this evidence will help them better understand the prosecution’s strategy and how to defend against it.

Negotiating Plea Agreements

Accepting a plea agreement may not sound like a victory, but in some cases, it is significantly better than the alternative. It may be clear that the prosecution has enough solid evidence to secure a conviction.

Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a reduction to the charge or the punishment in exchange for a certain plea. They can also help you understand the specifics of the agreement and what it would mean for your future.

Able to Gauge the Outcome of a Case

An experienced lawyer can tell where a case is headed based on several factors, including the evidence provided, the selection of the jury, the attitude of the judge, and the experience of the prosecution. They can tell whether the prosecution has a strong offense and whether they need to adjust your defense accordingly. This also helps them determine whether accepting a plea agreement would be a wise move.

Knowledge of Law and Court Rules

Attorney Gil has in-depth knowledge of the law and Georgia criminal judicial system. He is very familiar with court procedures and how judges and prosecutors operate. He uses this vast expertise to fight aggressively for clients.

Experience in the Court Room

A lawyer who has trial experience in the courtroom will create a strong advantage for your defense. You need a lawyer who knows when to object to a certain line of questioning and when to ask the tough questions. You certainly don’t want your future in the hands of someone with no real trial experience.

What Is the Cost of Legal Representation?

Every attorney and every case is different. Most attorneys will provide you with an estimate of the charges during your evaluation. They then proceed to charge an hourly rate going forward or an alternative flat payment.

How much it will cost you to retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer in Douglasville, GA will depend on a wide range of factors including the charges against you, the experience level of your attorney, and whether or not the case goes to trial.

Criminal defense attorney in Douglasville Georgia

What Are the Benefits of a Private Attorney vs a Public Defender?

If you cannot afford an attorney, then the court will appoint a public defender to your case. These lawyers work hard but are typically overworked with a large number of cases.

A public defender can be forced to handle 5 times as many cases as a private lawyer because there are not enough public defenders for everyone. This means that they have much less time to devote to your case individually and are less likely to deliver the best results.

Can I Represent Myself?

Yes, but you absolutely never should. Your likelihood of winning your case drops significantly the moment you decide to defend yourself. The amount of work, training, and experience required to defend someone in a courtroom is too much for an ordinary person. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do it by yourself.

Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

Only if you have discussed it with your lawyer and it seems like the best option for your defense. There are some cases where the evidence is substantial and the risk of maximum sentencing is high if you go to trial. Taking a plea bargain can reduce that sentence and ensure you avoid the maximum sentence.

Can I Appeal a Conviction in Georgia?

Yes. Many people have had their convictions overturned using the appeals process. Your lawyer will likely begin discussing appeal options as soon as you receive a guilty verdict. You have up to 30 days to file a notice of appeal within the state of Georgia.

You will typically file an appeal with the Georgia Court of Appeals. However, if you’ve been convicted of murder, you should file your appeal with the Supreme Court of Georgia. Attorney Gil will help you through the appeals process.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Douglasville? We Will Fight for You!

A criminal conviction in Georgia can have a huge impact on your life. You can end up with jail time, steep fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Some charges can also result in a loss of license, voting rights, and firearm rights. Seeking legal counsel is not only your right, it’s your best option.

When you’re dealing with a tough criminal defense trial, you need an even tougher defense lawyer on your side. You need someone with experience inside and outside of the courtroom. You need the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling III, P.C.

As an experienced trial lawyer, Attorney Gil has successfully helped many clients get their criminal cases dismissed. Call us today at 404-418-7816 for your free case evaluation.