The first phase of the Criminal Process is recognizing whether you have committed a crime. In the State of Georgia, crimes are divided into two major subsections, felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors, the subject of this article, are the least serious crimes and correspondingly carry the most lenient penalties. Misdemeanor crimes can be viewed on a spectrum with the most serious misdemeanors being crimes like simple battery, simple assault, and shoplifting—to the least serious being your most basic traffic violations like speeding, expired registration, and driving with no license on person. Yes, you read correctly. Under the umbrella of misdemeanors are routine traffic violations in Georgia. This means, in Georgia, when you receive a traffic citation, you are being charged with a crime; and like any criminal charge the resultant outcome may, and in many cases will, adversely affect your criminal history and/or driving record. It is pivotal, in the interest of money and irreversible mistakes, that you seek legal counsel early on. Each phase of the criminal process is vitally important and a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer or Georgia Traffic Lawyer can save you the collateral effects (i.e. unemployment, inability to drive, college rejection) of proceeding pro se (without a lawyer).