Being accused of a violent crime can be really stressful. A violent crime is a serious felony, which means there is potential for greater punishment and more collateral consequences, like losing the right to vote or ownership and use of any guns you possess. As it is, a charge related to a violent crime can be significant and the prosecutor will not go easy on you, which means you must take significant steps to defend yourself immediately.
At Giddens, Mitchell & Associates, P.C., our violent crimes defense lawyer in Metro Atlanta handles these types of sensitive cases. We are determined to secure the best result for every client, no matter the circumstances or the odds. Contact us at 770-987-7007 as soon as possible to schedule a Consultation about your case.
What Constitutes Violent Crimes in Georgia?
Each state classifies violent crimes according to its own statutes. Generally speaking, violent crimes involve the use of force against a victim.
The use of force typically includes the threat of force or an attempt to use force.
Violent crimes are aggravated when the alleged offender uses a weapon or uses force against a certain class or categorization of people (e.g., the elderly, children, or emergency personnel).
Examples of Violent Crimes in Georgia
Sometimes referred to as offenses against the person, violent crimes include conduct ranging from assault to murder.
Examples of violent crimes include:
- Aggravated Assault
- Armed Robbery
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Murder and manslaughter
- Rape and Sexual Assault
Potential Penalties for Convictions of Violent Crimes in Georgia
Most violent crimes are classified as felonies and attract harsh sentences, even for first-time offenders.
The penalties for violent crimes include but are not limited to
- Community service
- Rehabilitation or treatment classes
Offenders can also be required to pay restitution to the victim. Given the repercussions of violent crimes and the need for general deterrence, a conviction for a violent crime can often result in a lengthy period of imprisonment.
More consequences, however, flow from a conviction aside from the sentence. These are known as collateral consequences and can include:
- Loss of job
- Difficulty finding a job
- Difficulty attaining higher education
- Difficulty obtaining a loan for a car, home, or anything else
- Loss of voting rights (if a felony conviction)
- Loss of the right to own and use a firearm (if a felony conviction)
A skilled criminal defense lawyer in Georgia can help you first defend against violent crime charges. Depending on your circumstances, this could mean dismissal, reduced charges, a plea deal, or an acquittal. If you are convicted, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can also help you manage the collateral consequences of a conviction.
Defenses in Georgia to a Violent Crimes Charge
The defenses available to a defendant will depend on the circumstances of their case. When it comes to defending a violent crime in Georgia, defendants often do not deny their actions but instead argue that there was a legal excuse for them.
Self-defense is one of the most well-known defenses against a charge of a violent crime. It is used when a defendant assaults or kills another person in defense of themselves or someone else. In these situations, the circumstances may legally justify the defendant's use of force. However, the force used must be reasonable and proportionate.
Lack of intent
Most crimes require the prosecution to establish that the defendant intended to commit the act. In the absence of criminal intent, a defendant may be able to defend against a violent crime allegation. For example, if a defendant was intoxicated or mentally incapacitated at the time of the offense, they could argue they were unable to form the intent needed for criminal responsibility.
In limited circumstances, the court may find that a victim consented to a violent crime. For example, where a victim willingly participates in a boxing match and is injured. Consent is a complex defense and is highly specific to the circumstances of a case.
Three Reasons Why You Need a Georgia Violent Crimes Defense Attorney
Getting charged with a violent crime can turn your life upside down. Here are three important reasons you need a violent crimes defense attorney.
- Plea Deals. Many alleged violent crimes offenders may be tempted to take the first plea deal, but if you are doing this on your own or with an inexperienced lawyer, that plea deal may actually work against you. You want a plea deal that benefits you. As it is, plea deals are not always your best option. So, you need a lawyer who can negotiate and pursue the best course of action for you.
- Honest Advice. Violent crimes are serious accusations. A conviction can really impact your life. Your reputation, personal relationships, job, and quite possibly your freedom are on the line. You need someone who will be candid and help you make smart moves as opposed to knee-jerk reactions.
- Full Picture. A prosecutor will not give you the whole scoop of what could or will happen, especially if you take a plea deal without representation. Also, the prosecutor will not tell you the extent and quality of the evidence they have against you, and you may not even know to ask. A lawyer gets the information and lays out the whole picture for you, identifying and explaining everything you need to know and how all options could potentially impact your life.
If you face a violent crimes charge in Metro Atlanta, it is ultimately in your best interests to retain a competent criminal defense lawyer. At Giddens, Mitchell & Associates, P.C., we are here to get you through this process and on with your life.
Contact a Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer in Metro Atlanta Today
Given their potentially catastrophic consequences, violent crimes attract some of the harshest sentences. If you have been accused of committing a violent crime, you should speak to a defense attorney at Giddens, Mitchell & Associates, P.C. immediately.
Our experienced attorney will review your case and explain your options, including any legal defenses that may be available to you. They can also help you prepare a strong defense and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Call 770-987-7007 or submit an online form today to schedule a Consultation about your case.