Sometimes good people can and do find themselves in terrible situations; after all, people make mistakes. Nevertheless, we are ready to stand by your side and defend you.
If you have been arrested or facing criminal charges in Georgia, it is essential to know your rights as a criminal defendant. You should know that only a court can decide if you are guilty or not. Never accept to be interrogated by law enforcement without talking to a seasoned criminal defense lawyer because it is your right.
As you strive to protect your reputation, future, and freedom, remember that the most important right granted by law is your right to representation. At The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. in In Peachtree City, GA, our team boasts of years of experience in criminal defense practice.
Talk to our criminal defense lawyer in Peachtree City for a free initial trial at 404-418-7816.
What Are The Rights of Criminal Defendants in Georgia?
As a criminal defendant, you should know that you have rights at every phase of a criminal process. Attorney Gil can help make sure non of your rights are violated and help you navigate the criminal justice process in its entirety.
The fourth amendment protects you from unjust or unreasonable searches and seizures from law enforcement. It stipulates that law enforcement obtain search warrants before searching you or your property.
Any evidence the police acquire through dodgy methods will be deemed admissible in court. The police are required to get a search warrant from a judge but, must show that there is probable cause they will find the evidence on the person or the premises in question.
If the police seize evidence outside the scope of the warrant a Georgia criminal defense attorney can help.
As a criminal defendant in Georgia, you have the right to plead the fifth amendment when being arrested. The fifth amendment states that you can’t be forced to provide evidence bearing witness against yourself in a criminal case. If answering police questions could incriminate you, you have the right to remain silent.
You also have the right to a pretrial hearing by a grand jury if you are facing felony charges as mandated by the fifth amendment.
The fifth amendment also protects you from double jeopardy by prohibiting you from undergoing a second trial for the same crime. Once you are cleared of a crime you cannot be put on trial for the same offense again.
As an accused person, the sixth amendment guarantees you the right:
- to a speedy and public trial by an unbiased jury.
- to see or be informed of the evidence supporting the allegations.
- to be able to question witnesses who present themselves to testify against you.
- to an attorney and your own witnesses.
The eighth amendment requires judges to set reasonable and consistent bail amounts. It also requires judges to hand down fair punishment that suits the offense. Finally, it prohibits cruel or unusual punishment.
Misdemeanor vs Felony In Georgia
The major difference between a felony and a misdemeanor lies in the severity of the offense or crime. Minor or less serious crimes are classified as misdemeanors. Examples of misdemeanors include public intoxication, petty theft, trespassing, public indecency, littering, and speeding.
Misdemeanors are non-violent offenses, the kind of mistake anybody can make. In Georgia, misdemeanors have a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and up to 12 months of jail time. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, the conviction will remain on your record. While a conviction for a misdemeanor can affect your ability to obtain employment or influence your driving privileges, its effects are not as bad as that of a felony conviction.
Georgia also has a special category of misdemeanors known as high and aggravated misdemeanors. The difference between this type of conviction and a normal misdemeanor conviction is that you can be fined up to $5,000. The maximum jail time remains one year though.
Misdemeanors are less serious offenses but make no mistake, you still need quality representation. They can hurt you in the future so it is best to be safe than sorry. Attorney Gil understands the effects a conviction for a misdemeanor can have on your future and is ready to help.
On the other hand, felonies are considered the most serious offense. They are crimes that deal serious damage or harm to another person or property. Generally, most felonies include violence but not necessarily all of them. Examples of felonies include murder, rape, kidnapping, possession of excessive amounts of marijuana(over one ounce), certain repeat DUI charges, and robbery.
People convicted of felonies usually serve a number of years in prison and are fined heftily. As mentioned before, a felony conviction will leave a significant mark on your criminal record. For one thing, a felony conviction will make it difficult to get employment. You will also struggle with housing and securing employment. The repercussions are dire.
Not all misdemeanors or felonies will attract mandatory prison sentences. The judge may decide to sentence you to probation instead of incarceration depending on the offense and particular case. If you are sentenced to probation, you must abide by certain conditions to satisfy probation. You risk jail time for violation of any of those conditions.
Should I Consult a Lawyer Before Speaking to the Police?
According to the 5th amendment, you are well within your rights to avoid implicating yourself in a crime when you get apprehended. The police cannot coerce you into divulging information that would link you to the alleged crime. You should first and foremost safeguard yourself by retaining the legal counsel of an experienced Peachtree City criminal defense attorney. Keep in mind that speaking to law enforcement may not be in your best interest as they will waiting for you to fumble and disclose details about the crime.
