Criminal Defense Attorney
in Atlanta, Georgia
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, your life can quickly change. Criminal charges and convictions often take a toll on personal relationships, employment, finances, health, and perhaps even your freedom. Regardless of whether you are guilty of the crime or not, it is critical that you mount the best criminal defense possible. Your very future may depend on it.
Every year, anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 crimes are reported in Georgia. If you are being investigated or have been arrested for a criminal offense, you need to retain an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney immediately to ensure your rights are protected.
Here at my firm, Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, I use my experience as a former prosecutor to defend people charged with criminal offenses in Atlanta, Georgia, and the surrounding areas of Fulton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Douglas County, Coweta County, and Carroll County. Call or reach out today and let me put my experience to work for you.
What Are Criminal Charges in Georgia?
Georgia law dictates which crimes are charged as misdemeanors and which are charged as felonies. The difference generally depends on the severity of the crime, such as the level of violence or amount of damage caused during the commission of the crime.
Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by no more than one year in jail. Examples include petty theft, disorderly conduct, first-time DUIs, minor drug crimes, and simple assault. In addition to a potential jail sentence, penalties for misdemeanor convictions may involve a fine of up to $1,000, community service, or up to 12 months in a state diversion center. A fine for an aggravated or high misdemeanor may be up to $5,000 and a conviction could result in a longer jail sentence.
Felonies are more egregious crimes that often carry stiffer penalties based on the degree or the severity of the crime. Examples include murder, rape and sexual assault, aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery, and major drug crimes. Penalties usually include incarceration for longer than one year, significant fines, restitution, probation, and community service. Convictions for capital crimes, such as murder, are punishable by death.
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What Is Involved in The Georgia Criminal Court Process?
Processing of someone arrested for a crime in Georgia involves 5 steps:
Booking - Booking at the station typically occurs with the arresting officer. You are fingerprinted, photographed, and allowed one phone call before spending at least one night in jail.
Initial Court Appearance - Initial court appearance within 48 to 72 hours of arrest during which the court ensures you have legal counsel unless you waive that right.
Preliminary Hearing - The preliminary hearing is when the court will determine if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute you for the crime with which you have been charged.
Indictment - The indictment involves the prosecution attempting to prove your guilt to the court or in some cases, a grand jury.
Arraignment - This is when the judge reads the formal charges and asks you to enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest.
If you choose to plead not guilty, the case will be scheduled for trial. Your attorney and the prosecutor will exchange evidence in “discovery” and may enter into plea negotiations to avoid a trial. Your attorney can make no decisions regarding pleas without your consent.
If your case goes to trial, you have the right to a jury trial in Georgia and a jury will be selected prior to trial. If you waive that right, you may have a bench trial where the judge is the sole adjudicator. In either case, the prosecution will present its case and your attorney will present your defense. If you are found innocent, the process concludes. If found guilty, you will need to reappear in court for the punishment phase.
What Is the Appeals Process in Georgia?
Unless you accept a plea offer from the prosecution, you have the right to appeal a guilty verdict with the Appellate Court under certain circumstances. There are 4 key steps in the appeals process:
Motion to Reconsider
Notice of Appeal
Filing the Record on Appeal with the court
Filing the Appellate Brief which presents the history and facts of your case, including any facts in dispute, and any legal issues raised regarding your case.
The Appellate Court will render a decision following review of briefs presented by both sides.
Put an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is always a wise decision, no matter what criminal charges you may be facing. Many people often choose to work with a public defender appointed by the court because this option is free. While that is certainly better than you attempting to represent yourself, you should remember that public defenders carry large caseloads and may not be able to give your case the time and attention it needs.
This lack of time may lead to a public defender’s recommendation that you accept a plea deal offered by the prosecution that is not in your best interest. Plea deals do not always offer the best possible outcome for a defendant, but rather, offers the public defender with a quick solution to your case.
Choosing to work with your own personal criminal defense attorney with an advocate who can devote the necessary time and attention to your case and fight aggressively for the best outcome. As a former prosecuting attorney who now represents clients charged with crimes, I am fully committed to doing everything I can to help my clients pursue a successful outcome.
Whether you’ve been charged with a simple misdemeanor or a serious felony charge, I stand by ready to protect your rights and fight aggressively for the best possible outcome. Call today to schedule your own case evaluation.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
At Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, I have represented a long list of clients facing criminal charges in Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout the state. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Fulton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Douglas County, Coweta County, or Carroll County, call my office today. Remember, just because you’ve been charged, doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Reach out today to put an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.At Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, I have represented a long list of clients facing criminal charges in Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout the state. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Fulton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Douglas County, Coweta County, or Carroll County, call my office today. Remember, just because you’ve been charged, doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Reach out today to put an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.