Aggravated Assault & Aggravated Battery Lawyers in Gwinnett County, Georgia
You are right in thinking that most crimes involving the term “aggravated” are more serious.
In the case of aggravated assault and aggravated battery in Georgia, you can expect little to no leniency from the justice system unless you can provide a serious and powerful defense against the charges.
Lengthy prison sentences can be handed down for this type of offense.
It helps to first understand the nature of aggravated assault and aggravated battery, the differences between the two, the associated penalties, and what your options may be.
Adam D. Brown provides a free case evaluation to discuss these options with you.
Table of Contents
What is aggravated assault in Georgia?
Although the terms “assault” and “battery” are often used together and interchangeably, they are separate offenses.
An assault can occur when a person attempts to commit a violent injury upon another, or when a person commits an act which places another person in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.
This includes attempting to punch someone and missing or if someone begins a punching action and stops (aka “bucking” at someone else). Mere words do not constitute an assault, but they can form the basis of a terroristic threat.
An aggravated assault charge may be filed against someone who assaults another person:
- With the intent to rob, rape or murder
- With a deadly weapon or any object that can be or is used in a manner that results in serious bodily injury or strangulation, or
- By discharging a firearm from a vehicle
What is aggravated battery in Georgia?
The main difference between battery and assault is that with a charge of battery, actual physical violence must be inflicted on the other person. Intentional physical contact must be proven.
Where assault only has two levels (assault, aggravated assault), battery has three (simple battery, battery, and aggravated battery). Simple battery occurs when there is an offensive touching without leaving a mark (bruise, scrape, etc). Battery occurs when there is an offensive touching that does leave a mark. Aggravated battery occurs when:
- A serious injury is intentionally inflicted upon the victim, e.g., loss of a limb, broken bone, etc., or
- Serious disfigurement is caused, such as a visible scar on the face or broken nose, and
- The injury is more serious than “minor or slight harm”
Some examples where aggravated battery charges may be filed include:
- If somebody is shot with a gun
- If a person is struck with a weapon or dangerous object
- Where the victim suffers temporary or permanent disfigurement
Note that the disfigurement does not need to be permanent but it must be more severe than a superficial wound. Aggravated battery charges can be filed in addition to other charges.
What are the penalties for aggravated assault and aggravated battery in Georgia?
Both aggravated assault and aggravated battery are felony charges in Georgia, meaning that the penalties are significantly harsher than for simple battery or simple assault, which are both misdemeanors.
A conviction can lead to the following penalties:
- 1- 20 years in prison or on probation
- A fine of up to $100,000, and
- Restitution to the victim
Mandatory minimum penalties apply for some offenses, such as a minimum of three years in prison for aggravated assault by discharging a firearm from a vehicle.
A minimum sentence of three, five or ten years in prison can be passed down if an offender is found guilty of committing an aggravated assault or aggravated battery in the following situations:
- On public transit property
- In a public transit vehicle, or
- Against certain victims such as a family member, a person aged 65 years or older, a pregnant female, a law enforcement officer/corrections officer, a teacher, or others
What are the penalties for repeat offenders?
A person convicted of aggravated assault or battery with one or more prior felony convictions can expect harsher penalties.
The maximum sentence will likely be sought by the prosecution.
Probation for aggravated assault and aggravated battery
It is common for the court to impose a period of probation after a person convicted of aggravated assault or aggravated battery has served time in prison. In some cases, the entire sentence may be served on probation.
The skills and experience of your lawyer will be important in determining your sentence if you are found guilty of the crime.
If you are convicted, the focus will switch to minimizing the consequences for you. Probation is generally preferable to imprisonment – though it is certainly no “get out of jail free” card. Of special note, some clients may desire a “straight time” sentence, with no “paper” (probation).
It is important that your lawyer knows your desires, and so that they can work to obtain the most favorable outcome for you.
The judge will decide what is appropriate and may impose strict probation conditions, including regular meetings with the probation officer, attending counseling, performing community service, etc.
Failure to abide by the strict conditions of probation may result in re-arrest and imprisonment for the remainder of your original sentence.
Aggravated assault & aggravated battery: pleas and pre-trial options
The first objective of any criminal defense attorney is generally to examine the evidence to see if you were wrongfully charged and to assess whether there are reasons why your case should be dismissed before trial.
If the case does go to trial, it is likely that defending the aggravated assault or aggravated battery charge is in your best interests. There are often several viable defenses available for such charges and the preparation of your defense begins in earnest from the moment you hire an attorney.
Many cases have a viable justification defense (self-defense, defense of others, etc).
In other situations, it may be preferable to avoid a trial. Adam D. Brown may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor if it is in your best interests to do so.
Sometimes, prosecutors can be persuaded that a guilty plea to a less serious crime is acceptable. At other times, a lighter sentence may be negotiated in exchange for a guilty plea.
Every case is different and you will be presented with your options after we have discussed the circumstances, assessed the evidence, and liaised with the prosecution.
Contact the Law Office of Adam D. Brown Today
The Law Office of Adam D. Brown can defend you in an aggravated assault or aggravated battery case in Gwinnett County and the metro-Atlanta area.
We will examine the evidence and determine if the case may be dismissed. If the case does go to trial, we will defend you vigorously or look to negotiate a deal with the prosecution to mitigate the consequences that you face.