Explaining Georgia’s Aggravated Assault and Battery Laws
Assaults and batteries are among the most common criminal offenses committed in Georgia and elsewhere. The offense comprises simple assault and battery and aggravated assault, and aggravated battery, crimes that carry a higher sentence.
Assault in Georgia is defined under Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-20 as any attempt to physically injure to another person. You can be charged with assault if you attempt to strike somebody, but miss. An assault is also an intentional act or threat of action that reasonably causes another party to be afraid of impending violence. If you threaten someone in an angry or a menacing manner and the victim believes you will carry out the threat, you could be charged with assault.
Battery is defined as offensive or insulting physical contact. It may be a punch with a fist or hitting someone with an object.
An aggravated assault is a more serious offense. Aggravated assault is a felony offense in Georgia. Under Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-21, it comprises an attack:
- With the intent to rob, rape or murder a victim;
- With a deadly weapon or any other object that may be used in a manner that results in serious bodily injury or strangulation, or
- By the discharging a gun or other firearm from a vehicle.
Aggravated battery is also a felony offense in Georgia. The offense occurs when a defendant inflicts a serious injury to a victim, such as loss of a limb, loss of the ability to use a limb, or serious disfigurement.
Serious injury is defined as more than minor or slight harm. It could include fractures, putting a victim in a coma, wounds that require extensive suturing, injuries that require treatment in the emergency room, or surgery.
Serious disfigurement is may be a permanent facial scar on someone’s face or another part of his or her body, or a broken bone that alters the victim’s physical appearance.
What Are The Penalties for Aggravated Assault and Battery in Georgia?
Aggravated assault and battery is a serious offense in the state of Georgia. Someone who is convicted of aggravated assault or aggravated battery faces up to two decades behind bars. The sentence is:
- Between one year and 20 years in prison. There is a minimum of three years for aggravated assault by discharging a firearm from a vehicle.
- Probation up to 20 years
- A fine ranging up to $100,000, and
- Restitution paid to the victim of the crime.
If an offender is convicted of committing an aggravated assault or battery against a family member like a spouse, the court is obliged to impose a minimum sentence of three, five, or 10 years in prison.
The minimum prison sentences also apply when the crime is committed on public transit property or inside a public transit vehicle, on a person 65 years or older, a police enforcement officer, or a corrections officer.
Aggravated assault and battery is a serious crime in Georgia. If you have been charged with this offense you should contact our Newnan criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible at (404) 913-1529.