A violent crime is any crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim. Accusations of violent crimes are prosecuted aggressively in the State of Georgia. If you are accused of committing a violent crime in Georgia, it is important to contact experienced Atlanta violent crimes attorney David Schnipper as soon as possible following your arrest to protect your rights and your freedom.
Non-Homicide Violent Crimes
Assault & Battery in Georgia can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. While these are two separate criminal offenses, people are typically arrested for both assault and battery charges combined. Assault occurs when a person has a reasonable belief that a violent injury is about to occur due to unlawful actions of another. Battery occurs when one person actually causes physical harm to another or makes physical contact in an offensive way. Aggravated assault involves the use of a weapon, or occurs with the intent to murder, rob, or rape. Aggravated battery typically occurs when the battery leads to the loss of a body part or loss of functioning of a body part or disfigurement.
Weapons charges in Georgia can range from simply possessing an unlawful weapon to using a weapon in the commission of another crime. Weapons that cannot be possessed under Georgia law include sawed-off rifles, sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, and silencers. Possession of an unlawful weapon is a serious felony and those convicted can face long prison sentences. Illegally carrying a concealed weapon will be charged as a misdemeanor for the first offense, but becomes a more serious felony upon the second offense. People with prior felony convictions are prohibited from carrying firearms, and can face varying prison terms depending on the nature of the prior felony conviction. Perhaps the most serious weapons charge is the use of a weapon in the commission of a felony. Depending on the circumstances, those convicted can face prison sentences of 10 years or longer.
Armed robbery incorporates many of the elements of the weapons charges discussed above with additional penalties. Armed robbery does not require that the offender use an actual weapon; the use of a replica or a device that looks like a weapon can also result in the charge of armed robbery. Because there is a presumption that armed robberies have the potential to turn into deadly events, judges in Georgia often hand down harsh sentences for convictions of armed robbery. The minimum sentence for an armed robbery conviction in Georgia is 10 years in prison.
Rape involves using violence or force, or fear of harm to the victim, to sexually penetrate the victim. Rape can occur whether the victim is male or female. Georgia has strict punishments for rape, including a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and lifelong registration as a sex offender. Date rape is a specific situation in which the alleged offender engages in forcible sexual intercourse with the alleged victim during a voluntary social engagement, such as a date. Date rape is a serious offense but is also susceptible to mistaken and false accusations, such as when the alleged victim is merely remorseful at engaging in consensual sex. Sexual battery is treated as an aggravated misdemeanor, and occurs when a person touches the intimate parts of another person for sexual arousal.
Under Georgia law, a person commits the offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and not his or her spouse. However, the mere testimony of the alleged victim is not sufficient to sustain a charge of statutory rape; the testimony must be supported by other evidence.
Georgia Homicide Laws
Homicide is the act of a human killing another human. Georgia law divides homicides into three categories: murder, involuntary manslaughter, and voluntary manslaughter.
In Georgia, a person commits murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being. Unlike many other states, Georgia does not divide the crime of murder into degrees of severity. The crime of murder can happen in several ways:
- The intentional act of killing another person.
- Acting with depraved indifference to human life, leading to the killing of another, such as shooting at a car with passengers, even if not aiming specifically at one person in the car.
- Killing a person while committing another felony, even if the killing is not intentional.
Murder in Georgia is punished harshly, with a minimum sentence of life in prison and a maximum sentence of the death penalty.
Manslaughter is the killing of a human being in a manner considered less culpable than murder. Georgia law divides manslaughter into two types: Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter.
Under Georgia law, a person commits voluntary manslaughter when he intentionally causes the death of another human being as the result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation. That provocation must be reasonable under the circumstances, and the offender must also not have sufficient time to “cool off” from that passion. The classic example of voluntary manslaughter is a man who comes home to find his wife in bed with another man and kills either or both of them upon discovery.
Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person while engaged in reckless or illegal behavior. The penalties for manslaughter vary widely depending on the circumstances.
Hire Experienced Georgia Violent Crimes Attorney David Schnipper to Protect Your Rights
Because of the wide variance in penalties for violent crimes in Georgia, it is essential to retain experienced, competent legal counsel immediately upon your arrest for any violent crime. Atlanta violent crimes attorney David Schnipper worked for two District Attorney’s offices, so he understands that the State needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt every element of the crimes you are charged with. Depending on the circumstances of your case, criminal defense Attorney Schnipper may be able to have the charges dismissed without having to go to trial.
Attorney Schnipper knows that each case is different, and he makes himself personally available to consult with his clients throughout the course of their representation, providing his cell phone number so that clients can call him at any time. If you have been accused or arrested of a violent crime, call Schnipper Law, P.C., at 404-983-6051 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation or contact us online.