Best Augusta Criminal Lawyers
Best Augusta Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Augusta, GA, finding an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. The consequences for a conviction can be severe, including hefty fines, probation, and even jail time. Having the right legal counsel on your side can make all the difference in getting a fair outcome or even getting the charges reduced or dismissed.
I’ve put together this guide to highlight some of the top-rated criminal defense attorneys in the Augusta area. These lawyers have proven track records of success in defending clients against a wide range of criminal charges, from DUI and drug offenses to domestic violence and sex crimes. When choosing an attorney, it’s important to look for someone with expertise in the specific charges you’re facing, as well as experience handling cases in Augusta courts.
Carl Gordon Schluter
With over 25 years of experience, Carl Schluter is regarded as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Augusta. He’s handled thousands of misdemeanor and felony cases in both state and federal court. Attorney Schluter has a reputation for his relentless pursuit to get charges reduced or dismissed altogether. He’s known for thoroughly analyzing the prosecution’s evidence, spotting any constitutional violations by police, and negotiating aggressively with prosecutors for a favorable resolution. Carl Schluter has extensive experience defending clients against serious charges like murder, drug trafficking, sex crimes, and white collar offenses. He’s also skilled at getting positive outcomes in DUI, theft, and domestic violence cases.
Keith B. Johnson
Located in downtown Augusta, Keith B. Johnson is a former prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer. He represents clients facing an array of criminal charges, including drug crimes, internet sex stings, theft, violent assaults, and homicide. Attorney Johnson is known for thoroughly investigating each case, identifying improper police conduct, and finding ways to get evidence suppressed. He also has a reputation for building strong relationships with judges and prosecutors to secure favorable plea deals or pre-trial diversions for clients when possible. Keith Johnson will aggressively litigate your case at trial if no reasonable settlement can be reached.
Attorney Holly Chapman moved to Augusta in 2009 to focus her career on criminal defense. She represents clients facing misdemeanor and felony charges in state and federal court. Chapman is skilled at getting charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial. She also has extensive trial experience and won’t hesitate to take your case to trial if it’s in your best interest. Chapman is known for her compassionate approach and for truly caring about her clients. She works hard to understand her clients’ situations and advocate aggressively on their behalf. Holly Chapman has experience handling many types of criminal charges, including DUI, drug crimes, domestic violence, and sex offenses.
William S. Finch
As a former prosecutor, William Finch brings a unique perspective to criminal defense that enables him to anticipate the prosecution’s moves and strategies. He represents clients facing misdemeanor and felony charges ranging from DUI and drug crimes to white collar offenses. Attorney Finch is praised for his ability to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case early on and leverage them to get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial. He has extensive trial experience and won’t hesitate to take your case to trial if it’s in your best interest. William Finch also stands out for his compassionate approach and for taking the time to understand his clients’ situations.
Joshua Smith is an aggressive criminal defense attorney who represents clients in Augusta and surrounding areas. He has over a decade of experience defending clients against serious felony charges like murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking, and sex crimes. Attorney Smith is praised for his relentless pursuit to get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial. He thoroughly analyzes the prosecution’s evidence, conducts independent investigations, and identifies improper police conduct. Smith also has extensive trial experience and won’t hesitate to fully litigate your case if it’s in your best interest. In addition to felonies, he represents clients facing misdemeanor charges like DUI, drug possession, domestic violence, and theft.
Attorney Nakita Blocton represents clients facing misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. She handles cases ranging from DUI and drug offenses to domestic violence, sex crimes, and white collar offenses. Blocton is known for her aggressive pursuit to get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial. She has a reputation for thoroughly analyzing the prosecution’s case, conducting her own investigation, and identifying any constitutional violations. Nakita also stands out for her compassionate approach to clients and for taking the time to understand their situations. She works tirelessly to advocate for her clients and achieve the best possible outcome in their cases.
What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, it’s essential to have an experienced attorney on your side. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a criminal defense lawyer in Augusta:
- Expertise with your specific charges – Look for a lawyer with extensive experience defending clients against the specific charges you’re facing.
- Local experience – Find someone familiar with Augusta courts, judges, and prosecutors.
- Aggressive pre-trial advocacy – The best lawyers work aggressively to get charges reduced or dismissed before trial.
- Trial experience – Make sure they have ample litigation experience and won’t hesitate to take your case to trial if needed.
- Compassionate approach – Look for a lawyer who takes time to understand you and your situation.
- Reasonable fees – Find someone with fair rates and payment plans for those with limited means.
