After an arrest and a felony charge, many people wonder what to do next. Felony convictions may come with stiff prison sentences and hefty fines, leading to missed milestones and valuable time away from friends and family. Even after release, felony convictions don’t go away. Individuals with a felony criminal record will find it hard to land a job, get a professional license or apply for a lease. Custody rights might be affected, along with the ability to travel internationally. Convicted felons are barred from holding state office, possessing firearms or using certain public benefits.
With so much at stake, it’s important to take felony charges seriously from the start. A Georgia felony attorney can help, mounting a strong defense or even negotiating a reduction in charges for certain crimes. So what steps should you take if you’re charged with a felony in Georgia?
After an arrest, it’s important to get help from a felony defense lawyer in Georgia as soon as possible. Until then, however, avoid speaking about the incident or discussing specifics with authorities. Stay calm, don’t resist arrest, but remember, you have the right to remain silent. It’s perfectly legal to politely refuse to answer questions or give statements until you’ve had a chance to speak with an attorney.
An experienced felony attorney will be able to immediately take charge of your case, advising you on what information you may share with the authorities, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and building your defense. Pretrial diversion programs for first offenders and negotiated reductions in charges are also options in some situations.
While you’ll want to avoid sharing about the incident before you’ve spoken to a lawyer, it’s smart to privately document your recollections while the details are fresh. If the prosecution later introduces a story or timeline that’s inaccurate, you’ll have your own vivid account to contradict theirs. Share these details with your attorney as well—it’s important to be upfront about what occurred in order to build as strong of a defense as possible.
While your case is pending, you should be careful about what you say and do. You should absolutely avoid posting about the incident or case on social media. But you’ll also want to carefully consider what else you share during this time. Prosecutors will be looking for any evidence that supports the negative picture they may try to paint of you. Of course, you’ll also want to avoid any additional legal issues while your case is pending. Be particularly careful driving, never drive under the influence and avoid individuals who may put you in an unsafe situation.
While you may feel panicked, frustrated, scared or confused after an arrest, try to stay calm. Remain polite in your interactions with authorities. Keep up with your court appearances. Be open, honest and thorough in your communications with your criminal defense attorney. And remember, your attorney is there to help. Voice your concerns, ask questions and express your opinion. A strong felony defense attorney will understand that it’s vital for you to understand the process.
At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, we focus on protecting your future by defending against felony charges. We promise to live up to these five commitments:
If we all agree that it makes sense to work together, then our team will count you among the limited selection of clients that we help. Ultimately, we’ll do everything we can to make sure that your future is not limited by a single situation, allowing you to achieve your full potential.
“Given the complexities and circumstances pertaining to my case, I feel that you did a superb job. I felt overwhelmed and, at times, quite discouraged. I often worried that I could possibly face quite a lengthy prison time. That would have been absolutely devastating to my fiancé and immediate family. I couldn’t imagine watching my family live their lives through prison visitations. It is with great thanks and deep respect that I would refer your outstanding services to anyone at any time.”– S.M., client
At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, we provide proactive representation that focuses on protecting young people’s future opportunities. Please contact our office today to arrange an initial consultation.
If you aren’t ready to schedule your consultation, then click here to download our complimentary ebook, 5 Things Not to Do When You’ve Been Charged with a Crime, to learn what you need to know to start protecting your future immediately.