Assault is an attempt to cause bodily harm; if the victim could have a reasonable fear that the defendant’s actions would kill the victim, such as if the defendant was using a deadly weapon, then the charges are for aggravated assault.
Most people know that the terms assault and battery, used together or separately, refer to incidents involving physical attacks in which the victim survived, but unless you have received criminal charges for acts of physical violence, you probably have not thought very much about the differences between these charges. In terms of consequences, there is a big difference between simple assault and aggravated assault; despite this, in some cases, it is simply a matter of interpretation as to whether the assault was simple or aggravated. Did the defendant put his hands near the victim’s shoulders, threatening to push him, or near the victim’s neck, threatening to choke him? Even jurors who are unlikely to think of defendants on trial for nonviolent offenses as dangerous still have a fear of physical violence, and prosecutors will do everything they can to exploit that fear if you plead not guilty to simple or aggravated assault. If you are facing criminal charges for any kind of assault, contact a Georgia assault defense lawyer.
What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?
The main difference between assault and battery is that a charge of battery alleges that you made physical contact with the victim, while assault does not. Assault can simply mean holding a clenched fist in front of the victim’s face, even if you did not actually strike the victim. As long as the victim had a reasonable fear that you were about to inflict bodily harm, then assault charges apply.
Georgia Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault Laws
Simple assault is a misdemeanor. It involves an attempt to injure someone without a weapon, such as by punching them or slapping them. In simple assault, if you had made contact with the victim, the injury would not have been fatal. If the victim was a pregnant woman, then the charges are for aggravated assault, no matter how minor the injury you attempted to inflict.
Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause an injury severe enough that the victim could reasonably fear that they would die; aggravated assault is a felony punishable by five to 20 years in prison. Therefore, assault with a deadly weapon, such as a firearm or knife, is always aggravated assault. Not all aggravated assault cases involve weapons, though. If the defendant attempted to strangle the victim or kick them while wearing boots, the charges could still be for aggravated assault.
Aggravated Assault and Simple Assault Defense Lawyers
Many physical fights and confrontations end with the police being called, but only some of them are truly instances of aggravated assault. A criminal defense lawyer can help protect you from inflated charges and unfair convictions. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about assault cases.