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Is it possible to get sued if I swing at someone and miss?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2023 | Crimes Against Persons

Have you ever been so angry at someone that you wanted to punch them in the face? Maybe you even tried to do it, but you missed. You might think that you’re off the hook because you didn’t actually hit them. However, that’s not necessarily true. In the state of Georgia, you could still face criminal charges even if your punch didn’t connect.

It could count as a simple assault

Georgia law considers assault as an attempted violent injury to another person. Alternatively, it is an act that puts another person in reasonable fear of suffering an injury. Under Georgia laws, you could face an assault charge regardless of whether you make contact. So, if you swing your fist at someone and they dodge, you have committed assault. Another example would be if you point a gun at someone and they run away, you have committed assault. And if you threaten to hurt someone and they believe you, you have committed assault.

While assault is usually a misdemeanor, which is less severe than a felony, some circumstances could escalate the seriousness of the charge. For example, if you swing at someone with a baseball bat in a threatening manner, even if you don’t hit them, the charge could be elevated to aggravated assault, which is a more severe offense.

Your defense as the accused

If someone accuses you of assault or battery in criminal or civil court, you have the right to defend yourself. You may claim self-defense if you reasonably believe that you or someone else was in imminent danger of harm from the other person. And in believing such, you used as much force as necessary to protect yourself or others from harm.

Seek help to protect your rights

Swinging at someone but missing may seem harmless, but it could get you into legal trouble in Georgia. You could face criminal charges for assault and end up paying for damages and fines, going to jail or owing money to the other person. Fortunately, you may consult legal counsel, particularly if you are facing or expect to face a criminal charge. To get started, contact Fitzgerald Law and book your free consultation.