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Understanding simple assault charges in Georgia

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Assault |

If you are facing assault charges, you are likely feeling a mix of emotions – confusion, anxiety, maybe even fear. Take a deep breath. While the situation is serious, understanding the charges and your options can bring some peace of mind and a clearer path forward.

Breaking down simple assault charges

Simple assault in Georgia is a legal term that can seem quite broad, but it specifically refers to cases involving either an attempt to cause violent injury to someone or placing someone in fear of immediate physical harm.

For instance, you could wind up facing charges if you make verbal threats to hurt someone or act in such a way that a person reasonably believes they are in danger of immediately receiving a violent injury.

The critical components of simple assault charges in Georgia are the intent to cause fear or the attempt to cause injury, regardless of whether contact is made or injury occurs. It’s this attempt or threat that the law takes seriously, and it can have significant legal implications if not addressed properly.

Penalties for simple assault

A simple assault conviction can trigger penalties, including:

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Anger management classes

You might also face consequences at work or school. Further, a violent criminal conviction can adversely impact housing or job applications as well as your personal relationships.

Escalation to aggravated assault

Simple assault charges are typically misdemeanors. However, certain factors can escalate a simple assault to aggravated assault, which is a more serious charge with harsher consequences. These factors include:

  • Using a deadly weapon or object that can result in serious injury
  • Assault with intent to rob, rape or murder
  • Assaults that occur in public transit vehicles or stations, against persons aged 65 or older, or against pregnant women

Aggravated assault is a felony, which can lead to more severe penalties, such as longer prison sentences, higher fines and lasting impacts on your personal and professional life.

Defending against assault charges

An assault charge is not the end of the road. With the right approach and legal support, you can defend yourself, minimize exposure to consequences and focus on moving forward.