CHARGED WITH FELONY IN MARIETTA/COBB COUNTY
Being arrested on felony charges can be a frightening and confusing experience and one that can change your life significantly. If you or a loved one has been arrested on a felony charge, you will be facing the prospect of long jail terms, steep fines, probation, and other penalties if you are convicted. You will need the skillful help of a Marietta felony attorney to help fight the charges against you. Without an excellent legal team on your side, your livelihood and freedom are at serious risk.
What exactly is a felony?
The federal government defines felony charges as a crime punishable by at least one year in prison and up to the death penalty. They are considered to be serious crimes that cause severe harm to another person or to property. Some common crimes that are classified as felonies charges include:
Repeat offenses on more minor misdemeanor charges can also sometimes lead to felony convictions. Any felony charge demands the support of an experienced legal team with an aggressive defense.
CONSEQUENCES IF CONVICTED
Felony charges carry the heaviest penalties. In addition to prison time, fines, and restitution, if convicted you may also face:
- Community service
- Loss of your right to own a gun for life
- Loss of your right to vote while imprisoned
- Restrictions and bans on certain financial aid and education opportunities
- Loss of your privilege to drive a motor vehicle
- Difficulty in finding employment in many fields
Felony charges more than any other can completely turn your life upside-down. Finding a job after a felony conviction can be very difficult, so providing for a family can be a real challenge. It is thus very important to contact an attorney before you are convicted.
The start of the felony process in Georgia is an arrest.
When arresting someone, we need to search them or their house. For that, an officer needs to get a judge to grant them a warrant. For a warrant to be successful, the officer needs to show the judge that he has what is called probable cause. This means that he believes you are tied somehow to a specific crime.
However, a search may sometimes be made in the absence of a warrant. If you have been arrested, for example, the officer is allowed to search your body with no warrant needed. If something is in plain sight or you agree to one are a couple of other ways an officer doesn’t need a search warrant.
Once a search has been made, you will be arrested if the officer believes that he has probable cause that you broke the law. At this juncture in the Georgia felonies process your rights under the constitution start. Included are the right to remain silent – this jut basically says that you are not obligated to answer anything from police or investigators. Another right you have is the ability to contact an attorney.
Before 72-hours since you’ve been arrested have elapsed, you must go through what is called an arraignment. This is the time when all the charges they have for you are brought out into open court. Now is your chance to enter in an official plea.
There are a variety of different plea options at your disposal. The one you decide upon should be one that you have chosen based on discussions with the lawyer.
The different pleas are as follows:
- Guilty: You admit fully that you are responsible for the crime they say you committed.
- Not Guilty: You do not admit to the crime they say you committed.
- No Contest: This says that you’re not disputing what they’re charging you with, but that you are not admitting that you did it. Normally this is done if you feel a related civil lawsuit may be forthcoming.
- Mute: If you remain silent, the court will automatically enter a plea of not guilty for you. This is generally to indicate that you don’t agree with the way the Georgia or Marietta felony process is being handled.
Your case will go to trial if you admit to the charge or don’t agree to the prosecution’s plea agreement offer. Stated in Georgia criminal law, you must demand a speedy trial if you want one. At that point, the date for your trial will be noted to occur within a couple of court terms.
Every person in Georgia who has been accused of a felony is allowed a trial by jury. You may, however, go for what’s called a bench trial – this means that a judge will decide your case.
When the trial has finished, the judge or jury will render its verdict on their belief of your guilt. If you have been found to be guilty, the sentence will soon be handed out by the judge. At which point you will have thirty days to appeal the sentence.
DO YOU NEED A FELONY LAWYER FOR YOUR CASE?
If you or a loved one has been arrested on felony charges, your first step should be to procure excellent legal representation. At Blevins & Hong, P.C., our outstanding team of criminal lawyers has extensive and successful experience in representing a broad range of criminal defense clients. We understand the difficulties you are facing and want to assist you in protecting your legal rights and ensuring a brighter future by obtaining the best possible outcome in your case. Contact our Marietta attorneys from our team today!