Facing assault and battery charges in Georgia can be overwhelming, and having a strong legal defense will help you avoid the severe penalties associated with these crimes. Whether you face simple assault, aggravated assault, simple battery, or aggravated battery charges, you need an experienced violent crimes lawyer advocating for your rights throughout the process. Depending on the charges, you could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted. In addition to serving prison time and paying fines, convictions for sexual crimes will negatively affect your personal and professional life for years to come.
At Carter/Pilgrim, our Atlanta criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience defending clients against assault and battery charges in Georgia. We understand the stress involved with being arrested and facing criminal charges. We provide our clients with effective legal advice and advocate for their rights throughout the entire process. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to begin receiving the personalized legal representation you need and deserve.
Simple Assault and Battery Charges
Simple Assault Charges in Georgia
Under Georgia law, the crime of simple assault occurs when a person attempts to commit a violent injury on someone else. Simple assault also happens when a person causes another person to think that he or she will receive a violent injury. In Georgia, prosecutors charged simple assault as misdemeanors, and the penalties include up to a year of jail time. However, when certain aggravating factors are present, prosecutors will increase the criminal charge to a high and aggravated misdemeanor. These factors include the following:
- The assault happens in a public transit vehicle or station
- The assault happens to someone age 65 or older
- The assault is committed against certain types of close family members
- The assault is committed against a pregnant woman
Prosecutors will also increase the charges to those of an aggravated misdemeanor when an assault happens on school property, by someone who works for a Georgia public school system and the perpetrator is acting in his or her official duties.
Simple Battery Charges in Georgia
In Georgia, simple battery is a misdemeanor level crime. The crime of battery involves intentionally touching another person in an insulting or provoking way. It also includes intentionally causing someone physical harm. Most people do not realize that you can face battery charges even if you never actually touch the alleged victim. For example, if you throw a rock at a person, you can face battery charges even if the rock never contacted the alleged victim.
The penalties for battery depend on the circumstances of the case. Those charged with battery face misdemeanor, or aggravated misdemeanor charges, depending on the facts of the case. Prosecutors will increase the charge to an aggravated misdemeanor when the battery involves vulnerable people, such as people age 65 or older, police officers, family members, healthcare workers, and public school employees.
Aggrvated Assault and Battery Charges
Aggravated Assault Charges in Georgia
Under Georgia law, aggravated assaults are simple assaults that happen when the perpetrator intends to commit murder, rape, or to rob the victim using a deadly weapon or an ordinary object which can be used to cause the victim serious bodily injury. For example, if someone fires a gun from his vehicle and aims the gun towards people in a crowd, prosecutors could charge him with aggravated assault, and he could receive up to a 20-year prison sentence.
As with other criminal acts, when there are certain aggravating factors, prosecutors can increase the penalties for aggravated assault. For example, when the perpetrator commits the assault on a public safety officer, he or she will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of up to 10 years. When the perpetrator commits the aggravated assault with a firearm, the mandatory minimum sentence is five years. Conviction of the crime of aggravated assault carries the following penalties:
- When the perpetrator commits an aggravated assault against a person age 65 or older, or against a person of any age in a transit station, he or she will face a three-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- When a perpetrator commits an aggravated assault during an attempted theft of a commercial cargo vehicle, he or she will receive a mandatory minimum prison sentence between 5 and 20 years and a fine of between $50,000 and $200,000.
- When a perpetrator commits an aggravated assault against a close family member, he or she will receive a minimum jail sentence of three years. Committing aggravated assault against school personnel comes with a minimum mandatory jail sentence of five years.
- Assaulting a child under the age of 14 with an attempt to rape the child carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 25 years with a maximum sentence of 50 years. Additionally, the perpetrator will be placed on a sexual offender list once he or she leaves prison.
Aggravated Battery Charges in Georgia
Aggravated battery occurs when the perpetrator maliciously causes bodily harm by disfiguring someone or making the victim’s body useless, or by depriving the victim of a member of his or her body. Those facing aggravated battery charges in Georgia face between one and twenty years in jail if convicted. When the defendant is convicted of committing aggravated battery against a person age 65 or older, or against a public school employee, Georgia courts will impose a minimum five-year prison sentence. When the aggravated battery happens to a close family member, courts will impose a minimum five-year jail sentence.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
As soon as you’re able to do so, you should use your phone call to contact a Georgia criminal defense lawyer. The sooner your lawyer begins defending you, the greater your chances of avoiding the harsh penalties that come with an assault or battery conviction. You mustn’t speak with anyone until you’ve spoken to your attorney. If you have been accused of assault or battery, we can help. Contact Carter/Pilgrim today to schedule your initial consultation.