Simple Battery & Simple Assault in Georgia
Have you been arrested and charged with simple battery or simple assault in Georgia? If you’re facing charges for a violent misdemeanor offense, you need strong legal representation that can help minimize your criminal penalties. At Fennell, Briasco & Associates™, our team of criminal defense lawyers are available for a FREE legal consultation. Discuss your options today with an experienced GA criminal lawyer. Call now at (770) 956-4030.
Standing Up For Your Side of the Story
A single criminal offense shouldn’t define you. We understand that tense situations can sometimes lead to physical altercation—a punch might be thrown at a sporting event or a road rage incident might turn into a brief bout of pushing and shoving. In a matter of seconds, these situations can spiral out of control and before you know it, you can find yourself under arrest for a misdemeanor criminal offense. The actual or threatened use of force against another can carry serious criminal penalties, including fines and up to one year of jail time.
At Fennell, Briasco & Associates™, our job is to stand up for your side of the story. We look at all the mitigating factors, including whether you were provoked and whether you were acting in self-defense. Then, we assert all of your legal rights in seeking to reduce or dismiss your charges. Call us today to learn more about how we can represent you.
Simple Assault in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-20, simple assault is a misdemeanor crime that occurs when a person (1) attempts to commit a violent injury to another person or (2) places another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate physical harm. For a simple assault charge, the prosecution will not argue that you physically injured another person, but instead argues that you threatened to use force or came close to using force against another person.
Examples of simple assault might include throwing a fake punch, swinging a baseball bat in someone’s direction, or shouting a threat in someone’s face. To mount a legal defense, the defendant will often argue that the conduct was justified or reasonable under the circumstances.
Simple Battery in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23, simple battery is a misdemeanor crime that occurs when a person (1) intentionally makes harmful or offensive physical contact with another person or (2) intentionally causes physical harm to another person. Simple battery requires only physical contact—not necessarily physical injury.
For example, you don’t have to actually punch someone to be charged with simple battery. All that is required is offensive physical contact. Spitting on someone, reaching into someone’s personal belongings, or intentionally throwing an object at someone can all lead to charges of simple battery. To learn more about the evidence needed to convict you, speak with one of the criminal defense attorneys at Fennell, Briasco & Associates™ today.
Do I need a lawyer for a misdemeanor charge?
We always recommend consulting an attorney about how to handle a misdemeanor charge in Georgia. While misdemeanor charges may not always seem too serious, they can have far-reaching consequences. The effects of a single misdemeanor conviction (like marijuana possession or driving under the influence) can reach years into the future. For example, having a misdemeanor on your criminal record can affect future background checks, insurance rates, academic scholarships, and housing applications. If you have been arrested by police for a misdemeanor crime, contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn how to handle your case.
High and Aggravated Charges
In some cases, both simple assault and simple battery charges can be upgraded to “misdemeanors of high and aggravated nature.” If charged with a high and aggravated misdemeanor, you can face up to 1 year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. The prosecution will seek high and aggravated misdemeanor charges if the victim of the battery or assault is:
(i) over the age of 65
(ii) a pregnant woman
(iii) a rider on public transit
(iv) a police officer or law enforcement official
(v) a family member
(vi) a resident of an elder care facility or nursing home,
(vii) a schoolteacher or school employee acting in their official capacity
Possible Defenses: Battery & Assault
A skilled criminal defense lawyer will examine all your legal options for defending you against charges of a misdemeanor violent crime. Under Georgia law, you may be entitled to a defense based on:
Self-Defense: If a criminal defendant reasonably believes that they were in danger of physical harm, the law allows for the use of self-defense. For instance, if you’re arrested for pushing someone, you may be able to show that you used physical force to defend yourself. Self-defense is an affirmative legal defense that creates a justification for the use of force. In some cases, individuals may also use physical force in defense of others. For more information about self-defense laws, contact a GA criminal defense attorney.
Provocation: There are some cases when a victim can provoke an aggressor with fighting words. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-25, the use of offensive or abusive language can sometimes serve as justification for simple assault or simple battery. For example, if a pedestrian screams a barrage of insults and curse words at a biker, Georgia law may find it reasonable under the circumstances if the biker responds with appropriate physical force. It is important to note that such physical force must be proportional to the language used by the provoking party.
Find a Misdemeanor Criminal Defense Lawyer
With years of experience in the Georgia criminal justice system, our team of attorneys aggressively defends clients accused of misdemeanor crimes, including simple battery and simple assault. We strive to deliver a client-centric approach that aims to reduce the extent of the criminal charges brought against you. We proudly serve clients across the North Metro Atlanta area, including: