Criminal Defense Attorney
Fighting Your Legal Battles
Although we routinely work on criminal defense cases, at Zeliff | Watson we have not lost sight of the fact that you are trusting us with the protection of your rights and freedoms. Whenever we take on a case, our firm sets out to aggressively bring about the most advantageous conclusion possible, despite the odds and circumstances. Our representation covers nearly all areas of crime which an individual can be accused of and we strongly believe that you deserve our commitment and dedication.
Attorney Zeliff from our firm was voted a "Rising Star" by his fellow attorneys and has several times been named as one of Georgia's "Super Lawyers." Attorney Watson has defended hundreds of criminal defense cases on behalf of Georgia citizens and is prepared to go to work for you. If you are charged with a criminal offense, this is the type of criminal defense lawyer that you want fighting your legal battles.
Georgia punishes conviction for criminal acts harshly, by probation, suspension of your driver's license, restitution to victims, large fines and court fees, incarceration in a jail or prison and parole. While imprisonment is not easy to face, it is a very real possibility and our attorneys strive to get your charges reduced or dismissed if at all possible. If we go to trial, we use our 16 years of experience towards finding errors by law enforcement or the prosecution that may open the door to success in your case. At times, our efforts to create disbeliefs regarding your guilt can result in the prosecution failing to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Through our knowledge of the laws coupled with an energetic approach to your defense, we intend to give you the high-quality legal services you need.
Our Criminal Defense Practice
Please read on to learn more about the areas of our practice and how we can be of assistance.
Theft Crimes Theft crimes comprise many types of offenses which involve taking or receiving another's property illegally. This is accomplished by deception or conversion, threats or other means. All such crimes require detailed investigation and a complete understanding of the prosecution's case in order to be successfully defended.
Shoplifting The conditions of the exact crime that is alleged will determine if your shoplifting case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony. In general, if the value of the property was $300 or less, it is charged as a misdemeanor. Anything over this amount is a felony and you do not have to be successful in an attempt to take property in order to be accused of this offense. In many instances, we can prevent you from having to spend time in jail.
Misdemeanor Any crime that is not charged as a felony is a misdemeanor. Unlike many other states, any misdemeanor charge in Georgia is penalized in the same way, with fines and/or time spent in a county jail or correctional institution. Your sentence can last up to one year but the dedication and knowledge of your lawyer can go a long way towards determining how your case is decided.
Violent Crimes Violent crimes such as rape, manslaughter or murder are all punished heavily with extremely lengthy prison sentences. There are many hard-hitting defenses against these crimes including self-defense, that a confession was falsely obtained, that your actions were provoked and you acted like any reasonable person would, that you had no criminal intent and others. Our purpose is to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Murder If you or a loved one is charged with murder, we want you to not give up hope or think that a positive outcome cannot be reached in your case. The prosecution is obligated to show that you acted with malice aforethought and there are many avenues by which this element can be disproved. Prosecutors are highly motivated to convict those accused of murder and sentencing can result in life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Manslaughter A moment of provoked anger or emotions gone out of control can result in the unintentional death of another. Although both murder and manslaughter involve the killing of a person, manslaughter does not contain the elements of malice and intent on your part. When found guilty, you can be imprisoned for 1 to 20 years.
Assault When a threat or action puts someone else in immediate fear of injury or death, the crime of assault is charged. This offense does not require actual physical contact or harm in order to be prosecuted. If the assault involves an intention to rape, rob or murder, the penalties you face will be substantially increased. At times, people are falsely accused of this crime or a breakdown in communication can cause a person to be wrongfully accused.
Battery Battery takes assault one step further in that the violent act is carried out, sometimes in a malicious manner, and physical harm is done. There are 3 types of battery charges and they can be punished by steep fines and restitution, community service, mandatory counseling, losing custody of your children and a jail or prison sentence.
Involuntary Manslaughter Involuntary manslaughter is committed when a person unintentionally brings about someone's death while committing a non-felony crime. It is also charged when death is caused, without the intention to do so, in the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner. If you are accused of this offense, you will need the work of a proven firm to produce a favorable outcome.
Drug Crimes Georgia drug offenses include illegal possession, possession with intent to sell, distribution, manufacturing, trafficking, cultivation or driving under the influence of drugs. These crimes can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on various factors such as the type and amount of drugs involved and other circumstances. At times, they can be tried in federal court and it is vital to have legal representation that can ably represent you in this setting.
Sex Crimes Sex crimes like rape, sexual battery, child molestation and others are severely penalized in our state by long prison sentences and lengthy terms of probation and may result in a life sentence. Individuals can be falsely accused of these crimes which can cause untold damage to reputations and lives. It is essential that you have experienced legal help to aggressively fight the charges against you.
Domestic Violence Domestic violence is any form of assault, battery, stalking, criminal trespass, damage to property or unlawful restraint. It occurs between family members including past spouses, foster parents and children plus others who live or formerly lived in one's household. These charges frequently arise from heated familial disputes and people are sometimes falsely accused out of jealousy or for revenge.
White Collar Crimes Commonly, these offenses do not contain the element of violence and are done by those in a position of trust in a business or corporation. Insider trading, fraud, computer crimes, embezzlement and identity theft are all types of white collar crimes. These offenses are committed with the goal of personal gain and the fines for conviction can be up to 3 times the amount that was obtained in the crime. Act quickly to get experienced legal help if you face white collar crime charges.
Contact a criminal defense attorney
for a complete understanding of the charges you face and how they can be defended.