Georgia Battery Defense Lawyer
In the state of Georgia, assault and battery are two different crimes, though they are often grouped together. Assault typically refers to a person’s intent to harm another person. Battery, on the other hand, refers to injury actually done to another person. As such, it’s easy to link the two crimes together. However, these two crimes are often committed separately.
According to Georgia Code 16-5-23.1, simple battery is committed when the perpetrator intentionally causes visible bodily harm or otherwise substantial physical harm to the victim. Visible injury includes cuts, bruises, black eyes, swollen lips and other obvious signs of violence. However, not all injuries are visible. For instance, a strike that causes internal bleeding may be grounds for battery charges.
Some states include emotional or mental abuse as a form of battery. However, Georgia courts almost always uphold the “impact rule,” meaning the victim must have been physically harmed to bring battery charges against the assailant. But, there have been some exceptions to this rule. Regardless, if a person is convicted of simple battery, the punishment is jail time of 10 days to 12 months, and/or a fine of no more than $1,000. In some cases, however, the consequences may be more severe. As such, it is crucial to have an experienced battery defense attorney from Hawkins Spizman Kilgo by your side.
Exceptions to the Simple Misdemeanor Rule
There are quite a few reasons why your battery charge in Atlanta may be escalated beyond a simple misdemeanor. These include:
- On the third conviction (and all subsequent convictions), battery is treated as a felony, punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison.
- If the battery is considered a domestic crime, the first conviction is a misdemeanor, but the second and subsequent convictions are felonies, punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison.
- The charge of battery is considered a “misdemeanor of high and aggressive nature,” punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $5,000, if the crime is committed:
- On public transit
- Against a pregnant woman
- Against a person 65 years or older
- Against a teacher or other school personnel while they are performing their duties;
- Against a resident of a long-term care facility by an employee, volunteer or agent;
- Against a sports official while officiating an amateur content or while on or exiting the property
Aggravated battery is a more serious crime than simple battery. According to Georgia Code 16-5-4, this crime occurs when the assailant maliciously causes harm to another. “Malicious injury” is classified as depriving the victim of a part of their body; rendering a body part useless; or causing serious disfiguration. Generally, aggravated battery is punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison. However, there are exceptions to this rule as well. Aggravated battery:
- against a peace officer or correctional officer while in their line of duty is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.
- against a person 65 years or older; on public transit; or upon a student or teacher within a school safety zone is punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison.
- that is classified as a domestic crime is punishable by 3 to 20 years in prison.
Contact Georgia Battery Defense Attorneys Today
The courts of Georgia tend to be quite severe when handing down punishments for battery, especially if it is aggravated. As such, if allegations are brought against you, you need experienced battery defense attorneys who will represent you in court to have the charged reduced — or possibly dropped. If you’ve been charged with battery in Atlanta or the surrounding area, simple or aggravated, call Hawkins Spizman Kilgo today at 770-685-6400 for a free case evaluation. In battery cases, time is of the essence to gather evidence to strengthen your case — don’t delay. Call now.