How Does Georgia Law Define Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is defined under the official code of Georgia at 16-5-21 as an assault with the intent to murder, rape, or rob with a deadly weapon or any object which was used offensively against another person and could have resulted in serious bodily injury or strangulation. An assault that occurs without the involvement of a weapon will likely be charged as an aggravated battery.
What Is Aggravated Battery In Georgia?
Under OCGA 16-5-24, a person commits the offense of aggravated battery when he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body by rendering a member of his or her body useless by seriously disfiguring his or her body member thereof.
How Does The Degree Or Severity Of Injury Impact An Aggravated Assault Or Battery Charge?
Aggravated assault does not require the victim to actually sustain an injury, and is typically charged when a person uses a weapon in an attempt to injure someone, even if they do not ultimately inflict injury. For example, if a person without justification fires a gun at another person, but the bullet does not strike the intended victim, then that would be considered aggravated assault. In contrast, aggravated battery requires that the victim sustain physical injuries.
Is Self Defense Ever A Defense To An Aggravated Assault Charge?
Self-defense is a valid defense in Georgia. OCGA 16-3-21 allows a person to use force to defend themselves or other people from serious bodily injury or assault. Georgia also has what’s called a stand-your-ground law, which is found in OCGA 16-3-23.1 and states that there’s no duty to retreat before using force in a self-defense case. If someone is defending themselves, their home, or their loved ones, they are not required to retreat or try to escape the assailant before using force to stop the assault. Georgia allows a person to use deadly force to defend their home. A person is also allowed to use force against an individual who is trying to steal their property outside of their home, such as their car or purse, but the level of force generally cannot be deadly. These defenses are called affirmative defenses, which means that the defendant must show a prima facie case that the defense is appropriate; once they do so, the burden will shift to the prosecution to show that that defense is not valid based on the facts of the case.
What Are The Penalties For An Aggravated Assault Conviction In Georgia?
In Georgia, aggravated assault is punishable by one to 20 years in prison. However, if the assault is upon a public safety officer who is in the performance of his or her duties, then it is punishable by a mandatory 10 to 20 years in prison. Aggravated battery has the same range of penalties, and there is a fine of up to $2,000 for both aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
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