Georgia Criminal Defense
Our office provides the highest levels of effective criminal defense. Mr. Thomas spent many years sucessfully winning trials and getting cases dismissed as a public defender. He has a proven track record defending his clients from serious charges, including cases where defendants were facing life sentences (see our RESULTS page located above).
A good attorney can potentially help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. An attorney can also help you obtain a favorable plea for probation or a greatly reduced prison sentence. Lastly, an experienced attorney can represent you a trial, and obtain a not guilty verdict. There is no guarantee on how a jury will decide a verdict, and it is best to speak with an attorney as early as possible to discuss all your possible options. Hiring an attorney early on in your case gives you the best chance at obtaining a favorable outcome, and would prevent you from making incriminating statements that could later be used against you.
Georgia Criminal Procedure
Every criminal case in Georgia will proceed in the following order:
Arrest - After an investigation, police will take a suspect into custody who they belive committed a crime.
Bond Hearing - A judge will decide whether to grant or deny bond. If your bond is denied, you must wait in jail until the day of your jury trial or a guilty plea.
Preliminary Hearing - A judge hears evidence from the prosecutor and decides whether there is probable caues for the charge against you. Probable cause is a low standard, and the judge will usually find there is sufficient cause for the charges.
Indictment - A grand jury is presented with evidence about the crime, and determines that there is probable cause for the charges against you.
Discovery - Evidence the prosecutor turns over to the defense that they intend use at trial. Discovery usually consists of police reports, lab reports, videos, recording, and witness statements. This evidence is turned over so that the defendant can prepare a defense against the charges, and so there are no suprises about what evidence is coming at trial.
Plea - The prosecutor will make an offer in your case for a plea. A plea offer may be for probation, incarceration, or a combination of both which is called a "split sentence." You do not have to accept any plea offer that you do not want to accept, and you always have the right to go to trial and prove your innocence. Many people elect to accept a guilty plea instead of a trial because the punishment is often much less than if they were convicted at trial. Also, many defendants accept a guilty plea to avoid the hassle and stress of a trial, as it takes many weeks of constant preperation.
Jury Trial - If the case is not resolved with a guilty plea, the case proceeds to trial. The jury will either find the defendant guilty or not guilty. In some cases, the jury will be unable to reach a verdict, which is known as a "hung jury." In which case, the judge will declare a mistrial, and the prosecutor will decide whether to retry the defendant or not.
If you are facing criminal charges and need an experienced attorney on your side, call us for a consultation at (404) 343-2441.