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   Violent Crimes

A violent crime is a criminal offense that is committed with the use of violence, or with threats of violence.  When a person commits a violent crime, the violence is usually just a means to an end.  In recent years, violent crimes have escalated in the state of Georgia, especially amongst the adolescent, male demographic.  In hopes of decreasing instances of violent crimes, law enforcement and legislation has become very strict when dealing with violent crime offenders.  People who are convicted of committing a violent crime should expect to spend substantial time in prison, in addition to paying fines, paying restitution and performing community service.  For these reasons, it is very important to consult a violent crimes lawyer when facing criminal charges involving violence.   

The violent crimes defense attorneys and lawyers at Lawrence Lewis, P.C. are dedicated to defending clients who have been arrested for or charged with any type of violent crime in or around the metro-Atlanta area.  According to the law, numerous illegal acts are categorized as violent crimes in the state of Georgia: 

• Armed Robbery (see Armed Robbery page)
• Arson
• Aggravated Assault
• Aggravated Child Molestation (see Sexual Offenses page)   
• Kidnapping 
• Rape (see Sexual Offenses page) 
• Voluntary Manslaughter (see Murder – Homicide page) 
• Murder (see Murder – Homicide page)  

Because many of the aforementioned violent crimes are so important that they are addressed individually on other pages on the website, we will limit this discussion to two violent crimes: Aggravated Assault and Kidnapping. 

AGGRAVATED ASSALT 

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21(a) defines aggravated assault as an assault: (1) with intent to murder, rape, or rob; (2) with a deadly weapon or any object, device or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or (3) where a person without legal justification discharges a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons (i.e. drive-by).  If convicted of an aggravated assault, the sentencing judge may impose a sentence of one to twenty years.  In Georgia, the Board of Pardons and Parole have typically required that the convicted person do ninety percent (90%) of the incarceration time, before being eligible for parole. 

Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21(a)(1), intent to murder requires an intent to kill, which may be inferred from the nature of the instrument used, the manner of its use, the nature of the wound inflicted, and/or the brutality and duration of the assault. State v. Lord, 297 Ga. App. 88 (2009).  Intent to rape requires a substantial step toward committing a battery, not a rape; otherwise it would be attempted rape. State v. Goodall, 277 Ga. App. 600 (2006).  Intent to rob requires reasonable apprehension of receiving bodily injury and intent to rob. 

Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21(a)(2) a not per se deadly weapon (i.e. lamp, ice cube tray, telephone) may become one by all of the circumstances surrounding the weapon, the manner and means of its use, the wounds inflicted and/or the extent of the injuries. State v. Harwell, 270 Ga. 765 (1999).  Offense weapon is one primarily meant and adapted for attack and infliction of injury.

Because of the variations in aggravated assault, it is not unusual to see an indictment that has multiple counts of aggravated assault, where the same offense is charged in alternative ways.  For example, if the accused shoots at a person during an armed robbery, I would expect the indictment to read assault with intent to rob and assault with a deadly weapon.

KIDNAPPING 

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-40(a) defines kidnapping as abducting or stealing away another person without lawful authority or warrant, and holding such person against his will.  Slight movement shall be sufficient; provided however, that any such slight movement of another person which occurs while in the commission of any other offense shall not constitute kidnapping if such movement is merely incidental to such other offense.  The movement is not incidental to another offense if it: (1) conceals or isolates the victim; (2) makes the commission of the other offense substantially easier; and/or (3) lessens the risk of detection.

The distinctions enumerated in O.C.G.A. § 16-5-40(b) are critical because the penalties for kidnapping are so severe.  By statute, a kidnapping conviction requires a mandatory minimum ten years in prison, if the victim is at least 14 years old.  If the victim of the kidnapping is less than 14, or a ransom was demanded as part of the kidnapping, or the victim received a bodily injury during the kidnapping, the mandatory minimum punishment is life in prison, which means thirty years, before the person is eligible for parole.

“Bodily injury” occurs when any physical injury, however slight is inflicted upon the victim’s body.  It does not have to be inflicted at the same moment as the initial abduction, it can occur at any time during the kidnapping.  

It is also important to note in the domestic violence context (where the boyfriend or husband kidnaps girlfriend) that the testimony of the victim concerning whether consent was given or withheld is not essential since other evidence can be utilized to establish the victim was abducted and held against her will. State v. Parson, 245 Ga. App. 902 (2000).

If you have been charged with a violent crime in metro-Atlanta or the surrounding areas, and you would like to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney, call a violent crimes attorney at Lawrence Lewis, P. C. today at (678) 407-9300. 

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Lawrence Lewis a criminal defense lawyer primarily practices in Gwinnett County, which includes the following cities: Auburn, Berkeley Lake, Braselton, Buford, Dacula, Duluth, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Loganville, Snellville, Sugar Hill and Suwanee.  However, he frequently handles cases in Fulton County (Atlanta, Alpharetta, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Palmetto, Roswell, Union City), DeKalb County (Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Lithonia, Stone Mountain), Hall County (Gainesville), and Cobb County (Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, Smyrna).  He has also appeared in courthouses in Rockdale County (Conyers), Walton County (Loganville), Barrow County (Auburn, Winder), Forsyth County (Cumming), Cherokee County (Canton, Holly Springs, Woodstock), Douglas County (Douglasville), Butts County (Jackson), Henry County (McDonough, Stockbridge) and Clayton County.  

Lawrence Lewis is an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer practicing as Drug Attorney, License Suspension Lawyers, Sex Offense Attorney, Traffic Citation Lawyer, Misdemeanor Offenses Attorneys, Felony Offenses Lawyer, Bond Lawyer, Armed Robber Attorney, dui lawyer, Preliminary Hearing serving Lawrenceville, Gwinnett Country, Metro Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Buford, Fulton County, Canton, Decatur, Norcross, Woodstock, Stone Mountain, Duluth and Cumming .

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    If you are facing charges on a murder case, we can help. Homicide or murder is considered by many to be the ultimate crime, which will likely lead to the most severe punishment, if the accused is convicted.
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    O.C.G.A. § 40-5-20(a) states that no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver’s license. Any person who is a resident of Georgia for 30 days must obtain
  • Sexual Offenses
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    People charged with sexual assault or child sex offenses face hostile prosecutors and harsh public opinion. Most people, even some criminal defense attorneys, are only too willing to believe
  • Family Violence
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    Family violence, also known as Domestic violence, refers to physical harm inflicted on one member of a household or family, by another member of the same household or family (usually
  • Armed Robbery
    Armed Robbery

    In Georgia, robbery is defined as the taking of the property of another from the immediate presence of another, and is distinguished from other types of theft.

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