An important part of creating an effective criminal defense is understanding what charges you are facing. Because assault and battery laws seem quite alike in the eyes of Georgia defendants, you will likely benefit from professional guidance. Acquiring solid legal representation allows you to learn how these differing laws affect your case while also helping you create your defense.

The following breakdown of the state’s assault and battery laws can get you started in the right direction. However, it is wise to ask a lawyer for more information.

  • Misdemeanor simple assault: This charge involves attempting to injure another person. No physical conduct is required for the police to arrest you on simple assault charges.
  • Misdemeanor simple battery: Police can arrest you on this charge if you intentionally make threatening or provoking physical contact with someone. The charge also applies if you intentionally harm another person.
  • Felony aggravated assault: State code defines this charge as assaulting a person with the intention to rob, rape or kill. If you use a weapon, you will likely face severe penalties if convicted.
  • Felony aggravated battery: This charge requires a serious approach to building a criminal defense. You may face aggravated battery charges if you “intentionally and maliciously” caused serious harm to a person. Examples of serious injuries include disfigurement and loss of a limb.

A misdemeanor conviction for simple battery or simple assault could mean up to a year in jail as well as paying costly fines. The consequences of a conviction for aggravated assault or aggravated battery are usually much more severe. Examples of typical penalties include up to 20 years of imprisonment accompanied by huge fines.

Now you can see why you must take your criminal defense seriously after an arrest on assault or battery charges. Your actions in the early days after your booking will probably make a difference in the outcome of your case.