Legal Question in Criminal Law in Georgia

Here is my statement/question. I received two answers, (thank you) but they did not really address the specific question that I asked.

"I was arrested in a parking lot of a business for simple assault and reckless conduct. There were 4 or 5 potential witnesses there that never gave a statement to police. The police did not take any statements except from me and the person I had an argument with.

I cannot afford an attorney. Is it ethical (or legal) to ask the other witnesses to give a statement? I am able to get in touch with them and their statement would exonerate me before even having to go to trial because the solicitor will not go forward with a case that she cannot win or that will embarrass her."

My restated question is: Can I (as a defendant) contact potential witnesses to find out what they might say in court before I subpoena them? Is this considered to be "tampering"? I know that I would have to call them to testify in court should it go to trial, but knowing what their testimony is would convince the Solicitor to immediately back away from prosecution.

Asked on 10/22/13, 5:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

S. Carlton Rouse Rouse & Co., LLC
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I strongly suggest that you retain a lawyer or ask the court to appoint one on your behalf. Understanding and applying the technical rules of evidence is a must in order to use the evidence that is favorable to your case. You don't want to appear for court and find that the witnesses you expected to appear are either not available or that they recanted previous statements provided to you.

When the trial begins you will be required to adhere to the same rules that are followed by State prosecutors. Obviously you are interested in your case and feel strongly about your position. Be wise about your selection of an advocate. If the evidence is as strong as you seem to believe it is, I would not be surprised if the charges are dropped or if the prosecutor changes his/her position once you obtain a lawyer.

If you have additional questions or concerns feel free to visit my webpage at:

http://www.rousecolaw.com

Best of luck to you moving forward.

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10/22/13, 8:32 pm

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