One call to our law firm will connect you with a highly skilled Lagrange Criminal Defense lawyer in Georgia. We will assist you and help you navigate the charges you face with professionalism and integrity. Call us today to schedule your consultation.
At Moffitt Law, we provide zealous yet personable representation to clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies in LaGrange, Georgia. We provide solid criminal defense for our clients, protecting their rights through arrest, trial and beyond.
Our LaGrange Criminal Defense attorneys at Moffitt Law are licensed to handle all criminal matters in Georgia’s Superior Courts, as well as the traffic courts and the juvenile courts the areas we serve include the following:
If you had an arrest or charge with a Misdemeanor or Felony in LaGrange, you will face an aggressive pursuit by the prosecution. You may also endure harsh penalties if you receive a conviction. In most instances, a criminal case begins with an arrest either at a crime scene or later after the issuance of a warrant. When a person is put in police custody, the arresting officers must inform him or her of the right to remain silent and that anything you do or say can you used against you in a court of law. Once you are read your rights by the police, you should remain silent and not speak to the police without an attorney in your presence. If you do speak, and say anything to incriminate yourself, it may be used as evidence against you.
Initial Appearance in a Georgia Court
Unless a person with a criminal charge has already had someone pay their bond to secure their release from jail, the arresting agency must bring him before a magistrate or judge within 48 hours after a warrantless arrest. For an arrest warrant, the timeframe is 72 hours. The judge decides whether to impose bail. He also determines the amount of bail. If you fail to post bond and have not had a grand jury indictment, you can request a preliminary hearing/probable cause hearing. This will allow you to hear all the evidence the prosecution has against you. It may give you and your attorney, an opportunity to potentially challenge the warrant as lacking probable cause. Further, you do not have an entitlement to a preliminary hearing/probable cause hearing if you have an indictment or if you have a release on bond.
Accusation or Indictment
Next, the District Attorney will file criminal charges against you through an accusation or an indictment. In an accusation, the prosecutor files the charge directly with the court. This is only for certain types of crimes such as drug offenses (except drug trafficking), forgery, theft, and all misdemeanor offenses. All other offenses must first be presented to the grand jury for indictment. If a grand jury finds that there is probable cause to try you for criminal charges, an indictment will result. The person who has a crime accusation (the defendant) has no entitlement to be present at the grand jury hearing.
Arraignment and Pre-Trial Motions in Georgia
After the indictment is the arraignment. After the arraignment, in most cases, the defendant enters a plea of not guilty. Then, you have 10 days to file any pre-trial motions.
If the defendant pleads guilty, the defense and prosecution may enter into either a negotiated plea or a non-negotiated plea (also known as a “blind plea”) at any time before the trial date.
A negotiated plea is one that is favorable to the defendant. Further, it is the result of the defendant’s attorney’s negotiations with the prosecution. In contrast, a non-negotiated plea may be an offer at the discretion of the court. Consequently, this permits the judge to determine the defendant’s sentence without a jury trial. A defendant who agrees to a pre-negotiated plea can generally expect a significantly lighter sentence than he or she would receive if a jury returns a guilty verdict.
Trial Procedure in Georgia
If your case goes to trial, you can decide whether you want a jury trial or a bench trial. A bench trial is where the judge hears the evidence and issues the judgment. An experienced criminal attorney can advise you of which option is likely to result in a more favorable one for you.
DUI/DWI Cases in Georgia
The attorneys at Moffitt Law specialize in DUI and DWI cases. They recognize that facing an arresting officer, prosecutor, and judge alone in court can be a very daunting situation. We aggressively protect the rights of people who have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence or while intoxicated. We work hard to minimize or prevent accumulations of insurance and driving record points. Furthermore, we seek to minimize fines associated with these charges.
The potential consequences of a DWI include hefty fines, community service hours, a suspension of your driver’s license, jail time, and even a felony charge. The punishment depends on the circumstances.
Drivers with previously clean driving records can find themselves in a downward spiral in which they can never recover from after a DWI conviction. Major consequences can haunt a driver for years. So, don’t let one mistake ruin the rest of your life. You need an attorney on your side who is knowledgeable and experienced with Georgia DWI law.
Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act
If you’re accused of being a member of a gang, your alleged crime will receive aggressive prosecution. As a result, this puts you in danger of much longer and more severe sentence. That’s why it’s of critical importance that you secure the services of an experienced attorney to defend you.
In Georgia today, gangs exist not only in large urban areas but in small towns and the suburbs as well. The Georgia Gang Investigators Association (GGIA) is a statewide organization of criminal justice professionals who work to prevent gang-related crimes. They recently estimated that there are more than 40,000 gang members in the state. In response to the growth of gang-related crimes, the LaGrange Police Department and Troup County District Attorney’s Office lead the way in the fight against gang violence in the city of LaGrange.
The Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act (O.C.G.A. 16-5-3(1)) identifies “Criminal Gang Activity” as: “the commission, attempted commission, conspiracy to commit, or solicitation, coercion, or intimidation of another person to commit any of the following offenses on or after July 1, 2006: racketeering activity, rape, aggravated sexual battery, aiding or encouraging a child to escape from custody, criminal trespass or criminal damage to property, or any criminal offense in the State of Georgia, or in the United States that involves violence or possession or use of a weapon.”
If you are associated with a gang, you can bet that local or state police officers will have an increased interest in your activities. They are especially concerned about weapons, narcotics trafficking, and other pursuits that may be associated with violence. Even a crime, such as vandalism, will be very serious if they see a link between gang activity and graffiti.
Sex Crimes in Georgia
Sex crimes are any offenses that involve acts of a sexual nature and in the state of Georgia include molestations, child pornography, rape, and sexual assault. The attorneys at Moffitt Law work aggressively to defend our clients accused of a sex crime.
Domestic Violence Laws in Georgia
Domestic Violence cases are often emotional and can complicate the lives of everyone involved, including children. If you have a false accusation of domestic violence, you need to realize that your entire life will be radically different if you receive a conviction. Our attorneys assist victims of domestic abuse. Consequently, they have had a charge of the very crimes they have been subject to, without notice in the legal system. We also assist those clients seeking protection from violence or prosecution. Whatever your situation, we will proactively address your case.
Call your LaGrange Criminal Law Attorney Today
We offer experienced and approachable criminal defense in LaGrange and the surrounding communities in Georgia. Contact our office to set up a confidential consultation. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. We can process touchless payments over the phone. Contact Moffitt Law, LLC today.