FAQs

Basic Questions

Click each question to view the answers.

Why should I hire Stephen Morris as my attorney?

If you live in or face legal issues in Morgan, Greene, Jasper, Newton or Putnam Counties, you need an experienced attorney who knows the local court system and the judges personally. Stephen’s connections, experience, and knowledge of how our local court system works are invaluable resources in getting you the best possible outcome from your case.

How will I be treated as a client of Morris Law, LLC?

At Morris Law, LLC our clients are our number one priority. We know how important a great reputation is, especially in a small-town community, and we strive to exceed our client’s expectations every day. As our client, we will keep you informed every step of the way throughout your case and you will have access to your files/paperwork 24/7 through your online client portal. Facing any legal issue can be overwhelming and we want to be accessible to you 24/7. Unlike other firms who pass off cases to paralegals or other inexperienced attorneys, at Morris Law, LLC you can be 100% confident that Stephen will be the one handling your case from start to finish.

How do I know if I need an attorney?

If you go to court unrepresented, you are charged with knowing all the rules of civil procedure just as a licensed attorney would.

Obviously, some scenarios automatically qualify for requiring an experienced lawyer. Should you experience any of the situations below, you should consult a lawyer immediately.

  • Family problems such as divorce or a child custody dispute.
  • Criminal Issues
  • Injury accident or property damage.
  • Questioning or arrest by the police.
  • Drafting legal paperwork such as a will, trust, or estate plan.

A lawyer evaluates your situation and determines whether it’s worth your time and resources to retain legal help and file a lawsuit. Taking the situation to the law is not just about gaining justice but also weighing the cost and benefits. If you are likely to win under the law, your lawyer creates a strategy to ensure that every law has been used to its fullest to serve your case. When you have an experienced lawyer on your side, that lawyer goes above and beyond in pursuing your rights.

An experienced lawyer is the difference between having a favorable outcome to your case and losing possible recovered damages. When you need a lawyer, you need a good one. Trying to do it on your own will most likely cause you more problems in the end.

If you are in any of the above situations, contact Morris Law, LLC, today to let us start working for you.

Should I save money and wait until I absolutely need a lawyer’s services?

No. An ounce of prevention is worth many dollars and anxious hours of cure. Once you have determined that you need professional legal help, get it promptly.

What is a criminal defense lawyer?

A criminal defense attorney is hired to represent the defendant during a criminal prosecution. If you are facing criminal charges that could lead to a prison sentence, then you want to hire a knowledgeable defense lawyer as soon as possible in order build your case and reach the best possible outcome. Stephen knows both sides of the courtroom, from prosecution to defense, and he has helped countless with criminal charges regain their innocence.

Do you offer a free consultation?

Most general questions can be answered over the phone by calling (706) 473-0995. If you wish to come into our office for a consultation, we charge a $100 fee which allows you to have a 1 hour consultation with us. If you choose to hire Morris Law, LLC, that fee will go as a credit towards your retainer.

Do I need to hire a lawyer if I have only been charged with a misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor charges in Georgia can still result in up to 12 months in prison and fines upwards of $1,000. Even if this is your first offense and you have no prior record, some judges could still decide to incarcerate you depending on the charges.

DUI Defense

Will I go to jail if convicted on a first DUI charge?

Each case has its own unique evidence, and the judge doing the sentencing may decide that you deserve the maximum punishment for a first DUI, which is up to one year in jail. In most cases, if you plead guilty, you will usually get probation, up to $1,000 in fines and will likely be ordered to an alcohol education program.

You might qualify for a limited driving permit (restricted license) if you hire a lawyer within ten (10) days of being arrested for DUI. The minimum jail time required upon conviction of a first DUI is 24 hours in jail and 40 hours of community service. DUI charges in Georgia are not to be taken lightly, and we highly recommend that you hire an attorney ASAP to avoid the maximum sentence.

