Aggravated assault is taken seriously in Georgia and comes with much steeper penalties than simple assault.
Assault in Georgia is defined as placing someone in fear of immediate bodily injury, and an attempt to inflict injury on that person. According to the legal statute in the state, it does not matter if no injury is inflicted. The simple act of attempting to hurt another person is considered assault. Simple assault carries with it harsh penalties for those convicted. However, there are circumstances that can increase a simple assault charge to aggravated assault, which comes with much more severe consequences. If you are facing assault charges, you must speak to an experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyer that can help with your case.
Aggravated Assault Defined in Georgia
In Georgia, aggravated assault is defined as an attempted battery on another person while using a deadly weapon that could cause serious injury. Any attempt to rob, murder, or rape another person is also considered aggravated assault.
According to the statute for battery, serious bodily harm includes, but is not limited to blackened eyes, swollen lips and other swelling of facial features, and significant bruises to other parts of the body. A deadly weapon is considered anything that could inflict serious bodily harm, such as a gun, knife, baseball bat, or a stick. However, anything that can inflict severe injury is considered a weapon under Georgia law. For instance, the hands are deadly weapons in cases of manual strangulation, and a shod (covered) foot is a deadly weapon in cases of attempts or threats to kick or stomp a victim.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault in Georgia carries a sentence that varies between one and 20 years in prison. The amount of time sentenced will be determined by the circumstances of the victim.
Individuals convicted of aggravated assault will face three to 20 years if the victim was:
- 65 years of age or older
- In a public transportation vehicle or station
- A current or former spouse of the defendant
- The parent of the defendant’s child, including foster parent or stepparent
- A child of the defendant, including stepchild and foster child
Defendants convicted of aggravated assault will face five to 20 years in prison if the victim was:
- A peace officer engaged in official duties
- A correctional officer engaged in official duties
- An officer of the court engaged in official duties
- A student or teacher within a school safety zone
Defendants may also face these penalties if they discharge a firearm from a vehicle, or if the crime is committed while the defendant is trying to steal a commercial vehicle. In this latter scenario, convicted individuals may also face a fine of $50,000 to $200,000 in addition to their prison sentence, or in lieu of it.
In the most serious of cases, defendants convicted of aggravated assault that involved the attempt to rape a child under the age of 14 will face 25 to 50 years in prison.
Facing Assault Charges? Call Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers
Do not face assault charges on your own. At Zimmerman & Associates, our Norcross criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed to fight your charges and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at (770) 350-0100 to learn more about how we can help with your case.