ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
Get the financial recovery you deserve after an accident and there is no fee without recovery.
We will fight for your rights and help protect your reputation, your career as well as your future.
Atlanta Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Law Firm
WHY CHOOSE OUR LAW FIRM
KNOWLEDGEABLE – SKILLED – TRUSTWORTHY
When we represent you, you become part of our family
At Schnipper Law, P.C., we are compassionate, dedicated and experienced. Our Atlanta law firm is well-prepared to handle criminal defense, DUI defense and personal injury cases delivering excellent service that has garnered legal awards and top ratings from clients and peers alike. At our firm, we know that everyone’s situation and goals are different. We always find tailored solutions to what our clients wish to accomplish.
If your rights or wellbeing are threatened, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you need dependable and experienced representation after a DUI arrest, deserve aggressive criminal defense or need to pursue fair compensation for an accident, you can face your legal matter with confidence if you choose to join forces with our team. We would be more than happy to speak with you about your case and advise you on your next course of action. Don’t wait to get our skilled team working for you.
David Schnipper is featured as Attorney of the Month in Attorney at Law Magazine Digital Vol.2 No1. In this article, writer Dan Baldwin sat down with Attorney Schnipper to learn all about the “Schnipper Difference”. Read about it here…
A LAW FIRM DEDICATED TO YOU
While experience and expertise is significant, what really drives the success of our firm is our passion. We manage each case with an understanding that the work we do has a considerable effect on our clients and their families. Not in anyway do we ever forget that each case includes a real person that has endured real pain and a real loss. We understand that your life has been turned upside down and our goal is to go the extra mile to help you move past the unfortunate incident so you can get your life back on track. When we choose to take a case, we do so with a promise to see it through to the end and the determination to seek a favorable and winning result.
The Criminal Process in Atlanta
The criminal justice process is intimidating, scary, and complex. It can be even worse for those who have been accused of a crime, even if you know you are innocent. Whether or not you actually committed the crime you should never speak to anyone about the charges, except for an experienced Atlanta criminal defense attorney. Do not talk to the police, investigators, jail staff, or anyone else who can compromise your situation—including your friends. David Schnipper can advise you of your rights and explain the criminal process to you so it’s easier to understand.
Your Arrest and Initial Court Appearance
All criminal cases need to begin somewhere and that starting point is the arrest of a suspect. The arrest can take place at the scene of the crime or at a later date with an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant must be issued by a magistrate judge in order for the police to arrest a suspect if time has passed since the date of the crime.
When you are arrested, or taken into custody, the arresting officer is required to inform you of your rights, which are known as Miranda Rights. They begin with one of the most recognizable sentences in history, “You have the right to remain silent.” Your Miranda rights include the following:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to an attorney before speaking with police and to have an attorney present during any questioning.
- If you cannot afford your own attorney, one can be appointed for you.
The police will then ask you if you understand your rights as they have read them to you. They will also inform you that you can stop answering any questions at any time while your lawyer is not present. Then they will ask if you will answer any questions. You are free to say yes or no—and understand that saying no does not implicate you in any crime.
If you are ever arrested without being read your Miranda Rights, or without your understanding of them, David Schnipper can build a strong defense to the charges filed against you. It is important that you invoke your rights the minute they are read to you by the arresting officer. Failure to invoke your right to remain silent until your lawyer is present can lead to you saying something that could implicate you in a crime.
When these types of situations arise, contact an Atlanta Criminal Defense lawyer at Schnipper Law, P.C. We will fight for your rights. Call us today 404-545-5845 for a FREE Consultation.
The Preliminary Hearing
You are given the right to appear before a judge just a few days after being arrested to find out if bail will be set and at what amount. You are within your rights to request a preliminary hearing if you’ve yet to post bond and if you have yet to be indicted of a crime. This hearing allows you to find out the evidence that has been collected against you. It also allows you to challenge the charges or warrant if they lack probable cause.
The District Attorney’s Office will formally file charges against you either in an indictment or an accusation. The most serious offenses need to be presented to a grand jury in order for an indictment to be issued. When an accusation is issued it can be directly issued with the court for crimes such as identity fraud, forgery, drug offenses, credit card fraud, theft, and any misdemeanor offense. A defendant does not have to be present during a grand jury hearing for an indictment.
Arraignment and Pre-Trial Motions
All criminal defendants have the right under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution to have legal representation present at their arraignment and at all other stages of the criminal justice process. It’s important for you to exercise this right because having an attorney present can make it easier to understand the charges against you as well as an answer for you in court. Once the indictment or accusation is issued the defendant will enter a plea, usually not guilty, and has 10 days to file pre-trial motions for the case.
