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  • What Is The Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

    Written on December 1, 2014

    Criminal offenses generally fall into one of two categories: Felonies and misdemeanors. This is true in Georgia as well as other states. Felonies are much more serious than misdemeanors. The penalties, which may include fines and jail time, could depend on which offense you are charged with.

    There are many offenses that can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. The severity of the charge depends on what the arresting officer charges you with and how the prosecutor in the case decides to pursue the matter. For most theft charges, for instance, there will be a dollar figure that is the cut off between felonies and misdemeanors. For example, if someone is accused of theft by taking and the amount of the property involved is less than $1,500, it would be a misdemeanor. If the amount is $1,500 or greater, it would be a felony charge.

    There are also offenses that are misdemeanors that can turn into felonies if someone is convicted of a particular thing multiple times. Driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license are two examples that fall into this category. If you are charged with driving with a suspended license, it will usually be a misdemeanor. However, if convicted four or more times during any five year span, the charge would be a felony. The consequences of such a conviction would be much more severe than the simple misdemeanor charge.

    If you have been charged with a felony, it’s crucial that you secure legal counsel immediately. The police and the prosecutor aren’t your friends. It’s their job to charge you with the most serious offense and then go for a conviction or guilty plea. The attorneys at The Silverbach Group will be on your side and work to reduce the seriousness of the charges against you or even get them dismissed! You don’t want to talk to the prosecutor, or go to court, without an attorney in your corner.

    If convicted of a felony, you could face more than a year in jail and staggering fines. Even if you aren’t sentenced to jail time, you could be placed on probation for several years which is time consuming and costly. If convicted of a misdemeanor, the most time you could spend behind bars is one year and the fines aren’t nearly as much. It’s also important to remember that a misdemeanor looks much better on your record than a felony does when it comes to employment. Some business won’t even consider a candidate who has a felony record.

    The most important thing you can do if facing criminal charges, whether a misdemeanor or felony, is to contact an attorney from The Silverbach Group. Your freedom isn’t something to take for granted. We can help you, no matter the situation you face. You can reach us at 770-635-0334.