Have You Been Charged with Attempted Murder or Threatening of Witnesses in Official Proceedings in Georgia?
Georgia law seeks to protect witnesses when they are providing testimony in an official proceeding. Therefore, they take it very seriously when witnesses have been threatened. If you or a loved one has been charged with attempted murder or threatening a witness in an official proceeding or court, you need legal representation immediately. A charge is not the same as a conviction. The Law Offices of Lawson and Berry have extensive experience with Crimes Against Public Administration and how to defend against them. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Attempted Murder in Official Proceedings in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. §16-10-32(a) any person who attempts to kill another person with intent to:
(1) Prevent the attendance or testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(2) Prevent the production of a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or
(3) Prevent the communication by any person to a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, or judge of this state of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a criminal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings
will be guilty of a crime.
Penalty in Georgia
In Georgia, a person convicted of attempted murder during official proceedings will be charged with a felony with a punishment of a prison term between ten and twenty years. Further, felony conviction consequences extend beyond prison. A felony conviction on your record can make it difficult to obtain credit, housing, or employment.
Threatening of Witnesses in Official Proceedings in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. §16-10-32(b) Any person who threatens or causes physical or economic harm to another person or a member of such person's family or household, threatens to damage or damages the property of another person or a member of such person's family or household, or attempts to cause physical or economic harm to another person or a member of such person's family or household with the intent to hinder, delay, prevent, or dissuade any person from:
(1) Attending or testifying in an official proceeding;
(2) Reporting in good faith to a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, or judge of a court of this state, or its political subdivisions or authorities, the commission or possible commission of an offense under the laws of this state or a violation of conditions of probation, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
(3) Arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in connection with a criminal offense; or
(4) Causing a criminal prosecution, or a parole or probation revocation proceeding, to be sought or instituted, or assisting in such prosecution or proceeding
will be guilty of a crime.
Penalty in Georgia
If convicted of threatening witnesses related to official proceedings, the accused will be guilty of a felony. The punishment will include a prison term between two and ten years or a fine between $10,000 and $25,000, or both. Further, the consequences of a felony conviction extend beyond prison. A felony conviction on your record can make it difficult to obtain credit, housing, or employment.
Georgia Case Law
In Shelnutt v. State, the accused was convicted of threatening a witness. The evidence presented showed that Shelnutt was charged with threatening a witness in an official proceeding by setting the witness' husband's car on fire. However, Shelnutt argued that the evidence did not show that the husband suffered any economic harm because the car had been broken down for a year. However, the jury found that the husband suffered an uninsured loss of valuable personal property that was in the car and furthermore, the fire to the car caused him economic harm. 289 Ga.App. 528, (2008).
A case where the accused was not found to be guilty is in Pombert v. State. 171 F. Supp.3d 1321, (216). In this case, one of the issues was whether the witness was prevented from testifying after an attorney made a comment to the witness. However, the Court found that the attorney's threat was not a threat under the act because it was not communicated to the witness and it was made after the witness had already given his statement to the police. Therefore, there was no threat to prevent information of criminal activity from being communicated to law enforcement or the courts.
Crimes against public administration come with severe consequences. Do not take a chance on representing yourself when your future is on the line. Contact Georgia's premier criminal defense firm and let us assist with your case. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.