The consequences for a criminal conviction can be severe, so it’s critical to have an experienced attorney fighting for you. Take time to research lawyers’ backgrounds and consult with several before deciding who to hire. The attorney you choose can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
How an Attorney Defends Criminal Cases
When you hire a criminal defense attorney, they’ll use a variety of strategies and defenses to work towards the most favorable outcome possible. Here is an overview of how an experienced lawyer approaches defending criminal cases:
- Investigation – Your attorney will thoroughly examine the prosecution’s evidence and conduct an independent investigation. This can uncover weaknesses in the case and key evidence to counter the charges.
- Identify Constitutional Violations – The lawyer will look for any violations of your constitutional rights, such as issues with searches or interrogations. Suppressing illegally obtained evidence can cripple the prosecution’s case.
- Negotiate with Prosecutor – Your attorney will aggressively negotiate with the prosecutor to get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial through plea bargaining.
- File Pretrial Motions – Lawyers may file motions to suppress evidence, dismiss charges, or exclude prejudicial information if grounds exist.
- Strong Defense at Trial – If a reasonable plea deal can’t be reached, an experienced lawyer will mount a rigorous defense at trial.
- Sentencing Advocacy – Even if convicted, skilled attorneys advocate for the lightest sentence possible under the circumstances.
Having an assertive lawyer who knows how to effectively defend you against criminal allegations can make an immense difference in the outcome of your case.
Common Criminal Charges in Augusta
Augusta attorneys defend clients against a wide range of criminal offenses, from minor misdemeanors to serious felony charges. Here are some of the most common criminal allegations they handle:
- DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is aggressively prosecuted in Augusta. An attorney can often get charges reduced or dismissed.
- Drug Crimes – Possession, distribution, trafficking, and manufacturing charges are frequently seen. Convictions mean harsh penalties.
- Theft – Shoplifting, larceny, burglary, and robbery charges are common. An attorney can argue mitigating factors.
- Domestic Violence – Allegations of violence against family or partners carry stiff sentences. Skilled lawyers identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
- Sex Crimes – Accusations ranging from misconduct to assault are vigorously prosecuted. Experienced attorneys know how to effectively counter them.
- Violent Crimes – Charges like assault, battery, manslaughter and murder call for highly aggressive legal advocacy.
- Weapons Offenses – Gun charges are common and can lead to lengthy incarceration. Assertive lawyers get charges dismissed or reduced whenever possible.
If you’re facing any criminal allegations, don’t delay in contacting an experienced Augusta defense attorney who can protect your rights.
Getting Your Case Dismissed
One of the best possible outcomes when facing criminal charges is having your case dismissed. While not always possible, skilled Augusta defense attorneys know how to get charges thrown out through aggressive pre-trial advocacy. Here are some of the most common ways lawyers can get cases dismissed:
- Show lack of evidence – If there’s little evidence tying you to the crime, charges may get dismissed.
- Suppress illegally obtained evidence – If police violated your rights, resulting evidence can be excluded.
- Prove misidentification – Witness misidentification is a common cause for dismissal.
- Raise affirmative defenses – Self-defense, insanity, and entrapment defenses can defeat charges.
- Get charges reduced – Prosecutors may dismiss lesser charges as part of a plea deal.
- Show prosecutor misconduct – Demonstrating prosecutorial missteps like withholding evidence can lead to dismissal.
- Negotiate diversion programs – These programs can allow charges to be dismissed upon completion.
While challenging, dismissal is possible in the right circumstances. Experienced criminal defense lawyers know how to thoroughly analyze your case to identify any potential grounds for getting charges thrown out. Aggressive pre-trial advocacy is key.
Alternatives to Incarceration
For some criminal offenses, particularly first-time and non-violent crimes, alternatives to incarceration may be possible. Experienced Augusta attorneys negotiate with prosecutors to secure these alternatives whenever appropriate. Some options include:
- Pretrial Diversion – Programs that allow charges to be dismissed after fulfilling requirements like community service.
- Probation – Court supervision as an alternative to prison. May require drug testing, classes, community service, etc.
- House Arrest – Serving sentence from home with electronic monitoring rather than jail.
- Drug Court – Supervised treatment and rehabilitation for drug-related offenses.
- Community Service – Performing work for non-profit organizations in lieu of incarceration.
- Fines – Monetary penalties may be imposed rather than jail time in some cases.
In the right circumstances, skilled lawyers can negotiate with prosecutors to secure an alternative to incarceration. This avoids the damaging effects of imprisonment when possible.