Criminal Defense Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Few things are as confusing and scary as when you are arrested for criminal charges. You have questions — Gladden Legal, LLC, has answers.

I am attorney Kristi Gladden, and I have dedicated my career to criminal defense for Georgians in Roswell and across North Georgia. While your questions are best answered during a one-on-one consultation, I have answered some common criminal defense questions below. For a personalized case evaluation, call my offices at 770-615-7198 or send me an email to make an appointment.

Why do I need a criminal defense attorney?

Of course, you could always accept the charges against you or represent yourself in criminal proceedings. However, after decades of providing criminal defense representation, I highly advise against both of these options.

The costs of a criminal conviction, no matter how minor the crime, have long-lasting consequences. You can't put a price on your future or your freedom. You should always have a lawyer to help you through the process and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

What should I do after getting pulled over for drunk driving?

First, always treat the police officer with respect. Even if they are acting unlawfully, acting disrespectfully can only make the situation worse.

Follow their instructions, and remember that you don't have to answer any questions. If you do answer questions, do not lie — as this can be used against you later. If you are arrested for drunk driving, always reach out to an attorney to discuss every step you should be taking in relation to your case.

Can I refuse to take a chemical sobriety test in Georgia?

You technically can refuse to take a blood, urine or breath sobriety test. However, the penalties for refusing may be just as bad (if not worse) than if you take the test and fail.

When you take a sobriety test, the results may be disputed, and that may be a better alternative to refusing to take them altogether. To learn more about the specific penalties you may be facing, call our offices immediately.

Do I have to let police search my property?

If an officer asks to search your property, you have every right to decline. Police may only search your home or vehicle if you give permission, if they have a warrant of if they have probable cause to conduct a search. If you are being asked, that is often because they do not have a warrant or probable cause, and you should always decline these searches as they will hardly ever benefit you.

What's the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, and carry less serious penalties. This can include crimes such as shoplifting, public intoxication or public lewdness. Felonies are serious crimes such as battery, robbery or serious drug crimes, and often result in hefty fines and prison time.