What to do if my brother got arrested for aggravated battery because he was in a bar fight?

The guy that is pressing charges is a personal injury lawyer and my brother is a college student. It turns out my brother wasn’t even the one that broke the guys leg, but he got singled out to the police by a (drunk at the time) witness. My brother was actually coming to the defense of his friend [who then broke the guys leg], however he is quite a strong kid and clearly looks able to have caused the damage himself. What is his best defense strategy?

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Criminal Law, Georgia


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There are two potential defensive strategies that would work well in this situation.  The first defense is just shooting holes in the state's case.  This is a drunken brawl with drunken witnesses--- which will naturally make any eyewitness identifications suspect.  The second strategy is for him to be proactive with the police and let them know that he was not the one that caused the injuries... but rather his friend.  The problem with this defense is that he somewhat participated in the offense by coming to the friend's aid.  However, this can be minimized if your brother can show that the "victim" was the first aggressor and his friend needed aid.

There are more than likely additional details that could change the defensive strategy.  Based on the facts as you have them listed, the first is the safest route right now because it does not require your brother to make any statements which could be used against him later.  However, your brother should get a copy of the report through discovery or open records.  From there, he needs to request a court-appointed attorney or retain a criminal defense attorney.  Your brother can then evaluate the ideas listed above in conjunction with the new information to make a final decision on how to proceed.

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