What to Do if You Have Been Accused of a Crime
Our Gwinnett County criminal defense attorney explains what you need to know if you are accused of a crime in Georgia.
Being accused of any type of crime in Georgia is a serious matter. It can jeopardize your job, your reputation in the community, and your relationships with family members. Depending on the exact charges, a conviction could result in heavy fines and a potentially lengthy prison sentence. It is important to act quickly in this situation. Our Gwinnett County criminal defense attorney explains what you need to know and the actions you should take.
Protect Yourself if Accused of a Crime in Gwinnett County
Most people have limited experience with police and the criminal justice system. If you are accused of a crime in Gwinnett County, take these steps to protect yourself:
- Cooperate at the scene. Do not attempt to flee or resist arrest.
- Remain silent. Other than providing your name and other basic information, assert your rights under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remain silent.
- Pay attention to procedures. Police are required to follow certain procedures, such as reading you your Miranda rights, granting you a phone call at the police station, and following a chain of custody in handling evidence. Failing to do so could be grounds for dismissing your case.
- Request an attorney: Before making statements, signing any documents, or agreeing to any pleas, speak to an experienced Gwinnett County criminal defense attorney first.
Know What to Expect if You are Charged/Arrested
Under the Georgia Criminal Code, there are two types of criminal charges you could be facing. Misdemeanor crimes are generally considered less serious but could still result in hundreds of dollars in fines and up to a one-year jail sentence. Felony crimes are a more serious matter. In addition to fines, these could result in thousands of dollars in court costs and other expenses, in addition to multiple years in prison.
In either case, it is important to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side right away. We can guide you through Georgia’s Criminal Justice System. Here is what to expect:
- ArrestandBooking: Once taken into custody, you will be photographed, fingerprinted and allowed one call before being placed in a holding cell.
- Initial appearance: You will generally appear before a judge 72 hours after your arrest, or 48 hours after your arrest if you were arrested without a warrant. At this hearing, your attorney can negotiate bail or bond.
- Preliminary hearing: The judge will consider the facts in the case to determine whether there is probable cause to charge you with a crime.
- Indictment/Arraignment: Once you are formally charged, in the case of a misdemeanor, or indicted in the case of a felony, your case then proceeds to trial.
Contact Our Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
When facing any type of criminal charges in Georgia, reach out to Zimmerman & Associates. We provide a strong legal defense to help prevent a conviction. Give us a call or contact our office online to speak with our experienced Gwinnett County criminal defense attorneys today.