Charged with misdemeanor assault or battery in Georgia? It's important to understand what you're facing and how a skilled defense attorney can help protect your rights and future. Here's what you need to know.
Though people often use the terms “assault” and “battery” interchangeably, the law recognizes these offenses as separate and distinct crimes.
In the Peach State, assault is defined as the attempt to physically injure another person, though no actual physical contact is necessary. If you intentionally try to strike someone with a part of your body or an object, you can be charged with assault—even if you miss. Additionally, threatening to harm someone can be considered assault if it reasonably causes someone to fear impending violence.
Battery crimes involve actual and intentional offensive physical contact, such as hitting someone with an object or your fists, or tearing their clothes in anger. You can be charged with simple battery even if you didn't specifically intend to injure the person in question. In instances where substantial physical or visible bodily harm is purposefully caused, regular battery charges may result.
Simple assault and battery are misdemeanors, which can carry the following penalties upon conviction:
- Up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000—or both
- Up to one year in a probation or diversion facility
- Up to one year of probation
However, depending on the identity of the victim and the location where the crime occurred, assault or battery charges may be considered “aggravated”—which means defendants face harsher potential penalties. Examples of factors that could result in aggravated charges include victims who are pregnant, elderly, family members or intimate partners, public school employees, or law enforcement officers; or crimes that happen in a public transit station or vehicle, or on school property.
Don't let misdemeanor assault or battery charges threaten to disrupt your plans and destroy everything you've worked for. You need a skilled attorney to mount a strong defense on your behalf. Contact Rechtman and Spevak today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your case and find out how attorney Dantel D. Ruiz can help.