Facing arrest for assault and battery can understandably be intimidating. Your future may flash before your eyes as you wonder what the consequences of your arrest will be in the short and long terms.
Fortunately, just because police have arrested you on assault and battery charges does not mean you are guilty in the eyes of Lady Justice. You have the right to fight this charge in the Georgia criminal justice system.
What is assault?
Authorities may accuse you of committing one of two types of assault. The first, called simple assault, is essentially the attempt to violently injure someone or to put him or her in a position to be injured. You do not have to physically touch the other person to violate the law regarding simple assault. Rather, your words may be enough -- for instance, threatening to break somebody's neck.
The more serious form of assault is aggravated assault. This type of assault involves one of the following three actions:
- Shooting a gun from within a car toward someone
- Assaulting somebody with the intent of robbing, raping or murdering him or her
- Assaulting somebody with a weapon or object that can cause serious physical injury or death
If you face charges of assault, you will likely also face a battery charge, as the two offenses are separate yet related.
What is battery?
As with assault, two types of battery exist. The first is simple battery, where you intentionally make physical contact with another person in a provoking or insulting manner or cause the other person physical harm. Meanwhile, aggravated battery refers to maliciously and intentionally inflicting serious injuries to someone. These injuries may include, for example, serious disfigurement, losing a limb or losing the ability to use a limb.
Consequences of assault and battery
Simple assault and simple battery are misdemeanors, whereas aggravated assault and aggravated battery are felony crimes. Thus, with a simple assault or battery conviction, you will spend up to one year behind bars and will have to pay a fine as high as $1,000. Meanwhile, the consequences of an aggravated assault or battery conviction include between one and 20 years behind prison bars, along with fines.
If you face assault and battery charges, it is within your rights to proceed to trial to fight these charges. The prosecution must prove your charges beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen. A qualified attorney will scrutinize the prosecution's evidence and push for the best outcome for you considering the circumstances surrounding your criminal case.