Impossibility Defense in Georgia
When you have been charged with a crime, you need a solid defense. There are many arguments you can utilize to prove your innocence and impossibility is one of them. There are two types of impossibility defenses in Georgia: factual or legal. Your Attorney can assist you in collecting evidence supporting this argument. Lawson and Berry have had decades of criminal defense experience and are very familiar with the impossibility defense. Contact our offices to learn more and receive a free case evaluation.
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. §16-4-4 outlines this defense:
It is no defense to a charge of criminal attempt that the crime the accused is charged with attempted was, under the attendant circumstances, factually or legally impossible of commission if such crime could have been committed had the attendant circumstances been as the accused believed them to be.
A crime is considered factually impossible if the facts made the intended crime impossible to commit although the defendant is unaware of this when they tried. However, Georgia does not accept factual impossibility as a defense and will instead charge the defendant with attempting the intended crime.
An Example of Factual Impossibility:
The accused believes that his gun is working, points it at his neighbor, and pulls the trigger intending to kill his neighbor. However, because the pistol is defective and jams, it was factually impossible for him to commit the offense of murder. But the accused is still guilty of attempted murder.
Legal impossibility occurs when the defendant completes all of their intended acts but his acts fail to amount to a crime. Therefore, they cannot be guilty of a crime even if they thought they were committing a crime.
An Example of Legal Impossibility:
A visitor from China goes to a Chick Fil A in Georgia. In China, customers must pay for chick fil a sauce. Believing the same is true in the U.S., the visitor sees chick fil a sauce sitting on the counter and decides to take some without paying for it. Even though the visitor believes they are stealing chick fil a sauce, they cannot be convicted of attempted larceny because it is not a crime to take chick fil a sauce in a Georgia Chick Fil A.
Impossibility can be a difficult defense to prove, so it is vital to hire an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer. Lawson and Berry are here to help you develop the best defense for your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.