For many young people, peer pressure, an attraction to risk, and poor decision-making will lead to a mistake or two. Maybe it’s shoplifting a low-cost item on the spur of the moment. Perhaps it’s having some drinks at a college bar and walking home too rowdily. Maybe it’s trespassing with friends or possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use.
But when young people get caught making poor choices, many are punished with a criminal record instead of having instead of having the opportunity to learn, grow and move on with their lives. That’s because misdemeanors—crimes that come with lighter sentences in terms of incarceration or fines—can still have a life-long effect on someone’s future. Misdemeanor convictions can limit a person’s ability to attend the college of their choice, pursue the career of their dreams or even obtain a lease on a first apartment.
If your child was accused of this kind of offense, a Cherokee County misdemeanor lawyer could offer the guidance and support your family needs. Working with our skilled defense attorneys is key, and our team members will fight for the best possible case outcome.
In Georgia, a felony is a crime with a sentence of more than 12 months. This could be something as serious as a murder charge, or something like marijuana possession of more than 1 ounce.
A misdemeanor is a crime with a maximum punishment of 12 months in jail and a fine of $1,000. Misdemeanors still have critical long-term consequences, however, despite the lower possibility of jail time. High and aggravated misdemeanors are more serious, leading to a fine of up to $5,000. Some misdemeanors may even be increased to felony charges, like if the offense is repeated or results in extreme harm.
All of this can get confusing, but our knowledgeable Cherokee County attorneys can further explain misdemeanor offenses to parents and accused teens.
Common misdemeanors offenses that our lawyers see from Cherokee County clients include:
As a general rule of thumb, most crimes against a person are felonies, though some assault and battery crimes may be misdemeanors. Sex crimes are also usually felonies, with some exceptions. Property crimes and theft may be felonies or misdemeanors depending on the value of what was stolen, whether there was force involved and whether the individual had prior convictions. DUIs depend on age and prior history.
Misdemeanor cases typically move faster than felonies. They are heard in Municipal Courts (sometimes called city courts), Recorder’s Courts, and State Courts. Jury trials are heard in state courts, like the State Court of Cobb County.
Aside from jail time and a fine of up to $1,000, misdemeanor convictions may come with other punishments, including:
A misdemeanor charge may cause you to lose your job, lose a scholarship opportunity, be unable to move for work or college due to probation requirements, or be unable to drive to school or work because of a license suspension. On future job or lease applications, you will have to disclose a criminal history, potentially prejudicing the employer or landlord against you from the start.
If you get into trouble again—even minor trouble—you may face steep consequences if you have prior convictions. That’s why it’s so important to work with a misdemeanor defense attorney in Cherokee County, even if the possible punishment does not seem severe on its own.
Teens and young adults who have been convicted of a crime, no matter how small, suffer from long -term impacts that can hinder their ability to get jobs or go to the colleges of their choice. Without proactive representation that focuses on protecting the futures of young people, you are at risk for a criminal conviction and the problems it can bring to your life. With every client misdemeanor lawyers in Cherokee Count, make the following five Client Success Commitments:
“Paul Ghanouni is [someone who] you want to get to know and meet as a friend and a lawyer. He is a good man; he is accurate; he is on time; he does not leave you sitting and waiting. He lets you know what’s going on and does not leave you wondering. He is professional, courteous and willing to go out of his way for you. I would recommend him to anyone charged with anything in any county.” – E.R.
At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, we specialize in protecting your future by exploring options to have your misdemeanor charges dismissed or sealed. Please reach out to us online today to schedule your consultation with a Cherokee County misdemeanor lawyer.
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.