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What is the difference between aggravated assault & aggravated battery?

Aggravated assault is one of the most common charges that we come across as a serious felony. It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. What’s interesting about aggravated assault, it’s also kind of one of the easiest things to occur. If you have a weapon and you point it at someone, that’s considered aggravated assault in Georgia. Aggravated battery is essentially any broken or disfigurement on the person who you were in an assault with. If you assault a person and they get a scar; break a finger; lose an eye – anything like that, you can be charged with aggravated battery, which is a 20-year prison term.

The interesting part is you could be charged with the original conduct of getting in a fight with them, but then charged with the extra charge of aggravated battery because of the injuries that occurred as a result of their assault. In Georgia, you can have what’s called a “self-defense immunity hearing” prior to your trial, where the judge actually hears what happened. And the judge may decide that you don’t need to be charged with aggravated assault at all and let you go. So, having an attorney that can litigate those hearings and present those hearings to the court are very important.