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What To Do If You’re Facing Serious Felony Charges

A felony is a serious offense. Felony charges can carry a sentence of more than a year in prison. There are varying degrees or levels of felonies; the degree or level determines the maximum sentence. Some felonies carry up to five years in prison, while other felonies carry up to life in prison or even the death penalty. There are numerous crimes which qualify as felonies. Our lawyers defend clients facing these types of felony charges:

Murder

Murder is the most serious felony; it can even carry the death penalty. Murder can be committed either by intentionally killing another or by unintentionally causing someone’s death. Getting the state to forego seeking the death penalty is a huge victory in and of itself, but the accused would still face life in prison.

It is important to realize that murder is not the only type of crime that involves a killing. In Georgia, there is also felony murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and vehicular homicide. Every level of homicide carries penalties that are severe and life-altering. Each level of homicide has very specific and different elements that the state must prove. Most importantly, each level of homicide has different arguments that defend against the accusation. Hiring a felony lawyer will ensure avoiding life in prison and the death penalty.

Arson

First Degree Arson is a serious felony which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. This crime occurs when fire or explosives are used to cause damage to a structure or vehicle. Though the damage to the structure or vehicle does not have to be severe, there are minimum thresholds for what qualifies as damage. Furthermore, the state often uses expert testimony to try to explain how a fire started. Understanding the difference between smoke damage and actual charring can be essential in defending any arson case. In addition to First Degree Arson, there are also lesser forms of arson. Second Degree Arson, which is encouraging or helping another commit arson, carries up to ten years in prison. Third Degree Arson, which is using fire or explosives to cause damage to personal property, carries up to five years in prison. Regardless of the degree charged, an advocate who grasps the complexity of arson is vital to any arson defense.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault is an assault committed either with the intent to murder, rape or rob the victim, or is an assault committed with a deadly weapon. Strangulation or discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle toward a person may also constitute as Aggravated Assault. Though most Aggravated Assaults carry a sentence of up to 20 years, the potential sentence can be as high as 50 years if the victim is under 14 years old. There are various defenses that could be argued; a defense requires a keen understanding of the limited circumstances in which physical force is allowed. Having a felony lawyer adept at persuading a jury that force was warranted may save an accused from conviction.

Burglary

Burglary is entering or remaining in a structure without consent and with the intent to commit a theft or felony. There are many potential defense strategies in a burglary case. For instance, if the accused was homeless, one strategy would be to attack the state’s ability to prove any intent to commit a theft or felony therein; if someone merely entered to have a place to sleep that act would not be a burglary. Having a felony lawyer who can convince a jury that the intent was not criminal can mean the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.

Theft

Felony theft is taking property which is worth more than $500 with the intent to permanently deprive the owner. Another version of felony theft is Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, which is when an accused receives, disposes of, or keeps stolen property worth over $500. Determining a property’s value is not always easy, particularly in the case of used property. Effectively challenging both lay witness and expert witness testimony regarding value can be critical to reducing the case to a mere misdemeanor, which would carry a sentence of at most a year in jail instead of up to 10 years in prison.

Drug Charges

There are multiple felony drug charges. The mere possession of almost any type of illegal substance is a felony. Even if the accused only had possession of a single piece of an illegal substance, that one piece can land someone in prison. If the drugs in question are found next to scales and cash, the charge is likely to increase to Possession with Intent to Distribute. Similarly, if that one tiny pebble is found next to certain chemicals (such as methanol, ether, toluene or sulfuric acid), the charge is likely to be increased to Manufacturing a Controlled Substance. Each of the before-mentioned charges are possible when an accused is simply found with drugs. In addition to possession, we also represent those accused of Sale of a Controlled Drug and Drug Trafficking. Each type of drug charge comes with different penalties; some of the charges include mandatory minimum sentences of five to 25 years. Depending on the conduct of the police during the search, the items used to increase the charge (baggies, scales, chemicals, etc.) or even the drugs themselves may be rendered inadmissible. It is important to hire an advocate who is an expert in examining and challenging police conduct.

Contact An Experienced Lawyer Who Will Fight Your Felony Charges

If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony, it is imperative that you hire an experienced lawyer immediately. The penalties for any felony are significant and life-changing. The possibility of prison, life in prison or even death is very real. You owe it to yourself and your family to ensure that a future is still ahead of you; obtain an experienced and aggressive Marietta felony attorney by calling 770-919-9525 or using the online contact form.