What is an Aggravated Assault?
In the state of Georgia, the term aggravated assault defines a person’s attempt to cause another person physical harm with the intent to murder, rape, or rob either with their body or weapon. Aggravated assault charges may also be placed on an individual who fires a weapon at someone else from their vehicle.
The main requirements of an aggravated assault charge include the following:
- Intent to murder, rape, or rob
- When a deadly weapon is discharged offensively against another person
- When any other type of object is used against an individual with the intent to cause harm
- When a firearm is discharged against another individual from their vehicle with the intent to harm
These classifications and criteria are so important because the true intent of a criminal cannot be determined unless that person admits to their reasons. Most testimonies for aggravated assault cases are dependent upon eyewitnesses. Aggravated assault cases are also often confused with battery charges, so the above-stated distinctions are critical when it comes to these convictions and defending against them.
In order for an aggravated assault conviction to take place, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person intended to commit harm through violent means, that they were able to commit such harm, and that the victim was caused legitimate fear that they would be injured.
Consequences of Aggravated Assault Charges
For most aggravated assault convictions, the consequence is between 1 and 20 years of prison, but there are certain circumstances where those penalties may be different.
- If the assault is against a police officer or correctional officer who is conducting their official duties, the sentencing term is between 5 and 20 years of prison time.
- Assaults against elderly over the age of 65 will result in 3-20 years of prison.
- Aggravated assaults that take place on public transportation will result in prison for 3-20 years.
- If a person commits aggravated assault with a firearm against a teacher, student, or other school personnel on school property is 5-20 years of prison.
- Assault that takes place between spouses or parents against their partner or children result in a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 20.
- Aggravated assault with the intent to rape a child under the age of 14 results in a minimum of 25 to 50 years of prison time.
People convicted of an aggravated assault charge may also be asked to pay restitution to the victim, with the amount determined by the court. Individuals with previous charges or convictions will be required to complete the maximum prison sentencing for that specific charge. The court may also give the convicted individual probation.
Aggravated Assault vs Simple Assault
While aggravated assault is classified as the offensive intention to harm, murder, rape, or rob another person with the use of a deadly weapon or other object, simple assault is quite different. A simple assault charge is defined as attempting to commit a violent injury to another person or committing an act that places another person in the way of harm. In some cases, a simple assault charge may or may have not ended in actual harm being caused to the victim, but the intent is still there.
Simple assault charges are considered misdemeanors in the state of Georgia and are punishable by:
- A fine up to $1,000
- Up to 12 months of jail time
- Restitution payments
- Up to a year of probation
Battery vs Aggravated Assault in Cobb County
Battery is defined as the intentional cause of substantial, visible harm to another person. Visible bodily harm is considered harm that another person is able to perceive, including:
- Black eyes
- Swollen lips or body parts
- Bruises to the body
Convictions of battery are considered misdemeanors and result in similar penalties as a simple assault. Depending on where the battery takes place and with who determines jail time, probation length, restitution charges, and fines.
Hiring an Experienced Aggravated Assault Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with aggravated assault, it is critical to find an experienced attorney that knows Georgia law and is able to navigate these charges effectively. When it comes to aggravated assault, there are several different types of defense, such as:
- Lack of intent: argues that the suspect did not intend to murder, rape, or rob.
- Lack of a deadly weapon: aggravated assault charges typically include a deadly weapon or other object that can be used to cause physical harm. If this type of object is not in use, your lawyer may argue that there was no aggravated assault.
- Self-defense: this is one of the more common types of defense against aggravated assault.
- Defense of others: another common defense that states that the accused was protecting someone else which is the cause of the assault.
- Defense of property: some states allow for the protection of property through different means, so this may be a credible defense, especially in Georgia.
- Consent: if there was consent in place for the accused to touch the victim, then technically aggravated assault cannot be proven.
- Total innocence: in some cases, you may be charged with assault without having ever committed the crime. Your lawyer will work to prove your innocence through a variety of methods.
- The victim was already dead: a defendant cannot be charged with aggravated assault if harm was committed to a person who is already dead.
Your experienced assault lawyer will know which of those defenses best fits your case and will use it to argue in a way that does not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Call Rick Christian today if you or a loved one are being charged with aggravated assault and need an experienced lawyer in Cobb County, Georgia.