The accusation of criminal assault is one of the most common yet least understood in the State’s criminal code. Under the definition of the statute, a person commits an assault when they attempt to commit a violent injury to another party or act in a way that places another person in reasonable fear of harm. This means that a jury could convict a defendant for assault without the defendant every touching the alleged victim.
Working with a Trenton assault lawyer could help people to promote effective defenses against these allegations. The attorneys at an assault law firm could work to evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case, to speak to witnesses to the alleged incident, and work to develop a defense strategy that meets every defendant’s personal goals.
Assault and battery are two separate criminal offenses that often confuse people. A simple way to imagine the difference is that a battery is touching another person without permission, while an assault is attempting to harm another person. For instance, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §16-5-20 defines a simple assault as either attempting to commit a violent injury to another person or acting in a way that would create a reasonable fear of violence in another.
By contrast, the O.G.G.A. §16-5-23 describes a simple battery as intentionally making physical conduct of an insulting or provoking nature with another person. Alternatively, a battery may involve intentionally causing physical harm to another. These separate but related offenses could lead police officers to charge defendants with both assault and battery. Mounting an effective defense to both these charges is vital to a defendant’s interests. A Trenton assault and battery lawyer could help to provide more information about these sections of the criminal code.
The statutes that define simple assault and simple battery name these offenses as misdemeanors. This means that a conviction could result in a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. However, a number of aggravating factors might increase the potential penalties.
For instance, committing an assault against a police officer, a person over the age of 65, or a household member is guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The maximum penalty for these charges increases the maximum fine to $5,000. While the potential jail term remains the same, a court that convicts a defendant of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature is more likely to recommend a jail sentence after conviction.
Of course, not every assault or battery is a misdemeanor. Committing an assault or battery while using a deadly weapon, with the intent of committing a rape, murder, or robbery, or that involves the use of an item that could cause strangulation results in charges of aggravated assault. According to O.C.G.A. §16-5-21, aggravated assault is a felony that carries a prison term of between one and twenty years. Much like the concept of simple assault, the identity of the alleged victim could raise the minimum required sentence. A Trenton accused assault lawyer could explain the difference in the various levels of assault charges.
Similarly, aggravated battery under O.C.G.A. §16-5-24 is also a felony. To qualify as an aggravated battery, the incident must result in damage to the alleged victim that deprives that victim of the use of a body part. Also, disfigurement results in an aggravated battery charge. The potential penalties for an aggravated battery conviction mirror those for aggravated assault. A Trenton assault and battery attorney could work to defend people facing any type of battery charge.
Charges involving alleged assaults or batteries are among the most commonly heard in Trenton courts. A battery is any intentional touching of a person that results in physical harm. By contrast, an assault is any action that causes fear of physical harm in another person. As a result, prosecutors often charge people with both assault and battery.
No matter the exact nature of the charges that you are facing, a Trenton assault and battery law firm may be able to help. An attorney could work with people accused of assault to evaluate their actions within the aspect of the law, determine the strength of the prosecutor’s case, and work to meet a person’s goals for the case moving forward. Contact a Trenton Assault law firm today to schedule a meeting.