Unlike misdemeanors and other minor criminal charges, a felony is a serious criminal charge under Georgia law. Felonies carry a sentence of one year or more in prison. Those convicted of felonies often face lengthy prison sentences and fines of over $1,000, depending on the offense. The most common types of felonies include aggravated assault, drug-related charges, sex crimes, crimes linked to gang activity, certain types of fraud, and murder charges.
Being labeled as a “convicted felon” can make it extremely difficult to find employment or obtain a loan. Most felony convictions will stick with the defendant for the rest of their life. Felony convictions make it challenging to get into college, find employment, and acquire certain types of loans. If you’re facing a felony charge in Atlanta, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact the award-winning criminal defense lawyers at Carter/Pilgrim today to schedule your initial consultation.
Common Felony Charges in Atlanta
In every criminal case, the state of Georgia or the federal government brings charges against a defendant for committing a crime against another person or business. Georgia recognizes two different categories of crimes, felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies are crimes that Georgia lawmakers find particularly grievous, and they carry the most severe legal penalties. Many Georgia felonies are violent or are seriously harmful in other ways. The following offenses are commonly charged in Georgia:
- Aggravated battery
- Aggravated assault
- Armed robbery
- Aggravated child molestation
- Kidnapping with bodily injury
- Aggravated sodomy
- Aggravated sexual battery
- Violations of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act (VGCSA)
- Theft of property or assets over a certain threshold
- Sex crimes
- Crimes linked to gang activity
- Identity fraud and other types of fraud
The Penalties of Felony Offenses in Georgia
The penalties for felony offenses depend on the particular crime. However, the punishment for committing any felony is often at least one year or more in state prison, probation, and a fine of over $1,000. In addition, those convicted of a felony in Georgia may lose some or all of their civil rights and liberties, including their right to own a handgun, vote, or work in specific fields.
For example, most schools and universities won’t hire a person with a felony conviction in his or her background. Many people who are convicted of felony crimes will also suffer from tarnished reputations. Convicted felons also have difficulty obtaining loans, finding a job, or buying a home. In some cases, convicted defendants are expelled from their school and denied the eligibility for federal student loans. If you’re facing a felony charge in Atlanta, the sooner you speak to an experienced lawyer, the better.
Rape occurs when a person has carnal knowledge of a female forcibly against her will or a female under the age of 10. Carnal knowledge occurs when there is any amount of penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. Being wrongly charged with a sex crime in Georgia can be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the legal system.
Under Georgia law, the crime of rape comes with a punishment that lasts long after a person’s sentence has been served. In Georgia, defendants convicted of a rape conviction must register as a sex offender for life. Life as a registered sex offender is often difficult and can result in restricted jobs, places to live, and other opportunities.
Aggravated assault is an assault to commit murder, rape, or rob someone using a deadly object or weapon. Prosecutors need to prove that you used a weapon to cause serious bodily injury. Defendants can also face charges of aggravated assault if they discharge a firearm from a vehicle and aim it toward people. The felony crime of aggravated assault carries a penalty of one to 20 years in prison.
Certain times of aggravated assault require mandatory minimum prison sentences. If you are accused of committing aggravated assault against a public safety officer, such as a police officer, you will face a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 10 years. When a person doesn’t commit the aggravated assault with a firearm, the assault will come with a mandatory five-year minimum jail sentence.
Likewise, if a defendant commits an aggravated assault against a person age 65 or older, or against a person in a public transit station or vehicle, he or she will face a three-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
In an aggravated battery, the defendant maliciously causes bodily harm by disfiguring someone, making that person’s body useless, or by “depriving him or her of a member of his or her body.” Typically, aggravated battery carries a fine of up to 20 years in prison. As with aggravated assault, those charged with the aggravated battery will face mandatory minimum prison sentences under certain conditions. When a defendant commits an aggravated battery against a peace officer or an older adult, he or she faces a minimum prison sentence of five to three years.
Marijuana Possession with Intent to Distribute
Prosecutors must prove that the defendant is guilty of possession with the intent to distribute beyond a reasonable doubt. This felony crime hinges on the defendant’s intent. When prosecutors cannot prove that you intended to distribute the marijuana, you cannot be convicted. Marijuana possession with the intent to distribute carries a prison sentence of one to ten years. As with other felony charges, when certain factors are present, the defendant will face enhanced sentencing.
Contact Our Atlanta Felony Crimes Lawyers Today
Hiring an experienced felony defense lawyer will help your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in court. At Carter/Pilgrim, we are committed to fighting on behalf of the best interests of our clients. The more time your defense lawyer has to gather evidence and create a compelling legal strategy, the better. We advocate strongly for our clients to ensure that their rights are respected and that they receive justice under the law. Contact our experienced lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.