Assault and Battery are two separate offenses in Georgia. Under Georgia criminal law, assault is the threat or risk of violence, and battery is the physical act of violence. Any violent crime carries with it serious penalties if you are convicted of the charge.
Georgia Assault Laws
There are several crimes that fall under the term “assault” in Georgia. Each with its own unique stipulations and consequences. When facing charges this serious in nature, you need a qualified law firm to help you in the battle. Call us for a consultation on your case today.
Simple Assault – Misdemeanor
Simple assault is defined by Georgia Statute as attempting to commit a violent injury to another person or putting someone in a situation where it is reasonable that they will receive a violent injury.
There are several situations which would elevate the simple assault to a “misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature”. Those situations include: if the assault is committed on public transportation or at a station for public transportation, if the assault would be considered “domestic”, or if the victim was over 65 years of age, a pregnant female, or an employee of the public school system assaulted while performing job duties or on school property.
If you are convicted of simple assault, as a misdemeanor you will face up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature you will face up to one year in prison and fines up to $5,000.
What makes an assault “Domestic”?
A crime is considered domestic if it occurs between spouses or ex-spouses, people who are parents of the same child, parents and children, step parents and step children, foster parents and foster children, or people (other than siblings) who live in or used to live in the same household.
Aggravated Assault – Felony
Aggravated assault is committed if the assault is with an intention of robbing, raping, or murdering, or if the assault is committed with a weapon that could cause serious injury, or if a firearm is discharged from a vehicle towards a person(s).
If you are convicted of aggravated assault in the above circumstances, you face 1-20 years in prison.
Some aggravating circumstances could potentially change the sentence in your assault case.
- If the assault is against a police officer or correctional officer performing their job duties, you would face 5-20 years.
- If the victim was over the age of 65 the range is 3-20 years.
- If the crime is considered “domestic”, the range is 3-20 years.
- If the assault happens on public transportation or if it is “domestic” in nature, you would face 3-20 years.
- If the assault happens with the intention of raping a child less than 14 years old the range is 25-50 years.
- If the victim is a student or school staff member, which you fired a weapon upon in a school safety zone, the sentence could be 5-20 years.
- If the assault occurs in the robbery of a commercial vehicle, you would face a prison term of 5-20 years and a fine of $50,000- $200,000.
Simple Battery -Misdemeanor
Simple battery is defined under Georgia law as intentionally causing harm to another person or touching them in an insulting or provoking nature.
If you are convicted of simple battery you face the standard misdemeanor sentence of up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in prison.
However, there are some aggravating circumstances that could elevate your simple battery to a “misdemeanor or high and aggravated nature”, punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and up to one year in prison. Those special circumstances include:
- If the victim is over 65years of age or pregnant.
- If the assault occurs while on public transportation or in a station.
- If the victim is a police officer, law enforcement dog, or correctional officer in the line of duty.
- If the crime is considered “domestic”.
- If the crime is committed by a caregiver or staff member of a care facility on a resident of the facility.
- If the victim is a sports official officiating an amateur sports event or a public school employee engaged in job duties or on school property.
Aggravated Battery – Felony
Aggravated battery is defined as maliciously causing bodily harm to another person by depriving them of a member of their body, by rendering a member of their body useless, or by seriously disfiguring their body.
Aggravated battery is punishable by 1-20 years in prison.
Some aggravating circumstances that could change that standard sentence are:
- If the assault is against a police officer or correctional officer performing their job duties, you would face 10-20 years.
- If the victim was over the age of 65 the range is 5-20 years.
- If the assault is “domestic” in nature, you would face 3-20 years.
- If the assault happens on public transportation or the victim is a student or school employee in a school safety zone you would face 5-20 years.