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Armed Robbery Charges in DeKalb County Georgia

Armed Robbery occurs when someone takes property from someone by use of a weapon, device, or a replica weapon. It is treated seriously under Georgia law in that it is a “capital felony.” A capital felony is a crime that is punishable by life or death in the State of Georgia. This blog lays out the criminal justice process for someone who has been arrested for Armed Robbery in DeKalb County.

 

The first thing that happens after someone is arrested for Armed Robbery in DeKalb County is that they will see judge in their First Appearance hearing. This typically occurs within 48-72 hours of the person being arrested, depending on whether or not there was an arrest warrant. The First Appearance occurs at the DeKalb County Jail at 4424 Memorial Drive in Decatur. At the First Appearance hearing, a DeKalb County Magistrate Judge will read the charges to the suspect, as well as inform them of their right to counsel and right to remain silent. In some types of cases, bond can be considered at a First Appearances hearing. However, in Armed Robbery cases, the procedure is different. This is because only Superior Court Judges can hear bond arguments for the crime of Armed Robbery. This means unless the First Appearance Judge is “sitting in designation” then a bond will not be set or considered at the onset of arrest at the initial hearing.

 

Following the arrest and First Appearance hearing in Armed Robbery case in DeKalb County, an attorney will need to file a request for a Probable Cause and Bond hearing. This hearing will determine whether or not there is enough evidence to even prosecute you for Armed Robbery. If there is not, the charges can get thrown out at this stage. If the Judge does find probable cause that an Armed Robbery had occurred and you were the person who did it, or was a party to it, then the Judge “binds the case over to Superior Court” since that is the court with jurisdiction to proceed over the case. Once in the DeKalb County Superior Court, the Judge can consider whether or not to release the person on bond.

 

The court may release a person on bond if the court finds that the person:

 

(1) Poses no significant risk of fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court or failing to appear in court when required;

 

(2) Poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community;

 

(3) Poses no significant risk of committing any felony pending trial; and

 

(4) Poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing the administration of justice.

 

These are known as the Ayala factors in Georgia based after the case that laid out our standards in bond determination. Ayala v. State, 262 Ga. 704 (1993).

If a bond is granted, there may be certain conditions attached. For example, the Judge may order you to have a curfew, or stay away from the alleged victim in this case.

 

The Armed Robbery case will then proceed with an Indictment, and later an Arraignment court date where a Not Guilty plea is entered and Motions are filed. Throughout the case, your defense attorney will engage in Plea Negotiations with prosecutors from the DeKalb County District Attorney Office. During this process, the defense attorney will do intensive investigation to the facts and defenses of the case and represent client’s interests zealously.

 

There are several defenses to Armed Robbery cases in DeKalb County and throughout the State. First, if you were only present at the time it occurred, and you did not share the same criminal mentality of the co-defendants, then you cannot be guilty of Armed Robbery.  Simply being there when an armed robbery occurs is not a crime. The State still has to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

You can be charged with Armed Robbery as being a Party to a crime law in Georgia means that you can be convicted and sentenced as if you directly committed the crime- even if you did not directly commit the crime.  You can be charged with Party to a Crime to Armed Robbery if you:

  1. Commit the crime
  2. Intentionally aid or abet in the commission of the crime;
  3. Intentionally advises, encourages, or counsels another to commit the crime.

 

This means you can be charged, convicted, and sentenced to Armed Robbery in DeKalb County if the State proves you encouraged the person to commit the crime, or if you provided them with the weapon, whether it be fake or not. All of this must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a very high standard in our Justice system.

