What is a felony?
Felonies are serious offenses and are punishable by imprisonment of a year or more or probation and a fine of more than $1000.00. Individuals convicted of a felony also loses other rights such as the right to vote, get a hunting license, own a handgun, obtain certain professional licenses to name a few examples.
In cases where property is purposefully damaged or is stolen, whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony is typically determined based on the dollar amount of the damage or the missing property.
Examples of felonies include, but are not limited to:
Certain Drug Crimes
White Collar Crime
What is a misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a lesser criminal act for which a person may be sentenced to not more than twelve months in jail or probation and a fine up to $1000.00, plus applicable surcharges.
Often misdemeanor punishment includes drug or alcohol counseling, anger management classes, community service or mandatory DUI School.
While not as serious as felonies, misdemeanors may damage your reputation, result in job loss and disrupt your personal life and the lives of other family members.
While the list of misdemeanors is extensive, common types are:
Driving Under the Influence
Some Drug Offenses
Some Theft Offenses
Some Prostitution Offenses
Writing Bad Checks
What kind of cases do you take?
White Collar Crimes
Criminal Jury Trials
Criminal Bench Trials
How do i Get bond?
If you have been arrested for a minor infraction, including some misdemeanors, your bond will be set at the Jail. However, for some more serious charges, including most felonies, we will need to petition the Court to set your bond either by agreement with the District Attorney or through a contested hearing.
What happens now?
FLOW CHART - Arrest > Bond (If you have been arrested for a minor infraction or some misdemeanors your bond will be set at the Jail. However, for some more serious charges and felonies we will need to petition the Court to set your bond) > Arraignment (A formal listing of your charges and our opportunity to enter a plea of NOT GUILTY) > Investigation / Discovery (This is our opportunity to conduct an independent investigation by requesting police videos, official reports, 911 calls, testing equipment certifications, and other pertinent information) > Motions (I will file all applicable motions, attempt to suppress any evidence gained in violation of your constitution rights, and when possible have the case dismissed)> Negotiation (I will negotiate with the Prosecuting Attorney to receive a lower charge or favorable sentence, if the results are acceptable we will accept the plea before the Judge)> Trial (Your case will be tried before a Judge or Jury who will decide if you are NOT GUILTY or Guilty).
Should I talk to the detective?
No. Never. Never without an Attorney present. Anything, and everything, that you say will be used in an attempt to incarcerate you.
Do I need an Attorney?
Yes, always! Even if you have not been formally charged. Once you have been questioned or are under investigation it is imperative that you retain an Ellijay Criminal Defense Lawyer immediately. Once you are under investigation the State will devote its vast resources to securing any evidence possible to use against at trial, obtain an conviction, and incarcerate you.
Remember, If you are accused of a crime, or the police begin to question you, you have the right to remain silent until you consult with an attorney. The moment the police begin questioning you or you are accused of a crime, it is vital to retain an attorney. We will ensure that the criminal law and your constitutional rights were not violated. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, the sooner you obtain legal help the greater your chances of a favorable outcome.
Will I have to go to jail?
Maybe. Ellijay Attorney Josh Teague will fight at every turn to keep you from serving any jail time. However, sometimes due to the facts or circumstances surrounding a case, the fight becomes minimizing any possible jail. Whatever the case will be, Attorney Josh Teague will fight to get you the best possible outcome and reduce, or eliminate, any punishments including jail time.
What about a Public Defender?
First, I want to stress that I know some fantastic public defenders. However, I always recommend that anyone charged with a crime hire a private attorney who practices criminal law. Private Attorneys are generally capable of committing significantly more time to each case than public defender’s due to the difference in case load. The average annual caseload for a public defender includes approximately 150 more Misdemeanor cases than recommended and 50 more Felonies. *National advisory council on criminal justice standard and goals, 2007 and Bureau of Justice Statics.
In fact, on average public defenders are spending approximately 500 hours less than recommend on Felony cases annually and 250 on Misdemeanors annually. *National advisory council on criminal justice standard and goals, 2007 and Bureau of Justice Statics.
Finally, The New York Times recently published a revealing study that found that the average sentence for clients of public defenders was almost three years longer than the sentences of clients represented by private lawyers.