Felony Charges in Fulton County

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Conoscienti and Ledbetter can help fighting felony charges in Fulton County. Call us today for a full case review.

Blake Ledbetter Atlanta AttorneyAuthor: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter

Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on December 21, 2023.

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Understanding the Process and Implications of Felony Charges in Fulton County

Facing felony charges in Fulton County Superior Court can profoundly impact your life. Unlike misdemeanors, felonies are considered more severe crimes in Fulton County with significant consequences. They carry a minimum jail sentence of one year and the maximum fines specific to each offense. It’s crucial to understand the process and implications of felony charges and have skilled legal representation to protect your rights during this challenging time.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the felony charges process in Fulton County. We’ll delve into the structure of the criminal justice system, explain essential legal procedures in felony cases, discuss potential outcomes, and explore how Georgia law poses challenges in this context.

We recommend contacting us at Conoscienti and Ledbetter if you need reliable legal support. Our team of attorneys has a proven track record in criminal defense cases, including felonies. 

Understanding Felony Charges

Georgia has some of the strictest felony sentencing laws in the nation. Felonies, which include crimes carrying punishments of death, life imprisonment, or imprisonment exceeding 12 months, have far more severe repercussions compared to misdemeanors. Two-strikes laws, mandatory minimum sentences, and non-parolable offenses further intensify the gravity of a felony conviction in Georgia.

It’s important to note that felonies encompass more than violent crimes. They include crimes against individuals (murder and assault), property crimes (robbery and arson), fraud, Georgia election law violation, crimes against Georgia’s election laws, or acts of terrorism that endanger the public.

The Legal Landscape of Fulton County

In Fulton County, felony cases progress swiftly due to the overwhelming caseload. To streamline the legal process, the courts are divided into three segments, all aimed at expediting each case. Notably, the vast majority of criminal cases in Fulton County Superior Court Criminal are resolved within nine weeks of arrest, with two court dates scheduled during this period. This emphasizes the importance of skilled legal representation for felony charges, given the limited timeframe to mount a defense.  

Moreover, Fulton County prosecutors lack autonomy in decision-making; they must seek approval from higher-level prosecutors for actions such as dropping or altering charges. 

Penalties for Felony Charges in Fulton County

The penalties for felonies in Fulton County significantly surpass those for misdemeanors. The distinction lies in the severity of the potential sentence. A misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. On the other hand, a felony, considered a more severe offense, mandates a minimum of one year in jail and maximum fines specific to the offense.

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Key Legal Procedures in Felony Cases

Arraignment and Initial Court Appearances

During the arraignment phase, defendants undergo a formal hearing presided over by a Superior Court judge. Charges are formally presented, and the defendant can enter a plea – guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (no contest). At Conoscienti and Ledbetter, our defense attorneys often file a written waiver of arraignment and enter a plea of not guilty, typically excusing both the defense attorney and the accused from court appearances.

We offer guidance for clients opting to be present after filing a written waiver. The case is resolved without a jury trial if the defendant pleads guilty or no contest. However, if a not-guilty plea is entered, the Court proceeds to set a trial date.

The Trial Process

Every defendant is entitled to a trial by jury, with the option for a bench trial with a judge in some instances. Before making that call, it’s crucial to have extensive discussions with the defendant’s criminal defense lawyer. Pre-trial motions, usually filed during arraignment, might occur before the trial. Once the trial starts, it follows a specific procedure, starting with jury selection. 

Once the jury is selected, both sides give their opening statements, with the prosecutor or district attorney presenting first. Then, both sides present their evidence, with the prosecutor leading before the defense. A rebuttal is allowed before the evidence presentation ends. Then, both sides give their closing statements, the court instructs the jury, and they deliberate the case. 

Defense Strategies and Legal Resources

Building a Strong Defense

At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, we believe every felony case is unique, with its facts, evidence, and circumstances. This understanding drives how we approach felony defense. We offer a personalized defense strategy for each client, from experienced burglary defense in Atlanta to handling complex fraud cases. We carefully analyze the evidence, identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and explore all available defense options. 

Our unwavering commitment is to build the most robust defense tailored to your situation. Given the high stakes in a felony case, having an attorney who comprehensively understands your case and strategizes accordingly can significantly impact the outcome. Our Aggravated Assault Attorney consistently goes above and beyond for clients, fighting tirelessly for their rights and freedom.

Legal Resources and Support

Fulton County provides various legal resources for individuals facing felony charges. For instance, first-time offenders charged with low-level felonies like drug possession, theft, or fraud under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act might qualify for a diversion program.

Diversion offers a valuable chance for first-time offenders. Upon program completion, your case is placed on the dead docket, and the District Attorney’s Office agrees to Record Restrictions for your arrest record. This provision offers a unique chance to resolve your legal situation and secure a fresh start without the burden of a criminal record. 

Record Restriction and Expungement

Record restriction, or expungement, is a legal process that limits access to a person’s criminal record. By restricting access, individuals can legally deny past criminal charges or convictions in most cases, significantly improving their opportunities for employment, housing, loans, and more. 

At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, we get how much a previous criminal conviction can impact your life. That’s why our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to guiding you through the ins and outs of Record Restriction Services. We believe in second chances and go above and beyond to ensure your past doesn’t define your future.

    Don’t delay. Schedule a risk-free consultation today.

    Why Choose Conoscienti and Ledbetter

    At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, our track record of effectively managing and vigorously defending felony cases, including those related to the Georgia RICO law, speaks volumes. Our criminal defense experience extends to skillfully navigating charge reductions, negotiating favorable plea agreements, and securing acquittals. From drug offenses to violent crimes, we relentlessly defend rights, fight for interests, and precisely navigate the legal landscape.

    Guided by integrity, efficiency, compassion, and honesty, we tirelessly seek justice. With over 40 years of combined experience, our reliable representation covers various legal areas, including aggravated assault defense. We stand committed to ensuring fair treatment and pursuing justice for our clients.

    Safeguarding Your Future with Conoscienti & Ledbetter

    When facing felony charges, taking immediate action and seeking skilled legal representation is crucial. At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, our experienced attorneys are equipped to handle complex criminal cases. From white-collar offenses like fraud and embezzlement to Drug Trafficking Federal Offenses, we possess the skills, tenacity, and knowledge to develop robust federal drug trafficking defense strategies. Act now to secure your future by contacting us, and let our professional guidance support you through these challenging times.

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