Assault charges are very common in Georgia, but there are quite a couple of different types of assault. In Georgia, we have simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense and aggravated assault is a felony offense. Individuals accused of assault may face serious legal repercussions if they are convicted of the crimes.
Support from a knowledgeable Griffin assault lawyer can be crucial to handling accusations of this nature as proactively and effectively as possible. In addition to explaining how state law governs these charges, a seasoned defense attorney can also provide tenacious advocacy throughout your legal proceedings, from the start of a police investigation to a final ruling in criminal court.
Because the two terms are often used interchangeably in Georgia, it is helpful to begin by differentiating between “assault” and “battery” in a criminal sense. According to Official Code of Georgia §16-5-20, a person commits simple assault if they attempt to violently injure another person or do something which puts another person in reasonable fear of imminent injury.
Conversely, O.C.G.A. §16-5-23 defines simple battery as intentionally making physical contact with someone else in an “insulting or provoking” way, or intentionally causing someone else physical harm. O.C.G.A. §16-5-23.1 defines battery as someone intentionally causing “substantial” and/or “visible” bodily harm. In essence, assault refers to threatened or attempted physical violence, while battery involves the completion of a physically violent act. This means that it is possible to be charged with and convicted of assault in some situations without ever actually touching the person who was allegedly assaulted. Simple assault, simple battery, and battery are generally prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses punishable upon conviction by probation, up to one year in jail, and/or a maximum $1,000 fine plus restitution to any injured person. As a knowledgeable attorney can explain, though, certain assault and battery offenses in Griffin are considered to be felony offenses. Aggravated Assault and aggravated battery are both felony offenses.
According to O.C.G.A. §16-5-21, aggravated assault is defined as someone committing assault under any of the following circumstances:
Likewise, O.C.G.A. §16-5-24 defines aggravated battery as maliciously injuring someone in such a way that they suffer permanent loss of function, and/or disfigurement in any part of their body.
Both offenses are felonies typically punishable by between one and 20 years of imprisonment upon conviction, as an assault attorney in Griffin can affirm. As with the misdemeanor variants of these offenses, though, the presence of certain aggravating factors may allow for harsher penalties following a conviction.
Assault can be a uniquely difficult charge to fight back against effectively in Georgia. This is especially true if you have any previous convictions for similar offenses on your record. Because of these complexities, guidance from a capable legal professional may be vital to protect your rights in the short term and preserving your long-term prospects.
Once retained, a Griffin assault lawyer can tirelessly defend you in and out of court throughout every stage of your legal proceedings. Call our firm today to learn more.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC