Aggravated assault charges can lead to severe penalties and lifelong consequences. State law treats assault as a felony when aggravating factors are present, but prosecutors must prove those factors to obtain a conviction. A skilled Griffin aggravated assault lawyer can investigate your charge, collect evidence, develop arguments, and fight for your rights. Contact an assault attorney at J. Ryan Brown Law today to learn more.

When Is Assault a Felony Under Georgia Law?

State law recognizes two degrees of criminal assault: simple—a misdemeanor—and aggravated—a felony. Assault is any action that someone takes with the intention of causing a violent injury to another person or putting them in fear of suffering a violent injury. Under Georgia law, this criminal action rises to the level of aggravated assault when any of the following factors are present:

  • Firing a gun from inside a motor vehicle without legal justification
  • Using a deadly weapon or other object that can or does cause serious bodily injury to someone
  • Using an object that can or does strangle someone
  • Intention to murder, rape, or rob someone

To obtain a conviction for aggravated assault, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an assault occurred and that it involved at least one of these aggravating factors. Without this proof, the court will likely issue misdemeanor assault charges. A Griffin attorney can dispute the presence of aggravating factors to try and reduce the severity of an assault charge.

Punishments for Aggravated Assault

The distinction between simple and aggravated assault is significant. A simple assault conviction is a misdemeanor that typically carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine. An aggravated assault conviction, in contrast, is a felony punishable by at least one year in state prison, with a maximum sentence of 20 years – although these prison terms can be served on probation instead in certain situations.

If the assault involved additional aggravating features, such as domestic violence or assault against a police officer, the minimum sentence can be between three and 10 years.

Lasting Consequences of a Felony Assault Conviction

In addition to receiving a sentence from a judge, an aggravated assault conviction can cause significant and lasting challenges in daily life. Convicted felons in Georgia often face difficulty finding a job or place to live, inter-family struggles, loss of child custody, and financial harm. Non-citizens may be at risk of deportation and other legal immigration challenges.

Convicted offenders must abide by strict terms of post-release supervision and can face arrest and further prison time if they violate these terms. They lose their right to vote until they complete their sentence. And, as the law currently stands, they permanently lose the right to possess firearms and must give up any guns they own because they are not permitted to own or possess firearm if a convicted felon. A dedicated attorney could help those facing aggravated assault charges in Griffin work to avoid a conviction or reduce the associated penalties.

Speak With a Griffin Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney Today

Aggravated assault is a serious crime, and the potentially devastating consequences of a felony assault conviction include years in state prison, hefty fines, and damage to your finances and standing in the community. However, being charged with aggravated assault does not automatically lead to these outcomes. Hiring a Griffin aggravated assault lawyer as soon as possible increases your chances of avoiding a conviction or the worst of its potential punishments.

Ryan Brown Law is a team of experienced defense attorneys that can fight aggressively to protect your rights, freedom, and future. Contact the team today.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC