Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Attorneys
The legal consequences and emotional impact of being charged with - or having a family member charged with - a crime are significant. This is why your best course of action is to retain a criminal defense attorney who acts accurately and quickly on your behalf. Here at Zimmerman & Associates, we respond quickly and can advise you on posting bail, how to respond to a citation of driver's license suspension, and how best to maintain your driver's license, etc. We represent clients charged with, among other things, misdemeanors (DUI, MIP, and marijuana) and/or felonies (drug use/possession, burglary, armed robbery, and murder).
Zimmerman & Associates successfully defends their client charged with 8 counts of Homicide by Vessel...
In an extremely high profile case, which captivated the public for over a year, our client was involved in an accident on Lake Lanier, when his boat collided with another boat. The accident resulted in the tragic death of two young boys. Our client was charged with 8 counts of Homicide by Vessel in the First Degree and several misdemeanor counts. The media portrayed our client to be a monster, a child murderer, and a drunk. The relentless negative reporting on this case created a strong public opinion that our client was guilty, and that he should be severely punished.
In November of 2013, we began a two week trial in which our firm presented evidence that this was simply a tragic accident, not a crime. Through expert testimony, we showed that our client was following the rules of the road for boating, and that he was not the cause of the accident. We also showed through expert testimony that the Prosecution’s Retrograde Extrapolation of our client’s Blood Alcohol Content was a scientifically flawed procedure and that our client’s Blood Alcohol Content was not above the legal limit.
After two long weeks of emotional and heart wrenching testimony, the jury deliberated for almost two full days. With every local media outlet broadcasting live from inside the court room, the entire State of Georgia tuned in and waited anxiously as the verdict was read…. Not guilty and acquitted on all 8 counts of Homicide by Vessel.
We assisted this battered wife...
Our client was charged with first degree murder for the stabbing and killing of her husband (the victim). The victim had a long history of physically and verbally abusing our client. On the day of the incident, following an altercation in which the victim had beaten our client, she was in the kitchen washing dishes when the victim came after her again. Our client was cleaning a paring knife at the time and warned the victim to stay away from her. The victim again approached and our client stabbed him. Within a matter of minutes the victim died.
Our firm presented evidence at trial that our client was acting in self-defense, and through expert medical testimony, that she suffered from Battered Wife's Syndrome. After a two week trial and only two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty and acquitted our client of murder.
We successfully got a case of alleged armed robbery dismissed...
Our client was charged with armed robbery, among other things, for allegedly waiting in the back of the victims' (a drug dealer) car and taking his money at gunpoint when he entered the car. Our client was wearing a mask and was identified by his voice by the victim. We were able to obtain a dismissal of all charges against our client.
Another case dismissed, this time for alleged theft...
Our client was charged with breaking into cars at a local high school and taking items from each car. At an evidentiary hearing, the prosecution presented testimony from the three victims, as well as the high school resource officer. Each witness identified our client without actually seeing him at the scene of the crime. Identification was the issue. Prior to presenting our alibi defense, we moved to dismiss all charges for the prosecution's failure to present the requisite evidence. The judge granted the motion and dismissed the case.
Zimmerman & Associates successfully defended this client on a charge of DUI...
Our client was arrested in the parking lot of a family restaurant in Cherokee County, Georgia. The video from one of the officer's patrol cars confirmed he was highly intoxicated and practically unable to walk under his own power. He was then cited by the arresting officers with Driving Under the Influence and possessing an Open Container of Alcohol in his vehicle. This arrest represented our client's fourth D.U.I. charge lifetime. However, after a two day trial, our client was acquitted on both charges.
DUI? All charges dismissed...
Our client was pulled over for having an expired tag. One of the two arresting officers detected an odor of alcohol. Our client admitted to drinking three or four beers earlier in the day. He also submitted to several field sobriety tests. He consented to an alcohol breath test and registered a .110 blood alcohol content. Although charged with DUI and Expired Tag, we were successful in having all charges dismissed.
License in jeopardy? Read on for this hallmark Zimmerman win ...
Our client was charged with his fourth DUI. As a result, his license was suspended. After the license was reinstated, our client went about his normal life. Four years later the State sent him a notice suspending his license for another two years, based upon the same DUIs. We were successful in having our client's license reinstated, by winning a hallmark decision dealing with Georgia Constitutional Due Process.
If you have questions about the criminal justice process, the professionals at Zimmerman & Associates have answers.
Can Officers Pull Me Over for Speeding?
Absolutely. Police officers can detain people if the officer reasonably suspects criminal activity. Reasonable suspicion is basically an evidence-based hunch. Therefore, any traffic violation, moving or non-moving, satisfies this requirement.
Police cars upset many drivers. They glance nervously in their rearview mirrors or swerve slightly. These and other furtive movements don’t constitute reasonable suspicion.
Reasonable suspicion is a very low standard of evidence. So, it is difficult for a Norcross criminal defense lawyer to successfully challenge police stops in court.
DUI roadblocks are different. Officers do not need reasonable suspicion to detain motorists at checkpoints if the checkpoint meets certain legal requirements.
When Can Officers Arrest Me?
Officers need probable cause to arrest people. That is a low standard of proof. The same standard of proof applies in grand jury proceedings. The grand jury indictment rate is 99%. In fact, a New York judge once remarked that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.
Because the standard of proof is so low, a Norcross criminal defense lawyer often uses procedural defenses to challenge probable cause in a criminal case. For example, Sam might tell officers about the drugs in the glove compartment, but if his confession was involuntary, perhaps because officers did not read him his rights, the drugs are inadmissible in court, probable cause or not.
How Do I Get Out of Jail?
Many jail inmates are simply waiting for their court dates because they cannot afford bail. So, to clean out local jails, Gwinnett County defendants usually have multiple jail release options.
OR (Own Recognizance) release is usually an option if the defendant allegedly committed a nonviolent misdemeanor, and the defendant has no criminal record. If a defendant promises to appear at trial and obey other bail conditions, the sheriff releases the defendant on their own recognizance.
Cash bail and bail bonds are usually available in most situations, even if the defendant is charged with a violent felony and s/he has a criminal record. Cash bail is like a security deposit. Defendants who toe the line get most of their deposits back when their cases are resolved. A bail bond is like an insurance policy. Most companies charge a 10% or 15% fee.
Should I Hire a Lawyer or Go With the Public Defender?
Not every defendant has a choice. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a lawyer, but it does not guarantee the right to a free Norcross criminal defense lawyer.
Judges often appoint lawyers for defendants who cannot make bail. There is a presumption that defendants who cannot afford bail cannot afford lawyers.
The opposite is true in non-jail cases. There is a presumption that defendants who can make bail can afford to hire lawyers. Evidence, usually in the form of a financial affidavit, could refute this presumption.
Most public defenders and court-appointed lawyers are top-flight criminal defense attorneys, but plenty are not. Defendants have no control over the assignment process. Judges assign whoever they want to assign, and in most cases, defendants cannot request new attorneys.
In contrast, defendants who hire their own lawyers have complete control over the process. Defendants can focus on qualities like experience, dedication, and accessibility and make their own choices. Furthermore, most defendants can change lawyers at any time.
Please call or email Zimmerman & Associates today, and let us know how we can help you.
(770) 350 - 0100
The case summaries on this site are actual summaries of cases Zimmerman & Associates has successfully handled. In order to maintain the confidentiality of our clients, all references to identifying information has been omitted. Furthermore, these outcomes, while real, cannot be relied upon as either typical or guaranteed outcomes.