Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys

The criminal justice system can be an intimidating place, and it’s important to work with a defense attorney you can trust to explore all of your legal options and protect your rights. At Nicholson Phillips, our lawyers have served clients facing a wide range of criminal charges across northern Georgia since 1990. We are dedicated to providing the very best service and personal attention to your case, backed by our experience and high standards of conduct, ethics and diligence. To work with a respected law firm serving Marietta and the surrounding communities, turn to us.

Representation for various criminal charges
When you’re facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, it’s critical to seek an experienced defense lawyer to protect your rights and give you the best chance at success. Nicholson Phillips provides comprehensive representation for the following issues:

DUI and DWI. The legal blood alcohol content limit for most motorists in Georgia is .08 percent, or .02 percent for drivers under the age of 21 and .04 percent for commercial drivers. The penalties for a first-time DUI conviction could include up to a year in jail, $1,000 in fines and a driver’s license suspension of one year.
Traffic violations. Speeding, moving violations, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident are all examples of traffic offenses. Although many of these citations involve only minor penalties, others may result in the suspension of your driver’s license and large fines.
Drug crimes. Prosecutors aggressively pursue criminal charges against those accused of drug offenses such as possession, distribution, manufacturing and trafficking. In some cases, law enforcement officers use illegal searches and seizures to make arrests, and a skilled attorney must question these tactics to seek reduced or dropped drug charges. We also advocate for diversion opportunities such as drug treatment and community service for individuals facing first-time misdemeanor drug charges.
Theft crimes. Theft is defined as a person illegally taking the personal property from another person with the intention of depriving the rightful owner of that property. Our attorneys represent clients in theft crimes involving shoplifting, burglary, robbery, fraud, embezzlement and more. For a first time shoplifting offense, you may be able to avoid incarceration with pretrial diversion programs.
Probation violations. Failing to adhere to the terms of your probation can have major consequences, including jail time or fines. Probation requirements can be confusing, and you may violate the terms without knowing it. Our attorneys can help you plead your case in a hearing or, if necessary, appeal a judge’s ruling.
Assault and battery. To be charged with battery, you must make physical contact with another person with the intent to harm. However, to be charged with assault, there has to be the threat of physical harm but actual contact is not necessary. Assault and battery are serious charges with potentially severe consequences.
Sex crimes. The most common sex crimes include sexual assault, rape, statutory rape, prostitution and indecent exposure. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and skills to build your defense against a sex crime accusation.
Murder. Homicide is the most serious criminal charge you can face. Whether you have been accused of first degree murder, second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter or voluntary manslaughter, we can help fight your case.
White collar crimes. The most common types of white collar crimes include fraud, embezzlement, bribery and money laundering. The consequences include large fines, incarceration, probation or community service. This is a serious offense that can negatively affect your professional reputation.

What are the differences between felonies and misdemeanors?
Generally, misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, but they may still come with serious penalties for those convicted. These crimes include traffic violations and minor criminal offenses, such as petty theft, public intoxication and trespassing. In Georgia, misdemeanors may lead to up to $1,000 in fines, a year in a county jail or mandatory participation in a state diversion program. Misdemeanors of a high or aggravated level may bring greater punishments, including probation and fines of up to $5,000.

Felonies, on the other hand, can be quite serious and result in major consequences, including incarceration and large fines. Common examples of felonies include aggravated DUI, assault, battery and robbery. The penalties range significantly from fines and short jail sentences for minor felonies to 25 years to life imprisonment for rape, homicide and other violent crimes. It’s important to note that Georgia does not maintain different classes of felonies like most other states.

Diligent Traffic Violation Lawyers

Sound representation if you’ve been accused of speeding, reckless driving or another violation
Although the penalties for many traffic violations are relatively minor, others may come with serious consequences like a suspended driver’s license, large fines and even jail time. If you’ve been accused of a major traffic violation, an attorney with Nicholson Phillips can help. We proudly serve clients across Marietta, Canton and the surrounding areas, sticking to our core principles of providing honest, ethical and diligent legal counsel to each and every client. For a lawyer you can trust to explore all of your legal options, you can rely on our respected law firm.

