Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

A Closer Look at Georgia Criminal Defenses

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

As a firm of Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers, we understand that just because someone has been accused of a crime does not mean that they are guilty of that crime. There are a lot of Georgia Criminal Defenses that might apply to any case. The important thing to note is that the difficulty is not in finding the actual defenses but in applying those that specifically defend your particular case. You need a defense lawyer who is experienced in determine which defenses apply and when they apply. 

Let's take a look at some of the following defenses.

Defense of Abandonment 

Georgia law defines abandonment of effort to commit a crime in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-4-5 as:

“When a person abandons his effort to commit the crime or in any other manner prevents the commission of the crime under the circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his criminal purpose, it is considered an abandonment of effort.”

In order to correctly apply this defense, an attorney must show through evidence that the accused person withdrew from a criminal act before it was actually committed. 

The abandonment to commit a crime will not count if the motivation to abandon was because they thought they were going to get caught or because something occurred that made the crime more difficult to commit.

Defense of Delusional Compulsion

Georgia law defines delusional compulsion in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-3-2 as: 

“A person shall not be found guilty of a crime when, at the time of the act, omission, or negligence constituting the crime, the person, because of mental disease, injury, or congenital deficiency, acted as he did because of a delusional compulsion as to such act which overmastered his will to resist committing the crime.”

In order to correctly apply this defense, an attorney must show through a preponderance of evidence that the accused person is not of sound mind and discretion.

Defense of Mistake

Georgia law defines mistake of fact in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-3-5 as:

“A person shall not be found guilty of a crime if the act or omission to act constituting the crime was induced by a misapprehension of fact which, if true, would have justified the act or omission.”

In order to correctly apply this defense, an attorney must show that the accused person did not have the requisite mental state due to unawareness or ignorance.

The mistake of fact will not count if the accused person's ignorance is due to their own fault or negligence.

The above mentioned Georgia Criminal Defenses are just a few out of many that may apply to your particular case. It's important to note that even if you grasp these defenses, you will still need a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney to know which party has the burden of proof and just how to meet that burden.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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