What's the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, but the biggest difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the amount of time in jail you could be facing. A crime with a potential sentence of less than a year is a misdemeanor and more than a year is a felony.
Misdemeanors in Georgia
Misdemeanors have a maximum fine of $1,000 and a maximum of 12 months in jail. However, misdemeanors that are identified as a “high and aggravated misdemeanor” can have a higher fine of up to $5,000 but not more jail time.
Examples of Crimes that may be considered Misdemeanors in Georgia:
- Simple Assault
- Simple Battery
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
- Probation Violations
- Drug Charges
Examples of Misdemeanors of a High and Aggravated Nature:
- the defendant has prior convictions for the same crime, or
- the defendant committed the crime against a vulnerable or protected victim, such as an elderly adult, a family or household member, a hospital employee, a school employee, or a police officer.
Felonies in Georgia
Felonies carry a sentence of a year or more in prison. In Georgia, more serious felonies can be punishable by life in prison or even the death penalty.
Examples of Felonies in Georgia:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
- Most types of Manslaughter
- False Imprisonment
Do I need to hire an attorney if I'm charged with a crime?
You should hire an attorney if you are charged with any crime be it a misdemeanor or felony. It may seem like there is more on the line with felony charges, but both misdemeanor and felony charges can leave you with a criminal record. A criminal record in Georgia can make it more challenging for you to get a job, go to school, rent an apartment, and more. Contact Brian Cathey Law today to have a dedicated criminal defense attorney on your side.