In Georgia, the main difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the amount of jail time assigned. Any crime that has a sentence of more than 12 months is considered a felony. Furthermore, felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. Keep in mind that no matter what charge you are facing, it is crucial that you have a legal representative to help you through this process. Reach out to our firm today and speak with a Cobb County criminal defense lawyer today.
What are the consequences of a misdemeanor in Georgia?
Misdemeanors are crimes that have a maximum fine of $1,000 and a maximum of 12 months in jail. More severe misdemeanors may have more severe punishments. Georgia does not have “degrees” or “classes” of crimes, but it does identify “high and aggravated misdemeanors,” which can have additional fines (up to $5,000) but not added jail time.
Some instances that will merit misdemeanors are public intoxication, DUIs, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and theft of less than $500 of property. Prosecutors and criminal courts may use their preference when it comes to fines and sentencing, however, keep in mind that they are unable to charge a defendant more than $1,000 nor sentence them to more than 12 months in jail for a misdemeanor offense.
What are the penalties for a felony?
A felony is any crime that is not a misdemeanor. The penalties for felonies can range significantly in the state of Georgia. Felonies can carry 1 year or up to 20 years in prison. Capital felonies can even have a life sentence or result in the death penalty. Felonies include everything from drug crimes and theft to rape and murder, although rape and murder are usually considered capital offenses.
Furthermore, prosecutors and criminal courts may use their discretion when it comes to punishments. Because Georgia does not classify crimes by class, degree, or level, felonies and capital felonies are the most severe crimes a defendant can be charged with.
Should I hire an attorney for a felony?
You should not hire an attorney only for a felony charge. In fact, you should have an attorney no matter what crime you are facing. Although you may notice that there is more on the line with felony cases, both misdemeanor and felony charges can leave you with a criminal record. Having a criminal record in Georgia can make it more challenging for you to go to school, get a job, rent an apartment, and buy a house. Reach out to our firm today to obtain a skilled and dedicated criminal defense attorney on your side.
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At the Miller Law Practice, we support clients through a variety of legal matters. If you are facing criminal charges, or have been injured due to the negligence of another party, our firm will fight for you. Contact Miller Law Practice today.