Georgia law does not assign numerical degrees (first-degree, second-degree, etc.) to the crime of assault. Instead, assault charges can be in one of two categories: simple or aggravated. If someone has accused you of first-degree assault, it likely means you face an aggravated assault charge.

Aggravated assault is a felony that carries harsh punishments, including extensive prison sentences and hefty fines. A Macon aggravated assault lawyer can work to reduce your charges from aggravated to simple assault or prove your innocence entirely. Contact a dedicated assault defense lawyer at J. Ryan Brown Law to protect your rights.

Simple vs. Aggravated Assault

The type of assault charges you are facing affects the consequences you may receive. Simple assault is the less severe category of assault charges. This charge is a misdemeanor that typically carries a maximum punishment of 12 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine. To prove simple assault, a prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you tried to cause a violent injury to someone else or put them in reasonable fear that you were about to do so.

Aggravated assault is the more severe category under state law. This charge is akin to what other states call first-degree assault and is a felony punishable by one to 20 years in state prison. Proving aggravated assault in Georgia requires a showing that an assault occurred and involved at least one of the following aggravating features:

  • Intent to murder, rape, or rob someone
  • Shooting a gun from inside a motor vehicle toward someone without legal justification
  • Use any object that can cause strangulation
  • Use of a deadly weapon or other object that can cause serious bodily injury

An attorney in Macon can evaluate the circumstances that led to an aggravated assault charge to start working on potential defense strategies.

Penalties Upon Conviction for Aggravated Assault

If the prosecution can prove certain additional aggravating factors beyond a reasonable doubt, Georgia criminal statutes require mandatory minimum prison sentences. For example, the minimum sentence for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer is five or 10 years, depending on the weapon used. A minimum sentence of five years applies in cases involving:

  • Theft of a commercial vehicle
  • Use of a firearm against a student, teacher, or school personnel
  • An alleged victim who is an officer of the court.

A minimum sentence of three years applies if the alleged victim is an emergency health worker or at least 65 years old, the alleged assault occurs in a public transit vehicle or station, or it involves domestic violence.

Persons convicted of aggravated assault must abide by strict post-release supervision rules. Violating these requirements may lead to re-incarceration. After their release, convicted individuals often have difficulty getting a job, finding a place to live, and maintaining family relationships. They also lose their right to possess firearms. Non-citizens may face immigration consequences, such as deportation or denial of permanent residency.

An aggravated assault charge does not automatically mean that the court will find you guilty and assign these punishments. There are a range of potential defenses to this charge. Seeking the help of an experienced aggravated assault lawyer in Macon can help you avoid these consequences or minimize their severity.

Contact a Macon Aggravated Assault Attorney Now

Aggravated assault is a serious crime in Georgia. Facing this type of charge exposes you to significant potential penalties and personal difficulties. Hiring an experienced Macon aggravated assault lawyer is the most reliable way to protect your rights and future.

Ryan Brown Law is a team of skilled, aggressive defense lawyers who can fight to safeguard your life and liberty against aggravated assault charges. Contact us to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC