Category Archives: Weapons Violations

Georgia Supreme Court Decides Threat of Force Enough for Self Defense Immunity

On October 3, 2011 in State vs. Green the Georgia Supreme Court decided that just the threat of force is all that is required when one reasonably believes that he must defend himself against another’s imminent use of unlawful force. The case involved two men, one a renter and the other his landlord, who shared the same home. The landlord became angry at his tenant while the tenant was preparing to cook a meal and held a butcher knife in his hand. The landlord told the tenant to leave and went to another room to get his tenant’s pre-paid rent. The tenant stood by an exterior door but continued to hold the knife because he did not trust his landlord. The landlord returned and head- butted the other man even though he still held the knife. The butcher knife entered the landlord’s thigh, severing his femoral artery and he died. The Court determined Green would have been justified in using deadly force against his landlord to protect himself, although he was not required to do so in order to be immune from prosecution. In other words, Green exhibited his own threat of force but did not intentionally stab his landlord.

Self Defense Laws in Georgia

The provisions of the Georgia legal code stipulates that a person is justified in using force in self defense or in the defense of another person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. However, a person is not considered justified in using force on another person if he first provokes the use of force against himself with the intent to use force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant. Also, if the person is attempting to commit or is fleeing from the committing of a felony or was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so and the other person continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.

Contact An Atlanta Criminal Law Attorney

If you have been charged with unlawful force against another individual while defending yourself, someone else, or while attempting to prevent someone from committing a felony, an experienced Georgia criminal attorney can answer your questions, file motions, and represent you in court. Lisa Wells is ready to defend your rights.

Secure a Strong Criminal Defense Attorney When Minor Children are Charged as Adults

In a report by the U.S. Department of Justice on trying a minor as an adult it was found that at the end of the 1990’s and into the early 2000’s there was a spike in juvenile violence that directly impacted changing state transfer laws to their current form where juveniles can be transferred into criminal or adult court. Georgia and nearly every state in the Union expanded the transfer laws to allow, or even require, that minors be prosecuted in the adult criminal court system.

Georgia Minors Prosecuted as Adults

The PBS.org Frontline Show on juvenile to adult criminal prosecution reports that minors have been involved in 25% of all serious violent crimes committed every year for the past 25-years. To add on to that number it is also estimated that for the last two-decades less than 50% of violent crimes committed by juveniles are even reported to the authorities.

Georgia law allows the decision making authority to transfer from judge to prosecutor and it also replaces the individual discretion that a judge or prosecutor may take on transferring a minor to adult criminal court; the decision is made through use of specific criteria. The term “judicial waiver” is used to indicate that the judge “waives” the juvenile court jurisdiction and passes the case over into the adult criminal court system. It is critical to have legal representation from the start of this process – being judged and sentenced as an adult demands a Georgia criminal defense attorney with a history of successful experience.

Atlanta Juveniles Jailed While They Await Trial

Atlanta juveniles can be jailed with adults while they await their trial in Georgia’s criminal court system. The minimum age for criminal responsibility in Georgia is 12 and a minor of that age may find that they come into direct contact with adults charged with violent crimes while being incarcerated. Once an Atlanta Metro area youth has their case transferred as an adult it is critical to have legal representation from the very start – being judged and sentenced as an adult demands an expert Georgia criminal defense attorney with a history of successful experience be on your family’s side.

Cases of Juveniles Prosecuted as Adults

A highly profiled case was that of Michael Phelps who at 15 was a minor charged as an adult in the shooting of one of his schoolmates in Indiana. Channel 8 Wish TV reported that if he had been trialed as a juvenile his time served would have included a more relaxed atmosphere, school, counseling and having a system goal of rehabilitating back into society. Tried as an adult, Phelps will be held by the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Other publicized cases include Cristian Fernandez who was charged with 1st degree murder of his 2 year old half brother. Cristian is 12 and he faces life without parole if convicted. ABC News reports several cases where the juvenile charges were transferred to the adult criminal court: In Florida three teenagers will be prosecuted for attempted 2nd degree murder when they set another teen on fire over a $40 video game debt. In Texas five teens face adult prosecution and judgment in the brutal beating death of 28 year old Jonathan Bird – he had asked two of the teens to stop driving recklessly on his street – five teens returned and hit and kicked him to death in his own yard. In California all the juveniles arrested for the gang rape of a 15-year old girl outside her high school dance are charged as adults. And in Arizona, police are looking for the two teens that pushed another minor into the road where he was struck by three cars and killed.

The brutality and seriousness of crimes being committed by minors today almost certainly will have the court system transfer these cases for adult criminal prosecution. Call the Atlanta juvenile to adult criminal defense attorney Lisa Wells for a free confidential consultation.

Common Crimes Where Georgia Juveniles Are Often Tried as Adults

While some crimes committed by a minor can go to either juvenile court or to the superior adult court system, there are some criminal acts that are typically tried in the Georgia adult court system; these are:

  • Murder by a minor is often transferred over for adult criminal prosecution
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Child molestation
  • Sexual battery
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Armed robbery with the use of a fire arm

Georgia Juvenile to Adult Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call your Atlanta juvenile to adult criminal defense lawyer for the experience and knowledge you need – Lisa Wells has a successful record defending not only adults charged with a crime, but in keeping serious criminal charges made against a minor in the juvenile court system using all legal channels and regulations available to her.

Call Lisa Wells your Atlanta crime lawyer for a free confidential meeting to begin the strategy and foundation of your juvenile to adult criminal charges.

