Georgia Misdemeanor 

THE BREAKDOWN   

Summary

A Georgia misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony. However, In the State of Georgia, misdemeanors come with serious consequences and can be treated like felony crimes. Georgia misdemeanors can be broken down into four main categories: types of crimes, criminal process, consequences, and criminal defense strategy. 

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Georgia Misdemeanor: Types of Crimes

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Georgia Misdemeanor: Criminal Process

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Georgia Misdemeanor: Consequences

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Georgia Misdemeanor: Criminal Defense Attorney

Georgia Misdemeanor: Types of Crimes

Georgia misdemeanor crimes can be divided into different categories. Below are seven types of Georgia misdemeanors. 
*high aggravated misdemeanor crimes could be treated as felonies 

Drug Crimes

  • distribution
  • manufacturing
  • possession
  • *note: the amount of drugs and intent involved determines felony charges

Domestic Crimes

  • If prosecuted, domestic violence against any spouse, child, or close family member will be treated like a felony 

Major or Serious Traffic Violations 

  • driving on suspended license
  • DUI (driving under the influence)
  • driving without license
  • note* high aggravated misdemeanors or repeat offenders can be treated as felony charges

Property Crimes 

  • Property crimes consisting of $300 of damage or less are considered less serious property crimes
  • criminal destruction of property
  • criminal trespass
  • theft by receiving
  • theft by taking  
  • note* high aggravated misdemeanors or repeat offenders can be treated as felony charges

Public Crimes

  • disorderly conduct
  • public drunkenness
  • unlawful assembly
  • note* high aggravated misdemeanors or repeat offenders can be treated as felony charges

Sex Crimes

  • indecent exposure
  • pandering 
  • sexual battery
  • note* high aggravated misdemeanors or repeat offenders can be treated as felony charges 

Violent Crimes

  • assault
  • battery
  • stalking
  • note* high aggravated misdemeanors or repeat offenders can be treated as felony charges

    Georgia Misdemeanor: Consequences

    Depending on the nature of the crime, evidence against or supporting evidence, and past criminal history, your misdemeanor charge could have felony like consequences.  Below are some general consequences the defendant could face after being charged or arrested with a Georgia misdemeanor crime.


    Misdemeanor Consequences 

    Jail time and Probation

    • up to 12 months in county jail
    • county jail time or 12 months in a state diversion facility or probation

    Fines and Fees

    • fines up to $1,000 
    • probation fees (if negotiated)

    High Aggravated Misdemeanor (Treated with Felony Consequences)

    Jail Time and Probation 

    • up to 12 months in county jail
    • county jail time or 12 months in a state diversion facility or probation
    • In high aggravated misdemeanors cases that are treated like felonies could involve more than one 1 year in prison. 

    Fines and Fees

    • fine up to $5,000

    Criminal History

    • consequences that could impact future employment or educational opportunities and other criminal history implications, etc.

    Georgia Misdemeanor: Criminal Process 

    The Georgia misdemeanor criminal process can be broken down up to ten steps.

    1. Ticketed or Arrested
    If not arrested, you will be issued a citation and a future court date. If arrested for a high aggravated crime, the next step of the criminal process is to be bonded out or hire a criminal defense attorney.

    2. Bonding Out
    In many Georgia misdemeanor criminal cases when the defendant is arrested, the law requires the right for a defendant to set bond within 24 hours. Depending on the crime committed, the prosecution and judge may also request to hold the defendant until the initial appearance (arraignment). If the judge decides to hold the defendant in jail, that same judge must grant the defendant an initial hearing within 48 hours if arrested without a warrant and in 72 hours if arrested with a warrant. If the defendant was allowed to bond out of jail, the initial appearance ( or arraignment) is scheduled weeks or months away.   

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    4. Initial Appearance or Hearing (Arraignment) 
    In Georgia, an arraignment is the “initial hearing” or “initial appearance” before a judge. During the arraignment, the prosecution announces the charges against the defendant. After the charges are made, the defendant enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo (no contest). If the defendant pleads guilty, a fine and punishment will be given and the case will be closed. If the defendant pleads not guilty, both discovery motions and the motion hearing will determine if a preliminary trial will be granted.

    5. Discovery Motions
    Discovery motions involves the process of receiving knowledge of the evidence for or against a defendant.

    6. Motion Hearing
    A motion hearing is when a request is made to the judge(s) to make a decision on what evidence can and cannot be used against your Georgia misdemeanor criminal  case. Should a judge see reason for a potential trial, that same judge will ask and proceed to a pre-trial. 

    7. Pre-Trial
    This phase of the criminal process happens after the preliminary hearing and before a case goes to trial. The pre-trial phase will determine what evidence will be used against your Georgia misdemeanor case and what will be suppressed: discovery motions.  At that point, the judge has the right to dismiss the case or move on to a trial. 

    8. Plea Negotiations or Bargaining
    In an attempt to avoid a costly trial, the prosecution and defense will attempt to negotiation or plea bargain to settle the penalties charged against the defendant’s misdemeanor case.

    9. Trial by Judge or Jury
    If no plea negotiations or bargaining can be settled between the prosecution and defense, your case has the right to be heard by a trial judge or trial by jury. 

    10. Trial with Right to Appeal 
    If your case goes to trial and the verdict goes against the desired end result, the defendant lawfully has the right to appeal their case verdict. 

    Georgia Misdemeanor: Criminal Defense Attorney

    Hire Brent and That's It!

    If you or a loved one have been ticketed or arrested for a misdemeanor crime in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area, “Hire Brent and That’s It.”  

    • Aggressive Defense
    • 10 years of experience
    • Affordable flat rate fees
    • Client motivated and results driven
    • Localized 25 years in the Atlanta, GA metro area
    • Modernized with technology

     

    Brent does amazing work and knows his stuff. He immediately saw a conflict in the police report and the evidence being used against me. My case was dropped after my initial hearing.

    A. Henderson

    “After my arrest, hiring Brent took away the stress of the unknown. I would recommend him to any of my family or friends and I have already done so.”

    S. Crawford

    Brent limited my stress day one and ultimately negotiated a reduction in my case that saved my job and protected my family’s financial future.”

    J. Sullivan

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