Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery are serious charges in Georgia, and they affect your life in a major way. If you are found guilty, then it can mean:
- Jail time
- Significant Probation
- Problems with present and future employment
- Issues with the professional licensing you need for your job
- The offense is permanently on your record
If you have been accused, you need to contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers with our law firm as soon as possible. The Don Turner Legal Team has years of experience representing clients in these criminal matters. We will help you fight your case, perhaps getting your charges reduced or even dismissed entirely.What Happens to You if You are Charged With Assault and Battery in Georgia? Does it Count as a Misdemeanor or a Felony Charge?
In Georgia, just touching someone against their will can be counted as “simple battery,” which is a misdemeanor. This usually means that the offense did not include weapons or serious injuries. An “aggravated” battery charge involves serious injuries to the victim or use of a weapon and is a felony.
The penalties will vary depending on the severity of the charge. You should contact our criminal defense attorney for specifics on your charges but in general:
- Simple assault and battery are misdemeanors and carry a sentence of up to 12 months in jail with a $1000 fine. Depending on the facts, could be charged as a High and Aggravated Misdemeanor (see below)
- Aggravated assault and battery are felonies and carry up to 20 years in prison with heavy fines.
The Official Code of Georgia 16-5-23 lays out the definition of Simple Battery and possible punishments. Simple Battery is defined as deliberately making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with another person, or intentionally causing physical harm to another person. This offense requires that physical contact be made. Substantial or visible harm is not required. The term “insulting or provoking nature” does not necessarily mean that the other person is injured, whereas “physical harm” includes offensive contact that goes beyond insult to the infliction of pain.Simple Battery Punishment
An individual charged with Simple Battery is charged with a misdemeanor crime. The maximum punishment allowed by law is 12 months of jail time and a $1,000.00 fine. This does not necessarily mean all individuals charged with this crime will receive this punishment.
If the victim is 65 years old or older, a family member, police officer, public school employee, or pregnant woman, then it will be charged as a High and Aggravated Misdemeanor (maximum fine of $5,000.00).Aggravated Battery – Felony
The Official Code of Georgia (OCGA) 16-5-24 defines Aggravated Battery and possible punishments. Aggravated Battery is defined as intentionally and maliciously inflicting serious bodily harm to the victim, such as loss of a limb, loss of use of a limb, or permanent disfigurement.Aggravated Battery Punishment
The punishment for a conviction of Aggravated Battery is anywhere from 1 to 20 years in custody or probation. Depending on certain circumstances the minimum and maximum punishment could vary:
- Family member (other than siblings) - 3 to 20 years
- Victim over 65, public transit vehicle or station employee, student or school personnel - 5 to 20 years
- Peace officer or correctional officer - 10 to 20 years
OCGA 16-5-20 defines Simple Assault and possible punishments. Simple Assault is defined as when someone attempts to commit a violent injury to another person or commits an act which places the other person in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. No actual contact is required with this charge.Simple Assault Punishment
An individual charged with Simple Assault is charged with a misdemeanor crime. The maximum punishment allowed by law is 12 months incarceration and a $1,000.00 fine. This does not necessarily mean all individuals charged with this crime will receive this punishment.
If the victim is 65 years old or older, a family member, police officer, public school employee, or pregnant woman, then it will be charged as a High and Aggravated Misdemeanor (maximum fine of $5,000.00).Aggravated Assault – Felony
OCGA 16-5-21 defines Aggravated Assault and possible punishments. Aggravated assault is defined as assault or the threat of an assault with the intent to murder, rape, or rob; assault with a deadly weapon or an object that is likely to inflict serious bodily injury; or assault by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle towards a person.Aggravated Assault Punishment
An individual charged with Aggravated Assault is charged with a Felony. The punishment for a conviction of Aggravated Assault is anywhere from 1 to 20 years in custody and/or probation. Depending on certain circumstances the minimum and maximum punishment could vary and there may a required mandatory minimum time in custody:
- Family member (other than siblings) - 3 to 20 years
- Victim over 65 - 3 to 20 years
- Peace officer or correctional officer - 5 to 20 years
If you or a loved one are charged with either Battery or Assault in Georgia, it’s important that you hire an attorney that is knowledgeable in these criminal cases to help investigate possible defenses. In addition, it is important to know and understand the differences between the charges: as misdemeanors or felonies. If you are initially charged with a felony Battery or Assault, it is quite possible to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor.
An experienced attorney will be the best chance you have at protecting yourself, your liberty, and your record. Contact our law office at (770) 594-1777 to set up your free consultation with an experienced attorney today.