Atlanta’s Violent Crime Rate is the Highest in the Nation

Neighborhood Scout.com report that Atlanta not only has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S.when compared to all communities of all sizes, Atlanta is rated #1 for violent crime. Violent offenses that are tracked by Neighborhood Scout include forcible rape, murder, non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon.

Risk of Becoming a Victim of Violent or Property Crime in Atlanta High

If you are living in or visiting Atlanta, your chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime is one out of 69. The chance of becoming a victim of either a violent or property crime in Atlanta becomes one out of 11. In addition, the number of registered sex offenders in Atlanta is almost 1,700 – making the ratio of Atlanta citizens to registered sex offenders 391 to 1. The Bureau of Justice Statistics distinguishes violent crimes from other types of crime reported through the use of force or threat of force.

Atlanta Violent Crime Offenses Receive Mandatory Jail Time

In Atlanta the four types of violent crime offenses as identified by the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics are defined as:

  • Forcible Rape and Sexual Assault – This violent crime is defined as forced sexual intercourse of vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by another including both psychological coercion and the use of physical force. The term penetration may include the use of foreign objects in the committal of this crime. A charge of attempted rape includes the verbal threat of committing rape. Protect yourself and your rights by immediate contact and consultation with anAtlanta violent crime criminal defense lawyer.
  • Robbery – Under State andAtlanta law, the charge of robbery is a complex legal matter and can include completed theft or attempted theft of property or cash using force or the threat of force. The degree of severity of the charge involves where a weapon was used or threatened to be used, as well as if there were any personal injuries involved as well as the severity of the injury. An experienced violent crimes attorney may be able to reduce or dismiss charges – call the expert criminal defense attorney Lisa Wells before you speak to anyone else.
  • Aggravated Assault – This type of violent crime can be charged when a person assaults another with the intent to murder, rape or rob that victim. Aggravated assault can also be the charge levied against a person if a deadly weapon, object or any item at all is used to inflict or attempt to inflict personal injury. Use of a deadly weapon includes shooting of a person or persons from a motor vehicle.
  • Murder and Felony Murder – The violent crime of murder is defined as the act of killing another person with malice forethought or proof of intent to kill or inflict personal injury on another. When a deadly weapon is used for this crime, the intent to kill is implied in the completion of the act. Felony murder is defined as the death of a person while the perpetrator was in the act of committing a felony offense.

Atlanta is a city that has violent crimes happening everyday across the growing urban city. Violent crimes often come with mandatory jail time, fines and community service. Making your first call to an experienced Atlanta violent crime criminal defense attorney is critical before any final charges are levied and before any information is given to the arresting officials. Have your defense attorney consult with you before speaking to anyone about the crime and any alibi, and before you provide any details about your relationship with the victim.

Atlanta Violent Crime Criminal Defense Attorney

With over 6,000 violent crimes and over 32,000 property crimes committed every year in Atlanta, the court system is often overwhelmed with cases and in scheduling trials. Atlanta violent crimes include charges that are for both completed and attempted offenses.

You need a lawyer with a long successful history of criminal defense against violent crimes. You need Lisa Wells, the Atlanta violent crimes criminal defense attorney who will fight to negotiate, reduce or dismiss charges. Make the call to Lisa Wells your first priority.

Past Felonies Affect Georgia Firearm Possession Defense

Rapper Gucci Mane Needs a Strong Georgia Firearm Possession Defense, Since Past Felony Convictions Will be Considered

When rapper Gucci Mane opted to plead no contest to charges of aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2005, he may not have fully understood that Georgia law forbids convicted felons from possessing firearms. Mane, whose real name is Radric Davis, had also been arrested for possessing more than twenty grams of marijuana just a few months prior to his assault charges.

His past felony convictions have serious consequences that will affect his arrest in Atlanta this month after being indicted on federal firearms charges. The Georgia firearms and weapons act, O.C.G.A. 16-11-120 defines possession as having a firearm “on his or her person or within arm’s reach”.

Further clarification is found in Georgia Code16-11-131 (b) “Any person who is on probation as a felony first offender pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 or who has been convicted of a felony by a court of this state or any other state; by a court of the United States including its territories, possessions, and dominions; or by a court of any foreign nation and who receives, possesses, or transports any firearm commits a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one nor more than five years;”

The charges stem from two separate incidents in September. Each time, Mane was in possession of a firearm, threatening others, and behaving erratically, according to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. When police responded to a call regarding his disruptive behavior at an office building, they found a loaded handgun in his possession, but failed to arrest him because he claimed the gun belonged to his girlfriend. Two days later, however, a second call ensued when a friend called police, concerned about the rapper’s behavior. According to a wwsbtv.com report, Mane cursed at police and threatened to shoot. He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge, and then taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital.

An Atlanta Felony Defense Attorney with a Solid History of Successful Representation Knows the Best Strategy for Your Particular Firearms Case

Were you convicted of a felony? If so, you need to fully understand the restrictions placed on you regarding possession of firearms. Failure to do so may lead to serious consequences.

When facing serious charges, it’s important to negotiate for the lightest sentence possible. A seasoned Atlanta felony defense attorney will work toward optimal results, using strategies that may include extenuating circumstances.

Felons charged with gun possession need to protect their rights. While you may have had a lapse in judgment, don’t risk more punishment than necessary. When facing felony charges of illegal firearm possession in Georgia, you should contact an experienced Atlanta criminal defense attorney with a solid history of successful representation to discuss the best strategy for you, based on the details of your case.