“Criminal law has to do with the relationship between the misbehaving individual and his government… Criminal law establishes rules of conduct; Your violation, if prosecuted and convicted, will result in punishment.” —Lawrence M. Friedman
The above quote generally outlines the criminal justice system in the United States
But each state has a different framework that defines its unique legal style.
Thanks to former Governor Nathan Deal and current Governor Brian Kemp, Georgia is a national leader in criminal justice reform.
These reforms have saved our taxpayers millions of dollars, increased taxpayer numbers, given veterans, addicts, and offenders with mental health problems the opportunity to recover, join their families, and be or become productive citizens again.
Georgia crimes and misdemeanors
Georgia, like every state in America, is free to create its own new criminal laws. If an act is considered a felony in Carrollton or Douglasville, Georgia, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a felony in Boston, Massachusetts or any other state.
However, state laws must be constitutional.
In Georgia, criminal offenses are divided into felonies and misdemeanors according to their severity and nature.
Misdemeanor offenses are minor offenses compared to felonies.
They generally carry a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in prison. (Most offenses carry a suspended sentence.)
Crime is Georgia’s worst crime.
Generally, crimes carry a minimum of one year imprisonment (or probation) and up to life imprisonment or the maximum penalty of death by lethal injection.
Of course, every crime has a different range of punishment.
Death Penalty in Georgia
Death by lethal injection is legal in Georgia for felonies.
However, almost every execution that has taken place in Georgia has involved the crime of murder.
Like every other state, Georgia’s DUI laws range from alcohol intoxication while driving to intoxication from drugs and prescription drugs.
If a substance interferes with a person’s ability to drive safely, they could be charged with DUI.
A person can be charged with DUI if they register a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
A driver can also be charged with DUI if their BAC is below 0.08, if they are less safe to drive, or if they combine alcohol with drugs.
DUI penalties begin with a mandatory one-year license suspension, 40 hours of community service, and a minimum $300 fine, among other administrative penalties.
Georgia Criminal Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the legal period after an unlawful act in which a victim can prosecute the person who committed the act.
Each state sets its own statute of limitations. Here are some of the Georgian statutes of limitations for various crimes:
- Murder – no restriction
- Other felonies or crimes punishable by life imprisonment – seven years
- Violent Rape – 15 years
- Other crimes – four years
- Administrative offenses – two years
It is important that every citizen has a general understanding of criminal law in Georgia because “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”.
Many Georgians are or will be involved in the criminal justice system as defendants, victims or witnesses, and our citizens should know their constitutional rights. If a person is prosecuted, they should retain an attorney who is familiar with the local system, criminal procedures and laws.
Consulting lawyers is not a bad idea. If an attorney decides to take on the case, the person should follow their intuition and decide whether to trust the attorney. It is always best to hire the lawyer that the person feels most comfortable with.
The Georgian criminal justice system is not perfect. But I can assure you that its foundation is made up of men and women dedicated to fighting the backlog created by COVID and seeking justice.