Sentence Mitigation in Georgia
If you are convicted of a drug charge in Georgia, your case will be handled either through a negotiated plea or you will be sentenced after conviction. In a negotiated plea, the defense attorney and prosecutor consult with one another and agree on terms to propose to the judge handling the case.
If the judge is not on board with the proposed terms, the accused has the right to withdraw the guilty plea and instead request a trial. A trial, however, means there is not wiggle room for terms and the sentence is up to the judge and the judge alone. The judge will consider aggravating or mitigating factors when he or she considers the length and severity of the sentence.
If I Negotiate A Plea, Does It Mean I’m Guilty?
Many clients wonder if there’s anything they can do to help their case before the trial. On the other hand, some clients worry that negotiating a plea will appear to be an admission of guilt and look badly on their record.
At the Turner Firm we’d like to reassure you that there are absolutely actions you can take in your case and that will not reflect poorly on your character. Following through with tasks before your sentence could be looked upon favorably by the judge.
Alternative Sentencing or Mitigating Punishment
If you are convicted of a drug crime or DUI in Georgia, many courts now have options to take pre-trial action in order to make your sentence less severe or avoid a permanent conviction. This may include enrolling in an intervention program before going to trial, informational classes, or signing up for public service.
Examples of Recommendations For A DUI Case
For a deeper dive on this issue, consider your options to mitigate punishment for a DUI case in Georgia. At the Turner Firm, we use our experience to help minimize your punishment and the associated costs. If you have been convicted of a DUI, we would recommend several options for mitigating punishment. Please note that these may not be applicable in all cases.
- You can complete community service in lieu of jail time. Traditionally this entails a set number of hours of service to a non-profit.
- You can attend Risk Reduction School, also known as DUI School.
- You can consent to Drug and Alcohol Evaluation. This means you meet with a court certified counselor who will assess your current situation and evaluate your chances for rehabilitation verses repeat offending.
- You can attend MADD Impact Panel. This three- to four-hour class explores the impact of drinking under the influence.
Advantage of Completing Terms of Your Sentence Early
Completing aspects of your sentence before trial gives your attorney more tools to build a stronger defense. Furthermore, you get to be in charge of fulfilling tasks according to your schedule, instead of one that the court mandates.
Occasionally, you may achieve lighter probation check-ins. Sometimes completing terms early means you go to Non-Reporting Probation, or it might just mean your officer does not monitor you as closely.
Most importantly, taking early action could make a big difference in your case. You may prove to the judge that you feel remorse for the crime and are unlikely to make the same mistakes, which could lead to a lighter sentence.
Do you have questions about sentence mitigation in Georgia? Contact the Turner Firm for a free review of your case.