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What Is The Difference Between Aggravated Assault And Aggravated Battery?

If you have been accused of a crime in Georgia, it is important to understand the difference between aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Both charges are serious felonies that can result in jail time, but they have different definitions under state law. In the state of Georgia, aggravated assault and aggravated battery are considered different acts of violence and come with their own degrees of severity.

Aggravated Assault Definition

Aggravated assault is an attack with the intent to commit a felony. In Georgia Code § 16-5-21, aggravated assault is committed when "he or she assaults with intent to murder, rape, or rob; with a deadly weapon or with any object...which...is likely to...result in serious bodily injury or strangulation; without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.."

Aggravated Battery Definition

Aggravated battery is a malicious physical attack that causes serious injury. In Georgia Code § 16-5-24, aggravated battery is committed "when he/she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him/her of a member of his/her body, by rendering a member of his/her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his/her body or a member thereof."


If you are facing either of these charges, it is critical to seek experienced legal representation from our Marietta assault and battery attorney immediately. Contact us today!


Penalties for Aggravated Assault & Battery in Georgia

The following are the penalties inflicted upon someone convicted of an aggravated assault or battery:

  • 1 - 20 years in prison (up to 50 years for intent to rape a young child)
  • Fines up to $100,000
  • Owe compensation to the victim (restitution)

Minimum Sentences for Aggravated Assault & Battery

These apply to offenders who commit aggravated assault and/or battery:

  • 5 years for discharging a firearm from a vehicle
  • 3 or 5 years for committing the act in a public transit vehicle or station
  • Committing the crime against certain victims

Defenses for Aggravated Assault Charges in Georgia

If you are facing aggravated assault charges, there may be defenses available to you. In some cases, the lack of intent on your part may be enough to get the charges dropped. In other cases, self-defense, defense of others, and even property rights may be used as arguments against the charges. Additionally, consent given by victims and alibi evidence and witness testimony can also help those falsely accused due to mistaken identity. Even after someone has died, one cannot be convicted for an aggravated assault charge under Georgia law (Perez v State).

How Lack of Intent

The most basic form of defense against an aggravated assault charge is a lack of intent. In order for a court to convict someone of this charge, they must find that the accused intended to cause physical harm or had a reckless disregard for causing harm or death when they committed the act. Without proof that an individual intended to do harm or acted with reckless disregard for safety, it will be difficult to convict them of this crime.

Self-Defense

In certain situations, self-defense can also be argued as a way to avoid conviction for aggravated assault. For example, if someone was defending themselves from imminent danger or threat of physical harm then their actions may not constitute an aggravated assault charge according to Georgia law. However, provocation and escape must also be taken into consideration when determining whether an individual acted in self-defense or not; simply being attacked is not enough on its own for one’s actions to qualify as self-defense without considering any other factors involved in the situation.

Defense of Others

In addition to self-defense being used as a defense against aggravated assault charges, there’s also the concept of “defending another” which comes into play if someone is protecting another person from potential physical danger or harm can use this argument as well. This differs from self-defense because it focuses more on protecting another person rather than oneself and requires additional evidence such as witness testimony in order for it to hold up in court; simply being present at the scene does not constitute “defending another” according to Georgia law.


It is important for anyone accused of committing an aggravated assault charge in Georgia to understand all possible defenses that could apply before going into court proceedings.


Defenses for Aggravated Battery Charges in Georgia

The crime of aggravated battery is a serious one in the state of Georgia and can be punished by up to 20 years in prison. To defend against an aggravated battery charge, you need to understand the requirements of proving injury seriousness and the possible defenses available.

Requirements for a Defense of Serious Injury

To be convicted of aggravated battery in Georgia, the prosecution must prove that there was an intentional act that caused serious physical harm to another person. The jury plays an important role in deciding whether enough evidence exists to determine that an injury is "serious." For example, if it's determined that there was only minor bruising or swelling on the victim's body, then it can be argued that there wasn't any serious physical harm done. Additionally, if it can be shown that there wasn't any intent to cause great bodily harm or disfigurement—which are both necessary components for proving serious physical harm—then it can also be argued against a conviction of aggravated battery.

Lack of Intent to Cause Great Bodily Harm or Disfigurement

Intent is important when it comes to determining whether someone has committed aggravated battery. If it can be shown that there wasn't any intent on behalf of the accused to cause great bodily harm or disfigurement, then this could serve as one possible defense against an aggravated battery charge. For example, if someone accidentally hits another person with their car but does not intend to cause serious physical injury then they cannot be found guilty of aggravated battery even if said person suffers from some type of physical trauma due to being hit by said vehicle.

What Constitutes a “Deadly Weapon”?

In addition to intent being important when determining guilt or innocence in cases involving aggravated battery charges, so too is understanding what constitutes a deadly weapon under Georgia law and how such weapons may factor into possible defenses (such as self-defense) used by those charged with such crimes. A deadly weapon is defined under Georgia law as any instrument capable of producing death or great bodily harm; firearms are included here but so too are bats and other blunt objects capable of causing severe injuries should they make contact with another person's body forcefully enough.

Self-Defense

Self-defense may also play an important role when defending against an allegation for aggravated battery charges in Georgia; however certain elements must exist for self-defense claims to hold up legally speaking. These include but are not limited to establishing reasonable fear for personal safety (or fear for another individual's safety), demonstrating reasonable force used during self-defense efforts (i.e., no excessive force), and showing no provocation prior from the defendant towards the victim before the altercation occurred (i.e., defendant acted upon sudden provocation). There are also other common defenses available including defending property with reasonable force (if applicable) and arguing innocence through witnesses or alibi testimony with your criminal attorney present at trial proceedings.

Get Legal Representation Today!

If you or someone you know has been accused of aggravated assault or aggravated battery in Georgia, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Frye Law Group, we take every case seriously. That’s why we will do our best to provide relentless and aggressive defense for any charge you have.


Contact us today.


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