The potential impact a criminal conviction can have on your freedom, finances, as well as personal and professional life can be devastating. In addition to facing a lengthy prison sentence and/or hefty fines, your future employment opportunities may become limited, and you may lose certain rights. You need skilled legal representation to protect your future.
If you are facing a situation where it’s time to find the best Sandy Springs criminal defense lawyer then you will want to reach out to Diaz & Gaeta. We are committed to providing an aggressive defense to people who have been accused or charged with all kinds of crimes.
What Are Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant in Georgia?
If you have been arrested for a potential crime, you may wonder what rights you have. There are many rights given to criminal defendants by the U.S. Constitution. Here are the most important rights a criminal defendant in Georgia has:
The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment prohibits law enforcement from carrying out unwarranted searches or unjustified seizures. It stipulates that the police need probable cause to stop you in the first place and conduct an unwarranted search.
The police are required to obtain a warrant from a judge before carrying out any search or seizure. It also stipulates that evidence obtained through illegal means is not admissible in court.
The Fifth Amendment
The Fifth Amendment encompasses a number of important protections for people facing criminal charges, including:
- Protection against self-incrimination (right to remain silent).
- Protection against double jeopardy (being prosecuted twice for the same criminal charge).
- The right to a fair trial.
- The right to a jury trial.
The Sixth Amendment
As per the Sixth Amendment, criminal defendants should be made aware of the criminal charges brought against them. It also guarantees the right to a public trial without delay. Under the Sixth Amendment, criminal defendants also have the right to know their accusers and confront them.
This amendment also guarantees your right to legal representation (the right to an attorney). For those who can’t afford one, the court should provide one for you. Under this amendment, the prosecution is required to reveal any evidence against you that will be presented to the judge and jury. Any evidence presented in court by the prosecution that wasn’t mentioned before goes against the Sixth Amendment.
The Eighth Amendment
The eighth amendment guarantees your right to post bail and protects you against excessive bail or fine amounts as well as cruel or unusual punishment. This amendment prohibits the courts from giving out unreasonable punishments based on personal feelings or prejudices against the defendant.
What Is a Misdemeanor vs. a Felony in Georgia?
Compared to a felony, a misdemeanor carries less severe consequences. As per Georgia statute O.C.G.A. 17-10-3, a misdemeanor is a crime punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or a jail term not exceeding 12 months or both. Examples of misdemeanor offenses in Georgia include public intoxication, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, DUIs, and theft in which the value of the property stolen is less than $500.
In the state of Georgia, a felony is defined as a crime punishable by a prison sentence of not less than 12 months, by life imprisonment, or by death.
Some examples of maximum felony penalties include:
- 5-year felony: sexual battery of a minor below 16 years, obstructing a police officer.
- 10-year felony: theft by extortion, aggravated stalking.
- Life imprisonment: forcible rape, second-degree murder, kidnapping for ransom.
- Death penalty: murder with aggravating circumstances, treason, and hijacking an aircraft.
Should I Speak to a Lawyer Before Talking to the Police?
It is always best to speak to a lawyer before talking to the police. You have the right to remain silent while in police custody. The police can’t force you to provide details about the crime you are being accused of.
You have specific legal rights and a lawyer understands these rights and how to protect them. If you want to go with a law firm that has your best interests at heart then you are going to want to reach out to Diaz & Gaeta at 678-329-9084. We will be certain to help.
How Does the Habitual Offender Law Work?
The habitual offender law is focused on a person’s track record and the likelihood of them committing a similar or different crime. This acts as a preventative method to ensure the habitual offender does not break the law again.
The habitual offender law allows the judge to impose more stringent punishments on repeat offenders. In the state of Georgia, a habitual offender is anyone who has been convicted of at least three major offenses in the last five years.
In a situation such as this, you should be reaching out to our Sandy Springs criminal defense lawyers at 678-329-9084.
How Will a Sandy Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?
When you are thinking about your legal options, it becomes important to go with someone that is professionally trained to handle criminal defense cases. This is why having a highly experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyer in Sandy Springs makes a difference.
At Diaz & Gaeta, we offer a wide array of solutions and ways that can help legal clients.
- Case Preparation.
- Plea Bargains.
- Assessment of Case Outcomes.
- Knowledge of Law & Court Regulations.
- Trial Expertise.
If you want to do things the right way, you will know it is time to hire Diaz & Gaeta for your case. We will be on top of things immediately.
What Is the Cost of Legal Representation?
All criminal cases are different. How much you can expect to pay for a private criminal defense attorney will vary depending on a number of factors including the type of case, the severity of the crime, the experience of the attorney, and your financial status. If your case goes to trial, you will end up paying more.
Is There an Advantage to Going with a Private Attorney Compared to a Court-Appointed Attorney?
Court-appointed attorneys are government employees tasked with the role of representing criminal defendants who can’t afford to hire their own attorneys. As a result, they are often overworked and underpaid.
The benefit of going with a private attorney is knowing they will be working on fewer cases, which means the private attorney is going to spend more time on your legal strategy and be able to offer personalized service. They also have greater access to resources.
This is far better than going with a court-appointed attorney who is going to have a lesser incentive to guide you in the right direction. At Diaz & Gaeta, we know how important a private attorney is and that is why we are going to take the time to help out once you call 678-329-9084.
Can You Represent Yourself?
You have the right to represent yourself in a criminal case, but this is not the best way forward. Almost all self-represented criminal cases end in a conviction, with heftier punishments. The prosecutors will waste no time tearing your weak defense strategy apart. You also risk getting convicted on a technicality due to a lack of knowledge of the laws and the criminal justice system.
At Diaz & Gaeta, we believe it is best to go with a law firm that is credible, qualified, and ready to assist professionally. We are a good law firm that is affordable and will make sure to put in the work you need during this time in your life. To learn more, give Diaz & Gaeta a call at 678-329-9084.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain can be offered during legal proceedings. It is your right to decide which direction to go in and it comes down to your specific situation.
The best approach is to sit down and walk through the plea bargain agreement with a credible criminal defense lawyer from Diaz & Gaeta. We will take the time to go through each part of the agreement to see whether or not it is in line with what you want.
How to Appeal a Conviction in Georgia
When there is a conviction in the state of Georgia, you are immediately going to want to know what the next steps are. You can file an appeal to have the conviction overturned. In Georgia, murder cases are appealed to the Supreme Court while other criminal cases are appealed to the Court of Appeals.
At Diaz & Gaeta, we can help offer access to this type of legal process and ensure you are defended with incredible care. Our legal resources ensure you are going to receive appropriate legal support every step of the way. This helps when appealing a conviction you believe is unjust and unlawful.
Contact Our Sandy Springs Criminal Defense Lawyers Today!
It is not easy to be in a situation where a criminal case has to be fought. It is going to include a complicated set of steps and each one is going to be handled with care.
To get things right with a case such as this one, you will want to see what Diaz & Gaeta has to suggest. We are trained to help with these types of cases and will ensure everything is done to help. To find out more about what we do for our clients, reach out to us at 678-329-9084 for a free consultation.