If you are facing criminal charges, call the Law Office of Eric A. Ballinger
Facing criminal charges is scary and full of uncertainty. Your future is hanging in the balance and you need someone to help and advise you. At the Law Office of Eric A. Ballinger, we have represented clients in more than 100 trials for crimes ranging from speeding tickets to murder. Our experience and respected reputation within the Georgia criminal court system allow us to obtain reduced sentences, dismissed charges and not guilty verdicts, depending on the details of the case. Criminal justice proceedings tend to be a long process and in the beginning you are bound to have a million questions, including:
- What is the full nature of my charges?
- What evidence will be brought against me?
- Who will prosecute my case?
- What options are available to me and when should I pursue them?
- How do I assert my rights?
- What should I do?
Canton criminal lawyer answers your questions and fights to keep you safe
Keep reading to find answers to some of your questions about the criminal justice process you or someone close to you will face if charged with a crime. Outlined below is an overview of the criminal justice procedure and possible options and choices the journey presents.
Most criminal justice procedures begin with an arrest. Any interaction between you and law enforcement is critical. It is important to have experienced counsel review the facts and circumstances of any encounter with the police to ensure your constitutional rights are both protected and upheld. For example, law enforcement cannot search and seize you. If they do, they are subject to sanction by the courts. Having a seasoned attorney assist you shortly after arrest by gathering facts and information can protect you down the road.
Another important issue is determining whether or not or to what extent you should cooperate. Making the right inroads early on can protect you in the future. It takes experience with the system to determine when and how much cooperation to give and what potential gains are to be made.
Finally, in DUI cases, the days following arrest are critical. If law enforcement suspended your license, you only have 10 days to appeal the suspension to the Department of Driver's Services or face the possibility of losing your license for an entire year.
The second phase of the criminal justice process is the arraignment. This procedural step is important for many reasons. It is your first opportunity to appear in court and announce your intentions in regard to the charges. You can plead guilty or not guilty and ask for a bench or jury trial. You may be offered deals by the government, which include Pre-Trial Diversion Programs, Lesser Included Offenses, DUI Court Programs and similar plea deals, all of which will have enormous impact on your life. Finally, there are opportunities at arraignment to arrange outcomes for your case that can keep an arrest off your permanent record.
It is important to have experienced counsel to guide you through your choices and the potential consequences during this early stage. These early encounters and decisions will set the tone for your case as it proceeds.
The time between your arraignment and your trial is a busy and critical stage in a criminal justice proceeding. The government must present all the evidence and witnesses they have against you, which is your opportunity to assert your constitutional rights by having the court suppress evidence unconstitutionally collected by law enforcement. Having capable counsel to identify when and where your rights were violated is critical. Suppressing evidence will force the government to re-evaluate the case.
This is also the time when the government will try to cut a plea deal with you in earnest. These plea deals must be thoroughly scrutinized to test whether they are worth accepting. Taking a plea deal forfeits your constitutional right to a trial by jury — a big decision not to be taken lightly — which is why you need sound legal advice to help weigh the pros and cons of your options. Finally, this is the period when you need to marshal your case together for trial.
Trial is your day in court when you get to fight for your innocence. You have the opportunity to present your witnesses and evidence and assail the government's witnesses and evidence. You need a trial attorney who has tried and won cases, is familiar and comfortable with the courtroom and can advocate for you at a time when the government is attempting to convict you.
This vital right in the criminal justice system allows you to contest what occurred at your trial by taking your case to a higher court. You need experienced counsel to identify where the government or court violated your rights during your case and how a higher court can protect your rights.
At the Law Office of Eric A. Ballinger, we have successfully helped our clients navigate the path through the criminal justice system. We fight for our clients' rights by utilizing the experience, relationships and knowledge we built up during years of hard work as defense lawyers in the criminal justice process. If you or a loved one is facing the criminal justice system and searching for the answers to the many questions the uncertainty of the experience brings, please contact us.
We are ready to defend clients against:
- Speeding tickets
- White collar crimes
- Drug crimes
When you need a criminal attorney, call us immediately
Contact the Law Office of Eric A. Ballinger at 770-479-2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or contact us online.