The laws around assault and battery in Georgia can be confusing and overlapping. Assault and battery are two separate charges with different meanings, but they both have “aggravated” charges that carry more severe penalties.
If you’re being charged with any of these crimes, you may be confused about what you’re accused of, what potential penalties you’re facing, and how to defend yourself from these charges.
Kim Frye is one of the top defense attorneys in Cobb County, and she has experience defending people accused of all sorts of violent crimes. Read on for her explanation of the different assault charges you can face in the Georgia legal system.
Assault vs. battery in Georgia
Assault is a broader term than battery, and can refer to any threat or attempt to place someone in harm’s way, whether there was any physical contact or not. Battery, on the other hand, only applies if you’ve intentionally laid hands on someone or caused them physical harm.
Here are the four different charges you could be facing with definitions pulled from Georgia law:
- Assault: Attempting to commit a violent injury on someone else or putting them in a situation where it’s reasonable they can be injured in such a manner; this can include threats or threatening language
- Aggravated assault: Assaulting someone with a deadly weapon, or with the intent to rob, rape, or murder
- Battery: Intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with someone, or intentionally causing them physical harm
- Aggravated battery: Intentionally and maliciously inflicting a serious injury, such as loss of a limb or serious disfigurement
Penalties for assault and battery in Georgia
Each of these crimes carry separate penalties, depending on the severity of the charge. Below are the maximum potential sentences you might be facing if you’re charged with assault or battery:
- Assault: Misdemeanor, up to 1 year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine
- Aggravated assault: Felony, up to 2 years in prison
- Battery: Misdemeanor, up to 1 year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine
- Aggravated battery: Felony, up to 20 years in jail
How to defend yourself against assault charges in Georgia
If you’re facing assault or battery charges, you could be facing burdensome fines or even jail time. But the good news is that with an experienced defense lawyer on your side, you have a good chance of getting your sentence reduced, or even having your charges dropped.
Here are some common defenses in an assault of battery case:
- You didn’t do what you were accused of doing
- You were acting in self-defense
- You were acting in defense of others or property
- You had the other person’s consent
- You didn’t intend to harm, in the case of a battery charge
- You made no physical contact, in the case of a battery charge
The most important thing you can do is to get in touch with a defense attorney with years of experience to talk about your case.
Contact a Georgia defense lawyer
At the Frye Law Group, we understand how charges like these can derail your life. That’s why we make it our mission to defend your rights and get the best outcome possible for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to talk about your case.