Criminal Defense

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

The severity of a crime is the main differentiator between misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is a minor offense, which generally means it is less serious than a felony. Examples of these types of offenses are public intoxication, loitering, speeding, trespassing, and petty theft. As you can tell, these crimes do not cause any severe damage or trauma to another person or property. Typically, these are non-violent crimes, and they are mistakes that anyone could make.

The maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and no more than 12 months in a county or local jail. A misdemeanor conviction, however, does remain on your criminal history and could impact you later in life. For example, because your criminal history appears on your background check, it could discourage employers from hiring you or giving you a promotion. It could also result in a loss of financial aid for your education, a loss of your driving privileges, and/or publication of your picture in the local newspaper.

Don’t let one mistake affect your happiness and success for years to come; it is important that you take these offenses seriously and contact Morris Law, LLC for counsel and representation. We will do everything we can to make sure this one mistake doesn’t define your future.

Unlike a misdemeanor, a felony is a crime that causes severe damage or harm to another person or property. It typically involves violence, but this is not always the case.

Examples of felonies include but are not limited to the following:

  • Murder and manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Possession of over an ounce of marijuana
  • Possession of any other drug
  • Certain repeat DUI charges

In Georgia, a felony is punishable by a sentence of one year or more in state prison, in addition to significant fines; the minimum prison time is one year and the maximum depends on the charge. Depending on your charge, you could be looking at 10 years in prison, 25 years, or life imprisonment, and everything in between.

These types of offenses look much worse than a misdemeanor on your criminal record. If not handled properly, you may lose your right to vote with a conviction. You could also lose your right to a firearm. In short, the consequences of a felony are much more long lasting than those for misdemeanors.

The felony process in Georgia typically involves three major steps: the arrest, the arraignment, and the trial. It is important that these events are handled according to the law, which is why it is crucial that you have a criminal defense attorney with you at all times from the very start to ensure that your rights are upheld.

Morris Law, LLC can advise you and protect your rights even at the scene of the arrest. It is also very important that you have an attorney by your side at the arraignment as well. The arraignment is your mandatory court appearance where your charges are read to you and you will have the opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty, no contest, or mute. And of course, we highly discourage you from going through the trial process without legal representation.

In short, the consequences of a felony are much more long-lasting than those for misdemeanors.

Family Law

What is a divorce going to cost me? Can I afford it?

There is no way to predict the total cost of a divorce. The best way to control fees is to ensure you have a solid litigation plan. A solid plan is one based on clear communication between a client and their attorney. Other factors that affect the cost of a divorce are children/custody, marital assets, and communication between both parties.

Do I really need to hire an attorney?

Yes. Domestic Relations law is complex. Never try to represent yourself. You will agree to things you might otherwise not have to agree to. If you go to court unrepresented, you are charged with knowing all the rules of civil procedure just as a licensed attorney would.

Can I change my name at the time of divorce?

The wife may have her maiden name restored by having language included in the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.

When can I file for divorce in Georgia?

You must have lived in Georgia for at least six months prior to filing a divorce action.

When is my case going to be over?

The length of time a case takes to reach resolution is entirely dependent on the facts and circumstances in that case. Uncontested cases – cases in which there are absolutely no disagreements as to any issues in the divorce – can be resolved rather quickly. Contested cases involving custody or the division of assets can take much longer to resolve.

Additionally, each party’s respective approach toward litigation (cooperative, difficult, just out to make the other party mad, etc.) always influences the time a case takes to reach a final resolution.

Do I have to go to court?

If your case can be resolved in an uncontested manner, one party is required to appear at the conclusion of an uncontested case (where the parties have entered into a Settlement Agreement) to swear under oath to the elements of the divorce.

At what point during the process can a spouse remarry or start dating?

Only at the conclusion of the case.

What if my spouse does not want the divorce?

It does not matter. If one party wants to be divorced, the court will grant that party the divorce.

Do the other issues – child support, child custody, alimony, and property – have to be decided before the divorce is final?

Yes.

How and where is a divorce complaint filed?

Generally, a divorce action is filed in the county in which the defendant lives.