If you have been charged with a crime and you have no criminal history, you may be able to have the charges against you reduced to a lesser charge or dropped, depending on the case’s circumstances and the crime’s severity. However, if you have a previous conviction and are facing new charges, evidence of a criminal history can negatively impact your case.
While you can take steps to prevent certain individuals from having access to your criminal records by having them restricted, law enforcement can access those records at any time, including any past convictions.
Second or third offenses can often be charged as felony offenses, with more severe penalties or a longer prison sentence. While you may be able to negotiate a plea deal if this is your first offense, prosecutors are less likely to be lenient if you are a repeat offender.
What Common Mistakes Should I Avoid if I Was Charged With a Crime?
If you have been charged with a crime in Georgia, it is recommended that you discuss your case with an experienced lawyer who can review the details of your case, including any previous charges that have been brought against you. Whether you have a criminal record or not, the prosecutor must prove your guilt. If there is not sufficient evidence of your guilt, you cannot be convicted of a crime.
While the prosecution must meet the burden of proof, do not assume you will avoid a conviction if the case goes to trial, particularly if you have a criminal record. The prosecution will certainly bring this up and point to a pattern of criminal behavior.
In Georgia, the penalties for a misdemeanor include fines of up to $1,000 and 12 months in jail, and a penalty for a felony offense can range from one year in prison to the death penalty, depending on the severity of the crime. A conviction can also hurt your ability to secure employment, a loan, or gain custody of your children.
The criminal justice system is complicated under any circumstances. If you are facing criminal charges and have a previous conviction, the biggest mistake you can make is to handle the case on your own. An experienced lawyer will determine the nature of your charges, examine your previous conviction, and recommend the most effective defense strategy.
Savannah Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Clients Who Are Facing Criminal Charges
If you have been charged with a crime and you have a previous conviction on your record, it is recommended that you contact our Savannah criminal defense lawyers at Kicklighter Law at your earliest convenience. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients in Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.