Should the defendant fail to show up for the arraignment and not send a lawyer in their place, the judge could issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant. In most cases, the judge will not allow the defendant to post bond if arrested for missing the arraignment. Should you decide to plead not guilty the judge will add your case to the calendar and set a date for the trial to begin.
The time that lapses in between the arraignment and the trial is what’s known as the pre-trial period. Both sides will submit pre-trial motions—often your attorney will do so in an effort to exclude evidence that can harm your case. The judge will issue rulings on these motions before impaneling the jury.
It’s also possible to enter a negotiated plea during this time. This plea is usually beneficial to the defendant and comes as a result of the defendant’s attorney’s ability to negotiate with the prosecutor assigned to the case. It’s also possible for a non-negotiated plea to be entered. This occurs when the judge determines the sentence of the defendant without a jury trial. A defendant who opts to accept a pre-trial negotiated plea can expect a lesser sentence compared to one that could be handed down by a jury trial.
The Trial Procedure
Should your case wind up going to trial, you can decide whether you want a jury trial or a bench trial. In a bench trial, the judge hears all the evidence in the case, arguments from both sides, and then makes a ruling and issues the sentence if you are found guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Atlanta like David Schnipper can provide you with an honest evaluation of your case after working for two District Attorneys’ offices.
If your case is going to a jury trial, it will begin with the selection of the jurors, which is done by the prosecutor and defense attorney interviewing all the possible jurors.
Once the trial begins, it will start with opening statements from both sides. The prosecutor will start the trial by calling their witnesses and the defense will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses called by the prosecutor. The prosecution will eventually rest and the defense can begin calling their witnesses, all of whom can be cross-examined by the prosecution.
Once the defense rests, the judge will send the jury to deliberate. If the jury returns a guilty verdict, the trial will come to an end and you will undergo a separate hearing for sentencing. During the sentencing hearing, the defense attorney will present mitigating evidence in an effort to reduce the severity of the penalty levied against the defendant. Mitigating evidence can include any of the following:
- Charitable acts by the defendant
- Family support
- The role of the defendant in the offense
- If the defendant was coerced or deceived into committing the crime
The defendant has the right to appeal the result of the trial, or their conviction, if they believe that it is unfair or wrong. There is a catch with an appeal—only a legal error can form the basis of an appeal. This can include incorrectly issuing instructions to the jury or incorrectly introducing harmful evidence into the trial.
Schnipper Law Is Here to Help
We recognize the fact that simply being faced with a criminal charge does not guarantee you will be convicted of that charge. In many cases, it is possible to have the court either reduce or dismiss the charges. Our clients have found themselves eligible for pre-trial diversion and pre-trial intervention programs that have prevented them from going to court. If you don’t qualify for one of these programs our team can build a strong defense to the charges in an effort to have them either reduced or dismissed.
The Atlanta criminal defense lawyer at Schnipper Law, P.C., has represented every type of felony and misdemeanor case in Georgia. From misdemeanor traffic offenses to felony homicide charges, we know what it takes to defend you in court. Make sure you remember that you are never forced to talk to a police officer about any crime you are suspected of committing until you have a lawyer present. Visit our practice areas for hit and run crashes, obstruction of justice, fleeing police, domestic violence, drug charges, armed robbery, weapons charges and more to get a better understanding of your case and how we can handle it.
Call Schnipper Law, P.C., for Experienced Criminal Defense
Criminal defense attorney David Schnipper can help your case if you are facing any type of criminal charge in Georgia. Whether it’s theft, fraud, domestic violence, traffic offense, drug offenses or any other type of offense, our firm can help you build a strong defense to the charges against you. We understand that the criminal process can be intimidating and confusing. Call our office at 404-465-2878 to schedule an initial consultation with David Schnipper today.
Call 404-545-5845 to reach an Atlanta criminal defense attorney at our firm. Get a free evaluation of your case!
Contact Us Today
If you’re ready to get answers, or even to take the first step in your case, don’t wait days or even weeks to speak with an attorney.Please call 404-545-5845 and/or request your free one-hour confidential, initial consultation online today!
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2300 Henderson Mill Rd #300
Atlanta, GA 30345
Our main office is located inside the Perimeter in DeKalb County
with easy access from l-285 or l-85
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE
We have a satellite office in Buckhead (Fulton County)