What Is Aggravated Assault Defined as in Georgia?
We will go over an aggravated assault case example and then go over the details to learn more about the elements of aggravated assault charges in Georgia. In 2016 Patterson v. State of GA Patterson was charged with “aggravated assault with an object” from driving and striking Silvers with a motor vehicle. The ruling helps us understand that the state is required to show Patterson intended to drive his motor vehicle into the direction of Silvers. Prosecutors must also prove Silvers, placed in reasonable apprehension of bodily injury, and that the object would cause serious bodily injury.
How Does Georgia Legally Define Aggravated Assault?
Under the Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 16-5-21, the legal definition of aggravated assault in Georgia is when, “a person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults.”
- With intent to murder, to rape, or rob;
- With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or does result in serious bodily injury
- A person(s) without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.
What Happens If I’m Charged With Aggravated Assault in Georgia?
The prosecutor must provide evidence that it was an assault, according to O.C.G.A. 16-5-20 and that:
- A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated assault upon a peace officer while the peace officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.
- Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years.
- As used in this subsection, the term “correctional officer” shall include superintendents, wardens, deputy wardens, guards, and correctional officers of state, county, and municipal penal institutions who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35 and employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice who are known to be employees of the department or who have given reasonable identification of their employment. The term “correctional officer” shall also include county jail officers who are certified or registered by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35.
How Does Georgia Define Simple Assault
According to Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 16-5-20, the legal definition of simple is assault is when, “a person commits a simple assault when an individual:
- Attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or
- Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.
In essence, the prosecutor must prove that the individual intended to commit the act and put the victim in the apprehension of injury. See Guyse v. the State of Ga. Simple assault is considered a misdemeanor offense.
What Turns Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault
Here we will further explain O.C.G.A. 16-5-21.
- Intent to murder, rape, rob: If the intent was to kill, rape, or steal from another person, the prosecutor could file for an attempt of such a crime. Aggravated assault is typically gone after because it makes it easier to prove in the courts.
- With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or does result in serious bodily injury: An injury has occurred is not required, only that severe bodily injury could result from the use of a weapon, object, device or instrument. This can include anything that could cause injury, for example, a pencil or a knife.
- A person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons: The person discharging the firearm has no legal reason to be firing the weapon.
What are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault?
Penalties for aggravated assault range from 3 to 20 years of imprisonment, and crimes against children that include intent to rape range from 25 to 50 years of imprisonment.