Aggravated Assault in Georgia
When you need a successful defense for a criminal charge of aggravated assault in Georgia, contact Adam Levin Law, LLC. For resources and support, call us!
Aggravated Assault in Georgia
In Georgia, aggravated assault is punishable by harsh sentences, which may affect you for the rest of your life. Despite the potentially serious punishments for a charge of aggravated assault, it’s a statute that captures a wide range of fact patterns.
For example, threatening someone with a firearm or choking someone could both be considered acts of aggravated assault. The list of potential facts that fit this charge is endless. It is, therefore, important that you hire a lawyer whose practice areas include aggravated assault defense.
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Many are confused about the specifics of aggravated assault in Georgia and how it differs from simple assault.
According to Georgia Law Code 16-5-21(a), aggravated assault occurs when a person assaults another person:
- With the intention to commit a violent crime, sexual assault, or theft
- With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury
- With an object (including your hands) that is likely to or actually does result in strangulation
- Without justification, shoots at bystanders from a motor vehicle.
The Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault
In Georgia, assault and aggravated assault are two different crimes with distinct elements and potential penalties.
Assault, as defined in Georgia law, occurs when a person commits an act with the intent to cause another person to experience apprehension of immediate bodily harm. This can include actions such as threatening someone with physical harm or attempting to cause physical harm without actually making contact.
Assault is typically considered a misdemeanor offense in Georgia, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is a more serious crime that involves the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury to another person.
In Georgia, aggravated assault is considered a felony offense, and the potential penalties are much more severe. Depending on the specific circumstances of the crime, an offender may face a prison sentence of between one and twenty years, as well as fines and restitution.
In addition to the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury, other factors that can elevate an assault to an aggravated assault in Georgia include:
The identity of the victim (e.g., a police officer).
The location of the crime (e.g., a school or place of worship).
The presence of certain aggravating circumstances (e.g., committing the crime during the commission of another offense).
Overall, the key difference between assault and aggravated assault in Georgia is the severity of the harm caused and the presence of aggravating factors.
Consult a Georgia aggravated assault attorney if you are unsure whether your case will result in assault or aggravated assault charges.
The Difference Between Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery
A common misconception is that the terms “aggravated assault” and “aggravated battery” are synonymous. Assault and battery involve two different levels of injury. Aggravated battery occurs when someone inflicts bodily damage on another by taking away, damaging, or disfiguring a significant portion of another person’s body. Aggravated assault is defined as the intent to or actual commission of bodily injury to someone else.
To properly evaluate the difference between aggravated assault and battery, one must consider the severity of the victim’s injuries. In Georgia, aggravated battery crimes involve a victim suffering severe physical impairment due to the assault.
Sentencing for an Aggravated Assault Conviction in Georgia
Because the crime of aggravated assault covers such a wide variety of conduct, the penalties, bonds, and outcomes for cases involving these charges vary widely.
If convicted of aggravated assault, a defendant could be looking at sentences ranging from probation to 20 or more years in jail (if they have more than 1 count of aggravated assault). In addition, courts often impose fines, restitution, and various conditions of probation (like abstaining from alcohol and drugs and no contact provisions).
Additionally, the minimum sentences can be raised if you are convicted of assaulting a police officer or other specially designated victims.
Bond for Aggravated Assault
Under Georgia law, bond is typically set by a judicial officer at the defendant’s first appearance, which is usually held within 48 hours of the arrest. In many cases, this first appearance is before a magistrate judge. The magistrate judge has the authority to set bond for the defendant’s aggravated assault charges, but this authority is subject to certain limitations.
For example, if the defendant is charged with a capital offense, such as murder or kidnapping, the magistrate judge may not have the authority to set bond. In such cases, bond may only be set by a superior court judge.
Additionally, if you have previously been convicted of aggravated assault or are on bond for aggravated assault in another case, then a magistrate judge cannot set your bond; only a superior court judge can set a bond for you.
Even though magistrate judges are limited in their powers, if they believe that the defendant poses a significant risk, they may deny bond or set a high amount.
How Can an Attorney Help You Beat an Aggravated Assault Charge?
Aggravated assault charges can have severe consequences. When it comes to avoiding conviction in assault and aggravated assault cases, it is best to hire experienced Georgia aggravated assault lawyers who are familiar with the most effective defense strategies.
The defense attorney may employ one of the following techniques if plea bargaining with the prosecution fails to provide a favorable outcome:
You used self-defense to protect yourself or another person from harm
Relatedly, we may be able to file an immunity motion to stop the case from going to trial
It was not a deliberate act on your part
Incorrect assumptions led to your arrest
The witnesses who are claiming they witnessed you assault someone are mistaken or lying
Contact Adam Levin Law, LLC, to obtain a free consultation for your aggravated assault case.