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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Misdemeanors Are Not Minor in Georgia

Although misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, they do not come without a price. A misdemeanor conviction could cost you jail time, fines, community service and probation on top of a permanent criminal record. Under the criminal justice system, misdemeanors are crimes that are less serious than felonies, but more serious than infractions. If you were arrested or charged with a misdemeanor, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your case.

Local ordinances in Georgia define misdemeanors, making them punishable by up to one year in jail and with fines for most ranging from $300 to $1000. More serious misdemeanors are considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Similar to a regular misdemeanor, the sentence can only reach 12 months; however, fines can be as high as $5000.

Misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies; however, they still carry significant penalties in Georgia. Penalties can include jail, community service, the loss of right to possess a firearm (e.g. family violence offense), loss of federal financial aid for education (drug offenses), loss of driving privileges and the publication of your photo in the newspaper.

In addition to the above, a misdemeanor conviction would mean that you would have a permanent criminal record. A criminal record will certainly affect your ability to gain employment, promotions and access to higher education. Even a small offense can change your life forever, barring you from numerous employment opportunities for years to come.

Some of the most common misdemeanors include public drunkenness, vandalism, prostitution, trespassing, certain forms of domestic violence and DUI. Since misdemeanors are, in fact, crimes, they will affect many aspects of your life. For example, if you are a commercial truck driver, your license can be suspended and you can permanently lose your job.

If you are a parent, a small altercation with another person can land you in jail for several months or longer. How would incarceration affect your ability to care for your children? For some single parents, the children have to become wards of the state. Not only would the extended separation be detrimental to you, but it could have a major negative impact on your children’s emotional well-being. Even short periods of incarceration lasting three or four months can have devastating effects on your family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ross & Pines, LLC
Ross & Pines, LLC is a criminal defense firm located in Atlanta, Georgia. Their firm defends clients who are faced with all types of criminal charges, no matter whether they are misdemeanors or felonies. Over the years, their firm has been regarded as a professional firm which provides their clients with an aggressive and unrelenting defense.

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