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When it comes to the justice system, there are many levels and classes of punishments that a person can receive for breaking the law. The lowest level of punishment is a misdemeanor, which usually comes with the smallest fines and jail time. While the initial punishment may not seem extreme in many cases, a misdemeanor is still a “big deal” and can have many impacts on your life. If you are facing a criminal charge that could result in a misdemeanor on your record, there are very good reasons to hire a lawyer to fight the charges.

Georgia Misdemeanor Penalties

In Georgia, there are two types of misdemeanors, those of a “ high and aggravated nature” and all others. The difference between the two is noticeable in the amount of fine that is given to the convicted defendant. A misdemeanor deemed of a high and aggravated nature can land a person in jail for up to 12 months and a fine of up to $5,000. All other misdemeanors have up to 12 months in jail, but the fine is only up to $1,000.

Even though misdemeanors can result in jail time, many people have little to no jail time and a minimal fine. First offenses may only receive probation, which is why it may seem like a misdemeanor is not a “big deal.” Unfortunately, many people do not find out how a misdemeanor is going to affect their life until it is too late to fight to keep it off their record.

Informal Consequences of Misdemeanors

The punitive consequences of many misdemeanors are not severe, especially for those facing their first offense. This is why it may not seem like you need a lawyer – the fee for the lawyer is often more than the fine you may face. However, it is collateral damages or the informal consequences that can cost you the most in the long run. Some of these possible consequences include:

  • Difficulty getting a job, especially in higher-paying positions
  • Renting a home or apartment
  • Increased fines or jail time if convicted of future crimes
  • Driver license suspension
  • It could impact your ability to purchase a firearm

No one has a crystal ball and knows how the actions of today will affect their future. However, it can be safely assumed that having a clean criminal record is beneficial as opposed to having even a minor misdemeanor. If there is a possibility of getting the charges dismissed, it is worth the effort and expense of hiring a lawyer.

At the Law Office of Jeffery P. Manciagli, we work with clients from all types of backgrounds that are facing their first misdemeanor. While not all cases can be won or dismissed, we utilize our extensive experience and legal knowledge to build the best possible defense for our clients. If you have been charged with theft, sex, drug, or violent crimes in Georgia, contact our office in Atlanta to talk to one of our legal team.

Posted on behalf of Jeff Manciagli, Trial Attorney

66 Lenox Pointe NE, Building #66
Atlanta, GA 30324

Phone: (404) 642-9080

Monday & Tuesday 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday & Thursday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

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(404) 642-9080

    Our Client Reviews

    Jeff Manciagli, Trial Attorney

    4.9 / 5.0

    I was very pleased with the services Mr. Manciagli provided. He was professional, explained everything throughly, and most importantly Mr. Manciagli was able to get my case dismissed. I would refer him to anyone seeking legal council. My case was handled with absolute discretion and expertise.


    I Highly Recommend Mr. Manciagli To Anyone looking for a great outcome with whatever their situation might be Mr. Manciagli has been of great help and i am beyond bless Since the day i met him At Only 3 weeks of contacting him for early termination on Federal Supervise Release He Was Able to Get My Motion Granted Which means I Got Early Termination and At All Times Mr Manciagli kept in contact with me kept me informed of my case and answered all my questions and i got the best outcome from this experience Thank You So Much Mr Manciagli Extremely Grateful

    Usha D

    Mr. Manciagli has been a God send help for me in my legal defense. He was very prompt in his response and willing to help and assist as and when needed. He made me feel secured, protected, and well represented. He stepped in and took good care of all of the legal matters. He quickly understood what I was dealing with and knew how to handle the issues on a timely and professional manner. His experience, friendly attitude and mannerism is commendable. Thank you, Mr. Manciagli for your help!

    A. M.

    Mr. Manciagli has done so much in so little time. In less than one month he was able to contact the courts and got me early termination for my supervised release. I am so grateful, he works fast and always stayed in contact with me. I highly recommend my attorney to everyone I am very satisfied with Mr. Manciagli. Very grateful to him for all he has done since the day I met him. He's just the best.


    Mr. Manciagli has lived and traveled all over the world, including Latin America, and his legal work has taken him to Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, and Jamaica. It was important for me, as a foreigner in the U.S., to have an attorney who understood me from a cultural level and who I could speak to in Spanish. If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney, Jeff Manciagli is the attorney you should call.


    Jeff was recommended by a friend. I am very pleased with the way my case was handled & the outcome was very satisfactory. I would recommend him.


    Entered into a drug case (1/2 oz of molly & 1g. of marijuana)..... I have 3+ felonies....Jeff got me 6 months house arrest & probation.....definite prison time without him.......reasonable priced....Thanks Jeff.


    My lawyer in FL recommended Jeff when I got arrested in GA and didn't know what to do. I got pulled over in a cash-cow speed trap town 20 miles above the state line and they called a K-9 unit and got probable cause to search my car. I was livid and felt so violated. Luckily I hired the best of the best. Jeff always called/emailed me back promptly when I had questions about my case, and Always spoke to me as an equal. He took care of everything and when it came time to go to court was honest and logical in discussing what was best and how my plea would affect my future. Under his council I felt calm and in control. I was facing 3 misdemeanor charges and got them all dropped on the condition that I do a small amount of community service, pay a fine, and don't get in any more trouble for a few months. I didn't even get points on my license for the original speeding ticket. At the end of the day, money is replaceable- my time and freedom are not. If I or anyone I know ever has trouble in GA again, I will be calling Jeff.

    66 Lenox Pointe NE, Building #66, Atlanta, GA 30324 Phone: (404) 642-9080