Georgia Assault Lawyer
In Georgia, a person can be charged with simple assault even if he or she never came into physical contact with the alleged victim. Unfortunately, these types of convictions can have far-reaching consequences, so if you were recently accused of assault in Georgia, it is important to consult with an experienced Georgia assault lawyer who can help you.
Under Georgia law, the elements of simple assault can be satisfied by:
- An attempt to commit a violent injury on someone else; or
- Any act that places someone else in reasonable apprehension of immediate violent injury.
Under this definition, a person can be convicted of assault simply by making a violent gesture towards someone else. This is true even if the accused never actually intended to harm someone, but only wanted to place that person in fear of injury.
Simple assault is generally charged as a standard misdemeanor. However, if a defendant committed the offense in a certain place or against a certain person, he or she could face aggravated misdemeanor penalties. This includes situations where the simple assault:
- Took place in a public transit vehicle or station;
- Was committed between past or present spouses, parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or anyone else besides siblings who live in the same household;
- Was committed against a person 65 years of age or older;
- Was committed against an employee of a public school system; or
- Was committed against a pregnant female.
If you are facing assault charges, please call our office today to learn more about these potential enhancements.
If a person is found to have committed a simple assault, he or she could face more severe penalties if at least one of three aggravating factors is present in a particular case, including:
- An intent to rape, rob, or murder;
- The use of a deadly or offensive weapon that is likely to, or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or
- Shooting towards someone else from a vehicle.
Those who are convicted of aggravated assault in Georgia could face potential imprisonment for between one and 20 years. This penalty could be further enhanced if the alleged victim was a peace officer, a correctional officer, a teacher, a student, a child under 14 years old, or a person over the age of 65 years old. Defendants who are accused of committing an assault on a public transit vehicle or station, or while in an attempt to steal a commercial vehicle will also be sentenced to additional time in prison.
Possible Defenses to an Assault Charge
There are a number of defenses to assault allegations that could help a defendant get his or her charges reduced or even dismissed. Self-defense, for example, can help a person avoid conviction, as can providing evidence that the alleged victim used abusive language against the accused. For the latter to qualify as a defense, however, the language in question must rise to a high level of abusiveness, such as a racial slur or egregious insult.
Call for a Free Consultation
To speak with an experienced Georgia assault lawyer about your own charges, please call Hawkins Spizman at (770) 209-2310 today. A member of our legal team is standing by to help you set up a free consultation at your earliest convenience.