Do I need an attorney for a simple battery charge?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I need an attorney for a simple battery charge?

My husband and I got into a minor altercation after a night of drinking and I slapped him. I was arrested (I called the police because I was afraid he was about to hit me back). I was charged with simple battery (I did tell the cop that I slapped him). Do I need an attorney to fight this at court? My husband never wanted me arrested and is not going to testify against me.

Asked on December 19, 2010 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since this is a criminal matter, with possible jail time attached, you really should have an attorney represent you.  Perhaps they can get the charge dismissed or reduced.  Also, if this is a first-offense, you may be eligible for an alternative sentencing program which could leave you with a clean criminal record.

You should be aware that whether or not to drop the charge rests with the state and not with the complainant (the alleged victim).  What that means for you is that, the case may be prosecuted over your huaband's objection.  While the states case would be stronger with his testimony, if there is other evidence to support the charge the case may still go forward.

As for your husband not wanting to testify against you, if he is subpoenaed he must take the stand or be subject to incarceration for contempt of court (however, he might then be able to "plead the 5th"; your attorney can explain all of this further).  Additionally, an experienced attorney may be able to use the fact that he does not want to cooperate to obtain a favorable result for you.  Skilled legal counsel may be able to talk the prosecutor into dismissing the charges. However, you should know that prosecutors can be unwilling to simply drop these types of cases because they do not want offenders to think that that if they can intimidate a victim they can get away with what they have done. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption