When you’re arrested and charged with a crime, it can be overwhelming to comprehend the full implications of the penalties you’ll face. In some instances, the consequences do not fit the crime, leaving many impacted by the criminal justice system. Regardless of whether or not you’re guilty of the alleged offense, it’s vital to understand what can affect your charges. If you’re facing a felony charge, you’ll need to enlist the help of a Cobb County criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate these charges. The following blog explores what you need to know about a felony.
What Constitutes a Felony Charge?
In Georgia, criminal charges differ from other states. In most other states, misdemeanors and felonies are divided into classes or degrees. However, Georgia punishes those charged with unlawful activity based on the crime they’ve committed. Generally, each offense has a maximum felony penalty, and the court will sentence accordingly based on the circumstances surrounding the crime.
Generally, those charged with a felony have committed a crime punishable by over one year in prison. As previously mentioned, different crimes carry a maximum prison sentence, and the judge may have to follow mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses.
What Will Influence the Charge?
There are several different factors that can influence a felony change. In many instances, offenses known as “wobblers” can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the aggravating circumstances. A judge can reduce a charge, but this is only applicable to crimes that carry a prison sentence of ten years or less. Similarly, a judge can increase an offense to a felony.
An aggravating circumstance is described as any circumstance surrounding the offense. Whether or not the crime was motivated by race or gender, what weapons were used, and whether or not a child is present are all examples of circumstances that can influence the outcome of a charge.
For example, a DUI in Georgia is most often charged as a misdemeanor. However, if drinking and driving leads to an accident with severe injuries, you’ll most likely face a felony charge.
What Should I Do if I’m Facing a Felony?
When facing a felony charge, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to hire a criminal defense attorney. Unfortunately, many who are charged with a crime they know they did not commit are confident in their ability to prove their innocence, which can backfire. Instead, letting a seasoned lawyer guide the way is vital to protecting your best interest.
If you’ve found yourself with a criminal charge looming, ensuring you contact the Miller Law Practice as soon as possible is essential. We will examine the details of your case to explore all possible avenues to fight for the best outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today to learn how one of our seasoned attorneys can help you.