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Often times my clients arrested for domestic violence also find themselves arrested for other crimes as well. Sometimes these other offenses can be much more serious in terms of the potential exposure to a jail or prison sentence.
Some examples including sex crime, drug possession or a true violent crime.
If a defendant is arrested for both Magistrate Court (most misdemeanor) and General Sessions (most felonies) at the same time they will actually have two separate cases going at the same time in two separate courts. This means there will be two "first appearance" dates, and likely the Magistrate Court charge will come up for trial much quicker.
In this situation it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Any statements made during the course of the Magistrate Court proceeding can be used against you in General Sessions, and many times a "no contest" or "guilty plea" can also be used against you later as well.