Understand mandatory minimum sentences in Georgia

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2020 | Firm News

When you face criminal charges, you will likely learn that the charges against you carry a possible sentence. This may include incarceration, a fine and other requirements. You may think that these are recommendations and that the judge has the final say on your sentence. This is true in many situations, but there are some crimes that the state of Georgia says must carry a minimum mandatory sentence.

According to the Taliaferro Country Sheriff’s Office, seven felony charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence. If you face one of these charges, what this means is that the set minimum sentence is the lowest possible sentence the judge can hand down. For example, if your charge is murder and the court finds you guilty, then the judge must sentence you to the mandatory minimum sentence, which is life in prison with no parole for at least 25 years.

The criminal charges

The charges that the law declares as having mandatory minimum sentences have the nickname of the seven deadly sins. Murder is one of them. The others include aggravated sexual battery, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, aggravated child molestation and aggravated sodomy.

The sentences

The six offenses other than murder have a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with no parole. Murder is always a life in prison sentence, and you will not get the chance at parole until you serve at least 25 years. If you already have a conviction for one of these crimes and you face a second charge, the mandatory minimum for any of the seven offenses becomes life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines do not follow the typical rules of the court that allow the judge to have discretion in sentencing. They are a legal order the judge must follow. Furthermore, any special circumstances that may apply for other charges do not apply for these mandatory minimum crimes.