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The Importance of Having a Criminal Lawyer on Your Side

When faced with a criminal charge in Georgia, an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer is essential. Many cases are settled outside of court and having a strong defender from the beginning can have a huge impact on your case.

During the “pretrial” phase of your case, you have the right to access all evidence that the prosecution has. This is called discovery.

Probable Cause

If you’ve been arrested, you have the right to a hearing to determine whether the State has probable cause that you committed a crime. Unlike guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you need to demonstrate, probable cause is easier for the prosecution to establish. Georgia criminal defense attorneys can often use pretrial motions to force the prosecution to rethink its case and eliminate evidence that could have been improperly obtained, such as evidence seized during an illegal search or traffic stop.

Georgia Criminal Lawyers can begin an investigation as soon as you are charged, so that witnesses can be interviewed and evidence gathered. The best criminal lawyers also know how to challenge the legitimacy of the case, arguing that there is insufficient evidence to support the charge or that evidence was obtained illegally. This requires skill in arguing complex pretrial motions.

Preliminary Hearing

The preliminary hearing is a way of making sure that the state has enough evidence to proceed with the case. This is important because the legal system does not want to force defendants to go to trial on flimsy evidence.

During this hearing, the prosecuting attorney can question witnesses and introduce exhibits. Defense counsel can also cross-examine witnesses and inspect the state’s evidence. Defendants can also make their own statements, but not under oath, in support of the charges.

After the preliminary hearing, the prosecution and defense will engage in plea negotiations. This is the give-and-take process that often results in a guilty plea to a lesser charge. It is very important to have an accomplished Georgia criminal lawyer on your side during this time.

Plea Negotiations

When you’re arrested, the police and prosecutors will ask questions to try to get your confession or uncover evidence that could be used against you in court. You should not talk to them unless your Georgia Criminal Lawyer is present. Anything you say could be construed as a confession and increase the charges against you.

Most criminal cases in Georgia end up settling by plea bargaining with the prosecution. Prosecutors are interested in convictions and they know that most people will not want to risk a trial and face prison time if they are found guilty.

Your Atlanta Criminal Lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charge or work out a deal for community service, DUI school, and other programs that may lessen the impact on your life and reputation. Your attorney will carefully weigh the costs and benefits of accepting a plea bargain before you make your final decision. If you do decide to accept a plea bargain, your Georgia Criminal Lawyer will submit the plea agreement to the judge for approval.


The decision to take a plea bargain or fight the charges in court is one of the most important decisions an accused person will ever make. If convicted of a crime, it can have severe financial, employment and social consequences that impact every area of their life. It’s crucial to have an experienced Georgia Criminal Lawyer by your side guiding you through the entire process.

A Georgia Criminal Attorney can challenge the prosecution’s evidence, question witnesses and offer alternate theories for what happened. They can also question how the police investigated your case and if they followed proper procedures.

A Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer can also help with jury selection, which is a crucial phase of your trial. They can remove jurors that they feel are biased towards or against the state, defendant, or a specific issue in your case. They can then select a jury that will give you the best chance of acquittal.


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