Criminal assault cases are often misunderstood and complicated. Many people do not realize that they can receive an assault charge even without striking or injuring a victim. The specific Georgia Code, §16-5-20, states that assault is a crime of attempting to cause violent injury or taking actions that cause another person to fear suffering a violent injury. This is further escalated or elevated by the presence or use of a weapon during the commission of such a crime of assault. Often the presence of a weapon alone is enough to turn a misdemeanor assault into a felony aggravated charge.
As a result, convictions for assault charges carry serious consequences and penalties that could easily affect you for the rest of your life. It is paramount that you seek counsel and representation when facing an assault charge. People convicted of assault often find it difficult to maintain meaningful employment, secure housing, and often have some of their rights taken away from them. Penalties and consequences vary significantly based on the nature of the charge (a crime of violence against a family member) and the severity of the charge (misdemeanor or felony.)
A misdemeanor assault conviction can carry up to a maximum of the following penalties: a county jail sentence of up to one year to serve, up to $1,000 in fines (not including surcharges and fees), probationary period of up to one year, and reimbursement to any victims of the crime. It is not uncommon to also be required to take classes or do evaluations to determine if treatment is necessary, such as anger management classes or substance abuse evaluations.
As previously mentioned, the situational evidence in an assault case will determine whether it may be accused as a felony, aggravated charge. The difference in penalties between a misdemeanor and felony assault are intense. A felony assault conviction will often result in lengthy prison sentences of up to 20 years, hefty fines of up to $5,000, up to 20 years of probation, reimbursements to the victim, and similar classes or courses to what could be required for a misdemeanor.
It is critical to understand your case from a professional perspective. Assault charges are extremely serious with life- altering consequences. Anyone facing assault charges needs to understand both the severity of their personal case and the possibilities they have to defend against it. There is always a course of action available to a Defendant. Often that action is through a legal defense based on Georgia law and code. There are options available to Defendants that they may not know about, even in cases where a legal defense is not as viable. Possibilities of pretrial diversion, expungement and sealing, first offender status, and many others may be available on a case by case basis. Put yourself in a position to overcome an assault case with minimal impact. Contact us today.