Don’t fall for their friendliness or niceness. It’s a trap. They will say they want to help you to try and draw a confession from you. While the law allows them to lie to get information from you, it is also your constitutional right to maintain silence. To be safe, plead the fifth amendment and request to speak to your attorney first. The 5th amendment legally mandates police to stop interrogating you without an attorney present. Talking to the police or making a plea deal without the presence of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can cost you your freedom.
What Is the Habitual Offender Law?
In Georgia, you will be declared a habitual offender or violator if you have been convicted of three or more serious crimes within a 5-year span. An example of a major offense is DUI. It is considered a felony to drive after being deemed a repeat offender. Habitual violators are not allowed to drive for up to five years.
The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. in Peachtree City, GA has many years of criminal defense experience in Georgia. Our attorneys are familiar with the Georgia habitual violator law and can defend you and obtain creative outcomes.
How Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer in Peachtree City Help Me?
Here is how a lawyer can help your criminal defense process:
After evaluating your case, our criminal defense attorneys will provide you with the expertise and legal counsel to build a robust defense. The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. will carry out an independent investigation alongside experts from different fields to examine police reports, witness statements and accounts, evidence, and other relevant information to help build a strong defense. We aim to prepare an airtight defense.
In some legal situations, taking a plea bargain may be your best bet. At The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C., we are seasoned negotiators and can cooperate with the prosecution to take a plea bargain. In some cases, we can get your criminal charges dropped entirely. Our defense team will be pragmatic when helping you to decide between accepting a plea bargain or proceeding to trial. Our criminal defense lawyers will only offer advice that is in your best interest.
Ability to Gauge Case Outcomes
After a thorough case evaluation, the criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. will be in a position to gauge the case a tell you what to anticipate. We will use this prediction to establish the best plan of action and suggest the appropriate legal options.
Knowledge of Law & Court Rules
Georgia’s criminal justice system is not only strict but also complex. Our team of defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. are well versed in Georgia criminal defense law and court rules. We can help you navigate the proceedings. Our knowledge of the law and court rules enables us to identify faults or any breaches and have cases thrown out.
Our defense attorneys are ready to go the distance if it comes down to it. We have experienced trial lawyers. If your case proceeds to trial we do our best to get an acquittal or, if worse comes to worst mitigate the most lenient conviction possible.
What Is the Cost of Legal Representation?
Most criminal defense attorneys charge legal fees in segments, depending on how far you want to take the case until an acceptable resolution is reached. Contact us to see what your particular case may cost.
Is There a Benefit to Having a Private Attorney vs. a Court-Appointed Attorney?
During an arrest, the police will inform you that if you are unable to get an attorney, the State will provide one for you. Being that these state-appointed attorneys are free, they often deal with many other cases from other defendants at once. This means they can double down on your case to get the best possible outcome.
Alternatively, you can hire a private attorney that will give your case all the attention and time it deserves. Hiring a private attorney guarantees better representation since they will only be focused on working on your case. You are more likely to yield better results with a private attorney than with a court-ordered one.
Can You Represent Yourself?
The law allows you to defend yourself in a criminal case. But, just because the law says you can defend yourself doesn’t mean it would be a smart choice. Whether you are charged with a felony crime or a simple misdemeanor, your best bet is hiring Attorney Gil to represent you in a Georgia criminal defense case.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
Whether you should accept a plea bargain or not depends on the facts of your case, the plea bargain being offered, and how a conviction would affect you. While sometimes a plea bargain may truly be in your best interest, pleading guilty or choosing not to contest a charge means you waive your right to a trial. Taking a plea bargain also means losing your right to appeal an unfair sentence.
You should never accept a plea deal without consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. Keep in mind that prosecutors offer plea deals that are in the best interest of the State.
Our criminal defense attorneys will only advise you to accept a plea deal if it is in your best interest.
Appealing a Conviction in Georgia
You can appeal your conviction if you believe it was unfair. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. know all about navigating the criminal appeals process all the way to the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
Hire The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C.
If you have been arrested or facing criminal charges, you need a criminal defense attorney who has the time and resources to build your case and establish the strongest defense possible. At The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. in In Peachtree City, GA, we offer just that. Our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to representing criminal defendants.
Attorney Gil has many years of defense and trial law experience and can provide aggressive and exceptional defense for criminal defendants in Peachtree City and throughout the state. Our criminal defense team will fight to ensure you are not sentenced to prison. To get a free initial consultation with one of our seasoned case evaluators, call 404-418-7816.