Common types of traffic violations
The state of Georgia and individual municipalities have specific traffic laws that all drivers must know and follow. The following are common violations:

  • Speeding. This is the most common type of traffic violation, defined as exceeding posted speed limits. Fines may be higher if you’re accused of speeding in a school or construction zone.
  • Moving violations. Any infraction of a traffic law while a vehicle is in motion may be considered a moving violation. Common examples include running a red light, failure to stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk and failure to use a turn signal.
  • Distracted driving. Cell phones, mobile devices, food and beverages, and passengers may all cause distractions for drivers. In Georgia, it is illegal to send text messages while operating a vehicle, and commercial drivers and individuals under 18 are not allowed to use cell phones at all when behind the wheel. Police may issue citations for distracted driving, especially if an accident has occurred.
  • Reckless driving. This applies to traveling at speeds above 80 miles per hour or 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. It also includes using a public road to race other vehicles, weaving in and out of traffic and running stop signs or red lights.
  • Leaving the scene. Also known as a hit-and-run, it is a serious crime to leave the scene of an auto accident in Georgia, even if you were not at fault. In some situations, this may result in a felony charge.
  • Operating without a license. It is illegal in Georgia to operate a vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

Penalties may include fines and jail time
After you’ve been cited for a traffic violation, you may attend a court hearing and plead not guilty with the help of a criminal defense attorney. If the court agrees, you will have your ticket dismissed. If not, you may incur fines and points on your driver’s license. Accumulating 15 or more points within a two-year period will result in the loss of your license for up to 12 months.

Georgia also has “super speeder” violations that come with a minimum $200 fine for going more than 75 miles per hour on a two-lane road or 85 miles per hour on a four-lane highway. This fine is in addition to any others you may have to pay for speeding, moving violations and other infractions.

Tenacious Defense Attorneys for Drug Charges

A law firm dedicated to protecting your constitutional rights
In Georgia, a conviction for even a relatively minor drug offense can result in serious penalties, including jail time, large fines and probation. If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, the experienced defense lawyers at Nicholson Phillips in Marietta can help. We’ve represented people throughout North Georgia since 1990, providing excellent service and personal attention to each client. For the diligent guidance you need when facing serious criminal charges, you can rely on our respected team of attorneys.

Drug possession crimes
Possessing even a small amount of illegal substances in Georgia comes with some hefty consequences, not to mention the social stigma you must deal with as a convicted drug offender. You may face a sentence of two to 15 years in prison for first-offense possession of narcotics including:

  • LSD
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methadone
  • Opium

Possession of non-prescribed steroids is a felony punishable by one to five years of incarceration. A conviction for possession of a controlled medication, such as Klonopin or Rohypnol, without a prescription may result in one to 10 years in prison.

Marijuana is illegal to possess for recreational use in Georgia. Possession of less than 1 ounce is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and jail time, and more than an ounce may result in one to 10 years in prison.

What is distribution?
Drug distribution involves selling or transporting illegal substances, and Georgia maintains harsh penalties for those convicted of this crime. These penalties include mandatory minimum sentences that judges must follow by law, which limits your ability to seek lessened penalties — such as probation rather than a lengthy jail sentence. State law calls for at least one year of incarceration for drug distribution convictions. It will be up to the judge in your case to consider the amount of the substance in your possession at the time of your arrest, your criminal record and if you were near a school zone when determining your sentence. With the life-altering consequences involved, it’s critical to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away after your arrest.

What qualifies as drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking may involve a number of actions, including developing, transporting, selling and distributing illegal substances. Convictions typically result in severe penalties, including prison terms that are longer than those ordered for violent criminals. It’s also possible that you’ll be charged with both distribution and trafficking, making the consequences even worse. Speaking with a skilled attorney immediately after an arrest for drug trafficking can greatly help your case.

Felony and misdemeanor drug charges
If you’re arrested for a drug crime, you may face misdemeanor or felony charges. In general, felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, although convictions for either classification of crime may come with significant penalties. Misdemeanor drug charges typically involve crimes like possession of marijuana or the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia, and you may face fines up to $1,000 and a year in jail. Felony charges are associated with crimes like drug distribution, sale, trafficking and cultivation. Even first-time offenses may result in several years of incarceration and extremely large fines.

In Georgia, there are some options for first-time offenders to avoid some of the more severe penalties by attending treatment programs. Our attorneys are particularly skilled at advocating for diversion opportunities like drug treatment and community service for individuals facing misdemeanor drug charges for the first time. Those facing first-time felony charges may be able to undergo treatment programs in exchange for reduced or eliminated time in prison. These options are up to the court’s discretion, and it takes a knowledgeable lawyer to effectively argue for them.