If you have been arrested or accused of committing a crime, you should have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side to protect your rights and provide the best possible defense in your case. However serious the charges may be, with the proper legal counsel and an aggressive and dedicated commitment to your defense, you will know that everything that can be done will be done.
Once you have been arrested, what happens? First, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The state has begun to develop their case since the police officer stopped you or was called out to investigate whatever incident caused you to get arrested. Your attorney can begin to interview witnesses and evaluate evidence to support your defense.
Probable Cause & Bond Hearing
You have a right to have a Probable Cause Hearing before a Magistrate Judge. This is allowed only if your case has not been accused or indicted and if you haven’t bonded out of jail. This hearing allows you to cross examine the arresting officer. Hearsay is admissible. The judge is only looking to see if the arresting officer had probable cause to arrest you. After the Probable Cause Hearing, you can request a Bond Hearing. You can request the judge to set a bond or reduce the current bond if it is too high to post.
This stage of your case will occur after the state files an accusation or a grand jury returns a bill of indictment. The state can elect to use the same charges in the arrest warrant, or different charges. However, what is listed in the accusation or indictment must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the state. At the arraignment, you enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. If you enter a plea of guilty, your case will be over after a plea. If you plead not guilty, your case will continue to the next stage.
At a motions hearing, your attorneys at Blevins & Hong, P.C. will file any appropriate motion to suppress or keep out any unlawfully obtained evidence in the case. A judge will rule on the testimony at the motion hearing and look at all relevant case law. If the judge grants the motion, then this could end your case or limit the state’s case. This could result in a dismissal or a great plea offer.
At any stage in the criminal justice process, plea bargaining can occur. This is when the state and your attorney try to work out a reasonable resolution to your case. If you agree to a negotiated plea offer, then your case will be resolved by a plea before the judge. If you do not like the plea offer and do not wish to go to trial, you can have a non-negotiated plea before the judge. The judge will accept your plea and decide on your sentence.
If you don’t wish to plea to any charge, you have an absolute right to a trial by jury. You can opt for a bench or judge trial, but this must be agreed to by the state, unless you are in Probate Court or Municipal Court. A jury of 12 in a felony case and six in a misdemeanor case will determine if you are guilty or not guilty of each charge against you. The judge will determine your sentence.
Contact an Attorney from Our Team Today!
When you contact our office and explain your situation, we will answer all your questions clearly and advise you on the best strategy and the exact steps we will take in defending you against the charges. We stand beside our clients from beginning to end and keep them informed on the progress and status of their case so there are no surprises. We are here to represent your best interests.
Contact our Cobb County criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case!
Many people do not realize that they have certain rights during and after their arrest. For example, a police officer cannot conduct a legal search and seizure unless there is adequate evidence at the time (e.g. a visible, suspicious plastic bag that may contain drugs) or they have a warrant. If an officer knocks on your door and asks you to allow a search, you have every right to deny them.
You also have rights during an arrest. Police officers must treat you with respect when making an arrest, regardless of the charges being placed against you. As long as you do not resist arrest and are respectful to the officers, they have no right to treat you with force or intimidation or to abuse you in any way. You also have the right to remain silent so your words cannot be used against you during your criminal process. Police officers may attempt to persuade or intimidate you into providing a statement, but you do not have to let those tactics compel you to say anything. It is in your best interest to stand up for your rights and remain silent until you have the counsel and representation of a criminal defense lawyer.
You also have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford a private attorney, one will be assigned to you by the Public Defender’s Office. This is less beneficial than private representation, however, since a public defender holds little personal interest in your defense. Your best option is to retain an attorney of your choice who has experience in the police force, such as Attorney Richard Blevins, Jr.
"They make you feel at ease. Hands on with great follow through."- Derrick
"He is phenomenal and his firm offers a full range of other services."- Sarah
"Their expertise and professionalism along with their sensitivity to the matter were beyond our expectations."- TT
"I am so very grateful for the help and advice I received from Ms. Hong."- JB
After you have been charged with a crime, it is vital to retain a criminal defense attorney who has the experience and skill to fight your charges. Your lawyer should have a thorough understanding of both defense and prosecution and should know exactly what a police officer can and cannot do when making an arrest. At Blevins & Hong, P.C., Attorney Richard Blevins, Jr. has a broader range of experience than most attorneys. Attorney Richard Blevins, Jr. is a former police officer and a detective, as well as having served in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps.
For five years, Attorney Blevins served in the Military Police as an investigator, a patrol officer, a team leader, and a traffic accident investigator. He spent three of those years in the Berlin Brigade and two of them in Hawaii. After serving in the military, Mr. Blevins graduated third in class from the DeKalb Police Academy and served five years as a police officer with the DeKalb County Police Department, the Milledgeville P.D., and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office as a patrol officer, deputy sheriff, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer, patrol supervisor, traffic accident officer, and detective. All this has given him valuable experience as a criminal defense attorney.
With such vast experience in the criminal justice system, Attorney Richard Blevins has the ability to defend his clients from all angles. He knows what police officers may and may not do before, during, and after an arrest and can uncover valuable evidence of police misconduct to fight your charges. He also understands what angles the prosecution may be coming from and can strengthen your defense accordingly.
Our legal team also includes former prosecutors who have experience on both sides of the criminal process. This gives us the ability to defend you from all possible angles and gives us an edge against the prosecution.
Our attorneys are members of the:
- Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Contact Blevins & Hong, P.C. Today!
Take advantage of our free case evaluation today to learn what an attorney from our firm can do to defend you from a criminal conviction. We have received countless client testimonials praising our services and success, and we can provide you with the same capable and vigorous representation.
Contact our firm at your earliest convenience to discuss your options with a member of our legal team.
Should I Speak with Law Enforcement?
The answer is no. Your answer should always be “I will not respond until my lawyer is present.” Do not try to tell your side of the story thinking that it will prevent you from being arrested or charged. Insist on having your lawyer present before giving any information, and do not let law enforcement convince you to answer any questions. The right to an attorney is a legal right, and it must be respected.
Does Law Enforcement Need to Read Me My Rights?
Many are unsure what the Miranda rights are and how you are protected. The Miranda warnings only apply to interrogations that occur while you are in custody. If you are not in custody, you do not have to answer questions being asked. Also, these warnings are only a protection against questions that could lead to an incriminating response. You do not need to be read your rights before being asked what your name and address is, or other information that would not be incriminating. Law enforcement can arrest you without reading your rights, but if they ask you questions without reading your rights, anything you say may be inadmissible into evidence.
How Are Felonies & Misdemeanors Different?
Crimes in Georgia are classified as either a felony offense or misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses and generally result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. More serious crimes are charged as felonies, and the penalties can include a minimum of one year in jail, plus larger fines. The main difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the severity of the offense and the potential penalties that follow. Still, even a misdemeanor can have lasting consequences. No criminal charge should ever be taken lightly.
What Types of Cases Can the Attorneys at Your Firm Take On?
Blevins & Hong, P.C. can handle a wide variety of criminal cases. With years of experience, our legal team has taken on many serious felony offense cases, as well as more minor misdemeanor cases. Whether you have been arrested or charged with DUI, drug charges, theft charges, a traffic violation, white-collar crime charges, sex crime charges, a violation of your probation, or violent crime charges, we can help.
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