Aggravated Battery Georgia: What to Know if You Face Charges

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Aggravated battery in Georgia is a complex charge. Get the information and advocacy you need if you or a loved one is charged with aggravated battery charges.

 

Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on January 9, 2020, last updated on January 29, 2020.

 

Aggravated Battery in Georgia

Assault and battery offenses in Georgia include simple assault, aggravated assault, simple battery, battery, and aggravated battery. The offenses and consequences for aggravated assault and aggravated battery are discussed in this section.

Georgia’s Definition of Assault and Battery

The degree of assault and battery charges ranges from simple to aggravated, but they all begin with these definitions.

Assault –  In Georgia, assault is defined as an effort to cause physical harm to another person, such as striking someone with a hand or object and missing. Assault also covers any intentional tort or threat of conduct that causes a reasonable person to fear impending violence. Verbally attacking someone or “breaking your arm” can be considered assault if the assailant looks to have the power to carry out the threat and the victim has a reasonable belief that the assailant is about to do so.

Battery – Genuine offensive or insulting physical contact (including domestic violence), such as punching another person or beating someone with an item, is considered battery. Simple examples of battery include striking another person with a fist during an argument or shoving someone.

Average Sentence for Aggravated Battery in Georgia

When a person commits bodily damage to another by depriving them of a member of their body, leaving a member of their body useless, or seriously disfiguring their body or a member thereof, they commit the offense of aggravated battery.

A person who knowingly commits the wrongdoing of aggravated battery on a correctional officer while the correctional officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, their official duties shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten years nor more than twenty years upon conviction.

If you are charged with aggravated battery, you will face some serious penalties:

  • One year to twenty years in jail (up to 50 years for intent to rape a young child),
  • A $100,000 fine
  • And reparations (compensation to a victim).

When an offender commits aggravated assault or battery, the following punishments are imposed:

  • By firing a handgun from a vehicle (five-year minimum),
  • By discharging a firearm from a vehicle (five-year minimum),
  • In a public transport vehicle or station (three- or five-year minimum)

An individual who commits aggravated assault or battery on a public safety official (defined as law enforcement, firefighter, emergency health worker, or correctional officer) receives a minimum jail sentence of three, five, or ten years, depending on the circumstances. When other school personnel or students, family members or intimate partners, court officers, or persons 65 years and older are victims, the minimum punishments are the same.

The heaviest penalty, which is 25 to 50 years in prison, is imposed for serious assault with the intent to rape a child under the age of 14.

Why Would You Need a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer if You Were Charged With Aggravated Battery?

If you have been charged with aggravated battery, you could face substantial prison time.

It is crucial to note that the defenses covered on this page are only a subset of the many viable defenses to an aggravated battery charge.

All defenses are heavily reliant on the circumstances of each individual case, and no two situations are the same. As a result, it is critical to get a consultation with an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the Georgia law pertaining to aggravated battery cases. They should adequately examine the various defenses and can advise you on the potential consequences in your jurisdiction.

At Philip Kim Law P.C., we recognize that being charged with a felony is a terrifying event, and we will guide you through it with compassion and experience. Our domestic violence attorney and legal staff can offer you a free consultation on your case. Contact our law firm right away if you want to learn more about battery offenses or assault at (678) 273-3500.

How to Beat an Aggravated Assault Charge in GA

One plausible defense in an aggravated battery case is that the victim’s real harm was not severe enough to meet O.C.G.A. 16-5-24. It is up to the jury to judge whether the victim’s injury is severe enough to warrant an aggravated battery conviction. Even though a jury declines to convict on an aggravated battery allegation, the accused may still be found guilty of the lesser misdemeanor of battery.

According to the Georgia Court of Appeals, while O.C.G.A. 16-5-24 does not specify what constitutes a “significantly disfiguring” damage, it must be more severe than the visible wounds needed to demonstrate the “obvious bodily harm” required to establish a battery conviction. Williams v. State, 248 Ga.App. 316, 546 S.E.2d 546 S.E.2d 546 S.E.2d 546 S.E.2d 546 S.E. (2001). The Georgia Court of Appeals has also held that a judge’s failure to give accurate instructions to the jury regarding the injury issues required for a battery versus those required for an aggravated battery may involve reversible error because the issue of the severity of the injury is left to the jury to decide. Carroll v. State, 293 Ga. App. 721, 667 S.E.2d 708. (2008).

Can an Aggravated Battery Be Expunged in Georgia?

Most felonies can be expunged once they’ve been pardoned, except for the most serious ones, such as murder, kidnapping, rape, armed robbery, child molestation, aggravated battery, and so on.

What Must Be Proven?

To be charged with aggravated battery in Georgia, the State must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

To be charged with aggravated battery, there must be evidence that the suspect intended to make physical contact. If the battery was grounded on bodily harm, the State must provide evidence of the injury and its severity. Whether a disfigurement is severe or not is usually a subject for the jury to decide.

On the other hand, if the battery was committed with a deadly weapon, the State must present evidence regarding the instrument.

Difference Between Aggravated Assault and Battery

The term “attack” is often used yet frequently misinterpreted. Many people feel that assault occurs when someone physically inflicts pain on another person.

As opposed to popular belief, assault is defined as any threats, words, or acts that lead a person to fear imminent harm. The battery is a felony committed when physical violence is used; threats and intimidation are considered assault. When a deadly weapon is involved in the conflict or when someone threatens to commit a crime, the term “aggravated” is used.

Aggravated assault is a felony of the third degree, while Aggravated Battery is a felony of the second degree. To be termed aggravated assault, someone must instill terror in another person, even if there was no purpose to cause them pain.

These terms are complex and each case varies. To learn more about your charges, contact Philip Kim Law today.

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Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 201-0496
Fax: (678) 273-3501
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