Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

What is the Abandonment Defense in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 31, 2018 | 0 Comments

Georgia Criminal Defenses are mechanisms to defend people who have been accused of committing criminal offenses in Georgia. There are two different types of defenses. 

First, there are negating defenses. An example of a negating defense is alibi in Georgia. A negating defense completely negates all elements of the crime. 

Second, there are affirmative defenses. An example of an affirmative defense is abandonment of effort to commit a crime in Georgia. An affirmative defense is essentially a legal excuse for committing a crime. It means the accused person is admitting to actually committing the crime that he or she is being accused of, but with that admission, there is a justification for the commission of the crime. 

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will use today's post to explain the defense of abandonment in Georgia. 

What is Abandonment of Effort to Commit a Crime?

The Georgia Code defines Abandonment of Effort to Commit a Crime in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-4-5 as:

“When a person's conduct would otherwise constitute an attempt to commit a crime under Code Section 16-4-1, it is an affirmative defense that he abandoned his effort to commit the crime or in any other manner prevented its commission under circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his criminal purpose.” 

The statute goes further to state what is meant by “voluntary and complete renunciation.”

  • Voluntary: “A renunciation of criminal purpose is not voluntary if it results from: A belief that circumstances exist which increase the probability of detection or apprehension of the person or which render more difficult the accomplishment of the criminal purpose.”
  • Complete: “A renunciation of criminal purpose is not voluntary if it results from: a decision to postpone the criminal conduct until another time.”

Essentially, voluntary means that you willingly and of your own accord gave up the attempt to commit the crime. And complete means that someone has to fully give up your attempt to commit the crime at hand in order to utilize the abandonment defense. 

Practice Note

Needless to say, Georgia Criminal Defenses are complicated. These defenses should never be applied in an attempt to defend your own case without representation. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact us today. When charged with a criminal offense, you are up against not only losing your personal assets but also your freedom. We work all across the state of Georgia and have over 50 years of combined experience. 

We will investigate your case thoroughly and decide which defenses apply to your case. Contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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