Article provided by: Kohn & Yager, LLC
According to Georgia Code Title 16, there are three categories of battery crimes- simple battery, battery, and aggravated battery. Simple battery is the least severe and the most common of these offenses. It involves intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with another person or intentionally causing physical harm to another.
The following are some examples of simple battery acts:
- Placing your hands in another party’s pocket without their permission
- Spitting on another party in a mall
- Spraying another party with pepper spray without any provocation from their end
- Hitting another party with a cane
What is the punishment for simple battery?
A simple battery charge is typically tried as a misdemeanor, and the maximum sentence is a 1-year jail term and fines up to $1000. A simple battery charge may be escalated to a ‘misdemeanor of a high and aggravated’ nature in certain circumstances. In such cases, the maximum sentence remains a one-year jail term, but the accompanying fines may total up to $5000. These circumstances depend on the victim of the crime, and they are defined in O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23 (c) through (i).
Payment of restitution is another common penalty that can be awarded by the trial judge. In such cases, the offender will be asked to pay the victim for any expenses that they may have incurred due to the crime committed by the offender. This typically involves the cost of medical treatment or repairing damage to a property, and it may be awarded with or without other punishments.
First-time offenders can also be put on probation if the trial judge deems that the offense is not severe enough for a jail term. Sometimes, the probation may be awarded as part of the sentence at the judge’s discretion. A defendant on probation will have to regularly meet with a probation officer and satisfy other conditions such as periodic drug tests, attending counseling, or performing community service.
What is the difference between simple battery and aggravated battery?
Georgia laws define aggravated battery as ‘intentionally and maliciously inflicting a serious injury to the victim, such as loss of a limb, loss of use of a limb, or serious disfigurement.’ In essence, aggravated battery is simple battery that leaves the victim injured. For example, if I punch someone in the face and they lose a tooth, I have committed aggravated battery. However, the crime remains a simple battery if the punch did not result in any serious injury.
Understandably, the punishment for aggravated battery is more severe than the punishment for simple battery in Georgia. Aggravated battery attracts a jail term of up to 5 years and fines up to $5000.
Contact the best criminal lawyers to defend your Georgia battery case
If you have been arrested for a battery offense in Georgia, it will be best not to take the matter with levity. Having any kind of conviction record can significantly affect your future. Thus, you should do all you can to ensure you do not have one. Our experienced criminal lawyers in Georgia can help defend your case and achieve the best possible outcome. Call us for a free consultation on any of the following numbers: Sandy Springs Office/404) 567-5515, Downtown Atlanta/(404) 567-5515, Marietta Office/(770) 629-8620, Alpharetta Office/770) 629-9614.