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    selfimprovements's Avatar
    selfimprovements Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Mar 2, 2006, 11:34 PM
    Little help please - criminal damage to property
    If criminal damage to property occurs to a vehicle driven by a man whose wife holds title and registration to the vehicle and someone is indicted for damaging the property of the man, even though he has no title or legal claim to the vehicle is named solely in the indictment as the property owner, is the indictment irreparably flawed and legally demanding of acquittal since the title lists someone other than the person listed in the indictment?
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #2

    Mar 3, 2006, 12:09 AM
    I'd say no.

    They are married. While his name isn't on the paper title, common law probably recognizes him as part owner due to the fact he is married to the wife.

    You should consult with your attorney though on this matter.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,926, Reputation: 674
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    #3

    Mar 3, 2006, 06:57 AM
    HI,
    I agree with consulting with a Lawyer, if the damages are going to be very much money. I am not a Lawyer, but it seems that whoever is driving the vehicle would be charged, even if not the vehicle owner, unless the driver were a minor.
    Maybe I am misunderstanding your question, but in any event, I would see a Lawyer. Best of luck.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692
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    #4

    Mar 3, 2006, 10:23 AM
    If the indictment names him as the owner of the vechile, and he is not the owner, that can be grounds to have the case dismissed. Except in joint property states where husband and wife enjoy joint rights to each others property, then by default he is still owner.

    I would discuss this with the attorney handling your case.

    Of course they can merely re-file, since this would be a new charge with a new victim listed.
    selfimprovements's Avatar
    selfimprovements Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Mar 4, 2006, 07:40 PM
    Thank you all for your answers and to reply to FR CHUCK's question - it was denting the side of a vehicle out of anger. The cost to repair was amounted to $902, which made this a felony. The attorney that represented us said that the charge should be thrown out, but purposely did not bring up the motion for directed verdict until the case was already being tried in order to prevent the DA from the possibility of re-filing and causing double jeopardy. I am writing as the girlfriend of my boyfriend who was sentenced to jail yesterday. He started this thread while the trial was occurring, so I wanted to look into it for him. The judge would not throw out the criminal damage to property count because there was no precendent set in Georgia, but commented that he may be incorrect on his ruling and therefore, the charge would make an excellent case for appeal.

    Do you know if Georgia is a joint property state? We're trying to get a feel for if we have a leg to stand on in order to appeal.

    Thank you ahead of time for your comments and time.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692
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    #6

    Mar 4, 2006, 08:12 PM
    If you don't want to post publicly if you don't mind you can instant message me and let me know the county ( and perhaps the judges name)
    I did a lot of legal work in GA.

    I agree that waiting for trial would have been the smart move ( that is what I would have done) and then asked for the case to be dismissed.
    That way you could challenge the re-indictment on the grounds the case has been dismissed.

    But I believe ( again this is just my opinion) that the DA would have argued that this would have been a new case since you were charged with damaging another persons car, so this is a charge for damaging this persons car.

    I think he should have gotten off. Opinion again, with the speed of the court system. I know of one perosn in south GA that spent a year in jail just waiting for the trial. The day before they dropped the charges.

    So the judge in his "wisdom" may be thinking that he convicts, the person will appeal, so while he appeals, he sits in jail. So he in fact really serves his sentence even if the case is dismissed on appeal.
    Also this is election year, and they want to get tough.

    Since this is too late, I most likely would have tried what his lawyer did, I would have bet it would have worked also.

    But in hindsight I guess a deal taking this down to a misdemeanor and paying restitution and fine may have been a better way to go.
    selfimprovements's Avatar
    selfimprovements Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Mar 4, 2006, 09:17 PM
    The DA in this case was extremely strict. It's the type that just wants to make a name for herself, and we (friends & family of the defendent) all have our own names for her.. haha. The DA would only offer that he plead guilty to the two felonies, serve 90 days in a detention center, 120 hrs community service, anger management, $1000 fine, and restitution. NOW that sounds a lot better than what actually happened, but at the time of consideration we thought she was crazy for offering that "plea". Considering that this was an argument in a parking lot between two people -neither of which so much as touched each other, we didn't figure it would actually come to be this serious. How wrong were were :(

    I couldn't agree with your comments more, though. The judge wouldn't let him out on bond during our appeal, so its most likely true that he'll sit there in jail while waiting for the appeals process to go through. We're going to try our hardest to get a good lawyer that maybe can convince whoever needs convincing to let him out while this is being appealed. (Maybe someone more reasonable?? ARE there any reasonable people in our justice system?)

    Well I could go on and on about this all night, and I'd gladly message you, but I don't know how through this site. We're (me) brand new to this site and I'm sure glad you're around to offer your very well-informed opinion. I don't mind saying that this was in the county of Cherokee.

    And, if you know the name & contact info for a good appeals lawyer, we need to file something quick and I want to get it all underway. (By the way, are you still in the Georgia area?)

    Anyway, I just posted a new question concerning recidivism sentencing/statute.

    Thanks again and look forward to your response!
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692
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    #8

    Mar 5, 2006, 06:51 AM
    There are a lot of good attorneys, they one that did the case sounded like they tried and gave good advice at the time, but in hindsight I guess it was not but I would have bet he should have gotten off on motion myself, If I was in jail there I most likely would give Robert Speer in Woodstock a call, here is his web site
    http://www.speerlaw.com/


    If you are are christian here is the Ministry at the detention center,
    Steve http://www.servintl.org/

    And yep, the deal does not sound real bad now, but at the time I agree I would have seen what I could have done in court.

    Good luck on the appeal
    wynelle's Avatar
    wynelle Posts: 184, Reputation: 21
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    #9

    Mar 12, 2006, 07:53 PM
    I'm a little confused about this post and the recividism post.

    Do I understand this correctly?

    Your boyfriend, in a fit of anger, kicked in the door of a car. That car was being driven (or sitting in a parking lot) by a man, but was owned by the man's wife. You/boyfriend/family think the case should be thrown out because the paperwork said the "man" owned the car, not his wife.

    And this is at least the third time your boyfriend has been found guilty of a similar issue?

    You would better believe I would be insisting on Anger Management Counseling if he planned on staying *my* boyfriend.

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