The Roch Law Firm, P.C.

Why Does The Judicial Process Take So Long?


Many people are surprised by the length of time it takes to resolve a case – especially one in which the client desires a trial. Although often it might take longer to resolve a case than one might wish, at the same time it’s important for your attorney to have enough time to examine all the facts and determine the most effective strategy for defense. Of course, there are also factors beyond anyone’s control – the overload in some court systems, the limited dates a judge is available, etc.

If The State Will Not Dismiss The Charges, How Do I Decide Whether To Plead Guilty Or Demand A Trial?

The plea bargaining process begins when your attorney and the State begin negotiating. If the evidence against you is weak or you have a legal or fact defense to the charges, you can expect that your attorney will attempt to negotiate a dismissal of the charges against you. If this is not successful or the evidence against you is strong, you can expect that your attorney will attempt to get an offer from the State. This offer may include pleading guilty to a reduced crime or to the crime or crimes you have been charged with. Your attorney is ethically bound to present any offers to you, whether you want it or not or whether he likes the offer or not. It is certainly possible to try to renegotiate any offer the State gives. It is your choice whether to take an offer or go to trial. YOUR ATTORNEY CANNOT MAKE THIS DECISION FOR YOU; based on his knowledge of the legal system and his experience with similar cases, he can counsel you, but the final decision must be yours.

I Am A Drug Addict. Can That Be Taken Into Account As My Case Moves Along?

Many counties offer a type of diversion program for those with addiction problems. In Cherokee County, we have the DUI/Drug Court for misdemeanor cases and the Felony Drug Accountability Court for felony cases. Both of these programs have entrance requirements and have very strict requirements for participation. Neither is an easy way out; both require strong commitment to recovery and avoidance of negative behaviors.

If your charge makes you eligible for DUI/Drug Court participation at the misdemeanor level, you will be evaluated for participation automatically and you may choose to enter the program. Specific application to the Felony Drug Accountability Court is required; at The Roch Law Firm, we assist our interested felony clients with the application and make sure they understand the aspects of the program. Cherokee County and many other Counties have other accountability courts that address issues specific to veterans as well as those with mental health issues that need to be addressed. Participation in these accountability courts is strictly voluntary and acceptance is not guaranteed.

If I Need A Trial, Do I Want A Judge Or Jury Trial?

There’s both an art and science in deciding whether to have your guilt or innocence decided by jury or judge. The rule of thumb in nearly every case is to demand a jury trial if you are innocent as charged and let the prosecutor try to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to jurors from your community. That said, we have occasionally had cases where it benefited the client to let a judge decide the case.

What Happens If I Am Found Not Guilty?

A verdict of “not guilty” ends the criminal proceeding against you and the matter ends there. If you were unable to bond out of jail and had to remain incarcerated while awaiting trial then the court staff will return you to the jail and you will be released from there. If you were on bond then you will walk from the courtroom with no further obligation to the system in that matter.

What Happens If I Am Convicted At Trial?

If the verdict is “guilty” then sentencing typically takes place immediately unless the defendant asks for a pre-trial investigation by the probation department or requests a sentencing hearing on another date in order to for defense witnesses to testify.

Depending on the specific offenses sentences can range from a fine to probation to incarceration in a county jail or state facility.

When Does My Legal Representation End?

A typical criminal case involved representation through resolution of the charges, i.e. a final dismissal of charges, a plea of guilty or jury verdict and sentencing if needed. When a case resolves in a plea or verdict of guilty, my firm wants to remain involved in any problems my clients may have during their probation or period of incarceration. As a general rule if I can resolve the issue with a phone call or letter then I consider the matter a continuance of the prior representation and charge no additional fee. On the other hand, if a hearing or considerable time will be involved then I will quote a fair fee based upon the specifics of the issue and the complexity of the legal issue involved.

What Do I Do If Something Happens After My Case Is Over And I’m On Probation?

If Don Roch or the Roch Law Firm represented you, then call me immediately. Many problems on probation result from the confusion on the part of the probation officer or the probationer and I can resolve them with either a phone call or letter to the probation officer or a simple discussion with our former client.

If a phone call or letter can’t resolve the problem, or, if you are charged with violating your probation conditions or have new criminal charges, then you will need to retain me again to resolve the matter.

For more information on Length Of Judicial Process In Georgia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 345-7624 today.

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