If you are facing criminal charges in Georgia, it is important to understand the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. The classification of the crime determines the severity of the punishment and the long-term consequences.
Misdemeanors in Georgia
In Georgia, a misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony. The penalties for a misdemeanor can include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail. Examples of misdemeanor crimes in Georgia include disorderly conduct, simple battery, and first-time DUI offenses.
Misdemeanors are classified as either “high and aggravated” or “less than high and aggravated.” High and aggravated misdemeanors carry a more severe punishment than less than high. Some examples of high and aggravated misdemeanors in Georgia include shoplifting, stalking, and certain types of theft.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor in Georgia, it will stay on your criminal record permanently. This can impact your ability to get a job, apply for housing, and obtain loans in the future.
Felonies in Georgia
In Georgia, a felony is a more severe offense than a misdemeanor. If someone is convicted of a felony, they may face imprisonment for at least one year, as well as a fine of up to $100,000. Some examples of felony crimes in Georgia include murder, rape, and armed robbery.
Like misdemeanors, felonies are classified into different categories based on their severity. Georgia has six classes of felonies, with Class A being the most serious and Class E being the least serious.
If you are convicted of a felony in Georgia, it can have lifelong consequences. You may lose your right to vote, own a firearm, or hold certain professional licenses. It can also impact your ability to get a job, apply for housing, and obtain loans.
Differences Between Misdemeanors and Felonies
The main difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the severity of the crime and the punishment. Misdemeanors are relatively less serious crimes and are punishable by fines and up to 12 months in jail. Felonies are more severe crimes and are punishable by imprisonment for one year or more and a fine of up to $100,000.
Another difference between misdemeanors and felonies is the impact they have on your criminal record. Misdemeanors stay on your record permanently and can impact your ability to get a job, apply for housing, and obtain loans. Felonies also stay on your record permanently but can have an even more significant impact on your future, making it even more difficult to obtain work, housing, and loans.
The Process of Being Charged With a Crime in Georgia
If you are charged with a crime in Georgia, the process can be confusing and overwhelming. The process starts with an arrest, followed by an arraignment, where you will be informed of the charges against you.
After your arraignment, there will be a preliminary hearing where the prosecutor will present evidence against you. If the judge finds there is enough evidence, your case will go to trial.
When the trial begins, the prosecution will present its case against you, and you will have the opportunity to present your defense. If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced.
If you are facing criminal charges in Georgia or you know someone who is, it’s important to understand the charges against you and to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can help guide you through the process and will work to protect your rights.
Whenever you need legal assistance in Monroe, GA, or Walton County, look no further than Hanks, Ballard & Barth, LLC. Our team of expert attorneys is ready to assist you in a variety of practice areas, including criminal defense. Don’t let legal issues overwhelm you – contact our Monroe law firm today to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Monroe, GA, that clients can trust. Let us help you protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.