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What is a simple assault in Georgia?

There are a variety of terms that describe various offenses in Georgia criminal law. One such term is that of assault. Generally, assault means the apprehension of a harmful or offensive touching. This may take a variety of different forms. This post will define the term simple assault as outlined in the Georgia state law.

Georgia law defines a simple assault as an attempt to commit a violent injury against another person. A simple assault may also occur if a violent act is not committed. If the alleged perpetrator places another person in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. In the state of Georgia, this criminal charge is designated as a misdemeanor.

There may be additional charges added to a simple assault if it occurs in a public transit vehicle or station. Types of public transit vehiclesinclude buses, vans or rail cars used for the transportation of passengers.. If an individual is convicted of simple assault in a public transit vehicle, the misdemeanor will be classified as having a high and aggravated nature.

The high and aggravated nature classification for a simple assault conviction extends beyond public transit vehicles. If a simple assault is committed against someone who is 65 or older, a conviction may also be punished as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Assaults against employees of a public school while the individual is engaged in their job may also lead to this classification. Finally, an assault against a pregnant woman may also lead to more severe punishment.

Source:, "Chapter 5: Article 2 Section 16-5-20. Simple Assault," accessed on Dec. 15, 2014

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