 

Sentencing in Armed Robbery

 

As previously discussed, the stakes are high in Armed Robbery given a life or death sentence is allowed in Georgia law. Additionally, it has a mandatory minimum sentence of 10-20 years in prison. This is why it is imperative to move quickly in obtaining an Armed Robbery attorney early on to establish defenses and thoroughly investigate the case. The lawyers of W. Scott Smith are available 24/7 to answer you questions via a FREE CONSULTATION on Armed Robbery charges in DeKalb County and throughout the State. 404-581-0999

Armed Robbery Charges in Clayton County Georgia

Armed Robbery occurs when someone takes property from someone by use of a weapon, device, or a replica weapon. It is treated seriously under Georgia law in that it is a “capital felony.” A capital felony is a crime that is punishable by life or death in the State of Georgia. This blog lays out the criminal justice process for someone who has been arrested for Armed Robbery in Clayton County.

 

The first thing that happens after someone is arrested for Armed Robbery in Clayton County is that they will see judge in their First Appearance hearing. This typically occurs within 48-72 hours of the person being arrested, depending on whether or not there was an arrest warrant, and it occurs at the Clayton County Jail at 9157 Tara Blvd in Jonesboro. At the First Appearance hearing, a Clayton County Magistrate Judge will read the charges to the suspect, as well as inform them of their right to counsel and right to remain silent. In some types of cases, bond can be considered at a First Appearances hearing. However, in Armed Robbery cases, the procedure is different. This is because only Superior Court Judges can hear bond arguments for the crime of Armed Robbery. This means unless the First Appearance Judge is “sitting in designation” then a bond will not be set or considered at the onset of arrest at the initial hearing.

 

Following the arrest and First Appearance hearing in Armed Robbery case in Clayton County, an attorney will need to file a request for a Probable Cause and Bond hearing. This hearing will determine whether or not there is enough evidence to even prosecute you for Armed Robbery. If there is not, the charges can get thrown out at this stage. If the Judge does find probable cause that an Armed Robbery had occurred and you were the person who did it, or was a party to it, then the Judge “binds the case over to Superior Court” since that is the court with jurisdiction to proceed over the case. Once in the Clayton County Superior Court, the Judge can consider whether or not to release the person on bond.

 

The court may release a person on bond if the court finds that the person:

 

(1) Poses no significant risk of fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court or failing to appear in court when required;

 

(2) Poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community;

 

(3) Poses no significant risk of committing any felony pending trial; and

 

(4) Poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing the administration of justice.

 

These are known as the Ayala factors in Georgia based after the case that laid out our standards in bond determination. Ayala v. State, 262 Ga. 704 (1993).

If a bond is granted, there may be certain conditions attached. For example, the Judge may order you to have a curfew, or stay away from the alleged victim in this case.

 

The Armed Robbery case will then proceed with an Indictment, and later an Arraignment court date where a Not Guilty plea is entered and Motions are filed on. Throughout the case, your defense attorney will engage in Plea Negotiations with prosecutors from the Clayton County District Attorney Office. During this process, the defense attorney will do intensive investigation to the facts and defenses of the case and represent client’s interests zealously.

 

There are several defenses to Armed Robbery cases in Clayton County and throughout the State. First, if you were only present at the time it occurred, and you did not share the same criminal mentality of the co-defendants, then you cannot be guilty of Armed Robbery.  Simply being there when an armed robbery occurs is not a crime. The State still has to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

You can be charged with Armed Robbery as being a Party to a crime law in Georgia means that you can be convicted and sentenced as if you directly committed the crime- even if you did not directly commit the crime.  You can be charged with Party to a Crime to Armed Robbery if you:

  1. Commit the crime
  2. Intentionally aid or abet in the commission of the crime;
  3. Intentionally advises, encourages, or counsels another to commit the crime.

 

This means you can be charged, convicted, and sentenced to Armed Robbery in Clayton County if the State proves you encouraged the person to commit the crime, or if you provided them with the weapon, whether it be fake or not. All of this must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a very high standard in our Justice system.

 

Sentencing in Armed Robbery

 

As previously discussed, the stakes are high in Armed Robbery given a life or death sentence is allowed in Georgia law. Additionally, it has a mandatory minimum sentence of 10-20 years in prison. This is why it is imperative to move quickly in obtaining an Armed Robbery attorney early on to establish defenses and thoroughly investigate the case. The lawyers of W. Scott Smith are available 24/7 to answer you questions via a FREE CONSULTATION on Armed Robbery charges in Clayton County and throughout the State. 404-581-0999

 

Georgia Criminal Lawyer – Violent Crime Arrest – Coweta County

If you are charged with a violent crime in Coweta County, then you have come to the right place.  We have defended hundreds of violent charges ranging from simple battery to murder.  Coweta County has no shortage of these cases, and we are often called to assist in defending these violent crime allegations.

 

The first step is to determine your charges which are usually stacked meaning that you can have 3 or more charges for one just one punch, kick or push.  The extent of the injury will largely dictate what you are charged with, but the alleged victim’s status can also play a role.  The alleged victim’s age, occupation, relationship to you, and the location of the incident all factor into the potential charge and corresponding penalties.

 

Regardless of your exact charge, we stand ready to assist in defending your case in Coweta County.  If the alleged victim made a false allegation, then we look to the discredit the charge by presenting alibi evidence or witnesses who were present at the time of the alleged attack.  If there are no other witnesses, then it is just his or her word versus your word.  In those situations, we work to build up your character through your contacts in the community.  Simultaneously, we work to find discredit the alleged victim.  The reality of police work is that the person who makes the initial outcry (aka the 911 call) is usually the one who gets the labeled the victim while the other party gets hauled off to jail.  Of course, the officer is trained to look for injuries, but a savvy victim can injure himself or herself prior to the officer’s arrival just to add credibility to his or her story so injuries do not automatically equal guilt.

 

If you are not denying the violence, but instead seek to argue self-defense, then we argue that your actions were justified.  Georgia is a “Stand Your Ground” state that does not require you to retreat and allows you to defend yourself, your property, or even other people from what you believe to be an imminent threat of harm.  The amount of force used in those situations depends on the amount of force threatened by the other person.  These decisions are often made in the blink of an eye, and sometimes what you believed to be a threat turns out to be a cellphone instead of a gun.  Luckily, a reasonable mistake is still protected under the law.  How do you prove your actions were reasonable?  That requires the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

 

If you are charged with a crime of violence in Coweta County, call our office today at 404-581-0999 for your free consultation.

 

 

SB-440

Being Charged as an Adult in Georgia

Part 1: SB-440: Automatic Transfers to Superior Court

 In 1994, Georgia enacted State Bill 440 (more commonly referred to as SB-440) to “provide that certain juvenile offenders who commit certain violent felonies shall be tried as adults in the superior court. This SB-440 law granted adult courts exclusive jurisdiction over criminal cases involving juveniles (ages 13-17) who are charged with one or more of the following “Seven Deadly Sins”:

  1. Murder
  2. Armed Robbery with Firearm
  3. Rape
  4. Voluntary Manslaughter
  5. Aggravated Sexual Battery
  6. Aggravated Sodomy
  7. Aggravated Child Molestation

 

O.C.G.A. 15-11-560(b)

In essence, juveniles (age 13-17) charged with one of the above-mentioned crimes in Georgia will automatically have his or her case  transferred from juvenile court to superior court, where he or she will be charged, tried, and punished as an adult. If convicted and sentenced to prison, the juvenile will not be sent to a Youth Detention Facility through Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice. Instead, the juvenile will be housed with other juvenile inmates in the custody of Georgia’s Department of Corrections until he or she reaches the age of 17 and is thrown into the general prison population.

Occasionally, at the discretion of the prosecutor, a SB-440 case may be transferred back to juvenile court after “after investigation and for cause” if the case has not been indicted yet. By contrast, after indictment, a SB-440 case can only be transferred to juvenile court for “extraordinary cause.” O.C.G.A 15-11-560(d), O.C.G.A. 15-11-560(e). Therefore, time is of the essence when it comes to advocating for the case to be transferred back to juvenile court.

If you know someone charged as an adult with an SB-440 crime, PLEASE contact us at the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith. We would be happy to help you with your case and answer any and all of your questions about juveniles charged as adults.