man sitting with handcuffs behind back

When arrested, you may be completely caught off guard by this. Despite racking your brain, you can’t think of a single crime you’ve ever committed. However, upon learning the charges against you, you may be even more shocked because you didn’t know what you did was a crime. As such, you may claim ignorance of the law as a defense for your actions. Unfortunately, this likely will not work. Keep reading to discover whether or not this is a valid defense and why you need a Cobb County criminal defense lawyer from Miller Law Practice, LLC, to represent you.

What Is Ignorance of the Law, and Can I Use This as a Defense?

Ignorance of the law is a phrase used to describe the actions of someone allegedly unfamiliar with a law and, therefore, should not be held criminally liable for breaking it.

Georgia, like the rest of the United States, does not accept this as a valid criminal defense. This is because it is the responsibility of American citizens to familiarize themselves with the laws of the land. Additionally, if this is deemed a valid defense, no one would ever face criminal consequences, as everyone would claim ignorance.

It’s important to note that, like most things in life, there are very limited circumstances in which this can be used. However, in most cases, this will be framed as a sincere and honest belief rather than ignorance of the law. For example, you cannot kidnap a child and say that you didn’t know this action was illegal. However, if you take a baby carrier from the park because you think your child is sleeping in it, and you have the same carrier, you likely could claim it was never your intent to take a child that’s not yours. You had a sincere and honest belief that the child inside the carrier was yours, making this more of a mistake of fact.

What Should I Do if I Unknowingly Committed a Crime?

If you unknowingly commit a crime and are facing criminal charges for your actions, it’s imperative to understand that you should remain silent upon your arrest. Though you are inclined to plead your innocence and ignorance, the police can use anything you say against you to hold you responsible. As such, you should remain calm, request an attorney, and inform the officers that you are invoking your right to remain silent until you’ve consulted your lawyer.

At the Miller Law Practice, we understand how devastating it can be to face criminal charges. That’s why our team will work to do everything possible to help you receive the best possible outcome for the circumstances you’re in. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you through these challenging times.