You thought it was just a brawl, and that other guy started it. Regardless, you find yourself in handcuffs in the back of a squad car, and the next day you’re being charged with assault. No matter how you end up in this situation, being charged with assault is a serious problem and can have major consequences for you. A good legal defense from an assault defense attorney is essential. For that, you need to understand a few things about assault charges in Georgia.
What is Assault Under Georgia Law?
Assault is a crime where someone does non-physical damage or threatens violence against another. Put simply, hurting someone else in a non-physical way or threatening to hurt someone credibly can see you charged with assault.
An example of this is when a fight breaks out in a bar. Before the fight, you get into an argument with another patron. He gets angry, gets in your face, and shoves you. Then he yells, “I’m gonna break every bone in your face,” before taking a swing at you. Getting into an argument is not assault, but his shoving of you can be considered a credible threat of violence, especially when followed by his declaration of breaking your bones. He can be charged for assault even though he didn’t do any physical damage to you.
How is Assault Related to Battery?
It is important to note that assault is closely related to battery, and the two are often confused for each other. Put simply, assault is the credible threat of violence while battery is the actual act of violence. In the example above, shoving you and yelling threats created a credible threat of violence leading to an assault charge. When he takes a swing at you and hits you, that hit is battery.
What is the Punishment for Assault in Georgia?
In Georgia, there are several possible punishments for assault. These include:
● A fine of up to $1,000 per count of assault
● Up to 12 months in jail
● Restitution is possible but not mandatory
In your case, being charged with assault may mean jail time, but may also not. Many people with assault charges are placed on probation instead. It depends on the situation and your specific actions in this case. You may also be ordered to pay restitution to the other person, which means you have to pay them back for damages like medical bills and broken property.
Can Assault Charges Ruin My Life?
While being charged with a crime is always a serious matter, assault charges are not likely to ruin your life. This is especially true with a good legal defense provided by a Georgia assault defense lawyer. In some cases, it could damage your ability to get or keep certain jobs, but a good lawyer can minimize the fallout from this kind of incident.
What matters now is that you find a lawyer and start building a strong defense. Contact Joshua J. Smith Attorney at Law by calling us at (706) 217-2095 or filling out our contact form. We can help you build a strong defense against assault charges no matter what the situation is.