Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer in Atlanta & Alpharetta, Georgia
Assault and battery are crimes that are among the more common charges Georgians can face today. From domestic violence, road rage, bar fights, to rape -- all are very different situations that result in charges of assault and battery under Georgia law. An assault and battery lawyer from the Ford Law Firm will provide quality legal representation to you or your loved one.
What is Assault and Battery?
There are specific statutes that have been passed by the Georgia legislature that define what constitutes the crimes of assault and battery. For example, under Georgia law, aggravated assault is defined as:
Assault (1) with intent to murder, rape, or rob, (2) with a deadly weapon or any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury, or (3)a person assaults another by shooting a gun from a car at the other person.. (O.C.G.A. 16-5-21(a)).
Simple assault and simple battery are considered misdemeanors, which are minor crimes carrying with them punishments of monetary fines and perhaps a short jail stay. Trying to physically harm someone, or doing something to scare someone into thinking that they’re about to be hurt, are two examples of simple assaults under Georgia law. Many bar fights result in simple assault and simple battery charges.
Aggravated assault and aggravated battery are more serious crimes, defined as felonies under state law and can result in years of incarceration as each offense is punishable from 1-20 years in prison. Aggravated battery occurs when a person maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body by rendering it useless or seriously disfigured.
These types of allegations often arise in instances of domestic violence.
Another allegation which is often associated in domestic violence cases is the offense of stalking.
What is stalking?
A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she
- follows, or
- places under surveillance, or
- contacts without consent, another person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.
This type of contact can occur through any communication.
Though the offense of stalking is only a misdemeanor, often when one is arrested and bonds out on a stalking warrant in a domestic situation, one of the conditions of the citizen’s bond will be to have no contact whatsoever with the other party. Often, by consent or otherwise, the accused and other party will resume relations which places the accused citizen at risk for having their bond revoked and returning to jail.
Additionally, often the individual has been the victim of domestic violence or has been stalked may seek and obtain a civil injunction called a temporary protective order which is designed to legally prohibit the accused citizen from having any contact of any kind with the other party.
If the accused citizen makes contact with the other party in violation of the Temporary or Permanent Protective Order, or as a condition of bond, then the citizen can be arrested for the felony offense of Aggravated Stalking and will be held without a bond when the citizen appears before the Magistrate at his First Appearance Hearing.
Unfortunately, this area of the law is often exploited in instances of domestic strife.
Once a petitioner (the alleged victim or target of domestic violence or stalking) obtains a TPO against his or her domestic partner, the law does not prohibit the petitioner from making contact with the accused citizen (the respondent).
The accused citizen may see no harm in resuming relations at the bequest of the other party. However, once the accused citizen makes contact with his or her partner in person, by phone, by email, or by texting, that citizen has committed the felony offense of Aggravated Stalking punishable by 1-10 years in prison. This is so even if contact is initiated by the alleged victim/target and the contact is consented to and desired by the alleged victim.
Georgia law goes to great lengths to protect the victims of domestic violence and targets of stalking because statistically, a higher percentage of serious violent offenses and homicides occur in the instances of domestic discord.
It is because of this that hyper-vigilance has resulted on behalf of the criminal justice system. If you or a loved one are accused of a seemingly minor offense such as assault, battery, trespassing, or stalking, or have been served with a notice that a Temporary Protective Order is being sought , it is imperative that quality legal representation is acquired because the situation can become complicated quickly. You or your loved one can become ensnared in a criminal justice system that will sacrifice the presumption of innocence at the alter of hyper-vigilance for those the system labels as victims. This is very treacherous territory for the poorly represented. Contact the Ford Law Firm for a consultation with an Alpharetta assault and battery lawyer.