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Classification is an important factor to consider when dealing with criminal charges. There are misdemeanors and felonies. Those under the former are seen as lighter offenses that generally do not result in jail time. If jail time is given it is usually under 1 year. These cases are generally processed through the state courts. If your county has a lower population, then the case may start in probate court and end up in superior court. . Meanwhile, crimes under the latter type often produce prison sentences or even the death penalty where applicable. Cases go through the superior courts. The specifics will vary according to the laws that apply to each offense. If you have questions regarding this we are happy to answer them for you. Contact the Marietta Misdemeanor & Felony Charges Attorneys today.
Judges take a bird's eye view of the facts when deciding the appropriate sentence. They are provided with a lot of leeway in this regard. Statutes often state the maximum prison sentence that may be imposed for a particular crime but it is up to the judge to determine whether the offender deserves the full duration of just a portion of it.
Misdemeanors are usually decided quickly with the sentence handed down right after the defendant has been found guilty of the charge. In some instances, this could be prolonged to allow for consultation with experts and stakeholders. Attorneys in Marietta must be able to state their arguments on a reasonable sentence if given the chance.
Felonies carry heavier penalties and so judges are more careful when making their decisions. They will often rely on a presentence investigation to get all the facts straightened out. Interviews with relevant individuals such as the offender, the family, the employer, and so forth can be included. The report that will come out of this as well as the recommendation made by the probation officer will carry significant weight. However, the judge still has the sole power to decide on the case.
In addition to the interviews, other details like the offender's drug and alcohol test results, ties to the community, employment history, financial records, criminal history, residential status, and so forth may be included.
The presiding judge may opt to send the guilty party into probation. For the meantime, the prison sentence is suspended and the offender is expected to follow the rules set for this time period. Those who wish to avoid jail would be wise to adhere to these rules. Misdemeanor charges may result in unsupervised probation wherein the periodic reporting of activities to the assigned officer is a must. This can be done through mail for convenience. Supervised probation, meanwhile, entails actual meetings with the officer typically on a monthly basis. Testing and monitoring are far stricter.
Whether a person gets supervised or unsupervised probation will depend largely on the circumstances surrounding the case. Each will have its own unique set of terms and conditions. Some people may be barred from going out of the state. Others may be required to undergo therapy, drug testing, anger management classes, or educational programs. Completing all the requirements with a clean sheet will entitle the individual to be discharged from probation and live as normal. Failure to do so, on the other hand, will result in a renewed case and a possible activation of the prison sentence.
The criminal justice system is careful to distinguish first-time offenders from repeat offenders. Individuals of the former kind that are seen to be nonviolent may be treated more leniently. Those that qualify could be entered into a diversion program which is basically a probationary period that ends in dropped charges upon successful completion. There are different types depending on the situation. Minors aged 17 to 21 can go through a pretrial diversion program so that their criminal record can stay clean once they have finished it. Then there is a drug-dependent program for people battling addictions who are sent to rehabilitations facilities.
Diversion programs are quite useful in that they help defendants avoid jail as well as blemishes on their criminal record. Note, however, that there are stringent rules that govern them. Only certain people may qualify. Consult a Marietta attorney such as Blevins & Hong P.C. to see if you are eligible for these options.
Defense lawyers will look into all angles to provide the best possible representation and results in court. Facing criminal charges can be daunting but these offenses do not have to result in jail time. With the right approach, the sentence may be trimmed down significantly and normal life resumed.
Blevins & Hong, PC
Marietta, Ga Attorneys At Law
191 Roswell St Marietta, GA 30060
Open Today: 8am to 5pm
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