Why Should I Hire A Defense Attorney?
You should hire an attorney when you are facing criminal charges so that you will be fully aware of your defense options. Building a defense case consists of gathering evidence, conducting interviews with witnesses and making persuasive arguments before a prosecutor or judge.
When you hire an attorney, you will have an advocate to do the work that is needed to build a solid defense for your case. Our legal team at BRE Law, LLC, consists of experienced advocators for people targeted with criminal charges and bench warrant recalls. With our skillful representation, you may be able to avoid an immediate arrest or harsh penalties after an arrest in Georgia.
Common Criminal Defense Questions
Below, we have compiled answers to some of the most common questions people in your position have. We still encourage you to speak with a lawyer for all other questions you may have but we hope these answers give you a better understanding of your situation.
What If I Am A First-Time Offender?
An alternative for first-time offenders is a pretrial diversion program. To negotiate a pretrial diversion you will need a dedicated, knowledgeable lawyer at your defense. Attorney Barbara Evans has experience successfully negotiating a pretrial diversion program for people charged with crimes.
A pretrial diversion program may be granted before a trial is set to begin and you will have to fulfill certain conditions in order to avoid trial. As your legal counsel, attorney Evans will advocate for you and you will be able to remain in contact with her while you fulfill the conditions for your pretrial diversion program.
Traditionally, if the conditions are met, your charges will be dismissed.
What Are The Typical Terms Of Probation?
If the court grants you probation, it is typically a period of 12 months depending on your charge and the circumstances regarding your case. Your diversionary program may include one of the following courses of action:
- If you have been charged with domestic violence assault, you may have to take anger management courses.
- If you have been charged with theft, you may have to take a values clarification course or a shoplifting course.
- In a DUI case, you may have to take a safety course and attend an alcohol rehab program.
When you complete a probationary period, the court may agree to expunge or restrict your record as if you do not have one.
Have You Been Charged With A DUI?
If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Georgia, you may be facing jail time and costly fines, as well as the loss of your driving privileges. You should contact a lawyer to handle your defense as soon as possible.
Attorney BRE is prepared to investigate and review your case to help you determine your best options for a resolution.
The Two Types Of Drunk Driving Laws In Georgia
Georgia DUI laws allow for drivers to be charged with a DUI-less-safe or a DUI per se. If you have been charged with a DUI-less-safe, it means that you are suspected of being less safe to drive due to the influence of alcohol or drugs. This charge does not require or depend on the results of a sobriety test.
If you are charged with a DUI per se, it means that your Breathalyzer results show a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than the legal limit of .08.
To have your case investigated and your sobriety test results examined, you should consult with an attorney.
The Consequences Of A DUI Conviction Are Harsh
A first-time DUI offense is treated as a misdemeanor, but due to Georgia’s strict DUI laws, a judge has the ability to sentence a first-time offender to 12 months in jail. The minimum penalties for a first-time offense include:
- 24 hours in jail
- A $300 fine that can double depending on surcharges
- A 20-hour safety course that costs approximately $400
- Your license suspended for up to a year
- Clinical evaluation
- 40 hours of community service
The minimum penalties for a second offense include:
- Three days in jail
- $600 in fines that can double depending on surcharges
- License suspension for three years
- Ignition interlock device (at the discretion of the court)
The penalties continue to increase in severity as more offenses appear on a criminal record. A skilled attorney can help to diminish these penalties or, whenever possible, keep your record clean by having your charges dismissed.
Types Of Drug Violations
A Drug Violation In Georgia Has Harsh Consequences
Many drug violations are treated as felonies and punishable to the fullest extent of the law in Georgia. A conviction can negatively impact your career opportunities. In addition, first-time offenses include a mandatory six-month suspension of your driver’s license. To protect your rights, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Attorney BRE will aggressively represent you in your defense. Depending on the specifics of your case, she will argue to have your charges dropped, argue for a pretrial diversion or fight for a plea deal to have the charges reduced.
Different Types Of Drug Violations
Georgia law is strict on the possession of controlled substances. These drugs are classified by five schedules that include their own consequences if you are convicted.
Schedule I drugs are drugs not accepted for medical use and that have a high potential risk for abuse such as LSD and heroin.
Some Schedule II drugs have been accepted for restricted and limited medical use but they all have a high potential risk for abuse and psychological or physical dependency. These drugs include hydrocodone, fentanyl, OxyContin and methamphetamine.
The potential consequences for a conviction of a Schedule I or Schedule II will result in two to 15 years in prison, which is the same for nonnarcotic Schedule II drugs. However, if you are convicted for another possession of a Schedule II drug, the minimum sentencing changes to five years in prison.
Schedule III and Schedule IV drugs have a lower chance of abuse but can still be psychologically and physically addicting, examples include steroids, testosterone, Xanax, Ambien and Tramadol.
Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and limited potential of dependency, examples include Robitussin and Lyrica.
The consequences of a conviction for possession of a Schedule III, IV or V drug are one to five years’ imprisonment.
Special Laws For A Marijuana Possession Charge
Although marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, there are special laws and consequences for possession due to the changing attitudes toward the drug. If you are suspected of being in possession of marijuana and the possession is less than an ounce, it is treated as a misdemeanor in Georgia.
The consequences of a conviction include no more than 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
However, if you are suspected of possession of more than one ounce of marijuana, it is treated as a felony. The consequences of a felony conviction for the possession of more than an ounce of marijuana are one to 10 years’ imprisonment