Assault and Battery: Understanding Georgia’s Assault Laws
In the State of Georgia, the assault laws include offenses for assault and battery, and both are taken very seriously. Depending on the details of the charges, both assault and battery can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.
The difference between assault and battery is rather simple:
- Assault is the threat of or attempted harm of another person.
- Battery involves actual physical contact and potential harm.
Both statues have varying degrees of offense, and they are categorized as simple or aggravated.
Simple Assault Charges in Georgia
Simple assault (O.C.G.A. §16-5-20) is described as the attempt to commit a violent injury on someone or putting the person into a situation where he or she could reasonably be injured. This means that no physical contact is necessary to be in violation of the law. As a misdemeanor, simple assault can carry penalties of up to a year in prison, fines reaching $1,000, probation, and restitution.
However, it is important to note that there are circumstances that can elevate the charge to a high and aggravated misdemeanor, which carries more significant penalties. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, assaults involving a firearm, public transportation, or domestic assault, and assault crimes committed against a pregnant woman, public school employee, senior citizen, or police officer.
Aggravated Assault Charges in Georgia
Aggravated assault (O.C.G.A §16-5-21) is described as assaulting someone with the intent to murder, rape, or rob; with a deadly weapon or object that could be used offensively against a person; or by shooting a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons. As a felony, aggravated assault can carry penalties of between one and twenty years in prison, fines, and restitution.
Simple Battery Charges in Georgia
Simple battery (O.C.G.A §16-5-23) is described as intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with or intentionally causing physical harm to another person. As a misdemeanor, simple battery can carry penalties of up to a year in prison, fines reaching $1,000, probation, and restitution. Similar to simple assault, it is important to note that there are circumstances that can elevate the charge to a high and aggravated misdemeanor, which carries more significant penalties.
Aggravated Battery Charges in Georgia
Aggravated battery (O.C.G.A §16-5-24) is described as intentionally and maliciously inflicting serious injury to the victim, including loss of a limb, loss of use of a limb, or serious disfigurement. Serious disfigurement offers a wide interpretation from a visible scar to broken bones that result in an alteration of one’s appearance. As a felony, aggravated battery can carry penalties of between one and twenty years in prison at minimum, fines, and restitution.
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark, have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.