“Fight, fight, fight.” Does that bring back nostalgic memories of innocent playground fights in elementary school? Of running towards the circle of children egging on two students wrestling on the ground? Or perhaps it brings back less pleasant memories of trying to defend yourself from the kids that mercilessly bullied you all through high school.

Thankfully, fighting in school is no longer considered an essential part of growing up, or a rite of passage. However, if your child’s school principal calls you in because your child has been fighting, your child could be in a lot more trouble than you think. The other parents and their child may decide to press charges of assault or battery against your child.

Georgia law on assault breaks things into four categories. Those defined as “simple” are classified as misdemeanors. Those defined as “aggravated” are classified as felonies, with more severe consequences for anyone convicted.

  • Simple assault: Telling someone you are going to do something violent to them or actually doing it.
  • Aggravated assault: Pulling out or using a weapon on someone.
  • Simple battery: Provoking someone by pushing them or slapping them may be enough.
  • Aggravated battery: Intentionally disfiguring or seriously harming someone.

If your child stands accused of assault or battery, the first thing to do when you leave the principal’s office is to call an attorney. You are going to need someone who can investigate the situation and find a way to defend your child from the serious allegations that they are facing.