Most Georgia residents know that following an arrest, the accused will attend court before determining the best course of action for the case. Unfortunately, most Georgia residents do not take the time to fully understand the process following an arrest, which can lead to inconsistent information, missed appearances, and unexpected financial expenses.
At Abt Law Firm, LLC, we pride ourselves on offering our clients a high quality of service and experience. As such, we believe it is our duty to help our potential clients understand what the criminal process in Georgia really means, and why it is important to secure a stable criminal defense. Read on to learn more about Georgia’s criminal process.
- Arrest – Arrest can be the result of a traffic stop, a law enforcement officer witnessing a crime, or a third party calling in a tip. An arrest can also result from an arrest warrant obtained through the local court system. During an arrest, police officers are required to administer Miranda rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. After being arrested, the individual will be transported to the local jail where he or she will be photographed, fingerprinted, and entered into the jail system.
- Bail – Following arrest, an initial court appearance will be scheduled, at which time the defendant will be advised of his or her right to be released on recognizance or post bond in order to remain outside of jail until the next court appearance.
- Indictment – Indictment occurs in felony cases when a grand jury is called in to reinforce the constitutionality of the charges being brought against the defendant.
- Arraignment – Arraignment is the process by which a judge asks the defendant to enter a plea. A plea of guilty means that the defendant admits to the charges against him or her, at which point the case is brought to a close via a plea agreement or an anticipated set of penalties. Pleading not guilty means that the individual swears that he or she did not commit the crime, at which point the case will go to trial. An individual can also plead no contest, at which point the case will go to trial, but the defendant’s plea cannot be used against him or her during the proceedings.
- Plea Bargain – Between the arraignment and trial, it is not uncommon for prosecutors and defense attorneys to negotiate in order to find a favorable outcome for everyone involved. Often, this is called reaching a plea bargain. In exchange for a guilty plea, the defendant may find his or her charges reduced or sentence possibilities limited.
- Trial – Most felony cases, and some misdemeanor cases, go to trial, which are held before a judge and a jury of 12. Bench trial are held only before a judge who decides the case, whereas criminal trials are held before a judge and jurors, with the jurors having final say in the verdict of innocent or guilty.
- Sentencing – Following trial, the next step is the sentencing phase. Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the charges, there may be weeks, months, or even years between the trial and the sentencing phase of a criminal case. Because there can be such a gap, it is crucial to have an attorney on hand to help maintain stability and security throughout the criminal process.
Get Assistance through the Criminal Process
Anyone facing serious criminal charges should be swift in obtaining the aid of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Atlanta. At Abt Law Firm, LLC, we understand how important it is to examine every aspect of your case in order to get the best results possible. Contact us today at 1-800-NOJAIL-9 (1-800-665-2459) in order to avoid an unnecessary, lengthy criminal process.