Georgia Criminal Charges + Sentencing, Hearings & Statute of Limitations

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Whatever state you are in, federal charges are much more serious than state level charges, and this is true in Georgia as well. In nearly all federal charge cases, potential penalties are far more severe, and the resources of the federal government are nearly unlimited.

As this is the case, it is very important to understand the federal charges process in Georgia if you allegedly committed a crime there. For example, a conviction for a drug dealing charge at the state level in Georgia might result in a one or two year sentence. But at the federal level, you can get at least five years.

If you do have federal charges brought against you in Georgia, the federal government first will tell you what the charges are against you. After you are told of the nature of the charges, the federal government authorities will hold you in custody in the appropriate federal district in Georgia until the trial. The exception to this is if you can get out of jail on bond.

Your chances of getting out on bond will increase if you can have friends and family testify as to your character.

About the Preliminary Hearing

When it is time for the preliminary hearing, it must be done in Georgia within three days of your arrest. At this hearing, you and your lawyer will hear the evidence against you. Most likely, the feds have a lot of evidence; they usually will wait to arrest you until they have a lot of evidence against you.

Also, the burden of proof at this stage is low, and the prosecution is only required to show probable cause. This low standard probably means that the case will go to trial. The prosecutor may have witnesses against you who will testify, and hearsay is also fair game.

But this early appearance is a good chance for your lawyer to hear the evidence against you.

About the Bond Hearing

The bond hearing will be in a Georgia federal district court, and it is of course ideal to get out on bond before trial. Whether you will or not depends on the nature of the charges and if you have suitable character witnesses who testify on your behalf.

Federal Jurisdictions in Georgia

The state of Georgia has the following districts:

  • North

  • South

  • Middle

Sentences for Federal Crimes in Georgia

When you are facing a federal charge in Georgia, It is important to have a very experienced attorney to represent you. A good federal prosecution lawyer can ensure that you are not overcharged in your case. This is where the prosecutor charges a more serious crime than the facts actually warrant. Your lawyer also can make sure that the sentence you receive is in compliance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Your lawyer also should research all facts and the law to see if any factors can be argued to lower the level of offense.

Things that the judge will consider in sentencing include:

  • Do you have family and children to provide for?

  • Did you come from a disadvantaged childhood?

  • Did you commit previous crimes?

  • Do you have anyone who can testify regarding your character?

  • If you have a drug or alcohol problem, did you try to get treatment?

Top Georgia Federal Crime Issues

Top federal crime charges in the state of Georgia were immigration related as of 2013.

Statute of Limitations in Georgia

There is a uniform statute of limitations in effect for various types of federal crimes in the US, and it applies in Georgia. This ensures that you are not unfairly prosecuted years after the alleged crime occurred. But some crimes including murder and sexual crimes against children do not have such limitations.

Civil Violations

  • Assault – 2 years

  • Contract – 10 years

  • False imprisonment – 2 years

  • Fraud – 5 years

  • Judgements – 20 years

  • Libel – 1 year

  • Personal injury – 2 years

  • Property damage – 5 years

  • Slander – 1 year

  • Wrongful death – 2 years

Criminal Violations

  • Arson – No limit

  • Assault – 3 years

  • Burglary – 3 years

  • Murder – no limit

  • Manslaughter – no limit

  • Rape – no limit or 3 years, depending on case

  • Kidnapping – 3 years

  • Robbery – 3 years