GWINNETT COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
Georgia classifies crimes as misdemeanors and felonies.
Some crimes, such as a first time DUI is a misdemeanor,
but later convictions such as fourth DUI or habitual violator because
of 3 or more DUI’s are felonies.
A felony record can negatively impact your future long after you have
served your time and paid your debt to society.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
· Felony crimes involve time in prison, while misdemeanor crimes
involve jail time, probation, or suspended sentences;
· Felony crimes involve prison time of 1 year or more. Misdemeanors are
punishable by less than 12 months in a jail.
Each have a fine attached, and may have other sentencing requirements.
Examples of some felony crimes and punishment are below:
Aggravated Assault – (1) With the intent to murder, rape, or rob, (2)
with a deadly weapon or any object, device, or instrument which, when used
offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious
bodily harm. Punishable by 1 to 20 years.
Terroristic Threats and Acts – Threatens (1) to commit any crime of violence,
(2) release any hazardous substance or (3) to burn or damage property with the
purpose of terrorizing another or of causing the evacuation of a building, place
of assembly, or facility of public transportation causing serious public inconvenience. Corroboration is required. Punishable by 1 to 5 years.
Possession of Drugs – Unlawful for any person to purchase, possess, or have
under his control any controlled substance. Schedule I or II and less than 1 gram,
then 1 to 3 years. 1 to 4 grams, then 1 to 8 years. 4 to 28 grams, then 1 to 15 years.
Marijuana greater than 1 oz, then 1 to 10 years.
Possession of Firearm/Knife During the Commission of a Felony –
Possession or having within arm’s reach a knife or gun during the commission
on or attempt to commit a felony. Punishable by 5 years served consecutively to
the sentence for its underlying felony.
Possession of a Firearm By a Convicted Felon – (1) Receives possess, or transports
any firearm while on probation as a felony 1st offender or who has been a convicted
felon, or (2) attempts to purchase or obtain, transfer of a firearm while on probation
as a forcible felony 1st offender or who has been convicted of a forcible felony.
Punishable by 1 to 5 years.
Theft By Shoplifting – with intent of appropriating merchandise to his own use
without paying for same or to deprive the owner of possession (1) conceals or takes
possession of the goods (2) alters the price tag (3) transfers goods from one container
to another (4) interchanges the label or price tag, or (5) wrongfully causes amount paid
to be less than the stated price. If amount exceeds $500 then punishable for 1 to 10 years. Less than $500 is a misdemeanor.
Having a felony conviction on your record can have a long-lasting impact on your life.
First, you will likely have to serve time for the crime itself, and maybe pay fines and
restitution. After that, there are ways that the law will limit your rights. For example,
you will not be able to own a gun. If you choose to own a gun anyway, you can be
charged with the Georgia crime of a felon in possession, which carries its own set
of jail time and penalties. You will also lose your right to vote until the completion
of your sentence and after release while still on probation or parole, and until all
fines are paid.
And yet this is still not all. In a child custody proceeding, the judge may not find
it in the best interest of the child to live with a felon depending on what your crime is.
You may be passed over for employment if a potential employer completes a
background check. Landlords may not want to rent to you. For certain types of white
collar crimes, you may not even be able to practice in your profession anymore.
The best way to avoid the stigma of a felony conviction is to avoid one in the first place,
and we will work hard to fight the charges against you. That may mean working to
reduce the charges, have evidence thrown out, or even getting you acquitted if the
case goes all the way to a trial.
No matter the crime, you need an experienced and aggressive Atlanta criminal defense lawyer on your side if you have been arrested for a felony in Fulton County or Gwinnett County.