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Athens Felony Defense Attorney

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Felony charges can lead to serious jail time, fines, and other criminal penalties. If you have been charged with a felony, we will fight with you and for you and build the best defense possible.

What is a felony in Georgia?

In Georgia, all crimes punishable by more than one year in jail are considered felonies.  Georgia does not have different classes of felonies but instead, the sentencing range is set by statute for each specific offense.

The most serious felonies in Georgia are murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping with bodily injury, aggravated child molestation and aggravated sexual battery and aggravated sodomy (also known as "the seven deadly sins."). Convictions for these offenses can result in decades in prison up to a life sentence.  Less serious (although still incredibly serious) felonies include theft, identity theft and fraud, drug possession and distribution and generally result in shorter sentences.

Felony Cases We Handle

At Ryan J. Swingle, Attorney at Law, LLC, we handle a variety of misdemeanor charges, including but not limited to:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Aggravated Child Molestation
  • Aggravated Stalking
  • Drug Possession, Manufacturing, Possession with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution and Sales
  • Murder
  • Embezzlement
  • Rape

No matter the offense, we stand ready to fight for you and with you. We are 100 percent committed to your case and will do what is necessary to give you the best possible defense.

Jail Time and Legal Ramifications for Felonies in GA

As compared to misdemeanors, felonies are more serious offenses that carry harsher criminal penalties and fines. In Georgia, misdemeanors carry up to 12 months of jail time. By contrast, all felonies carry a prison sentence of 12 months or more. The length of a prison sentence varies depending on the nature of the crime committed. Below are just a few examples of penalties for felony offenses in Georgia:

  • Aggravated battery: One to 20 years in prison
  • Rape: Death, life imprisonment without parole, life imprisonment, or at least 25 years of imprisonment followed by probation for life
  • Robbery: One to 20 years in prison, with a minimum sentence of five years for robbery of a person 65 years of age or older
  • Possession of a Schedule III, IV and V substance: One to 10 years in prison

There are other penalties associated with felonies in Georgia. For example, individuals charged and convicted of a felony may be subject to asset forfeiture, the loss of driving privileges, sex offender registration, and payment of restitution to the victim of a crime.

Do you need a lawyer for a felony offense?

If you are facing felony charges in Georgia, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Aside from criminal sentencing, the collateral consequences of a felony conviction can have a long lasting impact on your quality of life. A criminal record can limit your ability to find housing, seek education, own firearms, vote, and obtain credit or personal loans. A criminal defense attorney can help you protect your future and freedom.

We understand that facing serious criminal charges can be scary, and finding the right criminal defense attorney can be intimidating. The first step to building a strong defense against criminal charges is a free consultation. We are here to listen to your story, review the facts of your case, and begin working on your defense. Contact our office to set up a time to talk with Athens felony defense attorney Ryan Swingle today. We look forward to serving you.

Georgia Felony defense faq

What are the Classes of Felonies in Georgia?
Felonies in Georgia are charged as first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree crimes. First–degree offenses are the most severe felonies, including burglary, aggravated assault, drug trafficking, sexual assault, murder, and aggravated battery. Second-degree offenses are less severe than first-degree offenses, including kidnapping, arson in the first degree, and possessing a firearm while committing a crime. Third-degree offenses represent the least severe felonies, including forgery and arson.

What Are The Penalties For Felonies In Georgia?
In Georgia, felony penalties may include the following:
Incarceration for one year or more in prison
Monetary fines of up to $100,000
Capital punishment
Parole ineligibilityLife imprisonment

Additional consequences for a felony conviction may include a permanent criminal record, removal of voting rights, or loss of the right to bear arms.

How Long Do You Go to Prison for a Felony in Georgia?
The amount of time you will spend in prison for a felony in Georgia will vary depending on the severity of the charge and the specific circumstances of your case. Generally, the sentence can take a minimum of one year in prison to a maximum of life imprisonment or even death.The “two-strike” law for felonies in Georgia removes parole eligibility for someone convicted of two serious felonies. This means the court can award the maximum punishment allowed by law.

What is the Georgia Statute of Limitations on Felonies?
Like most states in the United States, Georgia sets time limits for various felonies. The general statute of limitations are:

Seven years for felonies committed against child victims
Seven years for crimes punishable by life imprisonment or death
Four years for other felonies

There are a few exceptions for specific crimes. For instance, the statute of limitations prescribes no limits for felonies involving murder or forgery. The time limit for manslaughter is seven years after the offense if the victim is below 18. Capital crimes such as treason and armed robbery have a time limit of seven years after the crime.

Can Felony Charges Be Dropped in Georgia?

Yes, a felony charge in Georgia can be dropped as long as it has not been convicted. A judge can drop the charge if no reasonable cause or evidence is found. However, when a conviction is made, no process is available to remove a felony. The conviction will remain on your record for the rest of your life.But if your conviction was entered in Georgia’s First Offender Act, it can be restricted from the view or access of non-law enforcement entities. This exception is only available for those who have completed the terms of their sentence without problems.

Felony crimes can be very complex and difficult to navigate. For this reason, you should consult a felony defense lawyer at Ryan Swingle Law to learn your options. Contact our office at (706) 708-0827 for a free consultation and discuss your case details with our Athens defense attorney, Ryan Swingle.

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