Have you Been Charged With Compounding a Crime in Georgia?
O.C.G.A. §16-5-90 Reads as Follows:
A person commits the offense of compounding a crime when, after institution of criminal proceedings and without leave of the court or of the prosecuting attorney of the court where the criminal proceedings are pending, he accepts or agrees to accept any benefit in consideration of a promise, express or implied, not to prosecute or aid in the prosecution of a criminal offense.
In simpler terms, compounding a crime occurs when a victim fails to report for court or agrees to hamper the prosecution of the offender in exchange for a bribe.
What Must Be Proven To Be Convicted
In order to find the defendant guilty of compounding a crime in Georgia, the prosecution must first demonstrate that the defendant accepted or agreed to accept a benefit. Second, they must show the benefit was accepted for the purpose of refraining from prosecution of a crime.
Penalty for Compounding a Crime in Georgia
A person convicted of compounding a crime that is a felony in Georgia, shall be guilty of a felony. The felony charge will include a fine of no more than $1,000.00 or a prison term between one and five years, or both.
If the compounding crime was a misdemeanor, then they will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges in Georgia carry consequences of up to one year in jail, up to $1,000.00 in fines, or both.
Defenses To Compounding a Crime
Lack of Evidence: If there is no evidence that the defendant received a benefit or was offered a benefit, then he cannot be guilty of the crime of compounding.
The defendant did aid in the prosecution: Even if a bribe was offered, if the defendant aided in the prosecution of the offender, there is no crime.
What are Not Defenses
The defendant just didn't show up to court: Even failing to appear for court will be enough to be convicted under this statute if they were bribed not to appear.
The defendant did not receive the benefit: The benefit does not have to go to the defendant for it to be a crime; it could be for the benefit of another and still be a crime.
Contact Us Today
The Offices of Lawson and Berry have over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience. NO matter your circumstances, we are prepared to assist with your case and give you the best possible outcome. The criminal justice system is not designed for self service; that is why you need an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney to help with your case. Contact us today and see why we are Georgi'a premier criminal defense firm.