For serious charges, it will be a rare defendant who does not benefit from having a competent criminal defense lawyer assist with the negotiation of a plea bargain, or to prepare a case for trial.
A criminal defense lawyer should also be able to identify important pretrial issues, and to bring appropriate motions which might significantly improve a defendant's situation, or even result in the dismissal of charges.
In a misdemeanor case, although as previously noted the typical fee will vary significantly between cities, counties, and states, it is not unusual for a lawyer to request a retainer of several thousand dollars. For felony cases, retainers often start at $5,000 - $10,000, and can be $25,000 or more for serious or life felonies, such as sexual assault cases or homicide. The anticipated cost of expert witnesses can also significantly increase a retainer.
Be wary of entering into a retainer agreement which calls for additional payments if the case will go to trial. It is not unusual for appellate lawyers to hear clients recite that they entered into guilty pleas after they were unable to come up with the necessary funds to pay their lawyers to proceed with a trial. If you do decide to enter into an agreement whereby you will pay an additional retainer if your case goes to trial, make sure that it is an amount you can afford.
|Schedule I & II Substances|
|Purchase or Possess (First Offense)||Imprisonment for not less than two nor more than fifteen years.|
|Purchase or Possess (Second Offense)||Imprisonment for not less than five nor more than thirty years.|
|Sell or Intent to Distribute (First Offense)||Imprisonment for not less than five nor more than thirty years.|
|Sell or Intent to Distribute (Second Offense)||Imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than forty years OR life imprisonment.|
|Schedule III, IV & V Substances|
|Purchase or Possess (First Offense)||Imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.|
|Purchase or Possess (Second Offense)||Imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.|
|Sell or Intent to Distribute (First Offense)||Imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.|
The reason is obvious. If either the stop or the search is illegal, any evidence found during the search is inadmissible at trial. In other words, No Evidence - No Case - Case Dismissed.
Search and seizure is a complicated area of the law. I will try to keep it simple and understandable.
Punishment for Armed Robbery
Depending upon the circumstances, punishment for Armed Robbery can be: Death penalty; Life in prison; or No less than 10 nor more than 20 years in prison. Keep in mind that the minimum prison time is 10 years with no early release.
If you take a controlled substance from a druggist and cause intentional bodily injury, the minimum prison sentence is 15 years. You must do at least 10 years in prison with no early release.
If your automobile is stopped, and if the police officer smells alcohol, he can ask you to take a battery of field sobriety tests. These can include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test ( HGN ), the Walk and Turn test, the One Legged Stand test, and the Hand Held Breath test on a device called an Alcosensor (not a Breathalyzer).
If you perform poorly on these standardized evaluations, or if the police officer otherwise suspects impairment, you will be arrested. At the time you're placed under arrest for DUI, the officer is supposed to read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice to you. He will designate which of the three tests -- including blood, breath, or urine -- he wants you to take (he can designate all three if he wishes).
If you take the test and have an unlawful blood alcohol level, or if you refuse to take the test, you have just ten business days to request an administrative license suspension hearing. If you don't request the hearing within the ten business days, your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive in Georgia will be suspended for 1 to 5 years by operation of law, depending upon your record. And that's before you go to court.
If you are convicted of DUI: