I went to go get my son from his father and stepmothers house because he called me and said they were kicking him out. They were all yelling at each other while I was on the phone. I left work and headed to get him. At that time he was 17 years old. I pull up to get him and his father told me to back into his driveway so I was not in the road. Amber (stepmother) was not there at the time. While I was sitting in my truck waiting for my son to gather his belongings, Amber as well as her 2 teenage sons came and blocked the driveway. She started yelling and cussing/threatening my son as he was cussing her back.
His father then grabbed my son up and slammed him on the hood of my truck. Amber and her 2 sons (one armed with a baseball bat) got out of their vehicles, so I then proceeded to get out as they were going in the direction of my son. I truly felt as though they were all going after him so we all started fighting. Their oldest son went to their car and called the police and the three of them left. I told my son to get his stuff. As he finished getting his belongings, the police pulled up. We were already in the truck ready to pull out when he asked us what happened. We didn't want anyone to go to jail so we just kept insisting that we had a little argument, it was over and we were leaving. He then arrested my son and myself stating that Amber had told him a different story and visible marks. We went to jail because we didn't tell the truth about what had happened basically. None of them were arrested. We were charged with domestic violence, battery and simple battery.
A little later my son and I had a court date. We went and was advised that Amber had agreed on my son taking Anger Management Classes then charges would be dropped but did not agree for me to do the same. My son completed the classes. I then received a court notice to attend court. I applied for a public defender twice and was denied both times. Even though I am homeless and have no job or car. Since I could not afford an attorney, I showed up thinking that the judge would appoint me an attorney. I did not see a judge. It was a probation officer there and explained that we all could do pre-trial diversion and it will be like it never happened. Just pay the fines, check in and take anger management. I was hesitant at first, but just to get it over with I agreed to do this. I informed him that I am homeless and don't have a job so I don't know how I am going to pay the fines and every time I had to go report. Well it's been 6 months and I should have been through with probation by January 20, 2023 but I did not pay off my fines.
He then informed me that he would email the DA and ask for an extension for my probation. If they agreed then I would continue to pay and check in every month. If they did not agree they would prosecute me and take me to court. I completed the 12 hour anger management course. I have a certificate to validate it. My concern is I have applied for several jobs, went for interviews and they did not call me back to come to work. I got one of the jobs to send me a copy of my background only to find out that the charges of battery and simple battery were on my background. My understanding when the probation officer was explaining this that it would not show up as it hasn't shown up on my son's background like he was told. I cannot find a job anywhere and I am still homeless and jobless. I am in desperate need of help in getting this resolved so I can get a job and a home. Please help me or give me some advice to what I can do to get this resolved more efficiently as I believe I was worried about my son being harmed and tried to protect him. I don't believe I deserve to have my life ruined trying to protect my baby. Thank you in advance and I hope to hear from anyone as soon as possible!
Understanding the Legal Issue
From the provided information, it seems that you were charged with domestic violence, battery, and simple battery after an altercation with your son's father, stepmother, and her two teenage sons. Although you and your son completed anger management classes, paid fines, and reported to probation, you are still struggling to find employment because the charges are showing up on your background check. It is understandable that you were trying to protect your son, but unfortunately, the situation escalated into a physical fight, leading to these charges.
Possible Solutions from the Legal Perspective
Expungement: Expungement is a legal process that seals criminal records from public view. This means that if you are successful in getting your charges expunged, they will not show up on background checks, and you will not have to disclose them to potential employers. However, expungement laws vary from state to state, and some states do not allow certain charges to be expunged. You may want to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine if you are eligible for expungement in Georgia.
Record Restriction: Record restriction, also known as record sealing, is another legal process that limits access to certain criminal records. Similar to expungement, record restriction can help keep your criminal history private and may improve your chances of finding employment. However, not all charges are eligible for record restriction, and the process can be complex. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help determine if this is a viable option for you.
Relevant Authorities in Georgia
Georgia Legal Services Program: This organization provides legal assistance to low-income individuals in Georgia, including help with expungement and record restriction.
Georgia Public Defender Council: This organization provides legal representation to individuals who cannot afford an attorney.
Georgia Justice Project: This organization provides legal services and support to individuals who have a criminal record and are struggling to find employment.
Legal Services Rates in Georgia
Below is a table of average rates for various legal services in Georgia:
|Legal Service||Average Hourly Rate|
|Criminal Defense Attorney||$150 - $500|
|Expungement Attorney||$500 - $1,500|
|Record Restriction Attorney||$500 - $1,500|
Please note that this information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney for personalized legal advice regarding your specific situation. Additionally, this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship between the writer and the reader.
A criminal defense lawyer is a lawyer (mostly barristers) specializing in the defense of individuals and companies charged with criminal activity. Some criminal defense lawyers are privately retained, while others are employed by the various jurisdictions with criminal courts for appointment to represent indigent persons; the latter are generally called public defenders. The terminology is imprecise because each jurisdiction may have different practices with various levels of input from state and federal law or consent decrees. Some jurisdictions use a rotating system of appointments with judges appointing a private practice attorney or firm for each case. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_defense_lawyer
If you're facing criminal charges (You were detained and imprisoned by the police), You have the right to remain silent. You should remember, that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court. You have - just like anyone else - the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an criminal defense attorney, you may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer.
- How to Become a Criminal Defense Lawyer? - wikihow.com
- Tips on how to find the right lawyer to handle your criminal case - nolo.com
- Various ways that private criminal lawyers charge for their work - nolo.com
How to find and compare top criminal defense law firms that provide legal aid for DUI and other criminal cases? Search Super Lawyers directory, compare criminal attorneys on Justia or browse detailed Avvo reports on Criminal Defense Attorneys across United States.