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Criminal Defense

What is the difference between aggravated assault and aggravated battery?

By August 17, 2020November 3rd, 2022No Comments

You may have heard the terms “aggravated assault” and “aggravated battery” used interchangeably, but in reality, these two charges do have their differences. 

So what is the difference between assault and battery, and what are the penalties attached to each in Georgia?

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is one of the most common charges that we come across as a serious felony. It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. 

An aggravated assault can occur when an assault is paired with:

  • the intent to rob, rape or murder
  • a deadly weapon or any object
  • discharging a firearm from a vehicle

What’s interesting about aggravated assault is that it can actually occur fairly easily. For example, if you have a weapon and you point it at someone, that act alone is considered aggravated assault in Georgia.

Aggravated battery

Aggravated battery is also a felony, occurring when someone intentionally inflicts a serious injury — essentially any broken or disfigurement on the person who you were in an assault with. 

Types of injuries that can lead to an aggravated battery charge include:

  • broken bones
  • a coma
  • anything that requires extensive suturing, hospitalization, or surgery
  • causing a scar
  • losing a body part

Aggravated battery is also a 20-year prison term, as well as a $100,000 fine.

What else do I need to know?

Where it gets complicated is that you could be charged with the original conduct of getting in a fight with someone, but then charged with the extra charge of aggravated battery because of the injuries that occurred as a result of their assault. 

In Georgia, you can have what’s called a “self-defense immunity hearing” prior to your trial, where the judge actually hears what happened. And the judge may decide that you don’t need to be charged with aggravated assault at all and let you go. 

That’s why having an attorney who can litigate those hearings and present those hearings to the court is very important. 

At Frye Law Group, we take every case seriously. That’s why we will do our best to provide relentless and aggressive defense for any charge you have. Contact us today.


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