Misdemeanor Lawyer Serving Georgia
Your Cobb County & Cherokee County Misdemeanor Defense Attorney
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. Maybe 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 are caught in their poor choices, instead of having the opportunity to learn, grow and move on with their lives, many are instead punished with a criminal record. That’s because misdemeanors—crimes that come with lighter sentences in terms of incarceration or fines—can 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.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
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, if the offense is repeated, or if it results in extreme harm.
Common misdemeanors we see from clients in Cobb County and Cherokee County include:
- Domestic Violence
- Driving Under the Influence
- Simple Battery
- Simple Assault
- Disorderly Conduct
- Some Drug Offenses
- Some Theft Offenses
- Criminal Trespassing
- Some Prostitution Offenses
- Writing Bad Checks
- Traffic Violations
- Marijuana possession under 1 ounce
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.
Why misdemeanors still matter
Aside from jail time and a fine of up to $1,000, misdemeanor convictions may come with other punishments, including:
- License suspension
- Community service
- Drug testing
- Criminal Record
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 even if the possible punishment does not seem severe on its own.
When looking for a criminal defense attorney, choose someone who has experience in your local court. At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, we focus in Cobb and Cherokee County. We have experience with these court systems, and we know the pre-trial diversion programs or other options that are available to first-time offenders.
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, call 770-720-6336 to see if we can help.
Those 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 we meet, we make the following five Client Success Commitments:
Our Client Success Commitments
- Your goals and future are our focus
- You will have a plan that focuses on your success
- You will understand the process
- You will be prepared for court
- You will have a team to support you
“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.
Call us today to set up your initial consultation
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 call our office today at 770-720-6336 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.
We are here to help
If you’re facing a criminal charge and are concerned about the impact on your life, contact us today and schedule a complimentary Defense Strategy Meeting.