Sandy Springs Assault Lawyer
A single heated moment may lead to a complicated legal mess if it results in a charge of criminal assault. Assault has several definitions under Georgia law, and understanding the differences between Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault are very important.
Making sense of Georgia’s criminal statutes and how they are prosecuted is usually much easier with the help of a Sandy Springs assault lawyer. Once retained, a skilled criminal defense attorney could explain every aspect of the allegations you may be facing and work with you to develop an effective defense strategy.
How Assault Differs from Battery
“Assault and Battery” is a term that many people have heard of, but not everyone is aware that these are in fact separate criminal offenses. They are often charged simultaneously, rather than a singular crime all its own. Battery refers to physical contact made with the intent of harming someone else, whereas assault can be charged simply by putting another in fear of physical contact, even if they never touched their alleged victim.
More specifically, assault can be any action—physical or not—that causes someone else to reasonably fear harm, whether that entails attempting to cause injury, putting someone in a dangerous situation, or just using threatening language without actually making physical contact. Anyone confused about why their actions allegedly constituted criminal assault should talk to a Sandy Springs assault lawyer for clarification.
Degrees of Assault Charges in Sandy Springs
Georgia law establishes two variants of assault which differ in both alleged severity and potential punishments. The type of assault described in the previous section is known as simple assault and is classified as a misdemeanor under Official Code of Georgia §16-5-20.
A conviction for simple assault may lead to a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a $1,000 fine, mandated restitution to the victim, and probation. This offense may be prosecuted as a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor—and subsequently punished by a larger fine and additional jail time upon conviction—if any of the following circumstances apply:
- The assaulted person was pregnant, over 65-years-old, a current or former family or household member of the defendant (excluding acceptable corporal punishment for children), or an employee of a public school while on duty or on school property
- The assault occurred on public transportation
On the other hand, aggravated assault is a violent felony offense, pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia §16-5-21. Anyone suspected of assaulting someone else with murderous intent, or with the intent to rob or rape them, may be charged with aggravated assault. This charge may also be applicable if the defendant used a deadly weapon or discharged a firearm as part of the alleged assault.
Since aggravated assault is a felony offense, it may result in much more severe penalties than simple assault, including one to 20 years in prison as well as heavy fines. A experienced aggravated assault attorney in Sandy Springs could help ensure a defendant’s rights are protected and potentially contest the allegations against them depending on the evidence.
How a Sandy Springs Assault Attorney Can Help
When it comes to allegations of a violent attack on another person, the specific language used in an ensuing criminal charge can be of tremendous importance. Professional guidance may be necessary for you to understand the full implications of your charges and effectively pursue a positive result to your case.
A Sandy Springs assault lawyer could be a steadfast and crucial ally from start to finish in your criminal case. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.