Experienced on both sides of the courtroom

  • Criminal defense is all we do
  • Over 10 years of experience
  • Deal directly with the attorney
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savannah criminal defense lawyer

At Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C., our former prosecutors-turned-criminal defense attorneys give clients the edge they need to protect their rights and their freedom. We know the criminal justice system inside and out and have seen, firsthand, the defense strategies that work. Drawing on our inside knowledge and experience, we build strong, solid defenses that protect our clients' rights and freedom.

Located in Savannah, our firm represents clients throughout coastal South Georgia and at various colleges and universities, and military and naval bases throughout the area.

We consistently take cases to trial and win

  • charge

    Client was charged with murder in a shooting death


    The jury found him not guilty by reason of self defense

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    A young female lawyer shot and killed her abusive boyfriend


    The jury found him not guilty by reason of self defense

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    DUI fight with police


    The jury found him not guilty by reason of self defense

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Strong, Effective Criminal Defense

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the legal process and unsure where to turn to help. At Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C., we understand that the stress and fear of the unknown often only make a bad situation worse.

We provide clients with straightforward explanation of their cases, the charges they are facing and the strategies we can use in their defense. Once clients leave our offices, they often feel like a weight has been lifted from their shoulders. They know their cases are in good hands.

Clients trust our firm to provide honest, trustworthy legal defense.

Over the years, our lawyers have successfully defended clients against a wide range of criminal charges, including DUI, drug charges, and violent crimes.

Dedicated To Your Defense

At Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C., we don't plead out cases because it is easier. We stand up to the government and fight for your rights. Our attorneys are experienced litigators — we know our way around the courtroom, we know how to successfully try cases in front of judges and juries, and we know how to build defense strategies that work. We will work for you.

“When you first contact our firm, you will speak with an attorney right away—not a member of our support staff. Your case evaluation is free, and your attorney will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your legal situation.”

About the Georgia Criminal Justice System

Upon facing arrest and criminal charges in Georgia, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the state’s justice system. Georgia is moderately progressive in how it updates and improves its criminal justice system. It has implemented several innovative policies in an effort to divert convicted criminals from prison, reserving prison cells only for those who commit the most heinous and violent offenses. Between 2012 and 2015, Georgia’s prison populations decreased by 6%.

Accountability courts, on-the-job training programs, and the Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative are reforming the state’s criminal justice system for the benefit of those convicted. Despite these improvements, however, the courts finding you guilty of a crime in Georgia could result in serious, life-long consequences. Arrests and citations for drug crimes, drunk driving, assault, and even traffic offenses could mean a prison sentence. The more you know about the state justice system through your attorney, the better prepared you’ll be for your case.

3 Steps to Take If Police Arrest You in Savannah

From the moment police pull your vehicle over or start questioning you, think like a defendant. This means defending your rights in a peaceful and appropriate manner. The actions you take and the things you say while in police custody can impact the case against you. We encourage you to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest in Georgia. Until your lawyer arrives, follow these basic steps if the police arrest you in Savannah:

  1. Remain silent. It is a cardinal mistake to believe that the police officers are on your side. As someone in handcuffs facing a criminal conviction, it is always in your best interest to use your right to remain silent. Otherwise, the officers can (and will) use what you say against you in court later. Politely decline to answer any questions or to discuss your case or personal life until you have an attorney present.
  2. Comply with all orders. Absolutely do not resist arrest, try to run from the police, or ignore direct orders from officers. Do your best to remain cooperative during the entire arrest and booking processes. You will have your chance to speak and defend yourself later, with an experienced attorney by your side. Resisting arrest or orders can only get you into deeper legal trouble – or possibly injured.
  3. Ask for a lawyer. Request a lawyer from the very beginning. You have the right to an attorney from the start. The law does not obligate you to talk to police or anyone else until you have a lawyer present. Do not believe any officer or official who says otherwise. Don’t give in or agree to speak without a lawyer. Call (912) 713-3426 to contact our Savannah defense attorneys ASAP – even from the police station.

It’s crucial to start defending your rights as best you can from the very first interaction with Savannah police officers. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call a lawyer and ask. Until then, protect yourself by limiting what you say and do until your attorney arrives. You can immediately learn your rights and options as soon as you get in touch with someone from Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C.

What to Expect During a Criminal Trial

After the arrest, the next major event in your case will be the arraignment. It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, angry, or afraid during the court processes that come after arrest. Hiring a lawyer you have 100% confidence in will help give you peace of mind. Our defense attorneys can walk you through every step of the criminal trial process in Georgia, from the time of your arrest to the final hearing. Each case is unique but all will follow the same basic steps:

  1. Police book you into the system. Once the police department book you (take your fingerprints and mugshot), you’ll wait in the holding cell until you have your time in front of a judge. During this time, you’ll have your phone call available to call a lawyer, if you wish.
  2. Initial appearance. Your initial appearance in court is where you’ll have the opportunity to plead guilty or not-guilty. The judge will also set bail or bond, if applicable. You can request a public defender at your initial appearance if you haven’t already retained a private attorney.
  3. Arraignment. If the prosecutors (the city) charge you with a crime, you’ll have an arraignment hearing in which you’ll learn the charges against you. You have the right to have your lawyer at your arraignment. You can enter a plea at your arraignment if you wish, or else your attorney will help you fight the charges with a not-guilty plea.
  4. Criminal trial. If you don’t take a plea bargain, your case will go to trial. Here you (and your lawyer) will have the opportunity to defend yourself, refute allegations and evidence against you, and fight for the courts to drop the charges against you. A lawyer by your side is the key to feeling confident during a criminal trial.

Our outstanding criminal defense lawyers have experience as prosecutors and defense attorneys. This means we have insights from the other side of the justice system. We’re uniquely suited to defend people on trial in Georgia, with an in-depth understanding of both sides of the justice system. Our lawyers can stand in your corner during all criminal justice processes involved in your case

Public Defender vs. Private Defense Attorney: Which Is Best?

During your criminal case in Georgia, you will have the option to hire either a public defender or a private criminal defense attorney. We’re here to tell you to hire the latter – and not just because we’re a private firm. As former prosecutors with more than 10 years experience, we’ve watched public defenders fail their clients again and again. While a public defender is better than no attorney at all, hiring a private firm can give you several distinct advantages, including:

  • The ability to choose your representation
  • Dealing directly with your attorney, not a paralegal
  • One-on-one personalized attention from a lawyer
  • Passion for seeking justice, not just taking plea deals
  • More time, resources, and manpower to dedicate to your case
  • Honest, trustworthy legal defense
  • Experienced trial lawyers with a history of success

Who you choose as a lawyer is arguably the most important decision you have to make when facing criminal charges in any state. Public defenders are for defendants who cannot hire private attorneys. If you can, however, opt for a private attorney. Public defenders work for the government and make less than private lawyers. They might not be as inclined to fight for a client’s rights or else have too many cases to dedicate the required attention to your case. A private law firm can minimize the penalties or even prevent a conviction.

What to Look for in Your Defense Lawyer

If you do decide to retain your own criminal defense lawyer (something we highly recommend), it will be your choice as to who you select. We cannot stress enough how important the team representing you is to your case. Your lawyer could be the only thing standing between you and a serious criminal sentence. We know finding the right lawyer for your case can be difficult, especially if time is of the essence. Look for these five things in your defense attorney:

  1. Local expertise. Conduct your attorney search locally, not nationally. A local lawyer will have an in-depth understanding of state and county laws that may apply to your case, as well as relationships with judges and county clerks.
  2. Experience handling similar cases. You don’t want your case to be the first of its kind for your attorney. A green attorney won’t be your best choice if you have a lot on the line. Instead, go with a lawyer with experience representing defendants charged with similar crimes.
  3. Real results. The firm should be able to show you real-life examples of cases they’ve won for clients, either by getting the charges dropped completely or minimizing the conviction and sentence. Search for client testimonials to see what past defendants have to say about the firm’s services.
  4. The ability to listen. Your lawyer shouldn’t bulldoze you during conversations. Instead, he or she should express a genuine interest in your goals and concerns for your case. The attorney-client relationship should not be one-sided. Find a lawyer who sees you as a partner, not as just another case.
  5. Positive gut feeling. Finally, and most importantly, you should have a good feeling about the attorney who represents you. Use the free consultation with the lawyer to see how you get along. Your lawyer should explain things in a way you can understand, talk openly about your future, and help you feel protected during the court process

Let us save you some time. Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C. has everything you’re looking for and more. We will explore every reasonable outlet for your criminal defense strategy and prepare a defense you can feel confident in. Our Savannah team has aggressive, experienced lawyers ready to take a stand on your behalf.

Common Defenses for Crimes in Georgia

Although every criminal case in Savannah is unique, federal and state laws leave room for some common defenses in many different types of cases. Our team will work closely with you to tailor your defense strategy for your exact situation. In the meantime, peruse a few common defense strategies in Georgia criminal cases:

  • Innocence. You do not have to prove you didn’t commit the crime for a judge or jury to find you innocent. Instead, you must simply show that the prosecutors can’t prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Having an alibi, arguing lack of evidence, or pleading self-defense could all result in the courts finding you not guilty of the alleged crime.
  • Coercion or entrapment. The defense of coercion or duress asserts that you only committed the crime because someone else threatened you with unlawful force, making you do so. Entrapment alleges that the arresting police officer set you up to commit the crime, and that you would not otherwise have broken the law.
  • Intoxication. Pleading intoxication might be possible if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged crime. This would prove that you were not in your right mind at the time, and/or could not know what you were doing was wrong. This defense could go hand-in-hand with lack of intent to commit a crime in some cases.
  • No crime existed. Laws can be extremely nuanced, leaving the potential for loopholes or situations in which what you did does not actually constitute a breach of the law. This could result in the courts finding that no one committed a crime at all.

Most criminal cases depend largely on police-gathered evidence or statements against you. One defense you may be able to use is that the arresting officer made a mistake. Common mistakes that could result in the courts dismissing your case include: unlawful search and seizure, failure to read Miranda rights, lack of probable cause, incorrectly performed sobriety tests, and inability to produce the drugs the defendant allegedly possessed. Contact our team to discuss your unique defense strategy for crimes in Savannah.

Shield Yourself During Criminal Investigations

If you have been accused of a crime or are under criminal investigation, do not wait to get legal help. There are techniques we can use to limit your liability and sometimes prevent charges from being brought against you. Do not wait. Contact Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C., today. For a free consultation, call us at 912-713-3426.