Have you been charged with a felony?
Understanding how the court charges certain crimes is important because you may be charged with a felony.
Understanding Felony Criminal Defense (O.C.G.A. § 16-1-3)
The term Felony in criminal matters means any crime which is punishable by death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment which lasts longer than 12 months.
These charges are all serious in nature and require a thorough examination of the facts and evidence in the case to mount a proper defense.
There are various charges which fall into the Felony category. Among those charges are Criminal Attempt, Felony Conspiracy, RICO (Racketeer Influenced Crime Organization), Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Murder, Felony Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter (with exceptions), Homicide, portions of the Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act (or VGCSA for short), Possession of Drugs under Schedule I, II, III, IV or V, Possession with Intent, Trafficking, Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, Cruelty to Children, Stalking, Aggravated Stalking, Rape, Statutory Rape, Sodomy, Aggravated Sodomy, Child Molestation, Enticing a Child, Pimping or pandering under age of 18, Incest, Aggravated Sexual Battery, Child Pornography, Burglary, Possession of Tools for Commission of a Crime, Theft by Taking (more than $500), Shoplifting (4th offense), Theft by Deception (more than $500), Theft by Conversion (more than $500), Theft of Services (more than $500), Receiving stolen property (more than $500), Entering Auto, Robbery, Armed Robbery, Forgery, Financial Transaction Card Theft, Criminal Damage to Property, Arson, Tehreats and Acts, Felony Obstruction, Possession of Firearm during commission of a felony, Possession of Unlawful weapons, Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon, and other charges.
Sometimes individuals are charged with a felony that they didn't commit. The legislature enacted statutes to deal with this situation in one of several ways. The main charge that is frequently used is called Parties to a Crime (O.C.G.A. § 16-2-20) where in Every person concerned in the commission of a crime is a party thereto and may be charged with and convicted of the crime.
Consider this scenario as an explanation/example:
- A group of individuals rob a bank. There is a driver and then two men inside the bank. On the way out of the bank, one of the bank robbers shoots someone inside the bank. Everyone in the vehicle and inside the bank can be charged with the shooting based on the above statute Parties to a Crime.
- Three friends walk into a business afterhours and look around. Two of the individuals take tings from the shelves and the other does not. Under the statute all three can be charged with various theft offenses under parties to a crime whether they took something or not.
Being charged with any felony offense does not mean that you have to accept guilt, it means that you need a trained attorney to mount a proper defense.