We all watch TV dramas where petty theft earns a slap on the wrist, and DUIs are nothing more than minor hiccups. In real life, the line between a misdemeanor and a life-altering felony can be surprisingly blurry, especially in Georgia.
Not knowing the full consequences of any criminal charge can seriously threaten your future. Here are some Georgia felony offenses that many mistakenly believe are misdemeanors.
Unlike many states, Georgia still takes a harsh stance against marijuana. Having small amounts of cannabis in some states may not even be illegal. However, in Georgia, any amount is unlawful. An ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor, but getting caught in possession of more than that is a felony.
You may believe that altering or writing a “bad” check does not hurt anyone, so it must be a misdemeanor. That’s not necessarily true. If the check total exceeds $1,500, it is charged as a felony in our state. However, misdemeanor charges are possible with a check written for a lower amount.
Second-degree criminal property damage
Intentionally damaging another’s property without consent and with the intent of impairing its use or value can be a felony or misdemeanor. It depends on the dollar value of the involved damage. If the damage exceeds $500, the offense is a felony punishable by up to five years of incarceration.
These are just a few examples, and the details of any case can change the charge. But the takeaway is clear: Do not underestimate the seriousness of seemingly minor offenses in Georgia.
Since the line between a slap on the wrist and a life-altering felony can be surprisingly thin, it’s important to have legal guidance to help safeguard your future.