Allegations that you committed an assault against another person are overwhelming, and despite what many believe, the prosecutor doesn’t need to prove that you caused any physical harm to another person to secure a conviction. The mere threat of bodily harm is efficient to arrest an individual.

Even the simplest version of assault cases can result in severe penalties. A conviction will create a criminal record and could see the court impose a jail sentence. However, a Brunswick assault lawyer is committed to protecting your legal rights and helping you to fight back against these accusations. Our defense attorneys will help ensure that you have a potent defense in court.

Simple Assault and the Available Penalties

Most assaults are relatively minor matters that occur in the blink of an eye. Even so, many people don’t fully understand the concept of assault under state law.

Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §16-5-20, it’s illegal to act in a way that causes another person to fear violent injury. It’s also illegal to attempt to commit a violent injury against another. This is what is known as simple assault.

The same statute classifies a simple assault as a misdemeanor. This means a conviction can result in a fine of up to $1000, one year in jail, or both. An understanding attorney familiar with assault law in Brunswick can help to avoid this outcome. They can work to dispute whether an incident happened at all, whether there was a reasonable threat of harm, or if you intended to cause fear to affect an alleged victim.

Factors that Can Make an Assault More Serious

Simple assault is a relatively minor offense where a conviction can seem like little more than an inconvenience. However, the law does allow for enhanced penalties under specific circumstances. For example, a simple assault on a public transit station or a public transit vehicle makes the offense a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. This increases the fine to $5000. In addition, assaults that target employees of public schools while they are at work, members of a defendant’s family, or pregnant women can also result in these enhanced penalties.

Aggravated Assault Charges and Penalties

The law also allows for harsher charges under the state’s aggravated assault statute. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21, an aggravated assault involves the threat of harm while:

  • Attempting to murder, rape, or rob
  • Using a deadly weapon or instrument
  • Holding an item that can assist in strangulation

Convictions for aggravated assault are felonies. Under the statute, the court must impose a mandatory minimum sentence of one year. The court may also sentence a defendant to up to 20 years in the state prison. A lawyer can provide more information about aggravated assault in Brunswick and how to fight these life-changing convictions.

Contact a Brunswick Assault Attorney Today to Defend Your Future

Assault cases are surprisingly complex. The law says that a prosecutor needs to prove that a defendant acted in a way that would cause another to fear imminent violent harm. Merely taking a swing at another or holding a weapon may be sufficient for a conviction.

A Brunswick assault lawyer can help you to fight this outcome. Our team can work to explain the state’s assault laws and work to invalidate evidence and discredit witnesses. We’re ready to work by your side during every court appearance and identify realistic goals for your case. Reach out now to discover more.