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Ask Gregory Boop Your Own Question
Gregory Boop
Gregory Boop, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 364
Experience:  A trial attorney with a decade of experience representing people and small businesses.
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I was charged with simple battery in October for slapping ...

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I was charged with simple battery in October for slapping my husband in the presence of a police officer. My husband did not want to press charges against me (I was intoxicated at the time). I hired an attorney. My husband gave her a notorized letter stating that he didn't want me arrested. My attorney originally stated that she was going to proceed with trying to get the charges dropped. According to her, there is a delay in doing this because my case is tied up in what is called "investigation". She claims that she spoke with the prosecutor who says he is willing to review this wants it comes out of investigation. Does this process usually take time like this or is there any other way that my case can be expedited.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Gregory Boop replied 8 years ago.

In domestic violence situations and those involving alcohol, the fact that the abused spouse does not want to press charges is irrelevant. They can proceed and press charges against you. The only consideration from the prosecutor will be that the husband will be a tentative witness. Do not take the attitude that you want this "expedited" with your attorney or the court - a crime was committed, and the last thing you want to do is alienate your attorney and the court with an attitude. I'm not trying to judge, just provide you with the experience of having watched many defendants adopt a "just get this done, I can't believe how long it's taking" attitude which is not helpful and often hurts their case.

Yes. It does take a long time. Yours is one of thousands of cases going through the system. Also, they are probably looking into whether to charge you with aggravation since the battery was on your husband. Under GA Code Section 16-5-23, simple battery is a misdemeanor. However, Section 16-5-23(f) states:

"(f) If the offense of simple battery is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."

The potentential sentence for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature is 12 months and a $5,000 fine (GA Code 17-10-4). Compared to a simple misdemeanor (max of 12 months and $1,000 fine with possibility of suspension of fine and time, GA Code 17-10-3), your attorney is working behind the scenes to avoid the imposition of a very harsh sentence.

You are facing a potentially serious sentence. Cooperate in investigation, cooperate with your attorney and make him/her "want" to work for you. Just because your husband wrote something saying he doesn't want to press charges means very, very little. They do not need to drop charges. They can still prosecute you and they will charge you with a "high and aggravated" misdemeanor if they are so inclined. Your job is to be the defendant they do not want to charge. Express willingness to have marital or alcohol counseling, ask your attorney what you can do to help - not demands asking what the attorney is doing, act at all times with an acknowledgement that you want to constructively address the situation. That is the best way to "expedite" the case.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Mr. Boop,
Since this is my first offense, what are my chances of having the charges reduced. My attorney states that her goal is to get the case dismissed. Is this realistic?
Expert:  Gregory Boop replied 8 years ago.

It is realistic. But, you need to be proactive. If you were the prosecutor, what would you want to see from you to make you want to dismiss the charges? Note from the husband is a good start. Anger management, counseling, willingness to attend or investigate AA... help your attorney present you to the court as the good person you are.

It is a first offense misdemeanor and often that results in a suspended sentence and lower fine or possible dismissal, but be aware of what "could happen" and act accordingly.

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