Gainesville Criminal Defense Lawyer

Georgia firm safeguards the rights of individuals facing criminal charges

If you have been charged with a crime in Georgia, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. For more than three decades, The Brownell Law Office in Gainesville has been fighting to safeguard the rights of people charged with offenses of various types and degrees. With a decade of experience as a prosecutor, Attorney William M. (Bill) Brownell, Jr. is intimately familiar with all facets of the Georgia criminal justice system. He has the knowledge and skill to make sure you understand your legal options and to guide you through the court process.

Experienced attorney handles cases involving all types of alleged offenses

Our firm represents clients in state, county, juvenile and municipal courts who are charged with felonies and misdemeanors, including:

  • Assault and battery — Assault means attempting to inflict a violent injury or putting a person in a position where they reasonably believe they will be injured. Battery occurs when unwanted physical contact is made. Various factors can lead to increased penalties.
  • DUI — Even a first drunk-driving offense results in a fine and a one-year license suspension. A second DUI conviction within five years means that you will spend some time behind bars, so it is important to fight back against DUI charges. We can review the facts of your case and see if the evidence against you should be excluded due to improper law enforcement tactics.
  • Drug charges — Most drug crimes in Georgia, even possessory offenses, are felonies punishable by at least a year in prison. Sentences for distribution and trafficking run much longer. When possible, we look for alternatives to incarceration, such as substance abuse treatment.
  • Theft — When the value of allegedly stolen property is less than $1,500, the offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor. Above that amount, the charge becomes a felony. There are stepped-up sentences for thefts where the value exceeds $5,000 or $25,000.
  • Robbery — Theft involving the use or threat of force is a serious felony that carries a mandatory prison sentence. The minimum incarceration for an armed robbery conviction is 10 years.
  • Burglary — A burglary occurs when someone breaks into a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony there. While burglary is usually associated with theft, this crime can also be charged if the perpetrator seeks to commit an aggravated assault or another type of felony.
  • Arson — This crime is defined as using fire or explosives knowingly to damage a building or another structure or vehicle. A first-degree conviction can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years, even if the property was empty when it was burned.
  • Rape — Allegations involving rape and other sexual crimes are extremely serious and require strong advocacy from an experienced defense attorney who can help you avoid unjust punishment such as incarceration and inclusion within the state’s sex offender registry.
  • Murder and manslaughter — Murder is a killing that is intentional, that occurs in the course of a felony or that exhibits a depraved indifference to human life. Voluntary manslaughter is a homicide that occurs in the heat of passion. Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing allegedly caused by recklessness or unlawful conduct.
  • Homicide by vehicle — A motorist who causes a fatal accident by driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs is charged with the felony of first degree homicide by vehicle. A lesser traffic offense that results in a fatality can lead to a second-degree misdemeanor count.
  • White-collar crime — Though no violence is alleged, convictions for fraud, embezzlement, online misconduct and other white-collar crimes often are punished by substantial prison terms.
  • Juvenile offenses — Young people should be given the chance to atone for mistakes and get the help they need to make better decisions. Mr. Brownell advocates for youths and works to obtain appropriate resolutions in matters involving Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice.

No matter what obstacle has been placed in your way, we strive diligently to help you overcome it and work tenaciously toward attaining the best possible result.

Potential defenses against criminal prosecutions 

Police and prosecutors can seem intimidating, but there might be several potential defenses against the charges brought against you. That is why it is so important to contact Mr. Brownell as soon as possible after your arrest. You might have an effective alibi, or the case against you might be based on a mistake or misinterpretation. Officers sometimes arrive to a scene too late to realize that a physical altercation was actually an incidence of self-defense. Furthermore, if a police officer or other state agent violates a person’s constitutional rights in obtaining the evidence of that person’s guilt (for example an unlawful stop, unlawful search or unlawful questioning), that evidence can be challenged and possibly suppressed (thrown out). If evidence is suppressed that is absolutely necessary for the prosecutor to prove one or more elements of the crime the person is charged with, it is likely that the prosecutor will have no choice but to dismiss that charge.

Going the extra mile to provide exceptional representation

Through meticulous preparation and attention to detail, we focus our efforts on achieving best possible result. We interview witnesses, examine police records and rigorously inspect the crime scene. Mr. Brownell represents clients in all Georgia municipal and state courts, having defended over 700 criminal cases. He analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each case from the perspective of both a prosecutor and defense lawyer. Our firm handles bond hearings, preliminary hearings, suppression hearings, jury trials, probation violations, appeals and habeas corpus petitions.

Contact a determined Georgia criminal defense lawyer

Located in Gainesville, The Brownell Law Office protects the fundamental rights of defendants in Georgia criminal cases. Please call 770-215-0184 or contact us online for a consultation.