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Felonies vs. Misdemeanors

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Felonies and misdemeanors are two types of criminal offenses that are common in the state of Georgia, and Savannah residents need to understand the difference between the two.

A felony is a more serious criminal offense that carries more severe punishments, such as long-term imprisonment, heavy fines, and loss of rights. On the other hand, a misdemeanor is a less serious criminal offense that carries less severe punishments, such as shorter jail terms, smaller fines, and probation. Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC, a Savannah criminal defense firm, is dedicated to helping residents understand the differences between felonies and misdemeanors and the consequences of each. This comprehensive guide will explain the differences between the two, the punishments associated with each, and how to protect yourself if you are charged with either.

What Is a Felony?

A felony is a more serious criminal offense that is punishable by more than a year in prison or death. In Georgia, felony crimes are not classified into categories like level 1 or class A as in other states. Instead, the maximum penalty for each crime is defined in the statutes. Moreover, some crimes may have enhanced penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences.

Murder, for example, may be punishable by the death penalty in certain circumstances. Second-degree murder, kidnapping for ransom, and forcible rape are punishable by life in prison. Aggravated assault is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and aggravated stalking may be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Sentences may vary depending on any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

What Is a Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a less serious criminal offense that is punishable by up to 12 months in jail or a fine. In Georgia, certain offenses may be considered misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature, carrying sentences of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Other misdemeanors are punishable by the same maximum jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.

The Difference Between Felonies and Misdemeanors

The main difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the severity of the offense and the associated punishments. Felonies are more serious and carry harsher punishments, while misdemeanors are less serious and carry less severe punishments.

Protecting Yourself

If you are charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor, it is important to understand your rights and the consequences of a conviction. Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC focuses on criminal defense for felonies and misdemeanors in Savannah, GA, and can help you protect your rights and build a strong defense. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys understand the nuances of the criminal justice system and can help you navigate the complexities of your case. If we take your case, we will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome. No matter the severity of your charges, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC has the knowledge and experience to help you protect your rights and build a strong defense. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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