If you have been charged with simple or aggravated assault, you should know that the consequences can be serious. A simple assault conviction in Georgia can result to up to 12 months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines, while an aggravated assault conviction can result in one to 20 years in prison. While the consequences can be severe, a criminal defense attorney in your area can help create an effective defense strategy to possibly reduce your sentence or have your charges dropped altogether.
Simple vs. aggravated assault
If you are being charged with assault, you should be aware of the two different types of assault charges.
- A simple assault is classified as a misdemeanor and is considered an attempt to commit an act of violence or an act that makes places someone in reasonable apprehension of immediate injury.
- An aggravated assault is classified as a felony and includes an assault with intent to murder, rape, or rob another person, and/or an assault with a deadly weapon or strangulation device.
Defending against assault charges
An assault is different than a battery in that no actual physical harm is required to prove guilt. However, both assault and battery charges can be defended against by using one or more of the following defenses:
- Self-defense or defense of others-If the alleged perpetrator acted out of a real perceived fear or threat of harm to themselves, did not provoke the situation, and was unable to retreat from the situation, self-defense may be a valid defense. Protecting another person from an real, perceived fear or threat of harm is also a defense.
- Consent – If the alleged victim voluntarily consented to the assault, that could also be a defense.
- Necessity – Necessity may be a defense if the alleged perpetrator acted to avoid greater injury to the public.
Defending against criminal charges is never easy, particularly if an act of violence occurred. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case and help determine which strategy is best moving forward.