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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23601
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I'm in ga. Douglasville to be exact. No but I have a jury

Customer Question

I'm in ga. Douglasville to be exact.
JA: Have you talked to a laywer yet?
Customer: No but I have a jury trial tommorow
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I can call
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I suppose not
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Are you represented by counsel? What are you charged with? What is the question you wish answered? Please reply on this question thread.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I was married for many years to her and she cheated and got pregnant. I stayed with her and have raised the child as my own. She went to the court and had filled out papers saying she wanted to leave and was afraid I would harm her . Lies. She was waiting for the county to serve me papers saying she could take one of the cars and I was not to contact her . We were at a hotel and were not arguing or having any problems that I knew of and as we walked into the loby she stopped at the counter and ask the woman if she would call the sheriff's office for her. I was shocked and the woman said is something wrong my wife said no I just need them to serve him some papers.. I said your nuts and I'm leaving I reached to get my keys out of my jacket that she has on and she latched onto my arm and wouldn't let go all the way down the hall. I got my arm loose finally and left. The woman called 911 not the sheriff. The city responded and I left. They charged me with simple battery . Now i have a jury trial tomorrow and don't know what to expect. I took a family violence class as part of bond. I didn't harm or hit her and was not even mad..
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for the details.

How long have you been appearing on this case? Are you represented by a lawyer? Has the DA made you an offer on the case?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No lawyer and no offer
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She told them she wasn't pressing charges and she's not been told to show up
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
But my trial is in the morning
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My wife and I and our kids went out to dinner the next day and I gave her 500 dollars and the car so she could go visit her friend
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

You need a lawyer badly, and you may have put yourself into a horrible jam.

This case is a high and aggravated misdemeanor, and if you lose after trial you can face up to a year in jail.

If your wife has told the DA that she doesn't want to press charges, and the DA agrees to drop, there will be no trial tomorrow, because the DA will just dismiss the case. On the other hand, it's not your wife's call as to whether this case gets dropped or not. It's the DA's. The DA can subpoena your wife and make her come in and testify or face contempt charges.

If the DA told your wife he's not dropping the case, the DA probably does not need your wife tomorrow. There should be pre-trial hearings, not that you've asked for them, but if not, there would be jury selection. That takes time and she wouldn't be needed for that.

I suggest going in and informing the court that your wife is not interested in prosecuting and that therefore the state isn't really ready for trial. If they say, "Oh, yes we are," ask for a continuance to come back with a lawyer.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I was wanting to know what to expect and what they may do if for some reason I'm found guilty. I have my children living with me . I think the jury is suppose to be there in the morning. I didn't hit her or harm her . If i ask for a continuance will they give me one
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Before anything happens, you would have the opportunity to tell the court that it's your understanding that the complainant is not interested in prosecuting and won't be cooperating with the state. Indicate to the the court that you believe that the state is not really ready for trial. If you lose this argument, and are told that you're going forward, then you could ask for a continuance to get a lawyer. Maybe he'll grant it, maybe not.

If he doesn't, before hearings and jury selection starts, judges generally give a defendant an opportunity to cut his losses. That is, you've always said you weren't guilty. If you're afraid of jail and willing to plead guilty to something if you could get probation, for example, you can ask the DA for an offer and/or let the judge know you'd be amenable to probation or some other kind of non-incarceratory offer and see what happens.

If the trial does go forward, you'd start selecting a jury. A jury wouldn't be in there in the morning. A jury panel is generally in there. Lawyers question prospective jurors and determine who get seated.

You are nowhere near trial ready. If this trial begins you could railroad yourself. If the judge doesn't give you a continuance to hire a lawyer, ask him to appoint you a public defender to advise you while you try this case. If you never formally waived your right to a lawyer, remind the judge you didn't waive your right to counsel and you have a constitutional right to a lawyer.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
if I was found guilty do they usually give jail time to a single working father
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

If you are convicted by a jury, that means you have been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is virtually certain you would serve at least some jail time. While the maximum of a year would be harsh on a first conviction, anything less than 6 months would be reasonable under the circumstances.

The only guarantee of no jail would be an acquittal or a plea bargain if the DA or judge would agree to a non-incarceratory sentence. The most favorable plea bargain would have to be taken before a trial starts because once the evidence starts coming out, the stakes go up.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
They take a single father away from 2 kids and cost him his job because he took his keys to leave and avoid conflicts .. is that common
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

If you go all the way to trial and are convicted of a high and aggravated misdemeanor, some jail is virtually certain, regardless of your family responsibilities.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Why is this a high and aggravated case I didn't cause any harm or strike her
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

If you lose it will be because a jury will believe you committed a battery on your wife beyond a reasonable doubt. They will not believe you just took your keys to leave and didn't hit her.

It is a high and aggravated misdemeanor because you are being charged with a battery and the victim is your wife.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
There was video cameras there and witnesses and witnesses that will say I never hit her
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Here's what they said I did
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Get a continuance and get a lawyer. You are not prepared for trial. And you don't know how to get any evidence properly before the court, nor apparently much of any court procedure or even the elements of the charge you are fighting.

I am turning in for the night. I wish

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

I wish you the best of luck.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I want to but I'm not sure they will give each a continuation

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