Assault charges in Georgia cover a broad spectrum, all involving a threat or physical act that causes another person to fear imminent bodily harm. These offenses range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the severity of the act.
It is important to understand the different levels of assault in Georgia, as the distinctions have significant implications for the seriousness of the charges and potential penalties.
Simple assault is the most basic form of assault. It occurs when someone attempts to commit a violent injury to another person or commits an act that places another in immediate risk of violent injury. It is usually considered a misdemeanor in Georgia, although certain circumstances can elevate it to a felony.
A charge of aggravated assault typically arises when someone assaults another with the intent to murder, rape or rob. It also includes assaults committed with a deadly weapon or any object, device or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury.
Aggravated assault is a felony in Georgia and carries more severe penalties than simple assault.
In Georgia, battery offenses are distinct from assault offenses. A person commits the offense of battery if they intentionally cause substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another. Visible bodily harm could include, but is not limited to, substantially blackened eyes, substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts or substantial bruises to body parts.
Battery offenses range from simple battery, which is typically a misdemeanor, to aggravated battery, which is a felony and involves intentionally inflicting a serious injury such as loss of a limb or disfigurement.
Georgia law defines several different levels of assault. The degree of the offense can dramatically impact the severity of the potential legal consequences.