Assault is an offense that can get one into legal trouble. The severity of any particular case depends on the circumstances surrounding it. An assault can be classified as simple or aggravated.
A simple assault occurs when someone has clear intent to injure another – putting someone in reasonable fear for their safety. For example, threatening to beat someone up. Aggravated assault occurs when someone assaults another without regard for their well-being or life. A case has to meet certain requirements to constitute aggravated assault. These include:
- Assault with intent to murder, rape or rob
- The use of a deadly weapon or an object/device which, when used offensively, can cause a serious body injury
- Discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.
Note that no contact is necessary for an assault. And intent to harm is vital. Accidentally injuring someone may not constitute an assault.
Are they charged differently?
A simple assault is categorized as a misdemeanor in Georgia. Upon conviction, one can face up to one year in prison, probation, up to $1,000 in fines and restitution.
The status or profession of the victim can intensify the consequences of a simple assault. If the victim was a pregnant woman, a police officer, a public school employee or a senior citizen, a case can be categorized as an aggravated misdemeanor and punished accordingly. A domestic assault (assault against a family member) can also elevate a simple assault case. An aggravated assault is a felony. When someone is convicted of this crime, they may face between one-to-20 years in prison, fines and restitution.
Assault is treated as a serious offense. If you are accused of this kind of misconduct, get legal help to protect yourself from the potential consequences of the charges you’re facing.