Simple Assault

Simple Assault

There are two types of Assault under Georgia law:  Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault.  In most cases, Simple Assault is a misdemeanor offense (although it may be classified as a High and Aggravated Misdemeanor under certain circumstances).

Simple Assault

According to O.C.G.A. § 16-5-20, A person commits Simple Assault when he or she:

  • Attempts to commit a violent injury to another person, or
  • Commits an act which places another person in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.

An example of simple assault would be if a person pulls his or her arm back as if to throw a punch, and another individual believes he or she is about to be hit.

Georgia courts have analyzed the issue of the intent required to commit a Simple Assault.  They have held that the accused does not have to intend to cause the victim’s apprehension, but only intentionally commit the act that results in the apprehension.  Patterson v. The State, 299 Ga. 491 (2016).

Penalties for Simple Assault Convictions

Offense Classification Penalty for Conviction
Simple Assault Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of $1,000
Simple Assault in a Public Transit Vehicle or Station High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Assault between Family Members1 High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Assault Against Person 65 Years or Older High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Assault Against Public School Employee while on School Grounds (including busses) and when the Employee is Engaged in Official Duties High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Assault Against Female who is Pregnant2 High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000

1O.C.G.A. § 16-5-20 includes among these “past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household.”  It specifically excludes parents (or individuals acting as parents) administering reasonable corporal punishment.

2O.C.G.A. § 16-5-20 specifically excludes abortions.

As with all crimes where violence is alleged, you should consult with an attorney prior to going to court in your case.  There are many possible defenses, and all of these defenses are dependent upon the facts of your particular case.  For this reason, you should discuss every detail of your case with your Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, who will help you decide on the best course of action for you.  You deserve to know all of your options and to have a competent and experienced Criminal Defense Attorney look at your case in detail.  Call me today.

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