My spouse and I fought. She hit first, but I was arrested. I broke some household items valued at less than $40 in anger. The law claimed thousands based on lies of my spouse. The cruelty was that my teenage daughters could have been hurt on the damaged household goods. I'm completely broke financially. I do not have a record other than dui.
Since you said you don't have any money, and you are facing felony charges, you WILL be appointed an attorney by the court. Sometimes you are lucky and you get a great attorney for free, and other times you are stuck with an attorney you are dissatisfied with. If that is the case, then you may want to try to hire an attorney. Otherwise, don't worry, you will have a lawyer representing you.
As far as the other implications of your question - I don't know whether you mean aggravated battery (felony with sentence range up to 20 years) or just a battery charge (misdemeanor with up to 12 months). One is MUCH more serious than the other. If this is your first offense, you can probably work all this out without jail time. I imagine you are ordered not to have any contact with your spouse as a condition of bond, but if you know whether she is going to "forgive" you for this or "press charges" that can have an impact too. If you are ordered to have no contact DON'T call or contact her, let your attorney do that.
While her opinion won't directly get this case dropped or throw the book at you, it can have an impact on the prosecutor's sentence recommendation. Also, if the property you broke was yours, then you have a defense to that charge. You can destroy your property all you want without penalty under the law. If the property was your spouse's or someone else's then that charge might stick. If you can prove the property was "less than $40" then you could have that charged reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor as well. It's not the value that "the law" puts on it, but the actual value of the property that was damaged.
Best thing to do is talk to your attorney, whether hired by you or appointed by the court, and discuss any defenses with them.
Legal disclaimer: Brian Tevis is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state-specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.
If you don't want to be more completely broke - and for much longer, you need to do what it takes to get an aggressive attorney on your side to protect your rights and minimize the damage now! Having these kinds of convictions on your record will negatively impact your ability to find work, rent a place to live, etc. Plus, the fines and probation fees you are facing, as well as possible jail time, are enough to put you under. Do whatever it takes - reach out to family, friends, etc. - to get an attorney now, before the case gets too far along.
Please let me know if I can be of assistance. I would be happy to help.
M. Jason Rhoades
You listed this as a Jackson County case. If so, and you were charged with a misdemeanor, you may be able to get the charges resolved in State Court. You may also be able to get the charges dropped or reduced, and the public defenders there do a good job walking clients through this process. If you were charge with a felony, you should be able to get the charges reduced, but the D.A.'s office, which handles the felony cases in Superior Court, will most likely not drop the charges. You can go and see if you qualify for a public defender, or hire a local attorney. If you are broke right now, the fact that the charges may take a while to get to court may allow you to hire an attorney and make payments over time.
The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP [email protected] 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 gadebtlaw.com hicksmasseyandgardner.com serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation
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