Lawrenceville Criminal Defense Attorneys Safeguard Fundamental Rights
Georgia criminal defense law firm led by experienced former prosecutor assists accused individuals
Serving clients in Gwinnett County and other locations throughout the Atlanta Metro area, Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C. in Lawrenceville advocates on behalf of Georgia residents accused of crimes. As a former prosecutor, Margaret Gettle Washburn has a detailed understanding of the state’s criminal justice system and uses that background to take on overzealous prosecutors. Whether you’ve been accused of a felony, misdemeanor or traffic offense, she and the rest of our skilled defense team are prepared to fight for the best possible outcome.
We can handle your criminal defense case with skill and professionalism
We know that people get into difficult situations, and we have an aggressive and successful criminal defense team that handles all types of cases, including those involving allegations of:
- Drug crimes — Possession of a controlled substance, with the exception of marijuana, is a felony in Georgia, and an intent-to-sell charge can lead to a substantial prison sentence.
- Driving under the influence — If you’re accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could lose your license and face possible incarceration.
- Traffic offenses — Speeding tickets and other traffic citations trigger costly fines, higher insurance costs and points that could result in a license suspension.
- Felonies — Serious felony counts alleging robbery, sex crimes and violent offenses like assault and battery demand a defense lawyer who has significant trial experience and who is well versed in prosecutorial tactics.
- Misdemeanors — Convictions for simple battery, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and other misdemeanor charges don’t carry the same punishments as felonies but can still put you behind bars and leave you with a criminal record.
Each situation is unique and with the right legal support, you might be able to obtain a dismissal, acquittal or reduced sentence even if the evidence against you seems insurmountable.
What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor charge?
Any criminal conviction is serious, but felony charges present the biggest threat to an accused individual’s freedom. Unlike some other states, Georgia felony offenses are not grouped into classes based on their seriousness. My firm can advise you of the particular punishment associated with each allegation and will challenge authorities when they bring unfairly harsh charges. Non-felony crimes ꟷ misdemeanors ꟷ carry a top sentence of one year in jail. You are more likely to face potential jail time and a higher fine if the offense you’re convicted for is classified as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The maximum fine for those charges is $5,000.
What should you do if you are arrested?
We’re all familiar with the Miranda warning from movies and television, but in a real-life situation where law enforcement takes you into custody, it can be easy to forget your rights and give out information that ultimately hurts your case. If you’ve been detained by the police, it is critical to:
- Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer
- Refrain from speaking about your case until your lawyer arrives
- Avoid hostile acts or statements, even if you decline to answer questions from the police
- Remember questions asked by law enforcement and whether you were notified of your rights
Some police officers try to collect information by acting friendly while others use intimidation, but regardless of the investigatory tactics used in your case, if you speak out before consulting with a qualified attorney, it could be too late to protect yourself.
Filing an appeal in Georgia
When a conviction is based on a trial error or a Constitutional violation, our firm delivers exceptional advocacy throughout the criminal appeals process. In matters stemming from the improper admission of evidence, faulty jury instructions and other material problems, we explain the pertinent legal precedent and present compelling arguments in briefs and during oral arguments. You don’t have much time following a verdict to take action, so if you suspect that anything went wrong in your case, it is essential to contact an accomplished appellate lawyer quickly.
When should you hire a criminal lawyer?
If you have been arrested or notified that you are under criminal investigation, hiring a strong criminal defense lawyer should be a top priority. Our firm can answer your questions about the justice process and safeguard your fundamental rights. Any mistake you make by trying to handle the situation on your own probably can’t be undone, so it is best to have an effective legal counselor by your side from the start.
Contact a strong Gwinnett County criminal defense lawyer
Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C. defends Georgians accused of felony and misdemeanor crimes. To speak with an experienced attorney regarding the charges against you, please call or contact us online. Our office is located in Lawrenceville.